Hang Ten

Ever find yourself in a conversation with someone whose guiding principle is that you’ve never encountered the outside world, ever? The sort of person who has no particularly specialized knowledge of the subject but who will explain to you, in staggering detail, things like freeway offramps, barbeque, or firewood? It’s a way of engaging with others that seems to preclude any experience of one’s own, as if you had never encountered the interstate, or a chicken wing. Assuming that everyone else in the world is a blank slate seems like a strange way to go through life—and it certainly makes for strange interactions.

But then there truly are some people for whom the very concept of “the rest of the world” really is just an abstraction. They are able to say things like the following with a straight face:

When “you are enjoying the surfing at your beach house in upper Newfoundland, you won’t care what caused global warming, you’ll just thank goodness it happened.”