Posts tagged "Dieting"
Another Week Ends: Walser’s Wounds, Diet Supremacists, Homeless Christ, Hart’s Lament, Flat Circus, Mad Men, Parenthood, and The Secret Sisters

Another Week Ends: Walser’s Wounds, Diet Supremacists, Homeless Christ, Hart’s Lament, Flat Circus, Mad Men, Parenthood, and The Secret Sisters

1. Much of value comes across one’s desk during Holy Week, and this year was no exception. But the sources are seldom the expected ones. What stopped me in my tracks this week was an interview The European conducted with prominent German intellectual Martin Walser on “Kafka, Faith and Atheism” (and Karl Barth), which was picked up by The Huffington Post in 2012. Don’t gloss over! Despite the somewhat confusing allusion to Martin Luther–a generous read of which would surmise he’s referring either to the -ism that followed the man, or the way the Reformer’s understanding of vocation was culturally…

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Obesity, Freedom, and the Limits of Willpower

Obesity, Freedom, and the Limits of Willpower

Over at Aeon Magazine, a tremendously insightful essay was published a couple of weeks ago on the rising obesity trend – one that’s gone way beyond America, and one whose potential solutions are fast becoming a major policy issue for governments, as well as a booming industry (soon to become a trillion-dollar one, McKinsey & Co reported). And at The New York Times, Stephanie Clifford chimes in on how little impact health-related labeling and advertising actually has. Of course, people unhelpfully tend to define the problems in terms of a deficiency in willpower, and so attempts to address it cluster around…

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Understanding Decision Fatigue: Dieting, Shopping, Poverty and Willpower

Understanding Decision Fatigue: Dieting, Shopping, Poverty and Willpower

A veritable goldmine of relevant material in John Tierney’s “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” in The NY Times Magazine this past week. We’ve written about “ego depletion” a number of times before – the verified psychological phenomenon of self-control being a depletable resource – but Tierney does a fine job of drawing out the implications, both positive and negative. Of particular note is the way compassion so automatically flows out of an understanding of the human will as having (severe) limitations. It comes through loud and clear, especially when he talks about how trade-off-related decision fatigue informs the cycle…

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David Brooks on French Fries and Ineffective Information

David Brooks on French Fries and Ineffective Information

Another priceless passage from The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, in which Brooks summarizes vast amounts of social science research by stating that “information programs alone are not very effective in changing behavior.” He writes, ht MW:

Both reason and will are obviously important in making moral decisions and exercising self-control. But neither of these character models has proven very effective. You can tell people not to eat the French fry. You can give pamphlets about the risks of obesity. You can deliver sermons urging them to exercise self-control and not eat the fry. And in…

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