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I believe in the idea of the public intellectual. Which is why I have written a lot of opinion pieces and essays for newspapers and even had my own TV program for a while, which was in an unusual format. I selected three or four quotations from famous thinkers on a certain topic, these were read by young actors and filmed in an appropriate setting, and then myself, my friend and colleague Mikhail Lotman and a guest talked about each of these in the studio for some time. The program was called "Vita brevis" - life is too short to waste on talking about unimportant things.

University administration is also something I know a little about, being involved in the establishment of the Estonian Institute of Humanities in 1988 and serving as the first Rector of the Tallinn University from 2006 till 2011. During the times when bureaucratisation and efficiency-driven management has started to threaten the very institution of university in many places in Europe, I believe in academic freedom and am convinced that it is actually much more conducive to the goals that the proponents of manager-led universities are emphasizing. And I can offer some proof: during my term of office, we carried out an extensive debureaucratisation of the newly merged university and delegated a lot of decision power to collective bodies formed at department levels. As a result, the number of top-ranking publications increased to 250% over 5 years and the research budget was doubled.

Studying foreign languages has been a serious hobby for me since my teens, when I first took up Finnish, then Swedish, then German and then the habit had stuck. So by now I have learned some more. I have held university lectures in Estonian (of course), English, Finnish, Lithuanian, Russian, Japanese, German (which is getting weaker lately - lack of practice), and I can also read and speak (well, when I am in the environment) French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and this makes Danish and Norwegian also intelligible to a point.
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For traveling purposes, I have also used about 10 other languages, but all of these would need serious brushing up before being used again, and there are some others about which I only have a basic idea.

I also like to travel a lot, but this is better documented on Rosita's website. Nothing compares to the feeling of getting out your backpack and sandals and setting out again on the open road, without internet, (almost) out of reach of the phone, and with no scheduled meetings for a couple of weeks ahead. But quiet retreats for writing are almost as good.