What We Can All Learn From Navy SEALs
Just as SEALs dedicate themselves to service, the same is required of all Americans, says Eric Greitens.
When President Obama met with SEAL Team 6, the elite counter-terrorism unit that killed Osama bin Laden, the president asked which member of the team pulled the trigger. According to Mark Owen, which is a pseudonym for the former SEAL who authored the book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, the SEALs refused to tell Obama.
As Owen told 60 Minutes:
Pulling a trigger is easy. A couple pounds of pressure on your trigger finger and I've done it millions of times. It's not that hard. It's not about who that one person was, it's about the team, or the helicopter pilots, or the intel folks that teed this whole thing up. Who cares who the one person is? Doesn't matter.
What's the Big Idea?
At a time of national healing, it is only natural for the public to want to assign heroic status to a single individual. And yet, heroic individualism goes against the very notion of what it means to be a SEAL. SEAL teams are composed of specialists, who each possess certain core skills. These soldiers fill roles such as sniper, maritime engineer, heavy weapons specialist, diver, navigator, interrogator, explosives expert, etc. It is based on their collective strength that the team is invincible.
When Big Think interviewed former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens about the legacy of 9/11, he said the lesson for ordinary Americans is no different. Greitens says America demonstrated its great strength by coming together as a nation following the terrorist attacks. And just as SEALs dedicate themselves to service, the same is required of all Americans. In other words, individuals may be able to excel on their own, but ultimate success will only come through teamwork.
Watch the video here:
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.