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May 14, 2019

Navy Investigates Multiple Reports of Giant Penises in the Sky



Fun story from Navy Times.

Some pilots drew a penis is the sky with their contrails, and civilians on the ground began noting it on social media. The Navy command chain was informed about this impending media story.

The EWO broached [the idea of drawing a mighty sky penis] first, according to the investigation.

"My initial reaction was no, bad," the pilot wrote in a statement after the incident. "But for some reason still unknown to me, I eventually decided to do it."

Their sky penis plan of attack was captured on their cockpit video recording system, a transcript of which is included in the investigation.

"Draw a giant penis," the EWO said. "That would be awesome."

"What did you do on your flight?" the pilot joked. "Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises."


"You should totally try to draw a penis," the EWO advised.

...

They theorized on the second-order effects of their nascent sky drawing.

"Dude, that would be so funny," the pilot said. "Airliner's coming back on their way into Seattle, just this big (expletive)ing, giant penis. We could almost draw a vein in the middle of it too."

...

They had found the sweet altitude, and the contrail sky penis was being born in their wake.


"Balls are going to be a little lopsided," the pilot advised.

"Balls are complete," he reported moments later. "I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft."

"Which way is the shaft going?" the EWO asked.

"The shaft will go to the left," the pilot answered.

"It's gonna be a wide shaft," the EWO noted.

"I don't wanna make it just like 3 balls," the pilot said.

"Let’s do it," the EWO said. "Oh, the head of that penis is going to be thick."

More at the link. The Navy isn't saying what punishment, if any, the pilot and EWO faced. They did get chewed out, according to the report. I think that's enough.

A point that should be kept in mind is that someone who is playing while actually doing their job -- here, flying, executing what I'm going to guess are somewhat precise turns -- is practicing that job at a high level. That is, if you're doing something that might be unnecessary but is still part of your job and is still training your skill, you are likely learning more in those moments than most moments spent in serious study.

The "gamification" of skill-learning is powerful, I think. People like challenges. Every challenge someone makes up for himself is a little game. He understands the success and failure states. He understands that, even in this play, there is victory and their is defeat.

What I'm saying is that it's a good thing for people to have fun in doing their jobs. Even if they burn up some extra jet-fuel doing so. A pro golfer isn't directly helping his golf game when he starts playing around with bouncing the ball up and down from his putter-head like it's a hacky-sack, but he is learning dexterity and comfort with the putter, stuff about balance and head-attitude he wouldn't learn from just some more putting practice.

Maybe that won't be helpful. But maybe it will be. It doesn't hurt to try something different, seemingly unrelated to the core of the skill, to improve the core of the skill by an alternate angle of attack.

So maybe give these guys a (halfhearted) warning because, whatever, people are scandalized to know that Navy pilots (almost all young men) can be fans of puerile, naughty jokes.

But also bear in mind that one of the highest states of skill-acquisition is having fun with the skill and just showing it off. Doing something that seems to have no practical purpose, if it's difficult and requires off-the-cuff improvisation and quick learning and adjustment (as the dick-drawing stunt did), does stretch and hone one's skill.

They did have to plot out a path in three dimensional space and imagine what that path would look like as a two dimensional plane.

That's not nothing.

BTW: I've mentioned this before, but a fun way to start to learn a language (at least the written form of it) is just to read headlines and captions in movies in that foreign language and use the bits and pieces you know of the language to guess the words you don't know, and translate based on context, scraps of knowledge, and logic-based guessing. I used to do this on Twitter when I still had an account.

It's a little like any word-based game like jumbles or crossword puzzles.

The fact that it's fun makes it a more potent learning tool than memorizing definitions. I had learned buscar in Spanish was "to look for;" reading a movie description on Latin HBO that mentioned el buscado in the context of el buscado de felicidad suggested to me that if buscar was "to look for," then el buscado just might mean "the search/the pursuit," making el buscado de felicidad the pursuit of happiness.

Because I derived (ego-pleasing) pleasure from that deduction, I don't think I'll ever forget the definition of el buscado. Yet I immediately forget 80% of words I learn from flash-cards.

It's just move fun to have the dime drop and put that stuff together oneself than to make a flashcard of el buscado. And it gets the competitive, stakes-responsive part of the brain -- the survival instinct parts of the brain, the parts that must be the quickest to hard-wire facts and patterns -- involved.

One never forgets, for example, what it feels like to lose traction on one's cars tires on an icy/rainy night. And it's not hard to conjure up the vivid taste of one's own blood in the mouth is like.

Those inputs, because they're connected to survival, danger, and stakes, get immediately mylenized in the brain as a non-rewritable bit of code in the READ THIS FIRST parts of the brain.

Games with play-stakes are a very weak simulation of real stakes, but the skin-in-the-game parts of the brain still get involved, I think, and put the brain into a heightened state of learning.

I'm pretty sure that 75% of my reading skill was acquired this way when I was a kid.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:30 PM

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