A fine line

There’s a fine line between being a public intellectual and just being a pundit. On many days I’m not sure on which side of the line I’m walking…

8 Responses to “A fine line”

  1. Tena koe Scott

    Perhaps you are just being dangerously irrelevant.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  2. What is this desire to classify and categorize everything, Scott? Just BE. You are well-categorized in a variety of ways…why not just allow your blog to be?

    Allow your thoughts to transcend description. Play with the lines and boundaries, avoid being constrained by them unless you choose to be.



  3. Janice Robertson Reply June 8, 2008 at 7:41 am

    What do you see as the significant difference? Is one more desirable in your opinion?

  4. Most prefer shallow wit to deep intelligence in their writers.

    Thank goodness!


  5. I may finally be with a majority here, but who cares? Some may see you one way, others another, but how do you see yourself, and will it change what you do? Who are you trying to please? Yourself, I hope. Do what you do and do it well without the labels. I’ve enjoyed the conversations here and haven’t put either of those labels on you. Just keep on keeping on, do what’s right, enjoy the good you create, and alter what doesn’t work. It’s probably even easier than learning new technology. 😉

  6. I’m not sure it’s such an easy answer as “just be yourself” Especially for someone in an academic position. I think of a public intellectual as someone who speaks from and whose work is derived from a deep body of knowledge, research and previous works, yet manages to make these views accessbile to lay people. Pundits, IMHO, doen’t have to work that hard and get by more on wit and great writing/speaking.

    So it does matter how others see you if you want to contribute to the formal academic conversation. Much of this conversation still happens locked inside academic journals. Just because there are other similar conversations going on in public doesn’t mean the private ones have stopped or are unimportant.

  7. @Sylvia
    I have to disagree that “be yourself” is difficult. Would you rather someone “be someone else” to fit a title? Does it matter what your or my definition of a pundit is in how another should defend his/her position? If a person is what they are you and I can call them what we want. By my disagreement, you may consider me argumentative, uneducated, wrong, clarifying, or a host of other words, but it doesn’t change who I am or what I think. Basically, I am not disagreeing with your definition or clarification of the role, but I go back to whether our opinions do (or should) make a difference to Scott and others. The place where it would matter is if you are trying to create a specific personna for some reason. Then I come back to whether you want to be you or someone/something else.

  8. Marshall: Sounds like you are exercising the first comment, public intellectual and just being a pundit.

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