John, we met on occasion of a couple of conferences, frequently said:
I always see you sitting with you work in the hotel lounge or in the reception area.
And indeed, for many parts of my work I like an inspiring atmosphere as I can find it in hotel lounges or …
…, yes in some cases it is a privilege, being able to sit in a spot like this
It had been a year ago, near Amsterdam, children playing nearby did not really disturb me – more the other way round: I found it even motivating as it is a bit like having the “dedication of my work” directly as motivation and appeal around:
this work is dedicated to the future generations, aiming on contributing to a society that is worth living in
Such privilege can easily reverse – an adult abruptly dragging one of the kids at the arm, shouting at him
Just leave here, don’t play while we are sitting here.
– I felt paralyzed, I had to leave soon after this “incidence”. Because of this old fellow’s misbehavior towards the children, but also as I felt disturbed by the permanently incoming beep-sound of incoming messages and swoosh-sound of outgoing messages on his phone.
Two days later, I went there again – I urgently needed a place that provides quietness and inspiration. I was a bit …, no, I was not really surprised that nobody calls the group of adults to order: about fifteen to twenty people, sitting in one of the corners, chatting and laughing loudly, cheering at each other with the beer and wine glasses, and walking around – each of them wanted to take a photo – about about fifteen to twenty people wanted to have more or less the same photo.
I left, feeling guilty that I did not make the point there, both days – the point of difference and sameness. And I left with the confirmation of the position of a lecturer and researcher: there is no such thing as value freedom, the place, any lecturer and researcher has to look for, is the place of the future, not a future ’that happens’ but a future that we have to develop. – Well, the value-judgement dispute
should never be reduced on an abstract issue of academics disputing in an ivory tower.