A march to nowhere and other items

Linda LeTendre, in DC this week to join the 100 Days Campaign, reviews the recent antiwar march in DC, which I skipped:

There was a “standoff” between some demonstrators and some police officers, with the demonstrators taunting the officers. This was high idiocy for two reasons: (1) It did not promote peace, and (2) The officers were armed, the taunters were not. The officers were called to some other part of the event and as they left the taunters cheered as if they had won some great victory — further raising their level on the idiocy scale.

Solitary confinement
From The New Yorker, Atul Gawande’s “Hellhole”:

“It’s an awful thing, solitary,” John McCain wrote of his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam—more than two years of it spent in isolation in a fifteen-by-fifteen-foot cell, unable to communicate with other P.O.W.s except by tap code, secreted notes, or by speaking into an enamel cup pressed against the wall. “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” And this comes from a man who was beaten regularly; denied adequate medical treatment for two broken arms, a broken leg, and chronic dysentery; and tortured to the point of having an arm broken again. A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam, many of whom were treated even worse than McCain, reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered.

Stuart Brown on play
Another great TED talk.

I gotta find some references for his claims about neoteny in humans. But it makes a lot of sense to me. Next time somebody tells me to grow up, I’ll answer, “I’m a human being. That’s not what we do, man.”

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