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Offline: Did you hear the news about Diet Coke?

Offline: Did you hear the news about Diet Coke?


Paul Miller comes to terms with news without the internet.

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paul diary newspaper 1020
paul diary newspaper 1020

An addendum to my first entry, regarding a mention of "Diet Coke": Last Tuesday when I visited the office, I made a trip to the fridge to grab a Diet Coke. I passed Ross Miller (no relation) in the hallway on the way out, and I bragged to him about how I was going to take this Diet Coke home with me, instead of drinking it in the office — subverting the entire purpose of office snacks for my own gain. I'm developing a bit of a reputation as a rebel, and I felt the need to cultivate that image.

"Oh, did you hear what they found out about Diet Coke?" asked Ross.

"No, what happened?" I said, determined to drink the can in my hand, no matter what the findings.

Ross laughed. "Well, I guess you'll read it in the paper tomorrow!"

I've always assumed the flavor to calorie ratio of Diet Coke was too good to be true, and figured at some point scientists would decide that it gives you cancer, causes infertility, or is strangely flammable at just that right temperature / pressure combination. At that point I'm pretty sure I'll have to stop drinking it, but I want the cold hard facts before I do.

I had a long train ride in from a video shoot in Queens on Wednesday, and I diligently combed my issue of The New York Times. The user interface on newspapers isn't very good, and it involved a lot of wrestling, cajoling, and crumpling on my part, but I eventually managed to skim every page of the paper and didn't find a single mention of Diet Coke.

That day at the office I mentioned my futile search to Ross. Turns out, he was kidding.

Paul Miller, and the year of gullibility.

Paul Miller will regularly be posting dispatches from the disconnected world on The Verge during his year away from the internet. He won't be reading your comments, but he'll be here in spirit.