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One of the most popular items on Forbes, it seems, is this article by one Jessica Hagy: How to be more interesting in ten simple steps. The most interesting thing about it is that the article itself is astonishingly boring. Read it, you’ll see what you mean. It’s like contemplating a pile of UNICEF holiday greeting cards.
The popularity of the article suggests, however, a great public hunger for advice about how to be more interesting. Fortunately, Ricochet is here to advise you properly. You can become more interesting in one step. All you have to do is read Boswell’s Life of Johnson, and commit the best lines to memory.
Let’s test this advice. This thread is now open for everyone either to share a line from Dr. Johnson, or to follow one of the steps advised by Forbes, such as “do something. Anything.”
First, Dr. Johnson:
I described to him an impudent fellow from Scotland, who affected to be a savage, and railed at all established systems. JOHNSON. ‘There is nothing surprizing in this, Sir. He wants to make himself conspicuous. He would tumble in a hogstye, as long as you looked at him and called to him to come out. But let him alone, never mind him, and he’ll soon give it over.’
I added, that the same person maintained that there was no distinction between virtue and vice. JOHNSON. ‘Why, Sir, if the fellow does not think as he speaks, he is lying; and I see not what honour he can propose to himself from having the character of a lyar. But if he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.’
Now I’m off to do “something. Anything.” Then I’ll “embrace my innate weirdness.” Then I’ll illustrate the results with a meaningless graph, like the one on the right.
At the end we can all decide with whom we’d prefer to have dinner, Dr. Johnson or the disciples of Jessica Hagy.