It’s funny how a random thought will take you on a journey from thought to thought until you’re so far afield, you don’t know where you started.
I saw a guy with an eye patch on TV last night and it reminded me of Rooster Cogburn, which reminded me of a wealthy guy at a church I attended who had a large construction company. He was a giant of a man physically and wore a patch over one eye.
He said that one day he was driving his pickup with a Mexican worker in the seat next to him. He was wearing his glass eye that day and not the patch. He claims that the wind from the open window caught his glass eye in such a way that it popped out of his head and landed on the floorboard on the passenger’s side of the pickup.
The Mexican worker was so terrified when he saw the eyeball rolling around by his feet that he leaped from the truck at 45 mph and was almost killed. The poor guy regained consciousness briefly, but when he saw his boss leaning over him with an eye missing, he passed out again.
Reflecting on that situation led me to Moshe Dayan, another guy with an eye patch. This then led me to thinking about
that for a strange segue?
Remember that great military leader, Moshe Dayan and the six-day war in 1967? Dayan was an Israeli observer with the U.S. Marine Corp during the six-day war and wasn’t involved in planning the attack. I seem to recall Dayan saying that
uses very young pilots, because they take risks that older pilots wouldn’t
take. The world was amazed at the skill and bravery of the Israeli fighter
pilots, who cleaned things up in less that a week. There’s a good reason for using young pilots.
Numerous studies by neurologists and other scientists have concluded that the human brain doesn’t mature until the age of 25. Makes you wonder why we pay any attention to the opinions of college kids.
The prefrontal cortex, i.e. the frontal lobes located behind the forehead, is considered the “C.E.O.” of the brain. This area controls cognitive analysis, abstract thought, and monitors behavior, among other things. This is the last region of the brain to mature in a human being - assuming it does mature.
Prior to the age of 25 the human brain is not fully developed. This lack of development makes youngsters more likely to take risks. Judgment is impaired. That’s one reason drug use in kids is so common. The brain is also very malleable in young people. You can call this lack of development cognitive deficiency, but even beyond that magic age of 25, we see cases of arrested development. Watch “man on the street” interviews for confirmation.
Ironically, the slow development of the prefrontal cortex has advantages militarily. Every Israeli kid gets drafted into the military at age 18. Israeli pilots get 2 years of flight training, making the average fighter pilot 20 years old. In the famous 6 day war, the brave pilots who took the risks to win that war were roughly 20 years old. These young guys were willing to take risks that older pilots would avoid and it worked out very well. They did an amazing job as pilots. I don’t think
single pilot in those sorties. Israel
Since 1967, additional training is required with an academic component tossed in, but Israeli pilots are still combat ready at 21 or 22 years of age. That still keeps them below the 25 year threshold for the development of caution and rationality. Most Israeli pilots are through flying by the age of 30.
Wow. It’s amazing how a simple recollection of an eyeball rolling on the floor can lead to heroic Israeli pilots. Is it free association or a short circuit in my cerebral cortex?