Tuesday, January 6, 2015

(#97-1) January 6 2015. Tale from a Korean War press briefing. Briefer: “Last night, Hill 626 was attacked by a horde of Chinese. It was repulsed.” Journalist: “How many Chinese to a horde?”





“How many Chinese to a horde?” is just about my favorite sentence in the English language. Just thinking about it cheers me up. It appeals vastly to my sense of the ridiculous. I like: “I recognized his shot,” from Catch-22 as well.

I work hard to try and stay well informed—but sometimes I have to laugh at myself, at the sheer futility of what I am trying to do.

True, I try and be selective, and to confine my intellectual curiosity to certain areas (like red-headed women in their thirties, for instance—and I’m talking genuine redheads here). But—even so—trying to keep up is impossible. And then people keep on changing things all the time. The Army used to deploy in divisions. Now—if you are a bad guy—a Brigade Combat Team will speed you to the after life and all those virgins. It must be confusing for the bad guys too.

The solution would seem to be to become a specialist—and focus on one tiny sector and get to know it really well—but I have been a generalist all my life so don’t fancy changing. Firstly, I have found that specialists have a tendency to know zip outside their chosen areas—and, secondly, I like to connect the dots (which you can’t do if you focus on only one dot—like one single pubic hair—from a redhead, needless to say).

When I was small, I didn’t know life would be so confusing. I thought when I grew up, everything would be clear—and like all adults, I would know everything and speak with certainty.

Maybe I would have if I had grown up then—as in shooting up instantly in beanstalk style. However, I took my sweet time over it, and now it’s a lost cause.

Do you know that Buckminster Fuller created the Knowledge Doubling Curve. He noticed that human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of WW II, it doubled every 25 years.

Now, it is doubling every 12 months. Soon it will be doubling every 12 hours.

Stop the world. A joke is a joke, but this is ridiculous.

I want to be small again.

VOR words 371.


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