26 June, 2017

How To Spot A Potential Public Intellectual

By Rohan Samarajiva

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva

Recently I wrote about who a public intellectual is. This complementary piece seeks to attenuate its pessimistic conclusion by suggesting some rules that may help gatekeepers perform their function better.

Today, all sorts of people are positioned as public intellectuals by gatekeepers of various kinds, principally those in the media. Because one cannot become a public intellectual without the public having an opportunity to assess one’s intellectual contribution, getting through the gatekeepers is critical. I expressed doubt about whether our gatekeepers had the wherewithal to exercise their power in a responsible manner.

What rules of thumb or filters may an editor or equivalent apply to choose between different intellectuals seeking opportunities to communicate to the public?  The public’s attention is limited; and so is the “speaking time” that could be offered. Giving time on TV/radio or space in an online or print publication necessarily involves judgment.  One putative intellectual gets the opportunity; another does not. How should that judgment be exercised?

The easiest rule, or the first filter, is to see whether the intellectual is basing his or her contribution on some kind of evidence. Many of those who are permitted to make demands on the public’s limited attention do so on the basis of who they are, and not on what they have to say. 

The previous discussion, including Dr Siri Gamage’s contribution, ruled out the possibility that one could make a claim to be a public intellectual simply on the basis of holding a university appointment or an academic qualification.  The first filter must therefore be not who the writer/speaker is, but what the writer/speaker has to say. Is it plain and pure opinion, unadorned by evidence?  If yes, it should be excluded except in exceptional circumstances, discussed below.

What gets through the first filter must also get through the second. Is the presented evidence of adequate quality?    

The second filter requires more effort. I recently described the problem:

A Professor from the country’s oldest Department of Mass Communication was asked to make some comments from the floor at a recent panel discussion I participated in. I was shocked to hear him say that the country needed an industrialization policy because we were importing vehicles that needed tyres manufactured abroad while we still exported raw rubber. 

He appeared to be unaware that most of Sri Lanka’s rubber has been exported in value-added form as gloves, tyres, etc. for several decades and that their total value exceeded USD 1.7 Billion in 2014.  He was ignorant of the facts that Sri Lanka is the world’s leader in solid rubber tyres and actually imports rubber to meet the demand for the tyre factory. This was just one of the misstatements the Professor made.

Other examples are the oft made claims about housemaids in the Middle East. It is no longer true to claim that we export more housemaids than skilled workers or that more women leave for short-term employment than do men. These erroneous claims are repeated ad nauseam by all sorts of so-called experts and are rarely challenged, adding to the pollution of public discourse.

The data necessary to fact check such claims exist on the web, but one must want to, and know how to, search for them. 

But the costs of fact checking have been dramatically lowered by the Internet. Editors/producers do not have to pay for the contributions of the putative pundits. The least they can do is to spend some money and time checking the quality of the punditry and asking a few questions.

Some pundits will undoubtedly be offended on being challenged by editors/producers, especially because of the easy ride they’ve had so far. But in fact, they should be thankful. I have found that questions by journalists always sharpen my arguments and help me avoid mistakes.

The discerning reader should by now be asking whether this article would make it through the two filters. What evidence have I presented to support my recommendation regarding the application of two filters? Some may consider my factual claims to be illustrations, not amounting to evidence supporting the principal claims.

This is where the exception has to come in.

A writer/speaker with a track record of contributions that meet the criteria embodied in the two filters should be permitted to make contributions that are more opinion than evidence. These kinds of summative pieces have to be judged in relation to the overall body of work of the writer/speaker. 

The exception should be based on the overall track record of the writer, which means that those who are in the early stages of making intellectual contributions would have to place more weight on evidence than those who have been in the game long. Sir Arthur C. Clarke supported his 1945 proposal for satellites in the geostationary orbit with mathematical calculations. When he was proposing a single time zone for the world in the last two decades of his life, he provided little or no evidence. In my view, he had earned that right.

Ideally, the editor/producer will apply some criteria of quality even to the opinion-heavy pieces. Is the argument well-constructed? Is it internally consistent? Is it consistent with the previous positions of the writer/speaker? Are the positions of others who are quoted being presented fairly?   

My contention is that this article should get through on the basis of my track record and the quality of its arguments. But that judgment has to be made by the editor, and ultimately by the discerning reader whose attention has been consumed.

