September 30, 2017

"I pity you with your inefficient nostrils."



#4 on Scott Adams's list of top 10 favorite "Dilbert" strips.

Maybe I like this the best because I myself have lost nearly all my own sense of smell. And I happen to know that Scott Adams has lost his sense of smell. I've heard him say (on a Periscope) that he's completely happy to have no sense of smell because most smells are bad. Might as well love whatever it is that's your predicament if you can't change it. If I were deaf, I'd enjoy the quiet. If I were blind, I wouldn't have to bother with turning lights on and off.

Here's a 2009 blog post by Adams, "Addition by Subtraction":
Recently I lost my sense of smell thanks to, I assume, some allergy meds I’ve been snorting.... Over time I have come to realize that the ratio of stinky smells to delicious smells is very high. If the price for not smelling a flatulent cat five times a night is that I also don’t get to smell pumpkin pie once a year, I’ll take that deal.
What about the problem of not realizing your house reeks?  Solution: Never let anyone else in your house. Communicate only by Periscope and blog. But that's not what he says. He says he keeps nonanosmic people around to keep track of stinks for him.

Adams also likes the lost sense of taste that accompanies the loss of smell, and he adopts the bright-side perspective there too. It keeps his weight low, because food seems merely utilitarian. He theorizes that fatness/skinniness in human beings correlates to the intensity of the smell sense.

That is, he pities you with your efficient nostrils.

BONUS:

40 comments:

vanderleun said...

I'm sorry but something about this doesn't pass the smell test.

vanderleun said...

As for Adams it can now truly be said, "He who didn't smelt it dealt it."

Fernandinande said...

Right now I can smell rain and sagebrush.

rhhardin said...

Nostrildamus.

BDNYC said...

He seems to care about his coffee, though.

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

I grew up in Phoenix, AZ, and we could smell the rain coming. It's gonna rain soon.

I was in my twenties when a friend showed me why that worked. In Phoenix, the prevailing winds travel ahead of the storm, and usually toward the east, and the creosote bushes all around the desert southwest have a particular scent, a very pleasant one. You smell the scent of the wet creosote bush before the rain arrives, because the wind is faster than the storm front.

tcrosse said...

Anosmia can be a precursor of Dementia.

Roger Sweeny said...

Philip Guyenet's The Hungry Brain argues that we have a number of neurobiological systems which keep us at a healthy weight. Unfortunately, they evolved when most available food didn't contain concentrated sugar, fat, or protein (or much salt at all), didn't have intense taste, and wasn't very varied. Since food for modern affluent people is the opposite, the systems have gone haywire.

On April Fools Day, he announced The Bland Food Cookbook, a collection of tasteless recipes guaranteed to be low food-reward and so discourage overeating. It was a joke but he later said that if people could actually stick to such a diet, they would lose weight without counting calories.

Big Mike said...

I myself have lost nearly all my own sense of smell.

I told you, you got cadmium poisoning from going overboard with cadmium yellow and cadmium red in your painting when you were a fine arts major. (Actually, given that you lived in Newcastle County, DE and northern New Jersey, if you were a victim of cadmium poisoning, you probably were exposed environmentally.)

vanderleun said...

"Anosmia can be a precursor of Dementia."

Or, as we see here, a successor .

Bob Ellison said...

If you had to give up one sense (touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight, pain...I'm no biologist), which would you surrender?

jacksonjay said...

Cat Stevens is dead to me. He is No Fly List Yusuf now.

Etienne said...

Reminds me of Goldie Hawn running around in undies in a blind mans room, and the visiting mother is shocked that she is doing that.

"He can't see what I'm wearing!?"

"...that's besides the point."

The Bergall said...

The only true test I know of to determine a lack of smell is to ride the subways in New York City...........

rehajm said...

The vivd memories provoked by particular odors is striking. An anosmia/dementia connection is not at all surprising.

Etienne said...

Cat Stevens is dead to me.

Now, now, you sound like those haters on the left...

tim in vermont said...

I have a ringing in my ears that I have decided has a pleasant tone, so I won't argue with either of you.

tcrosse said...

Napoleon commissioned a foul-odor map of Egypt, in order to protect his troops.

buwaya said...

This is actually a biting comment on modern project management. What, you don't see that?

Yancey Ward said...

The smell of codger spirit.

Fernandinande said...

You need a nose that takes in the whole big fantastic show and gets the smelling of it all but that can also zero in on the smells that are wearable and contain that smell and carry whatever prestige the big stink imparts to the nose.

Fernandinande said...

The so-called "Sweetie-Pie Monkey" barely has a nose.

Etienne said...

Husband: "Hey babe, you smell that?"
Wife: "No."
Husband: "Me neither, start cooking."

Joe said...

Concerning the article; I found none of Adams' picks funny. Also find his earlier work far funnier than his later work.

Etienne said...

...earlier work far funnier than his later work.

After age 27, most people begin their unproductive years, which culminates with an obituary.

