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Rationing speeches

I do quite a lot of public speaking.  If I accepted every invitation, I suppose I might spend most of my time doing that, especially if travel time were included. My formula for deciding which ones to accept is a simple one.  I say yes to nearly all the schools because I think it’s a good use of my time.  I often try to counter received opinions by pointing out other ways of looking at things, trying to inculcate critical thinking rather than passive acceptance of conventional wisdom.

I accept about half the university invitations, favouring ones I can return home from on the same day, though I do include a few that require me to stay overnight in a nearby hotel.  I especially like speaking to student libertarian groups or freedom societies, and I do a fair amount of formal debates.

I don’t usually speak to business groups, though I will if they offer a reasonable fee or offer an equivalent donation to ASI funds.  My other speaking is largely confined to a few media appearances, though I try to have younger members of the ASI team do this wherever possible.

Doing public speaking is rewarding, though it does cut into the time I have available for writing.  I note in passing that many of my contemporaries regard sixth form audiences with trepidation.  They are challenging, it is true, but you do get to see how the world looks through seventeen or eighteen year old eyes.

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