I'm not sure that you can judge the quality of intellectual life by the people who attend English language talk groups in BA. There are intellectuals here though many do not speak English and thus you were less likely to come in contact with them. In Latin American terms BA has quite a vibrant cultural life, though there is admittedly less stimulation here than in New York, some of the East Coast US cities or important European capitals. When it comes to national politics Portenos are generally very well informed - I believe far more so than most Americans are informed about their own domestic politics. The reason is probably that people here have to know what is going on as the country is unstable whereas life goes on with few crises in the US allowing Americans to live their lives without worrying about devaluations, frozen bank accounts, repeated changes of government, lack of judicial security etc. Some of the dullness that Mr Wolf suggests seems to stem from a degree of conformity that permeates Argentine society. It's apparent in the conventional tastes in art and music or the tendency to dress alike. Does anyone out there have any light to shed on this observation?