Academic intelligence is absurdly overvalued

James Marriott:

In my early twenties I was fixated on the idea of taking a masters degree. I made myself fairly miserable in pursuit of this goal: I saved almost all the money I earned, moved into my grandmother’s spare bedroom and took out an enormous loan from the government. The obsession was not rational. I am not sure I could ever have coherently explained why I thought I needed a second degree in English literature.

I was, I think, a victim of what the American writer Fredrik deBoer calls “the cult of smart”: the pervasive modern idea that intelligence is the defining human quality and that academic performance is a “shorthand for total human value”.

I believe deBoer is correct: academic intelligence is absurdly overvalued. For

Ann Althouse Commentary:

If you, like me, wondered what’s in 17th-century sermons, here’s a big page of links to English sermons from the 17th century. Lots of John Donne sermons here. Sample: