Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

“Soon enough”


This picture of a British army tank having crushed an automobile that strayed into its path in a small German town has gotten quite a lot of attention.

Tank vs car

Here is the comment of the British military spokesperson:

“Our tank crews go through a very rigorous training process,” he said, reportedly adding that three members of personnel inside monitor the road “which is why they were able to stop soon enough”.

Looking at the photograph, I wonder what would have counted as not stopping “soon enough”. One can imagine similar applications of this Zieglerism. “The Titanic had very rigorous iceberg detection procedures, which is why it was able to stop soon enough.” “The Bush administration had very rigorous antiterrorism procedures, which is why they were able to defend the country adequately against Al Qaeda attacks.” (All but one! 7 1/2 years without an attack!)

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