On my fifth birthday, my mother asked me what I wanted for lunch: spaghetti or soup. I hesitated. Unexpectedly, she grew impatient. ‘You have FIVE seconds to make up your mind. Decide.’ And she counted down. I hesitated for three and a half seconds, then chose one (I now don’t remember which). She said ‘OK. Now remember: being able to make choices within five seconds is the most important thing you need to learn to do before you grow up.’, and disappeared in the kitchen.
That was a quarter of a century ago, in the time before email, mobile phones and microwave ovens (and even in the time before different varieties of chewing gum had appeared on the shop shelves: I grew up in a socialist state). Ever since then, I have been trying with varying (and decreasing) success to implement this wise piece of advise. The Economist – as so often happens – have written the article I had always wanted to write: here
Categories: The Idle Ethnographer