CK Friday Links--Friday January 3, 2014

Readers, just a quick update: CK's next post will be a really interesting interview with Dr. Jayson Lusk, author of The Food Police. Look for it on Tuesday! Hope you all had a safe and healthy New Year.

Links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

Hilariously easy! Cast Iron Roasted Butterflied Chicken. (Dad Cooks Dinner)

Ten nutrition myths. (Cooking Light)

While we’re at it: 13 lies that made the world sick and fat. (Business Insider, via BELLAVITÆ)

New York City's most obnoxious food trends of 2013. (New York Post) Picking on food hipsters is sometimes... too easy.

Fascinating interview with Hugh Johnson, one of the world’s most-read wine authors. (PS: He thinks we should ditch wine scores too!) (Wine Searcher)

Why are newspaper articles so short all of a sudden? (Columbia Journalism Review)

Avoiding "upgrade malaise." (Early Retirement Extreme)

Big trouble with snooze buttons. (New Yorker)

Always an interesting read to see the year’s Darwin Awards (My Underwood Typewriter)

Good article describing the Ego Trap. Are you caught in it? (The Rawness)

Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!

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Mike Vrobel said...

Dan, thank you for sharing my recipe!

Daniel said...

Anytime Mike, that was a really good one!


chacha1 said...

Nutrition myth #11: the same nutrition advice applies to everyone.

chacha1 said...

Ego: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

Couldn't make it through that whole piece; I read it as confusion of a strong ego with narcissism, judgypantsness, and/or being a jerk.

It is possible to have a strong ego without being a solipsistic, judgy twit or having a superiority delusion.

Daniel said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think the author of that Ego Trap article is just being candid about his struggles with his own ego.

And I hear you on what the word itself means. There's of course the phrase "ego strength" which basically means "having a strong ego" or having a strong sense of self-worth. This obviously isn't the sense of the word he's using.

I thought it was a useful article though.


T. AKA Ricky Raw said...


Author of the piece here. First things first, I never used the term "strong ego." Strong can imply healthy, and it's not a term I used. I used "ego driven." To illustrate the difference, say I said you had "strong looks" and I meant it in a positive way and was saying I thought you were attractive. Now say I instead said you were "looks-driven" instead. Does that mean the same thing? You can actually be unattractive and be looks-driven or looks-obsessed. You can be incredibly attractive and have strong looks but not be looks-driven, as in you don't arrange your whole life around your looks and you don't obsess over them and judge everyone by those standards. Just like looks-driven isn't the same as good looks, ego-driven isn't the same as strong ego.

Furthermore, I was mostly using ego in the colloquial, everyday conversational sense that the word is used. For example, when someone says to you in casual conversation, "You have a huge ego," do you take it as intended to say something positive about you, or do you take it to mean that the person is accusing you of, to use your own words, judgypantsness, and/or being a jerk or being a solipsistic, judgy twit or having a superiority delusion?

Furthermore, even if you're going by the psychoanalytic, more Freudian definition of the mediator and peacemaker between the superego and the id, one can still argue that being ego-driven is a bad thing, because it encourages separation from others and a sense of dishonesty with one's self. It becomes obsessed with self-preservation and thriving, and to do that it has to defend itself against threats, which is where the psychoanalytic term "ego defense mechanisms", usually shortened to "defense mechanisms," comes in. When people discuss defense mechanisms, what those mechanisms are defending is the ego.

Not all defense mechanisms are bad. Vaillant classifies defense mechanisms into 4 categories, from worst to best: Pathological, Immature, Neurotic and Mature. Mature defense mechanisms can be considered "good" ego defenses while the other three are the bad ones. You can read more here. If you go to the link I sent, you can see examples of unhealthy and healthy ego defenses.

If one has what I imagine you mean when you describe a strong, healthy ego, which is just a healthy self-esteem, you will use mostly healthy ego defenses. If you are ego-driven, which means your primary motivation in everything is protecting the short-term interests of your ego, you will primarily use the more toxic ego defenses, because the healthier ones often require you to be willing to tolerate short term pain to your ego in exchange for long-term emotional and mental health benefits. Ego driven people often lack the maturity to use healthy ego defenses.

Then on another level there are spiritual teachings that advocate ego death, anatta (no-self), or integration (merging the superego, id, and ego into a new whole such that you no longer need to play peacemaker or mediator between the three). Advocates of such techniques believe that by either eradicating the ego or merging it with the superego and id in such a way that the three no longer are "keeping secrets" from each other, you no longer need even the healthy ego defenses. The person who achieves ego death no longer needs ego defenses, healthy or unhealthy, because he no longer has any ego to defend. The person who achieves integration no longer needs ego defenses, healthy or unhealthy, because now that his ego, superego, and id are merged into one entity the ego no longer has to protect itself from the other two or exert creative strategies to enable them to coexist.

I'm going to make this into a post on my own blog. Thanks for the response.