And if the filters keep people out from talk shows or newspaper pages? There’s always social media. No gatekeepers, but no guaranteed audiences either. Hard work, but Sri Lanka could do with its own Han Han.          

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      Dr. Rohan: You are quite right that evidence-based analysis is a key ingredient for a public intellectual. Sri Lanka needs evidence-based development POLICY making. Today This is solely absent in the development enterprise in Sri Lanka today due to over-reliance International Aid and pseudo development experts and failure of public intellectuals..

      There are a lot of pseudo public intellectuals and Fake Experts and around these days in the international development industry that Under – develops countries, and peddles Fake Economic Development Advice (like IMF) and Fake Development projects in an era of Fake NEWS.

      Take for instance the advertorials on Canned fish – Mackarel from Chile these day . Lanka is an island- a country surrounded by rich ocean resources. We have failed to educate people that FRESH FISH is far better than canned fish (often metal contaminated).
      Why do you think that some US company has go a million $ contract to give 45$ to individuals in the name of protecting Mangroves in North East Lanka to “protect” and de-develop the local fisheries communities?! Ha ha ha!

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        How is this for Fake Development Aid or phantom aid lacking evidence
        :
        Check out this story: http://www.colombopage.com/archive_17A/Mar18_1489806171CH.php

        A U.S. nonprofit organization Seacology based in Berkley, California has won a grant of almost $1 million for a conservation project in Sri Lanka.

        15,000 poor women in Sri Lanka will get PEANUTS – 45-100$ micro loan for income generation under this project! What an insult to the women of Lanka – this aid that UNDER-DEVELOPS communities while consumed by the US aid industry.

        “This project will protect all 21,782 acres (8,815 ha) of Sri Lanka’s existing mangrove forests by providing alternative job training and microloans to 15,000 impoverished women who live in 1,500 small communities adjacent to the mangrove forests. The project will also replant 9,600 acres (3,885 ha) of mangrove forests that have been cut down.

        Seacology and Sudeesa will open a new job-training center and increase the value of each microloan offered under the program from $45 to $100, Silverstein said.

        “This increase may seem small by Western standards, but it can be life-changing in Sri Lanka, where monthly incomes are often as low as $70. A small amount of financial assistance can offer a path out of poverty for some of the country’s most vulnerable inhabitants, who are essential partners in our effort to protect the country’s remaining mangrove forests,” Seacology’s executive director said in the release.

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          Dude: Is this for real?! Sri Lanka is supposed to be a lower middle income country?!
          What is this Seacology outfit messing with Mangroves and poor women of Sri Lanka in the northeast?!
          What a condescending prat to say: “This increase may seem small by Western standards, but it can be life-changing in Sri Lanka, where monthly incomes are often as low as $70. A small amount of financial assistance can offer a path out of poverty for some of the country’s most vulnerable inhabitants, who are essential partners in our effort to protect the country’s remaining mangrove forests,” Seacology’s executive director said in the release.

          This so called project seems like a cover to collect ALL coastal DATA and INFORMATION from Sri Lankafor the US deep state’s big data and big Security Information requirement – to balance China’s Hambantota port and influence in the Indian Ocean theater of operation which is being increasingly militarized.

          At least the Chinese gave Lanka a Sea Port. This project is a JOKE – fake aid consumed by the so-called “donor” and meant to waste of time and energy of beneficiaries – poor, vulnerable and voiceless minority Tamil women living in northeast post-war zone of Sri Lanka. This is a CON project.
          This is how so called international aid de-develops and wastes the time and energy of people meant to be “developed”!

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          Whistle blowers like Snowdon are also public intellectuals.

          Sri Lanka needs public intellectuals who are not afraid to “speak truth to power” and whistle blower public intellectuals who have the knowledge and expertise to analyze and expose bad policies and projects.

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    I agree with RS to a great extent. Last afternoon, I attended a Maritime event held in Colombo to discuss the future of the Hambantota Port (also the status of the proposed Kra Canal). There, the moderator himself didn’t know the extent of the physical development already taken place in the Port of Hambantota!

    The “Intellectual” tag should be based on your ‘output’, not on the ‘input’ (your qualifications etc). Also, I strongly believe there can be great intellectuals without any paper qualification/s. In my view, the first step of becoming an intellectual is; ‘knowing that you don’t know everything’!

