Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Splash Down!

Here is a puzzle for you. Maybe I should call it a koan. Doug, commenting on Belmont Club, pointed it out. I don't think he quite understands it, but he's close. It may not look like a puzzle at first, so keep thinking about it.

I believe that a student of Zen might see the answer immediately, but choose not to do anything about it. Western thinkers would want to fix the problem, but seem congenitally unable to see the answer, or else find a hundred reasons why it won't work.

When you figure out the answer, you'll see that it applies to all manner of security issues. I believe our military uses the principle. Of course, they'd want to keep the technique to themselves since it works better that way. It's my impression that this kind of thinking is applicable to other issues as well, but I haven't gotten that far.

I'm in a bit of a quandary about this. It's a fragile piece of information. Maybe that should be your next puzzle, to unravel what my quandary is.

5/25/2005 12:36 PM


At Sunday, February 01, 2009 12:50:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Wretchard has apparently deleted his comments. I'm not sure if you can find Doug's comment anywhere.

At any rate, think about it this way. The best way to control the enemy is to tempt him. If you want the soldier to step into your punji trap, make it look like a nice safe place to walk. Anticipate his previous steps and modify them in order to build a logical progression ending in the trap. Maybe you could place something slightly suspicious on an alternate path in order to divert attention.

I'm not saying that we should treat suicides as the enemy, but we can think in terms of setting a trap for them. Knowing how they think, we can design a more attractive jumping place, more romantic, more compelling, more fitting as a final destination. But then we pay attention to his previous steps, walking back the cat to a place where we could build an intercept. The intercept works as a filter to catch only those who are planning suicide, and as an unobstrusive leverage point where intervention can take place. Maybe set up a little shrine at the base of the bridge, call it the Clarence Oddbody memorial. Make sure that there are flowers on it, and a silent alarm that goes off when people stop to read the inscription.

So what's my quandary. It's this: If I talk about such a solution, and suicidal people are somehow made aware such steps are being taken, it will make the trap less effective. Why am I writing this now? Partly because very few are likely to read it here, but also because someone who would be watching the Superbowl with me tomorrow has died for want of an Oddbody.


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