From Belletrist to Blogger: What progress, and the internet, has done to public intellectualism

I wrote this essay on my personal blog, but when it was retweeted by Adam Elkus, our old friend of Rethinking Security, I thought maybe the (remnant) audience here might appreciate it, or have some feedback.

From Belletrist to Blogger: What progress, and the internet, has done to public intellectualism

Basically, the argument is that the internet’s ability to fragment audiences has negatively impacted the role of public intellectuals. For what do you call a public intellectual without an audience?

Further to this, I would ask our esteemed readership who they look to for their public intellectualism these days. I have a few on my list (some of whom I mention in the post), but I fear they might be part of a dying breed.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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4 Responses to From Belletrist to Blogger: What progress, and the internet, has done to public intellectualism

  1. Jamie says:

    Nice to see you guys blogging again. Always look forward to reading your stuff.

  2. Yes, it’s great having you again.

  3. Michael says:

    Where have y’all been?

  4. Younghusband says:

    I have been out of the game, involved in technology for the past 5 years. I am now doing startups, and thinking about more general societal issues than foreign policy. That is why I have not been posting. I was surprised to see Curzon post, and when Adam retweeted my thing on Public Intellectuals, I thought that might generate some discussion here.