[FoRK] Re: Why smart people defend bad ideas

Mark Day mark_s_day at yahoo.com
Sun May 29 15:20:15 PDT 2005


> Btw, let me head off one complaint preemptively.
>> [Jeff's first argument]
> [Jeff's second argument, citing previous threads on
other topics]

Amusing as it is to watch you argue with yourself, I
would recommend a little historical perspective. The
best analogy I can think of for what's happening with
smoking is what happened with spitting over the last
century or so.  Spitting used to be widespread and
mainstream, now it's seriously marginalized.   

<http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20041025/news_1c25rowe.html>
is an interesting quick summary, pointing out that
baseball is pretty much the only place where "spitting
culture" still thrives. 

My hunch is that there were figures arguing more or
less your position back then.  But at some point the
expectations tip, and people get so that more of them
actually want a spit-free (or smoke-free) environment.
 It doesn't matter in the big picture that those
developments somehow infringe on your liberty as a
spitter.  

The Republic has somehow survived the near-outlawing
of public spitting, and it will likely survive the
near-outlawing of public smoking.  There are messed-up
things in the current political culture, but I don't
see that public smoking or supporting public smoking
is a requirement for defending liberty.

--Mark


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