"Suck On This"

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.

Presented by

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.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in National

From This Author

Just In