    As always, I wrote this under my own name :) Thanks.

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    Speaking of intellectuals, I wish to take issue with the good professor’s comment “Sir Arthur C. Clarke supported his 1945 proposal for satellites in the geostationary orbit with mathematical calculations.”

    The statement shows that the professor believes that Arthur C.Clarke was the inventor of the satellite and the theory of planetary orbits. My purpose here is to point out that the Buddhist Abhidharma and Kaalachakra (cycles of time) literature provided detailed principles of cosmology and system analysis roughly 2600 years before Clarke traversed the surface of the earth. The purpose however, was not for the commercial launch of satellites for military and spying, but to develop discriminating awareness (prajna).

    Unfortunately 300 word space limitation here does not allow a full expansion.

    As to Arthur C. Clarke, he chose to live in Sri Lanka to escape British tax collectors, to access original Buddhist manuscripts and due to a special love he had for our children. I am also reminded of Sigmund Freud who stole Buddhist psychology wholesale in a similar manner.

    Accepting such people as inventors of true knowledge is an artifact of western propaganda our intellectuals need to be wary of, especially when they or on scholarship to UK, US or Europe.

    As Anagarika Dharmapala noted in 1914,”the life of the Nazarene Jew was not of cosmic usefulness” and anyone aspiring to become a public intellectual without taking heed of this wisdom would be exposed as an “emperor without clothes”.

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      Mr. B.A,
      “The statement shows that the professor believes that Arthur C.Clarke was the inventor of the satellite and the theory of planetary orbits. My purpose here is to point out that the Buddhist Abhidharma and Kaalachakra (cycles of time) literature provided detailed principles of cosmology and system analysis roughly 2600 years before “
      Where exactly is this stated? Kindly quote where detailed explanation of a synchronous orbit is given in the Abidhamma? Obviously you don’t know what Clarke was talking about.

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        I take the abuse from the unwise as complement! The title old codger says it all.

        I have briefly referred to why Arthur C.Clarke was blessing us with his presence. Try to find out while standing.because compression of the brain is to known to inhibit its activity.

        Answering your question on where detailed explanations of a synchronous orbit is given in “Abhidarma”, (not Abidhamma, please), most of it is contained in Anguttara Nikaya, Mahawagga, if you can read and understand.

        I admit Buddha’s view on cosmology – temporal, the division of the existence of a ‘world’ into its creation, duration, dissolution, and state of being dissolved- and spatial, the various planes of beings, their bodies, characteristics, and the distribution of these world-systems into an “apparently” infinite sheet of universes is about billion times more complex than anything Clarke said.

        What is most important to understand however, is that the Buddha did not seek to figure out cosmology in order to launch spy satellites.

        By the way, he also refused to answer questions of fools (read suttas in Kosala Samyutta, Sagatha Vagga) containing preachings to King Pasenadi of Kosala).

        But I am in a generous mood right now!

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          Mr. B.A,
          You say:” Answering your question on where detailed explanations of a synchronous orbit is given in “Abhidarma”, (not Abidhamma, please), most of it is contained in Anguttara Nikaya, Mahawagga, if you can read and understand. “

          You have avoided answering my simple question , by producing a lot of smoke and mirrors. You made sweeping statements about orbital mechanics . Clarke never claimed to invent either orbital mechanics or satellites. He only put forward a theoretical scheme for radio coverage of the whole planet with just 3 SYNCHRONOUS satellite. Is that in your Abidharma, and if so where? Do you actually know what a synchronous orbit is?
          You may be an expert on Abidharma, but that does not give you a license to make foolish generalizations about things you know very little about.
          Yes, Arthur Clarke was a paedophile, but that is not relevant to his predictive abilities. The Buddha himself abandoned his wife and infant son . Does that detract from his teachings?
          It is better, dear Bhante, to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open it and have it confirmed.

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            To you and the rotten maaluwe miris below, CT has a policy of limiting comments to 300 words, and this does not allow a full description of the theory in Abhidharma. This is why I gave the reference. Clarke’s dressing of this fundamental truths of Buddha is not true knowledge.

            I understand that western boot-licking nitwits are not capable of reading and understanding the Dhamma.If they could, they will be more enlightened as not to believe in stolen half-truths without analysis.

