So what’s a Privateer Scholar, anyway?

A few months back, I changed my LinkedIn title from dev/tester (or whatever it was) to “Privateer Scholar.”

The title is derived from James Bach, who took it from Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

Here’s the basic idea in Bach’s words:

* A buccaneer-scholar is anyone whose love of learning is not muzzled, yoked or shackled by any institution or authority; whose mind is driven to wander and find its own voice and place in the world.

* This way of being has sometimes been called autodidact, individualist, anarchist, non-conformist, contrarian, bohemian, skeptic, hacker, hippie, slacker, seeker, philosoph, or free thinker. None of those fit for me.

Now, Bach refers to himself as a buccaneer because he is an independent contractor/consultant – he’s really on his own.

I, on the other hand, like to try to work within organizations. I work within a specific authority (Socialtext, or Calvin College, or Maybe BZMedia) against it’s enemies (competition – and at Calvin, the competition is called “Ignorance”). In piratical terms, for the time being – I seek a letter of marquee.

For more detail, see Bach’s presentation on the subject.

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