Shared for your efforts in parsing it, not for Pinker's piece nor the piece he's responding to.
A lot of academics, in their attempts to defend academia, fall prey to the same fallacy: presuming that the merit of their credential is related to education. It's not. It's signaling.
I mean, here's Pinker:
Still, there are no grounds for the sweeping pronouncements about the virtues of non-Ivy students (“more interesting, more curious, more open, and far less entitled and competitive”) that Deresiewicz prestidigitates out of thin air. It’s these schools, after all, that are famous for their jocks, stoners, Bluto Blutarskys, gut-course-hunters, term-paper-downloaders, and majors in such intellectually challenging fields as communications, marketing, and sports management.
If you're going to take a swing for the intellectual rigor of the Ivys, maybe don't launch into a hackneyed stereotype about different areas of study. Particularly when you're attempting to take down another author for his hackneyed stereotypes.
The Ivy League isn't "broken." It just isn't what Pinker thinks it's for.