The sociology of drinking

A lot of people have sent this to me. I don’t know what to say about it.

I have an attraction/aversion thing with Gladwell. He’s a great writer and fascinating, but I can’t read him without thinking of this Mencken quote, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

I also tend to think this a situation of the exception proving the rule. Looking to an isolated culture with aberrant drinking patterns for universal truths doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

2 thoughts on “The sociology of drinking

  1. There is a similarity in the peoples of some South Pacific islands and their use of Kava.On these islands Kava is used in rituals and only at certain times. Also strict cultural sanctions are imposed. There is very little pathology in these situations.However, when Kava was imported into the Aboriginal communities of Northern Australia it quickly became a problem. There were no rituals associated with its use and no traditions of sanctions.Within a very short time Kava was associated with medical, social, legal and economic problems.


  2. Jason, I have the same love/hate relationship with Gladwell as you do. I read his alcohol piece, found it fascinating, but as usual had no idea what he was actually trying to say. Good Mencken quote. Sometimes the simplest answers are, well, oversimplified.Dirk


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