The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life.
There are many ways I don’t meet the criteria for this designation, although I have commenters here and on Facebook who would nominate me in a heartbeat. For them, I’ve got the trump card (sorry!):
…he has never read Frederic Dard, Libanius Antiochus, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, Amianus Marcellinus, Ibn Battuta, Saadiah Gaon, or Joseph De Maistre…
I have read Ammianus Marcellinus (Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s spelling needs a little upgrade.) It was on my “want to read” list for many years, but only got the chance earlier this year. The timing was good: Marcellinus spent a lot of time in Rome’s war with the Persians, and I had just spent five years with some of their descendants. That made the work all the more vivid, and coupled with my interest in Late Roman history, it was a fabulous read.
Some of my posts based on reading his work include the following:
- Happy Nowrouz to the People of the “King of Kings”
- You May End Up Building Their Coffin
- If This Country Doesn’t Make It, Will You?
I highly recommend his work; you can find it here.