Anyone who knows me knows that I spend a lot of time thinking - hacking the biocomputer - and also thinking about thinking, learning how to learn, etc. What else is there to do? They can take away my stuff, or I can abandon it, or lose it, but even in solitary you have your biocomputer. That's probably why they torture people, I guess. If you are not torturing people to extract specific information, then you are doing it (maybe) just for kicks, or to demoralise the person (stop them thinking clearly).
There's not a lot you can do about being captured by sadists, of course, but I am startled at the response to (possibly fake) photos of soldiers tormenting prisoners. I know about the so-called 'discipline' of armies, but since when did you send a lot of testosterone filled young men into an adrenaline situation which they might not survive, and not expect them to do a bit of 'raping and pillaging'. I don't approve, of course, but I am hardly surprised.
[update 14th] Here's someone putting that point better.... "To attribute the scandal at Abu Ghraib to "a few bad apples" or to "individual failures" is poor psychology and self-serving pseudomorality. "
Anyway - I riffled through a book called software for the brain, and I liked this quote:
I believe you can get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar (whoever, or whatever that is - sounds like someone from H2G2).