Obvious self-promotion feels tawdry. This is especially true in the age of social media, when constantly marketing ourselves (to whom, exactly?) has become so easy, addictive and sophisticated. This is what makes the concept of a public intellectual contradictory. Too many TV and radio appearances; the churning pressure of a weekly column (bound to consist, partly, of mundane meditations); tweeting too much or in a way that tries too hard to be funny; going on a comedy quiz show. All of these things risk denigrating the standing of an intellectual and transforming them, in the public imagination, into the sort of person whose career has “pop” as This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 43 Essay: Open Relationships What happens when private therapy becomes public entertainment? Arts & Culture Issue 28 The Suite Spot On the public privacy and ﬂeeting intimacy of hotel rooms. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Alice Sheppard On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Dr. Woo Meet the tattoo artist who's inked LA. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures.