"Suck On This"

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Somehow, I missed this Thomas Friedman bit when it actually happened. It's rather amazing. I don't take from it anything much about Friedman--I'd go here for that. But for me personally, it's a lesson about making your living offering your opinion. It's a treacherous business, best balanced, I think, by long periods of listening to other people's opinion. 


One of the great things about the long arguments--books, long articles etc.--is the amount of sheer time you spend either listening, or alone. And often, even when you're alone you're listening. It's not a cure-all, and there are plenty of stupid books out there. But the presence of a mass and immediate public, I think, alters your ability to hear yourself. If we could shut off the din of the mob, we might realize how stupid we sometimes sound.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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