The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.

`Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on ``I am not too sure''.' -- H. L. Mencken.


漁翁 (柳宗元)


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Mon, 26 Jan 2004

The Boston Syndrome

And while I'm busy making unsupported generalizations, I've been developing a theory about living in Boston. It goes like this: the longer you live here, the more you treat conversation as "an opportunity for a loud rambling monologues that bear no interruption on the part of my victim".

I'll talk to someone who just moved here, and I'll be like, "Hey, that was a nice conversation I just had." Then I'll talk to someone who's been living here for years and they will just go on and on at maximum volume, ignoring my desperate interruptions and completely overriding anything I try to say until, n minutes later, they finally pause for breath. Then I'll try to say something and before the third word is out of my mouth, they're off again about some other tangentially related topic, leaving me to struggle like a fly transfixed on the needle of their cold steel wit.

I know this isn't a strictly Boston-area thing, but I've definitely noticed a correlation between the length of time you've lived here and your tendency to treat people as empty buckets that need filling.

Posted at 11:50 | /society | 2 comments | permalink


Sometimes I wonder if I'm in my right mind. Then it passes off and I'm as intelligent as ever. -- Samuel Beckett, "Endgame"