Chapter 6 – Thought And Habit

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    Agile Otter


    This is an interesting chapter. It is both a supporter of habit and a supporter of breaking habit to create inspiration. Both of creating on demand though habit and perseverence, and also of courting the muse.

    I tend to see myself as being at the whim of nature and circumstance, such that I may work from intention, distraction, and improvisation when more rigorous assets might better be used. Responsibility comes hard to some of us than others. But Wallas recommends some habits that I should start pursuing. And so I will.

    But the first “owie” comes when he talks about the physiology of thought — conditioning the body through habit to have thoughts more or less on schedule. On the other hand, a few pages later it is said of thinking people on schedules “ecah one, however, is not a machine, but a living and imperfectly unified organism whose thinking can only partially be controlled by order and forethought” so I get some reprieve. Then he goes on to let us know that thinking isn’t something we do only “at the office” but that we should be aware of our thinking at all times.

    This is for agilists: “Now, you fellows, what is the most essential thing for us to get done to-day?” — Wallas quotes Lord Kitchener. Sound familiar?

    When he discusses newspaper reading, I could not help but to think of social media. It is our “life long habit of mildly enjoying and completely forgetting.”

    Hardest sentence: “He would be a hero among daily journalists who should reread every morning the article which he wrote the night before, and strive to make it the starting point of a train of thought which it will now be too late to publish.” — I have yet to make sense of the heroism in that. Help?

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