This site has been up just over 2 months and I’m wondering whether I’m going about this social media thing in the right way. Guided by brief discussion in Nicole Aschoff’s The New Prophets of Capital, I found the following Personal Branding Tips on the Freelancers Union website: be memorable, tell a story, be personal, be likeable, and become your own number one client.
Princeton University Press warned me before publishing this post that I was running the risk of not appearing “likeable,” which I took, perhaps incorrectly to be a synonym of “like”-able. Given the choice, I would rather be credible than “like”-able. But do I have to choose?
Aschoff’s book raises more substantial concerns as well, like whether the “philanthrocapitalism” of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the like are compatible with democracy. She quotes the book Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World, by M. Bishop and M. Green:
[I]t seems to be a feature of capitalism that golden ages of wealth creation give rise to golden ages of giving.
The effect of the current “golden age of giving” on mathematics is explored in the latter part of Chapter 3 of MWA, and Aschoff’s analysis has helped me to understand that, in contrast to the Gateses, the foundations that fund mathematical research — at least those with which I am familiar — are respectful of democratic processes within the mathematical profession. Or more realistically, their way of operating is no less democratic than that of mathematics as a whole. The concern, of course, is that they can dispose of their wealth as they please, and therefore they are under no obligation to remain democratic.