@Breton: Jeff Atwood contradicts himself regularly. I think its his way of driving home the point that you can't really take him at face value. That would be lazy. It forces you to actually think for yourself.
That's just stupid. If that's true then the blog is little more than a farce. If that's the case, it is a childish way of deflecting criticism and goes against the scholastic notion of presenting ideas cogently, thoughtfully, and sincerely. I'm not saying your wrong, but perhaps your evaluation of it as a good thing is a bit silly.
Nevertheless, I don't understand the point of this post. Jeff, I have really liked your blog in the past; however, you have posted this cliche notion several times before in various forms. And it is cliche. I suppose it is an obvious response to all the comments from the previous two blog posts, perhaps several of the comments in the past several months.
This is a role for experts and scholars beyond just asking questions in specific problematic situations. I think your notion of that is just plain ridiculous. There is great value in those who are knowledgeable communicating their knowledge in more than just interrogative sentences.
As far as Wikipedia, I'm not sure what your point about that is. To the extent that Wikipedia has quality articles, it is because of experts. I'm not talking about the copious amounts of articles on celebrities but those articles which attempt to mirror those in traditional encyclopedias. However, your point sort of falls down, Wikipedia, in fact, has some very bad articles on scholarly subjects. For instance, many of their articles on philosophical topics are just rubbish; for instance, articles on various Platonic dialogues have wildly strange, unwarranted, and terribly non-standard interpretations. Obviously, the list goes on. Perhaps there are merits to Wikipedia, but I'm not sure what your point is or if there is one, how it is strengthened by appealing to Wikipedia. One minor quibble, I question calling that depiction postmodern and the notion of deconstruction is much more complicated than self-examination.
Anyway, I think the James Bach stuff there, and I really am not trying to be mean, is horribly pretentious. That is just self-aggrandizement taken to rather pedestrian level. Buccaneer Scholar? Really? Perhaps, that is the most pretentious thing I've ever read on a software blog, maybe even more so than on the jackets of postmodern tomes. The idea that the love of learning is muzzled and yoked by institutions is either pompous on conspiratorial. I hardly think that's what universities are doing. It is one thing to nod to the Invisible College but doing so in such meaningless way devoid of any content is rather sophomoric. It's the same as the whole cliche of I don't need school, it stifles me. Then the children like to quote Mark Twain; inevitably these people are never a Mark Twain or similar to that famous lowly German patent clerk they also tend to cite.
In short, I just don't see the point. Perhaps it's just a self-aggrandizing defense of the previous posts or something but I don't know. I hope it's not the cynical thing I quoted at the beginning of this rant.