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Submarines: The History and Evolution of Underwater Fighting Vessels by Antony Preston, the illustration is by John Batchelor. c. 1975 Octopus Books (Phoebus Publishing, London).

“A long time ago William James corrected a prevailing view of the relation between feelings and action by asserting, for example, that we do not run away because we are afraid but are afraid because we run away. In other words, what we feel when we feel afraid is our behavior—the very behavior which in the traditional view expresses the feeling and is explained by it.”

B.F. Skinner from Beyond Freedom and Dignity  Add a Tooltip Text


When I was a kid I had a long walk home from the bus stop. There was a HUGE dog that would stand in his house behind a picture window —he was up on the couch, probably— and bark his head off as I passed. One day I walked by and I noticed that the HUGE dog was not in the picture window. Then I saw him bounding across the front yard headed straight for me. I did what any reasonable third-grader would do, I ran away. The dog of course came after me. I remember it as a German Shepherd, but I don’t claim that it really was a German Shepherd. He was herding me, not biting or even nipping, just barking and pursuing. I ran down to the bottom of the hill and climbed a tree. I can’t remember what happened next.

Another time, a neighbor’s Irish Setter bit me on the back of my leg (I mean my ass). His teeth tore right through my Toughskin jeans. I was running away from that dog, too, when he took my flesh.

One of my adults finally told me that a dog will attack if you act scared; if you act angry, indifferent, or anything in the world but scared, the dog is more likely to leave you alone. Or it might attack you anyway.

B.F. Skinner is no longer politically correct. He may have had a moment in the sixties. But Noam Chomsky took him down, and he has a bad reputation now as a creepy pseudo-scientist. He did shameful things with pigeons and invented some kind of child-rearing box where babies feed themselves pellets while moms play tennis.

I disassociate this post from B.F. Skinner.

My father took me to see Das Boot when I was in junior high school.
Have you seen Das Boot? The movie takes place on a German U-Boat, or submarine.
The movie is in German. The movie is confined.

“When a submarine dives, she admits water to flood her ballast tanks, and thus destroys her positive buoyancy.”

Don’t chase boys.