I used to be an ordinary intellectual. You probably know the type. NY Times crossword in ink. Knock out latest opus, magnum or minimalist, in a flash. Prefer to dream up ideas rather than actually work them.
Then I went ‘social’. And in the course of connecting – via LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Focus, and some other places I can’t even remember, with a large number of people who I would never have the time to call or write a letter to on a regular basis – I became a nicer person. I mean, I still do all my regular stuff. But now I’m more likely to think beforehand about its impact on other people.
This is why I am so enamored of an amazing little book that was my ‘first-time’ purchase from iBooks. The title is “The Revolution Will Be Tweeted“, and it was written by Barry Libert, founder of Mzinga and a pioneer in social media/mobility technology.
It’s a very intellectual read, but it’s not at all stuffy. It is the very nice kind of intellectual work that changes the world because it comes from caring. In a nutshell, Barry is saying that the road to peace is social. Not to be confused with socialist, which, imho, is not very social at all. (I say that as an unreformed, unrelenting, pit-bull libertarian.)
Nice is not the opposite of intellectual. Intellect is something that happens inside your head. Nice happens between people – in that magic space that is neither and is both. You can be intellectual and nice.
Try it. It’s worth the effort.