July 5th, 2021

On intellectuals.

'At the core of the notion of an intellectual is the dealer in ideas, as such - not the personal application of ideas, as engineers apply complex scientific principles to create physical structures or mechanisms. A policy wonk whose work might be analogized as "social engineering" will seldom personally administer the schemes that he or she creates or advocates. ... The output - the end product - of an intellectual consists of ideas.

... The standards by which engineers and financiers are judged are external standards, beyond the realm of ideas and beyond the control of their peers. ... But the ultimate test of a deconstructionist's ideas is whether other deconstructionists find those ideas interesting, original, persuasive, elegant, or ingenious. There is no external test.'

- Thomas Sowell, 'Intellectuals and Society'