I do want to avoid being pretentious but how do you do that and opine on philosophy etc.? You can't, really. Any expression of opinion or artistic offering can be construed as arrogant. And, if you're approach is too humble, things become kind of dull and mousey. Speak with strength but remain open and flexible is the ideal I'll shoot for. As someone pointed out in a discussion on the Well, the difference between an idiot and a genius is pretty small when measured against the grand scheme of things. Not that I'm a genius by any stretch.