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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Observed

What the young man knew the old man has forgotten.

There is no trick here, just a fact of life for some. Some are old young, or young old, always the thing they have no use for. Is there anything more ridiculous than a young man -- boy, actually -- walking in the playground with his hands behind his back? Or the old man spry, hoping finally to get his youth straight, to do it all over -- this time right.

Fortunately, I am talking here not about realities, just appearances. Don't we all like to see a young person who has, or can appear to have, the demeanor of someone slightly older, someone who has some sense, someone you can talk to who will not answer like a kid. Or the old man. Don't we all like to see an old man, young at heart, still walking briskly, enthusiastically going about his business. Of course we do.

There is a debate going on just now, a national debate, as to whether it is okay to torture people.

How about this:
"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

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