Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can't You Smell That Smell?

Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe

I've been trying to figure out what makes people crazy. Crazy enough, for instance, to become a suicide bomber, or shoot, even just a regular mad bomber. One favorite reason/excuse/agent is the temperature. The closer you get to the tropics, the crazier people get. But whenever someone makes that argument, some wet blanket comes along with some counter example that spoils all our fun. Then it occurred to me that maybe it's odors that are at the root of all this. The daily shower and ritual application of deodorant is a relatively new phenomena, maybe only 50 years old or so. 300 years ago tobacco was in the ascendancy  The common explanation for it's rapid adoption was that it contained a drug that people enjoyed. I'm thinking that possibly a bigger reason was the powerful smell. It blinded people's sense of smell and masked the odor of their fellows. Mind you this was all on a subconscious level. Smell is a funny thing. Odors that you are familiar with are pretty much undetectable, new and different odors are the ones you notice. Dealing with a stranger before tobacco could easily raise your hackles. Cover his stink with the soothing aroma of strong tobacco and business may be easily transacted. Makes me think the American Indians were on to something with their "peace pipe".

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

In German we have an idiom "Ich kann dich gut riechen" = I can smell you well = You smell good = I like you.