Andrew Gelman: You’d think we prefer an upward spike in pleasure — we’re happier for a while, then return to normal — to a downward one, but the evidence isn’t clear.

Seth: I know someone who woke himself up so he could enjoy falling asleep.

Andrew: Really?

Seth: Yes, really.

Andrew: Was that you?

Seth: No, it wasn’t me.

Andrew: If I heard about someone doing that, I’d think it was you.

Phil Price: That’s brilliant, actually.

Leonard Mlodinow, author of Euclid’s Window (about geometry), Feynman’s Rainbow, and a forthcoming book on probability and chance, and co-author with Stephen Hawking of A Briefer History of Time, was the brilliant sleeper. (Not Montaigne.) He might have woken himself up while he was a grad student at Berkeley (in physics). After Berkeley, he became an assistant professor of physics at Caltech. He left Caltech to become a writer. As unorthodox in a big way as waking yourself up so that you can fall asleep is in a small way.