Monday, April 28, 2008

the good doktor


We were long since a great power, we were quite used to it, and it did not make us as happy as we had expected. The feeling that it had not made us more attractive, that our relation to the world had rather worsened than improved, lay, unconfessed, deep in our hearts. ... War then, and if needs must, war against everybody, to convince everybody and to win. We were bursting with the consciousness that this was [our] century, that history was holding her hand out over us, that after Spain, France, England, it was our turn to put our stamp on the world and be its leader; that [this] century was ours.

--Thomas Mann

Monday, April 07, 2008

ego deficit

Man on th ra-di-o today said willpower is a measurable thing. The self-regulating activity of the ego or some such.

That point where you cave in and eat a whole bucket of ice cream is the point of ego deficit. Your reserves of willpower have been depleted, so you give up on Lent, or New Year's resolutions, or your diet.

Different things replenish or empty your tank, and there seems to be a finite pool such that if one thing takes away, there's that much less for all the other things.

Cool. And I always thought I went through these weird cycles where I'd slide into depression and fall back into old habits with no get-to-itiveness. Hmm, maybe not bad at all, just the body saying 'I need a break' I've run out of steam for the moment...