            Stop licking the boots of Clarke or other worldly “Jewish intellectuals” who steal from Buddhism and make names for themselves and give and take Nobel prizes among themselves. They are worldly, giving names of themselves to so-called “diseases” (like Alzheimer’s Disease) which is nothing more than the natural degeneration of the brain leading the process of death. Make an attempt to see the truth.

            Also, research on Jesus’ uttering “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Mathew 5:39) find out for yourself as to the origin of this view.

            Remember Jesus appeared 500 years after Buddha, and he learnt Buddhism as an 11 yr old from the Nazarines of Alexandria where he was hiding with his parents from the persecution of the Pharisees who are currently ruling the world.

            I am not optimistic that you will be capable of seeing the truth!

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              Dear Bhante,
              “To you and the rotten maaluwe miris below, CT has a policy of limiting comments to 300 words, and this does not allow a full description of the theory in Abhidharma.”
              Isn’t that a rather un-Buddhistic thing to say, for someone who claims to understand and interpret the Abidharma?
              I will repeat again, tell us exactly where the Abhidharma refers to satellites, orbital mechanics, etc. Chapter and verse please. I can give you chapter and verse from the Vinaya Pitaka about lying and why monks should not have intercourse with disembodied heads in a cemetery, among other things.
              You can do it in 100 words.
              As to Clarke, don’t you think his writings based on maths and science (in clear language) are more believable than anything that is so abstruse that it can only be interpreted by self-appointed initiates sitting under trees.
              I am not waiting breathlessly for your verbiage- free answer

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                Dear Bhante,
                If 300 words is not enough for you, let us have it in 299 word instalments!

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          Aiyo! Mr BA

          What is the problem ? Since you are so convinced that the Enlightened One built artificial satellites and put them into geostationary orbit, it should be easy enough for you to provide us unenlightened people the directions to find the path ??

          Instead, you are sidestepping the question and trying to bamboozle us with big words and lofty sayings

          I assure you, it wont make any difference – except to mark you as a person who is Faking it !

          Sincerely

          Maaluwe Miris

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            maalumiris

            “Since you are so convinced that the Enlightened One built artificial satellites and put them into geostationary orbit, it should be easy enough for you to provide us unenlightened people the directions to find the path ??”

            Bhante Anuruddha meant Sinhala/Buddha described in Mahawamsa and not the awakened/enlightened one.

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            Maalumiris,
            We were dicussing fake intellectuals, but we’ve stumbled on a fake Arahat.

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            Hey Miris how do you think he came to Sri Pada? in a satellite he himself piloted. We should abolish all science faculties and concentrate on the Mahavamsa which tells us all we need to know.

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          Old codger is a Tamil christian.

          they think western material science is the truth.

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            Jimmy,
            “Old codger is a Tamil christian. they think western material science is the truth.”
            If western science is not true, why are you living in the West and enjoying its benefits? I live in Sri Lanka.
            By the way, the Bible and the Quran say the Earth is flat and the sun goes round it. I am researching Buddhist theories, but these seem to be so complicated that they could mean anything.

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              old codger

              “By the way, the Bible and the Quran say the Earth is flat and the sun goes round it. “

              jim softy also believes the Earth is flat and the sun goes round it, Buddha the awakened one was a Sinha Le Buddhist, being a nutter is god given gift, …..

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      Bhante Anuruddha

      Was it a Sinhala/Buddhist who invented/made the first satellite? Was he a relative of Champika Ranawake?

      Remember the first known intercontinental flying machine was owned by Ravana, an ancestor of Sinhala/Buddhists.

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      “The life of the Nazarene Jew was not of cosmic usefulness.” Anagarika Dhammapala.

      THIS IS NOT A VALID STATEMENT AND IS WITHOUT PROOF.

      .. Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

      “If your eye (eye of the soul is clouded) is not pure … you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be! St. Mathew 6:22

      Anagarika ‘s words continued: “To the philosophic thinker there is not an idea in the teachings of Jesus that may be called philosophic. His parables about the mustard seed, the sower, the wheat and tares are absurd. There is no ethical code that may be called complete outside Buddhism.”

      See Sermon on the Mount. Mathew 5, Bible.

      Jesus’ parables are about God’s kingdom. Mustard seed=the spark of God that wounds a pure soul so sweetly), the sower (mind’s arableness for it to flourish within it) the wheat and tares are those who have the Life of Christ unquenched in them and those who have quenched it). All the Church Fathers have explained them adequately and convincingly. It is noetically knowable even now.

