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Advice for intellectuals

With age comes not only a type of wisdom, but also a special attitude towards knowledge. Now, calmly and without haste, you contemplate what is happening around you. The most daring ones publicly express the results of these analyses. Some write it, others “post” it on social networks and quite a few introduce it strategically into their conversations and classes. But there are those who, outside of a favorable context, commit the imprudence of expressing their opinions. If you have been branded as an intellectual and are invited to a meeting, I humbly suggest the following recommendations.

1) Don't explain or defend your point of view. Intellectuals point out doubts and uncertainties. They have categories to show what is hidden behind appearance and speeches. They are metaphysicians par excellence. That is, they reveal what is behind what is shown, what happens. Therefore, like the man who comes out of Plato's cave, many will not understand him if he explains from reason.

2) Don't talk about realities. Reality is one thing and reality is another. When someone wants to impose a reality on a group, what they are trying to do is hegemonize a personal or group discourse, therefore biased and partial, on an aspect of reality, not its entirety, which, furthermore, is unknowable (Kant, dixit).

3) Argue for the purpose for which you were summoned, not yours. It is something already classic and hackneyed that meetings of “intellectuals” become a confrontation of particular interests and not an argument, in the classic sense, of building something that benefits everyone.

4) Lastly, do ethnography. A meeting that turns into an assembly is a unique opportunity to learn about the state of the art or the state of the art of the topic that motivated the meeting. Observe, take notes and, if possible, analyze and compare with other similar events you have recently attended. This way you will have a map of what topics are currently being discussed, what the points of view are and what groups are confronting each other.

Only then will you be sure to effectively communicate your point of view, always a posteriori and oriented towards the common good. Don't fall for what Sabina warns in a song: "For saying what I think, without thinking what I say, they gave me more than one kiss and more than one slap."

IG: @ajnunez_profesor

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