I was watching Buffy reruns on Netflix this morning because I’m getting old and creepy and nostalgic-for-the-90s, and still use words like “reruns”, and I came across this scene where Buffy’s Watcher, Rupert Giles, explains to her computer-science teacher why he prefers books to computers, and I think that he says touches on why our online interactions and relationships are unfulfilling:

Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a – it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It’s-it’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

Agree or disagree, here’s a clip to take up another 47 seconds of your life.

2 thoughts on “Knowledge Should be Smelly

  1. I have to agree – as someone of Italian heritage, the smell of certain foods remind me of either places or events.

    Just the other day I walked over a subway vent grate and told my little one how it smelled like a subway – the mix of rubber and grease. Not sure if she completely got it, but she now knows its a subway grate.


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