Hipster Intellectualism: When the Obscure Feeds the Ego

Making a selective effort to seek out the most obscure ideas, theories, thinkers, and books is, on the one hand, a sign of intellectual hunger. But a kind of ego-stroking tendency can suffuse this seeking too; the more obscure the material, the more self-satisfying it can feel to find it and tell others about it.…

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Mark Twain on the Root Cause of Antisemitism

In 1898, Harper’s Magazine published an essay by Mark Twain titled ‘Concerning the Jews’, in which the author responds to a letter from a lawyer who asks Twain to explain why antisemitism is so rampant in society and why Jewish people throughout history have born the brunt of so much hatred and hostility. Twain essentially…

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