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I could be wrong, and I certainly don't want to speak for anyone else really, but I think he's talking more in general principle. That you can't assume that more improvement isn't possible, that sometimes it takes a radical change of direction which can't be seen from a position of orthodoxy. I don't think he was suggesting the death of books or similar, more a reflex towards an open mind.

For what it's worth, the conflation of some extreme "post-modern" views such as "Experts do not deserve any special role in declaring what is known. Knowledge is now democratically determined, as it should be.", with some quite distinct and by no means dependent views questioning the value of forms of rote memorization was to me quite insulting. There is a world of possible nuances between views like these.

I am aware that the intention of that particular section was to (in my opinion clumsily) provoke. However to avoid engaging with the issues with intellectual honesty seems to me to be as anti-enlightenment as anything he ascribes to the anti-intellectual movement he apparently sees.




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