      ” “All things were made through [Christ], and without him was not any thing made” St. John 1:3. This includes the cosmos and the rules that govern it by Love. And I’d go with St. John.

      The key to wisdom is faith which AD lacked.

      Poor Anagarika, baptised Don David- of Christian College, Kotte, St Benedict’s College, Kotahene, S. Thomas’ College, Mutwal, and the Colombo Academy founded by Christian Missionaries.

      If a “blind”man says there is no light, should those whose eye hath been cleansed, accept it?

      With grace to all, and malice to none Sir.

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        “The life of the Nazarene Jew was not of cosmic usefulness.” Anagarika Dhammapala.
        Well, do you think anybody will remember the great Anagarika in, say, 500 years?

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        How very religious and observant can Hindus converted by the US Mission ans CSI become? We have no beef with your believing anything or any faith you might treasure.

        You my dear lady, need to read a bit about the history of foreign surnames that got planted among Jaffna Tamils,in order to fully understand your religious beliefs. May be you need an introduction to CSI and the American Mission, 100% Jewish projects that became operational in Jaffna after independence.

        Ignorance is doubly dangerous when it becomes mixed with greed for social and professional climbing.
        Read the Bible with your eyes open please.

        Amen

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          Kalagola,
          I suspect that you, Bhante Anuruddha and Bhatiya Jayakody are one and the same, since all of you seem to hate Jews. I like that of course.

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    The main problem in Sri Lanka is its customs as they accept bribe n allow everything into the country.I suggest the minister search the flights from India n Singapore . This makes anything to come from India cheap n local manufacturers r suffering. The buggers r even importing as parts n assemble vehicles. Catch the chief of customs n send him on compulsory leave and appoint a young energetic young officer.

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    Prof. Rohan,

    Valuable piece. Very important for all but a bit high for me to understand. I am familiar with CT scholars.

    Is any of the following reckoned as a public intellectual by the standards you have proposed please?

    Tisaranee Gunasekara

    Laksiri Fernando

    Dayan Jayatilleke

    Mahindapala

    Rajan Hoole

    Asoka Ekanayake

    Ratnajeevan Hoole

    Anyone else?

    Thank you. I know many scholars write in the comments section but there are often just too many and some sound dangerous.

    Your answer would help me to understand the gist of your articles, and save time by selecting only the worthy ones to read, being a mother of five.

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    May I offer a small amendment to the Profs suggestion. The evidence that is provided to support the comment must be referenced so that its source too is identified for purposes of acceptability. A pure opinion expressed by another supported as evidence in one’s comment/claim may be as good as another opinion. But say if statistics of a Central Bank of a country is referred to then it has much better weight as evidence.

    Good thinking Prof. When will you be a public intellectual?

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    I know famous public intellectual. He does not have a first degree and vanished and worked as dirt worker in USA and self claiming as a professor and cheated local uneducated President in Sri Lanka and got higher position in Telcom area and now pretends as a Professor. Guess who is this public intellecutauls. I guess Wimal Weerawansa also same type of person but he never claims fake professor title.

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      Mr.Wasantha,
      The comment language is English.

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      Does not have a first degree in a Uni in Sri Lanka (even dropping out of one as a result of doing politics) and starting life in USA as a dirt worker? Possibly True. May have attended the law college of Sri Lanka and possibly passing out as an attorney? Could be. But some records indicate holding the position of Assistant Professor (Lecturer in terms of our Universities) in a school of journalism in a US university.

      You could dig enough into the records of a man. Though I am not a buddhist, one of the buddhist contemplations is on the thirty two bodily parts of any human. If you dig into the personality of any man you can ferret something juicy out. But whatever title he may hold or he may not have held does not matter to me in evaluating the article. I know enough of people with big titles but they are absolute intellectual frauds.

      PROF! keep on giving us enough food for thought.

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    Native Vedda: I thought of penning a few words of comment, but your reference “…first known intercontinental flying machine was owned by Ravana…..” sent my gooseflesh to spill. That flying machine was known as “Dandu Monara” (a Huge Peacock). We Sri Lankans owned and continue to own that flying machine with the same insignia “Monara” (Peacock). It has become the worst “Nightmare” that this country is in possession of and the least botheration or concern to any of the “Big Wigs” to whom its upkeep and management have been entrusted with. So I am in no mood to write further because that “shock” is too much and needs time to relax. Will meet later on that subject of this article.

