Article is a fair counter. It essentially argues the intangible for those outside of the experience looking in. You can't argue really with things like pride, ego, mental self-satisfaction, what have you, since they're experience-based. To argue against that would be matter of opinion and difficult to quantify from person to person.
However, there is a strong part of the human experience to rationalize poor situations for the good, and self-select to remember the good once experience is over. The article essentially promotes mentally-elite pursuits in the light that they're higher calling and far more noble than say the materially-elite mindset you might find on SF or whatever. The article also seems to suggest that one needs the graduate higher education system to further their mental ability to the <1% elite stratosphere that only "real" doctorates can attain...
Who's to say a working stiff cannot gain mental prowess through self-study and corroboration with those of similar interests in their free time pursuits? Sure there's no fancy paper or ceremonies with their pursuit, but I fail to see how one is conceptually more "noble" as that article frames it.
I guess for me, the argument that "it's all worth it" to a degree to wrap your-self in to keep you warm and fuzzy at night isn't very compelling. The ego-stroking was slather on rather thick. Similarly, this is why I find those who revel in excessive materialism and spouts superiority over others as another soul-less and vain pursuit.
I prefer my own version of balance... I'm sure others 'get off' on something else, perhaps it's a PhD, perhaps not.
Quite true-- and I haven't done anything to date that would indicate that I disagree with you.
Ya never know, though. I'm poking through some graduate coursework again and enjoying it-- if it turns into a master's, then we'll see where that goes. Luckily, there will be no economic consequence either way-- but that's my life, not anyone else's.