Mark said...

he's completely happy to have no sense of smell because most smells are bad

Our brains interpret certain molecules drifting into our noses as smelling "bad" as a warning to avoid something, just like the feeling sensation of "pain" warns us of a physical injury.

Kate said...

..."and the creosote bushes all around the desert southwest have a particular scent, a very pleasant one"...

One of the best smells in the world. The oiliness of the bush is so pungent. Here's the question, though: Would it smell as good in a land that received regular rainfall?

Mark said...

The vivd memories provoked by particular odors is striking

Travel tip: Before going on what is expected to be a memorable trip or event, buy a new aftershave or perfume that you've never used before and wear it during the trip. Then you will always associate that smell even years later with that experience.

Char Char Binks said...

"Moon shadow" is a very good Islamic song. Still, it's embarrassing to see the twenty-something flower children sitting on the floor criss-cross applesauce.

Bruce Hayden said...

This Dilbert I would put as #2, after his favorite, the one about management wanting more eunuchs programmers, which always gives me the thrill of surviving with my testicles intact, esp with the pointy haired boss, in the last panel canceling the nurse's visit. The reason that I put the one strip that Ann posted as #2 for me is that I have spent much of my life around engineers, and arguably have more of a personal claim than Adams in that area. The one flaw in the strip though is that mechanical, and not software ones, may be the worst at that sort of thing (I will admit to my biases here - I harass my best friend about not being able to program his TV because he was an ME (before becoming a patent atty), and he returns the favor with mechanical things and my software engineering background). Next brother is an ME too. Engineers may go on for awhile, and you think that they are almost normal, and then you realize that they often look at the world differently, through a more utilitarian lens. I was reminded of Frank Bunker Gilbreth Sr. (of Cheaper by the Dozen fame) who apparently eschewed shoe laces for elastic, and an uncle who removed all the bedroom and closet doors in the house for efficiency reasons (they had to buy those missing doors in order to sell the house). And who put up those embossed name tags for contents on every drawer in the house to make sure that the rest of the family conformed to his ideas of efficiency. My partner of much of the last 20 years has an artistic bent, and my efficiency arguments are of little avail when it comes to esthetics. I still keep trying though, having been shot down only yesterday for one of my suggestions about making our lives more efficient.

D.E. Cloutier said...

AA: "Maybe I like this the best because I myself have lost nearly all my own sense of smell."

University of Chicago Medical Center yesterday: "A long-term study of nearly 3,000 adults, aged 57 to 85, found that those who could not identify at least four out of five common odors were more than twice as likely as those with a normal sense of smell to develop dementia within five years."

Link:
https://sciencelife.uchospitals.edu/2017/09/29/elderly-who-have-trouble-identifying-odors-face-risk-of-dementia/

SeanF said...

Althouse: He says he keeps nonanosmic people around to keep track of stinks for him.

"Nonanosmic" is a double negative. The word you're looking for is "normal."

I joke, slightly - most of the first page of google results for "antonym of anosmic" suggest "unimpaired," but that's a double negative, as well.

A couple suggest "normosmic," but that doesn't appear to actually be in the dictionary (not even the (online) medical dictionaries).

rcocean said...

you'd think Scott Adams has had a great life. Intelligent, rich, great cartoonist. But he not only lost his sense of smell, he lost his voice for years. And only got it back through some miracle, risky, medical procedures.

The guy's a real head case.

rcocean said...

To be honest, I don't really care about losing my sense of smell, except for the food part. Of course, doesn't your brain, "fill in the smells" if you eat something familiar?

Limbaugh says he can "hear" a song, if he heard it before he went deaf. But if he didn't, its just noise.

Same with smell?

Char Char Binks said...

People claim they value their sense of smell the least of all their senses, yet smell is the main component of flavor,and the main reason so many people are gluttons who would probably choose eating above any other activity, and not just from true hunger.

rcocean said...

"People claim they value their sense of smell the least of all their senses"

Isn't that the truth though?

Who would want to keep their sense of smell but be Blind or deaf? Or lose their sense of touch? Almost no one.

BTW, compared to almost all other animals, especially dogs and cats we are "Smell blind".

sane_voter said...

Rank of senses

Touch
Hearing
Sight
Smell/taste

I don't see how you could survive or do anything without the sense of touch, so it has to be number one.

Bricap said...

"He theorizes that fatness/skinniness in human beings correlates to the intensity of the smell sense."

I only wish that was true. I did a good job gradually gaining weight with a diminishing sense of smell (thanks to sinus issues) for years.

uffda said...

From BI - “Exclusively for Business Insider, Adams looked through the archives of Dilbert.com and shared his 10 favourite comics. Below, he explains why he chose each and counts them down to his absolute favourite of all-time.”

Really? Adams “inventoried” 28 uears of strips for his favorites? He set up the joke with #10 - BI can’t know if he just picks the first decent comics that he finds. The first six all-time faves are within a five month period from the setup. All but number one are from 15 consecutive months. Adams must have been falling on the floor after BI approved the assignment as written. As Wally says: DREAM JOB!