I quit smoking about five years ago. In those five years, I haven’t wanted a cigarette once, which is a fact that surprises me every time I think about it. When I smoked, I dreaded quitting, imagining that it would be a state of always wanting to smoke again. When I stopped, I realized I love not smoking. Every single day as a non smoker is better than being a smoker. Once you get over the first month or so of going without smoking, it’s really great and you won’t miss smoking at all. I have no idea why they haven’t made an anti-smoking commercial that just says that.
So while all that’s true, I wanted to take a moment to point out some hidden upsides to smoking. None of them are compelling enough to make me want to smoke again, but they are real and they have an undeniable significance. Continue reading
Then this. OK. Now we’re all up to speed. Great.
Yasha Levine did the right thing, in terms of tactics and truth-seeking. Gladwell was trying to prompt him into a Socratic interchange where Gladwell would make some brilliant counter-intuitive argument to exonerate himself. Levine was correct to not engage. Gladwell was fixated on one small piece of a large argument. Also, Gladwell would have an advantage by focusing on slippery abstractions. Levine responded with a list of hard-nosed, reportorial questions that Gladwell ignored.
Levine was right to dismiss this as “playing verbal footsie.” I’m fairly certain Gladwell was never going to talk openly about his cigarette company ties anyway, and the end result is that he looks like a patrician dickhead. But Levine could have argued with Gladwell about that article and won. What he did was better, but he could have won that argument.
The other night, my wife and I were in bed. She told me she had bought a new kind of cat food and was surprised to see it was made by Dick Van Patten. I asked her how many cans she bought. She asked me why.
“Well, I figure about eight should be enough,” I said, and rolled over and went to sleep, sound in the knowledge that I am the greatest husband in the world.