The Egos Of Poets, Scientists, And Cranks
“Poets are usually egocentric for the same reason that scientists and cranks are: they believe they have something special to say that is important to other people. Like scientists, but unlike cranks, sometimes they are right.” –Hippokrites
This makes sense, because both poets and scientists are exposing themselves to criticism, even ridicule. Most people are ignorant about poetry and science. So the poet or scientist has to be sufficiently egocentric as not to give a shit what most people think. Of course, they can’t help but care deeply what their informed public thinks. Poets care about the critical reader’s evaluation of their work. Scientists care about their knowledgeable colleagues’ response to their work. This explains the apparent paradox of being labeled as egocentric, while still being accused of having a fragile ego.
This doesn’t apply to cranks, of course. They don’t have fragile egos. They just know they are right and everyone who doesn’t endorse them has to be a fool.