OK, most people would consider me an intellectual. I don't especially think of myself that way - I used to read more books when I was 20 years old. I was more shy and less athletic back then, and was certainly an intellectual based on those kind of criteria. I no longer seem to walk in that path to nearly the same extent these days. But, I can admit and actually be proud, I do still believe that thinking and understanding is as important as "gut" reactions. So that means I am still an intellectual, I suppose.
That being the case, it is natural that I feel we need people of intellect to be given a good hearing and lots of respect, before we will be able to solve the global environmental crisis. One of the big cultural struggles in the United States has been between scientists (intellects) and a spin-created, intentionally under-informed "middle America" that only knows "drill for oil" and "drill, baby, drill" (from the Republican presidential convention) as a solution to our environmental and energy needs. Unfortunately, the environment problems we have now are complex, multi-faceted problems involving energy, air, soil, water, food, and a planet whose population may well be too large to continue anywhere near the current size for another 20, 30, or 40 years, let alone continue to increase.
I was glad to see that at least the readers of this Web site and blog voted Article Cross-References as THE most important enhancement this site could get. You know, cross-references are just one step less than footnotes on the intellectual scale. The preference for more cross-references also says that people are interested in the article content - and they want to read more about the topics they are seeing. This is all good news.
Well, the next major release for this site will indeed have cross-references. It may be done through tag matching, or they may be explicit links to specific articles. Ideally, both could be provided as they serve slightly different needs and provide different resuls.
If I may enter the political realm a bit further - but it is really about the American culture more than politics - you may have heard Rudolf Giuliani laugh at Barack Obama's Ivy-league education and community organizing. In that one action of derision, the former mayor showed his lack of understanding of the importance of knowledge and of caring about individual, more or less unknown people in a community. If only more people with high functioning minds were to be dedicated to solving problems at the grass roots level and back up to the top of the governmental structures, our country would be in much better condition socially and economically.
In any case, thanks to all of you who voted on my little survey/poll. Now it is time for me to, sigh, get back to work.