Stephen Baker

The Boost
Home - Viewing one post

What children might be thinking

January 26, 2013General






What might this boy be thinking? He's standing in the bombed-out ruins of Essen, Germany, in 1947, and is caught on film by Chim, the photographer also known as David Seymour. Writing about an exhibit of Chim's photos in the New York Times, Ken Johnson ends his short article by focusing on the boy: "Like an angel descended from heaven, he bears witness to humanity's murderous and suicidal idiocy. He might be wondering: When will they ever learn?"

He might also be spotting a cool place to play hide and seek. I'm reminded of an interview in which filmmaker Werner Herzog recalled his childhood in post-war Germany. Here's a snippet:

He noted ... that while growing up in the ruins of a city was hard on adults, it was satisfying for a child. "Kids in the cities took over whole bombed - out blocks and would declare the remnants of buildings their own to play in where great adventures were acted out. . . . Everyone I know who spent their early childhood in the ruins of post - war Germany raves about that time. It was anarchy in the best sense of the word. There were no ruling fathers around and no rules to follow. We had to invent everything from scratch."





add comment share:






©2014 Stephen Baker Media, All rights reserved.     Site by Infinet Design







Publishers' Weekly - Publishers' Weekly

Kirkus Review - Kirkus

Kirkus - Kirkus Reviews

Andrew Dunn - Bloomberg News

read more reviews



The Boost: an excerpt
- April 15, 2014


My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014


My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013


Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012


The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012


"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011


Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011


Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011


Rethinking books
- October 3, 2010


The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010


The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010


My next book: IBM's Jeopardy mission
- March 22, 2010