UK Pub Smoking Ban
The major reason for which I dislike spending time in most British pubs is apparently soon to be eliminated; I mean, of course, the carcinogenic clouds that seem to be a feature therein. It’s amazing, actually, that people persist in an activity that kills about half a million Americans every year, according to the Centres for Disease Control and World Health Organization. People should consider a pass-time that kills only a tiny fraction of that number: like serving in Iraq. Whatever enjoyment people derive from it, it clearly doesn’t make sense in cost-benefit terms. It demonstrates the extent to which the rational actor model fails in the face of various biochemical and sociological factors.
While my inclinations generally run in a libertarian direction, smoking is largely exempted from the categories of things legitimately subject only to personal choice. Especially in the case of commercial venues, smoking involves exposing other people – including employees who are there night by night – to the myriad dangers involved in the practice. From a personal perspective, it will make it more enjoyable to go to pubs – which is an activity with almost monolithic power, when it comes to the ways in which students relate socially in groups here.
In two words: I approve.
Mica informs me that Canada now has eleven Olympic medals. Well done, I say. That said, the only really intense Olympic experience I ever had was during my second year in Totem Park, where the whole undergraduate resident student body became caught up in Canada’s successful race for the men’s and women’s gold medals in hockey. I even watched the game between Belarus and unknown country X (where unknown country X is the one everyone expected to win) where the puck bounced off the goalie’s mask and into the net. Almost all of the time, sports are really boring. Sports and nationalism together: occasionally interesting.
In two words: why not?
I finished this week’s Economist today, as well as several of the readings on constructivism for next week’s core seminar. Medium-term projects now include:
- Finishing two more scholarship applications
- Arranging transport and accommodation for Sarah Johnston’s March 18th wedding in Chichester
- Sort out accommodation for next year
- Get a wedding gift for Sarah and a birthday gift for my mother
Without a looming essay deadline to motivate, I will need to learn to focus energies on the basis of other kinds of deadlines. While it might require an enormous personal adjustment, it’s just the king of thing that’s necessary in order to exist as a crude proxy of the kind of ‘highly effective people’ whose habits are written about. Thankfully, since my habits are written about almost exclusively by me, nobody need know about the instances where I wander ever so slightly from the path of enlightenment through massive doses of academic prose.
In two words: read more!