This is a true story. It is the summer of 1983. Major General Albert Stubblebine III is sitting behind his desk in Arlington, Virginia, and he is staring at the wall, upon which hang his numerous military awards. They detail a long and distinguished career. He is the United States Army's chief of intelligence, with sixteen thousand soldiers under his command.
He looks past his awards to the wall itself. There is something he must do even though the thought of it frightens him. He thinks about the choice he has to make. He can stay in his office or he can go into the next office. That is his choice. And he has made it. He is going into the next office.
He stands up, moves out from behind his desk, and begins to walk. I mean, he thinks, what is the atom mostly made up of anyway? Space! He quickens his pace. What am I mostly made of? He thinks. Atoms! He is almost at a jog now. What is the wall mostly made up of? He thinks. Atoms! All I have to do is merge the spaces.
Then General Stubblebine bangs his nose hard on the wall of his office. Damn, he thinks. General Stubblebine is confounded by his continual failure to walk through his wall.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The Men Who Stare At Goats
While reading Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, I came across this memorable excerpt from the book titled above by Jon Ronson. I quote the bit verbatim: