January 29th, 2011


On Predestination

The following poem appeared in The Continental Journal on March 11, 1779. It was entitled “On Predestination.”

If all things succeed as already agreed,
And immutable impulses rule us;
To preach and to pray, is but time thrown away,
And our teachers do nothing but fool us.

If we’re driven by fate, either this way or that,
As the carman whips up his horses,
Then no man can stray --- all go the right way,
As the stars that are fix’d in their courses.

But if by free will, we can go or stand still,
As best suits the present occasion;
Then fill up the glass, and confirm him an ass
[He} That depends upon Predestination.

Testosterone in Wrestlers Before and After a Match

A new study shows that testosterone is more increased after the match in the winners. The sample was an "elite collegiate wrestling team". So both winners and losers experience an increase, it's just a bigger increase in the winners. The article refers to an acute testosterone response that I know nothing about, but I have ideas. Cortisol and epinephrine did not significantly differ between winners and losers.

This effect of winning reminds me of a report I heard on NPR this morning about Obama's new slogan: Win the Future. I agree, as they said, that "it's got teeth". There's a lot of unpacking to do in that slogan. And collectively, we may increase our testosterone yet.