The intellectual craftsman trusts their imagination, memory, and experience to craft an idea that will resonate through a targeted audience.
A fundamental principle of the intellectual craftsman is that they are always functioning as craftsmen. Every waking experience contributes to their well of knowledge and catalogue of ideas. They do not simply work as scholars; they are thinkers that do not separate their craft from their life. They continually strive to gain new experience that they can add to their breadth of knowledge, while not yet being aware of how today's most trivial experience may contribute to tomorrow's groundbreaking truth. The intellectual craftsman trusts this knowledge, as it is the most important component of any truly original intellectual thought. Storing this knowledge for later use is all just a part of the craft. Becoming an intellectual craftsman begins with the amassing and storing of these thoughts, ideas, and experiences. They are stored as materials in the tools of the intellectual trade such as notes, journals, diagrams, and the most trusted corners of the academic mind.
Once the intellectual craftsman has gathered their materials and tools it is time to assemble, disassemble, and reassemble them into a concrete set of ideas that have form and substance. Here is where the craftsman separates themselves from the technician. Becoming an intellectual craftsman demands trusting your imagination enough to stretch its limits and examine the subtle connections that bind your experiences into a cohesive unit. Developing the art, or the craftsmanship, is really just a matter of letting the imagination run free. The craftsman differs from the technician as the craftsman assumes the risk of imagination. As the imagination runs free, ideas combine, reinforce, invert, and create new strains of thinking. They form building blocks of ever-larger concepts until the idea becomes prioritized as a set of questions that need to be answered. The academician has expanded their imagination and constructed unique concepts and viewpoints out of the basic material of experience. They have become an intellectual craftsman.
Just as a cabinetmaker needs a building to practice their trade on, the intellectual need an audience to ply their craft. Left alone, ideas are nothingness. Ideas only come alive and take form when they are shared with an appreciative audience that can understand the nuance and rigor involved in the process. This demands that the intellectual craftsman becomes a communicator. Becoming a communicator of academic ideas requires putting complex ideas and concepts into a language that conveys the meaning, while still remaining understandable by the intended audience. One does not become an intellectual craftsman by communicating with pseudo-scientific hyperbole that is designed to shade the meaning and mask the truth from the audience. Becoming an intellectual craftsman is learning the language of their peers and applying it wisely and with restraint.
In conclusion, intellectuals create a piece of work through the systematic application of the process of craftsmanship. The process begins by gaining the materials and methods that are everywhere all around us. Becoming an intellectual craftsman means learning to recognize the importance of every experience and every idea without