Intellectual conversations, as a woman I briefly dated once admonished me, are like public displays of affection—fun to be in, but mortifying to observe, and in a museum you know you’re being observed. But refusing to answer your friend’s questions is no solution either. You’re paralyzed. And you’re not even sure what you’re afraid of. You’re not sure whether your replies will make you look like a philistine or a snob. Which would be worse? Which are you more qualified to be?