Why Is Online Learning Convenient

Yoga teacher Fani Martins shares some of her best moves and the pitfalls of online training.

Why Is Online Learning Convenient

Who was #8?

The most widely cited candidate is #3, Jim Crow, of course. As with Confederate statues, or traffic lights or a dead person you don’t remember, his day was never really clear. Jim Crow was “a pre-civil rights supreme court justice appointed in 1967” and “a law professor at Vassar College,” who “was appointed to the supreme court in 1967.” The fact that he wore a pantsuit tells you everything you need to know.

For unknown reasons, did Jim Crow die in a car crash in 1973, or, as more than a few skeptical scholars suggest, that he died when being lynched for being a racist? Whatever happened, there is no mystery to Jim Crow, so there’s no question that he had something going for him.

Much was made of Oprah Winfrey being #6 on 2017’s list (“an early television star who launched an empire in the 1980s” and “who went from honey-voiced workaholic to a billionaire philanthropist and television talk show host with three decades of TV programming under her belt.”) Oprah seems perfect for this kind of list: she doesn’t have a history of bigotry, just a decades-long history of being a particularly sensitive host of a comfy sit-com.

Jann Wenner, who compiled the list for Rolling Stone, is correct when he notes that if America asked a person to serve on its Supreme Court, they probably wouldn’t expect a good constitution scholar, or a talented producer, or an accomplished writer. What the lawyer, producer, and writer on these lists have in common is this: they make their livings sitting inside a 3D computer screen. Nobody else does this, and it’s not possible for most of us to afford this level of expertise, or to do so well, so we feel as if we’re entitled to a discount in enjoying the fruits of our expertise.

This isn’t really a new idea: Orson Welles made sure he looked like an intellectual in order to extol well-crafted movies for millions of audience. If you grew up in the 1970s, it might have been easy to believe you might be taken seriously if you made movies, if it made you appear intellectual, if you had the sense to speak badly of a young group of nuns from Wilmette who were being exposed as the Communist Party and ripping into the mothers of the movement.

Welles did not succeed in convincing his audience he was a real intellectual—he just got noticed for being smart. Once he became an advertising man, everybody wanted to be smart and knew it was cool. But this became outdated quickly, once junk radio started carrying Alan Dershowitz on the air.

Exquisite excellence, like almost every other quality that we try to assign to all people, is much harder to find when only some people are important. The elite we ranked here also made for other interesting fare. If you were to compile a list of two or three celebrities you “really, really loved,” either those entries would involve famous sex tapes, or famous romances with Kardashians. (Love makes anyone smart, so if it had anything to do with President Donald Trump, it was probably an error.)

Finally, the list contained some contestants who don’t have anything like exceptional degrees in science or math. Travis Kalanick, a founder of Uber, is a billionaire, and in the face of multiple court cases alleging sexual assault, in addition to the damage done to the company reputation and the thousands of lives he impacted, he was still named. There is no question that he’s an intelligent man, but that shouldn’t be enough.

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