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Seeing some conversations about lack of social graces as a virtue reminded me that I wanted to say a few things in praise of professionalism.

By "professionalism" I mean a certain kind of forthrightness and constancy. The professional has an aura of assurance that judgment falls on the work, not the person. They compartmentalize. They project clearly defined boundaries. They do the sorts of things professionals do.

Professionalism is not a subculture. The professional has no favorites or secret handshakes. Or, at its best, professionalism is the universal secret handshake, even if it's only a handshake offered, as it were.

You will be treated with respect and consideration, but professionalism is not a virtue of compassion, nor even generosity. It might have been a virtue of justice. It is a virtue of curiosity.

I also think it overlaps surprisingly with professionalism as generally conceived.

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