Berkeley intelligentsia Social Change Caffe Mediterraneum 1 block People’s Park

Everybody should study more medicine.
Mental and physical health problems are growing exponentially.
Multiple plagues are brewing that may eliminate all or most humans.

Some parts of society is also going downhill. Some concerned citizens are studying those problems such as at Berkeley. Great weather and food and coffee shops cheaper than San Francisco. Enjoy yourself while working. Pitch a tent in People’s park and and walk 1 block to Caffe Mediterraneum or some such watering hole while developing a plan for better social change talking to the intelligentsia – A social class of people engaged in complex mental labour aimed at guiding or critiquing, or otherwise playing a leadership role in shaping a society’s culture and politics. Might include everyone from artists to school teachers, as well as academics, writers, journalists, and other hommes de lettres (men of letters) more usually thought of as being the main constituents of the intelligentsia. Intelligentsia is the subject of active polemics concerning its own role in the development of modern society not always positive historically, often contributing to higher degree of progress, but also to its backward movement The term was borrowed from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in around the 1840s, to describe the educated and professionally active segment of patriotic bourgeoisie able to become the spiritual leaders of the country ruled by a foreign power in an authoritarian way. Deprived of socio-political influence in the form of enterprises or any “effective levers of economic development”, the educated intelligentsia became a characteristic indicator of the East-European cultural periphery unlike the German Bildungsbürgertum or the British professions for whom leading societal roles were available. In pre-revolutionary Russia the term was first used to describe people possessing cultural and political initiative. It was commonly used by those individuals themselves to create an apparent distance from the masses, and generally retained that narrow self-definition. More recently the term mass intelligentsia has been popularized to describe the intellectual effect of tertiary education upon a population. Some authors use the term “intelligentsia” in reference to intellectuals and certain upper middle class professionals, whose main task is to create and distribute knowledge. Max Weber considered intelligentsia to be a major category essentially distinct from other social categories, both in terms of attributes and interests. In his major work, Economy and Society he used this term in arbitrary chronological and geographical frames, e.g., he wrote that “this Christian preoccupation with the formulation of dogmas was in Antiquity particularly influenced by the distinctive character of ‘intelligentsia’, which was the product of Greek education”. When formulating major social classes of his time, Weber combines intelligentsia with other social categories, e.g., he defines a major class consisting of “the propertyless intelligentsia and specialists (technicians, various kinds of white-collar employees, civil servants – possible with considerable social differences depending on the cost of their training)” and yet other “classes privileged through property and education”. The term mass intelligentsia describes the 20th century expansion of tertiary education to a saturation never seen before in history, and the resulting increase in moneyed adults curious about subjects, scientific, philosophic and humanitarian, beyond their own square on the chessboard. The term has been used regularly by sociologists but was widely popularised in the 2010s by English broadcaster and writer Melvyn Bragg. Bragg says it explains the popularity of book clubs and literary festivals that would historically have commanded little interest from the mass of middle- and working-class people. One author who has explored expressions of the rising mass intelligentsia is British writer Jules Evans. He takes it to include informal learning, espoused by novel teachers such as celebrity chefs and members of an internet forum for new mothers. American sociologist Richard Flacks defines mass intelligentsia thus: “What Marx could not anticipate … was that the antibourgeois intellectuals of his day were the first representatives of what has become in our time a mass intelligentsia, a group possessing many of the cultural and political characteristics of a class in Marx’s sense. By intelligentsia I mean those engaged vocationally in the production, distribution, interpretation, criticism and inculcation of cultural values. Established as a coffeehouse inside a bookstore in 1956 under the name Il Piccolo by Maxine Chitarin before later being renamed, the Med is “one of the oldest coffeehouses in the Bay Area” and “the oldest coffeehouse in the East Bay.” The café’s website maintains that “Lino Meiorin, one of the owners, was the first Italian-trained barista in the Bay Area. Customers were not used to the strong flavor of a traditional Italian cappuccino and would ask Lino for more milk. Speaking in Italian, he would tell the barista to put more latte (milk) in their cup. Finally he thought of putting a larger drink on the menu with the same amount of espresso but more steamed milk, and calling it a caffè latte.” During the 1960s, the Med featured a diverse crowd of patrons, and it became a meeting place for Beat Generation artists, intellectuals, Black Power advocates, and activists who were taking part in the Free Speech Movement and post-FSM activism. During this era, the Med also played a role in two important pieces of art.

Allen Ginsberg was a regular at the Med and probably wrote Howl on the premises of the Med.

A scene in the 1967 film The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman was also filmed at a table in the Med, with Telegraph Avenue visible outside the window. Of Telegraph Avenue, “many city officials and merchants say the avenue has lost its vibrancy” since the 1960s, but “until the 1990s, the Med thrived as a center for conversation and caffeine change in ownership 2006, the Med is again “a destination for activists seeking social change.”


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