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    So no chance that Jim Softy can become one :(

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    A necessary attribute of an intellectual is humility and simple living. An intellectual will be dedicated to the cause – Karl Marx had this attribute.

    Humanity was blessed with an intellectual some 2600 years ago. He was born a prince – saw the inequalities in society and saw through the exploitation via superstition (like astrology). He gave up wealth and privileges, lived ordinary life, meditated and preached non-violence.

    In the present world, those who use their position in society live like princes. Unfortunately society rate them as “intellectuals”

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    if Sri Lanka had/have any intellectuals the country would be still known as Ceylon and far ahead of Singapore and Dubai.

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    CT editors must have a sense of humor and are cheap to boot!! They provide a forum for all comers to vent their feelings and thereby reveal their abject lives. No cost to CT for content.

    I think the theme of the writer was to reveal the absurdity of accepting any and all as qualified intellectuals, without a proven mastery of a subject. Printing a set of phrases to quote before a speech does not make one an intellectual.

    In Sri Lanka when characters shamelessly use fake doctorates and the media dutifully indulges their fantasy, there is very little to be said about our lack of standards.

    Donald Trump lies whenever he opens his mouth. The US media barring foxnews, calls him on it, every day.

    When did a media organisation ever challenge anything or anyone in Sri Lanka?

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    It is interesting that the discussion on intellectualism has turned to one about Arthur C. Clarke. It is not totally irrelevant. Here is my contribution. Lived several days from him at Barnes Place.

    Clarke wasn’t the actual inventor of the geostationary orbit concept now named “Clarke Orbit”. He speculated that three orbiting satellites could allow around the world communication. He didn’t invent anything. The idea originally came from Herman Potočnik (from current Croatia) in 1928.

    Clarke’s reasons for coming to live in Sri Lanka are mysterious. He served the war as a Radar technician spotting German planes, later taught himself mathematics and worked as an abstractor. In 1945 he wrote the famous paper in Wireless World, predicting communications satellites with a human switchboard operator on board!

    In 1946, he revived the Interplanetary Society, recruiting the Jewish fiction writer George Bernard Shaw. He got a degree from Cambridge in 1948 the year of our independence and came to Sri Lanka in another crucial year, 1956. The reason given was that he loved the sea, but he couldn’t swim. He brought with him his ‘skin diving’ bisexual friend, a former Jewish paratrooper, Mike Wilson who later married Elizabeth Perera from Colombo 7, became Swami Siva Kalki, and died in1995.

    Clarke is known to have bet in 1959 that man would land on the moon by June, 1969. He wrote “2001: A Space Odyssey” with Stanley Kubrick who is believed to have “staged” the moon landing. Clarke assisted Walter Cronkite’s CBS coverage of the “supposed” Moon Landing, crying at Cape Kennedy. “For me, it was as if time had stopped”.

    He certainly had many poor teenage boy servants around the house, serving him.

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      Bhatiya,
      Yes, Clarke had an unusual interest in young boys, and this is probably why he was knighted very late in life. MI6 knows everything, though our local media kept very quiet.
      However he did make some accurate predictions based on the way technology was advancing at the time. Some did not quite pan out. Nobody but a robot made it to Jupiter by 2001, and he had people using wired telephones in 2150.He did not anticipate the speed of Internet development (his version of it in 2150 was clunkier than the actual Net we have today). But those are details. His books, all of which I have read, were grippingly well written, and based on real science.

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      “………. In 1946, he revived the Interplanetary Society, recruiting the Jewish fiction writer George Bernard Shaw ……………….”

      George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) – lovingly called GBS, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw was not a fiction writer and certainly not Jewish. He was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. The Shaw family was of English descent and belonged to the dominant Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.

      GBS was very proud of his plays and rating his works as fiction is an insult.

      By the way Arthur C Clarke left Britain because homosexuality was illegal at that time. He was quite candid about his sexual preference for boys but it was the successive GoSL who went out of the way to hide this..

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    Across Modi has appointed Yogi Adityanath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. The Yogi is the Indian-Hindu version of Gnanasaro.

    Indians consider Modi an intellectual! My foot

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