The Mystery of Things

A distant warm look entered Major Danby’s eyes. ‘It must be nice to live like a vegetable,’ he conceded wistfully.
‘It’s lousy,’ answered Yossarian.
‘No, it must be very pleasant to be free from all this doubt and pressure,’ insisted Major Danby. ‘I think I’d like to live like a vegetable and make no important decisions.’
‘What kind of vegetable, Danby?’
‘A cucumber or a carrot.’
‘What kind of cucumber? A good one or a bad one?’
‘Oh, a good one, of course.’
‘They’d cut you off in your prime and slice you up for a salad.’
Major Danby’s face fell. ‘A poor one, then.’
‘They’d let you rot and use you for fertilizer to help the good ones grow.’
‘I guess I don’t want to live like a vegetable, then,’ said Major Danby with a smile of sad resignation.

Catch-22, Joseph Heller

The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.

E.O. Wilson