• jon

    Posted 23 days ago

  • Entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, politicians: it can seem that energy, more than talent or luck, results in extraordinary outcomes. Why do some people have it and others not? What does one have to do to get more?

    Does Paumgarten really answer the question he is proposing here? Of course not, and we can't expect him to. This is a question that will follow us through the ages. There are so many factors, so many variations of "energy" and being, that finding a single solution seems hopeless.

    But Paumgarten does achieve two important things: he makes some headway into what we may do to test put different options, and more importantly, writes an excellent and funny article. I loved some of his paragraphs:

    The Levels app revealed that even a banana or a piece of toast raised my blood sugar by an alarming amount. The flat line of the morning’s fast, once broken, would bend into the red. The app would post an exclamation point next to the spike on the graph and ask, “Did something happen?” Yeah, jerkface, I had breakfast. Then, two hours later, the numbers would begin to ebb. But it wasn’t as though I was feeling jacked on the way up and then whacked by the crash. It felt like not much. Until around 3:23 P.M.—the attack of the yawns. Following the instructions of Levels, I experimented, and soon discovered that fat and fibre—a slab of bacon, chia, some fucking kale—modified the surge, and the bonk. Egg good, juice bad? O.K., then.

    This informal style seems somewhat out-of-place in The New Yorker, but it's clear that Paumgarten's writing is that good (and maybe also that this is pretty good click-bait material if I'm being a little cynical - but hey, I clicked on it).

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