Let’s start with an article that perfectly illustrates what the Carnival of Elitist Bastards was created to draw attention to. George, over at a Decrepit Old Fool, has an inspiring article on Neil Turok’s successful efforts to find and encourage mathematical talent among the peoples of Africa. Turok believes, “Africa should be seen not as a perpetually despondent continent, but as the largest single repository of untapped human potential in the world”, and he is succeeding at proving his belief in the human potential of Africa is well placed. George’s article is a treasure worth reading and can be found here.
Another article that very well illustrates what the Carnival was created to draw attention to can be found over at Andrea’s Buzzing About blog. Although the article was written two days before the recent US election, and focuses on Sarah Palin’s bizarre notions of science, the article is no where near to being dated. Palin may have been defeated in the election, but her creepy understanding of science is still popular with millions of Americans, and it, too, needs to be defeated. Andrea’s wonderfully well-written and thorough article can be found here.
Speaking of misunderstanding science, John, over at Thoughts in a Haystack, justly takes Michael Crichton to task over Crichton’s surprisingly inane understanding of what science is all about. John’s article is brief, well-documented, and incisive. It can be found here.
On the whole, those of us bastards who thought the popularization of science would be a purely good thing forgot to take into account how resistant Hollywood and the entertainment media would prove itself to using genuine, sound science in their productions. But Blake Stacey, over at Science After Sunclipse, offers an elitist solution to the mess the entertainment world has so often made of science. Rather than simply accept the dumbing down of science, make use of it to further science eduction. His encouraging article can be found here.
So far as I understand it, genuine elitism is partly about each of us reaching our fullest possible human potential. This month, the submission that most seemed to me to be on that topic came from Dana over at En Tequila Es Verdad. If you don’t already admire Dana, you will most likely admire her after reading how seriously and for how long she’s cultivated her dream of authoring science fiction. Like an athlete pushes herself to her physical and mental limits, Dana has pushed herself to gain the broadest possible knowledge base with which to write SF. Her fascinating story can be found here.
In the popular imagination, a nerd is often no more than someone who finds greater value in being well educated than the money it might bring him or her. Teacherninja — over at the blog, Teacherninja — discusses that aspect of nerdiness in a very brief, but insightful article that can be found here.
Surely the most controversial submission to this month’s Carnival comes from Jacob over at Winter’s Haven. Whether you agree or disagree with his proposal to require people to pass a knowledge test before they are allowed to vote, I think you will agree his article is well-written and thoughtful. It can be found here.
When faced with the abysmal ignorance of those folks who criticize science and learning without even bothering to understand what they are criticising, it sometimes helps to just rant a bit. That’s what Alan chooses to do over at Terahertz. And he’s right on target with his rant, too. It can be found here.
In a very well written article, Cujo over at Slobber and Spittle, takes on the notion that all of the new “militant atheists” are somehow more militant than anything poor humans have been subjected to in their 260,000 or so odd years on this planet. His well reasoned post can be found here.
I’ve shamelessly saved one of the best submissions to the Carnival for mention close to the end of it. Annie, over at Home of the Brave, has an excellent post up about the life, time, and issues surrounding Florence Wald — a woman who revolutionized nursing in the United States. Nothing spells elitist like changing the world for the better. Annie’s article is well worth reading and can be found here.
A VERY HONORABLE MENTION
I received several submissions that were very good articles, but that did not fit the theme of the Carnival. What to do with them? Well, for the most part, I’ve decided not to include them here despite the quality of their writing. After all, the Carnival is about elitism — not everything under the sun. There is one offbeat article, however, that I would like to mention anyway. It’s by Stephanie over at Almost Diamonds, and it is one of the most engaging blog posts I’ve read in a long time. So, I think it is a bit fitting to recognize it as a tribute to doing our best. It can be found here.
Last, I would like to apologize for not getting the Carnival up on the scheduled date. I experienced a couple unforeseen delays and so the best I could do was get it up today.
The next Carnival is scheduled for December 27th and will be hosted by Ames over at Submitted to a Candid World. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org