and I stood on the curb waiting for my father to pick me up. I had totally forgotten that I had a letter threatening to draft me into the United States armed services. And that's when I first became aware of the power of Stanley Kubrick. The first time I saw 2001, I believe it was in Hollywood the Plantagenet theater. He took you into space for the first time. I mean since 2001, no documentary, no other movie, no IMAX experience being on the shuttle looking down at earth has ever really put me in space as much as 2001 did and made me want it so desperately want to be part of that great mystery. I want to be at the forefront of the pioneers that would discover the monolith and Stargate. And what lies beyond. So that was maybe for me, his most realistic movie that he had ever made. And I think is second most realistic movie that he ever made for me was Clockwork Orange. Clockwork Orange is the depiction of grotesque violence, but it also has utter contempt for violence. And it is almost like saying, why isn't somebody doing something about this? Where's the world when these acts of man against man are happening all over the world every 30 seconds. Where's Justice where's order. Why do we allow this chaos to happen? Of course the great morality play that is Clockwork Orange is that after all of this deprogramming and a kind of proselytizing of the Malcolm McDowell character to science and theory. He comes out the other end more charming, more witty, and with such a devilish wink and blink at the audience that I am completely certain that when he gets out of that hospital. He's going to be worse than he was when he went in. And so in a sense, I've always felt a Clockwork Orange was Stanley's most defeatist movie, the film where he appears to totally give up on society. And the film that maybe justifies why he lives in St. Albans in the safety of the British countryside. I'll tell you a quick story. When we first met which was 1980, when he was just finishing the construction of his sets for the shining. And we met for the first time, we talked a lot about movies and I was about Nick Raiders lost Ark. And I was actually moving on to his stages. When he finished, I was moving in. When it was all over the movie was done. I saw Stanley again went to his house for dinner in London and St. Albans. And he asked me how you like my movie, and I only seen it once and I didn't love the shining the first time I saw it. I have since seen shying 25 times. One my favorite pictures Kubrick films tend to grow on. You have to see them more than once. But the wild thing is maybe one Kubrick film that you can turn off once you started It's impossible. He's got this fail-safe button or something. It's impossible to turn off a Kubrick film. But I didn't like it the first time I saw it. I really wanted to be scared by it. Number one I wanted to be frightened by it in a kind of carnival fear. I wanted things to pop out at me. I wanted to jump out of my seat. I wasn't expecting a psychological shock storm. I was hoping for a kind of visceral visual assault on all of my senses. And instead, it was about the descent into madness. And he very inexorably pulled the entire audience down with him. So at that moment where Shelley is reading the last 3 months of what he has been writing, and we see the litany of what he has written, that is the biggest shock of the shining. That was the equivalent of the chair turning around the Psycho and the sudden reveal of Mrs. Bates. And it's more shocking than the sudden reveal Mrs. Bates if you get into the protoplasm of that movie, if you give yourself over to it, you'll be more shocked by what he's written over the last 4 months
Well, I arrived here at BSU in January of 2006 at that point I was an instructor and I came in and was focusing on crisis management and crisis communication negotiation because of my experience, as a negotiator and love of that, and also interested in global hostage-taking, became interested in, kind of moving up and got a great opportunity to become the unit chief barrel sanctions. I put in and eventually I was selected. And since then I've been kind of reworking the BSU and expanding the programs. Typically we have been focused on violent crime and we were the ones that developed the profiling and criminal Investigative analysis and term victimology and serial killing and all that came through our National Academy classes over the years back in the seventies and eighties and so what I wanted to do is unit chief. And what I'm continuing to do is move, moving forward and getting into areas like cyber and national security threats, in addition to doing our staple violent crime mission that we've always done.
Great so would you mind just describing the structure of the unit and the function of the various staff members you have here?
Sure the behavioral science unit has been around since 1972 as part of the FBI's training division, and we are physically located in the basement area of the FBI Academy in Quantico Virginia. We are one of a number of training units here at the FBI Academy. And what our main function is here is to Train our National Academy students that come in and the National Academy. It's kind of like the War College for a law enforcement. It's been in existence since about 1935. At the time that this Academy was formed or built in 1972 the National Academy program was moved over here and what that program involves is experience law enforcement officers, mid-level management types that compete come to the FBI Academy for about 11 weeks. And when they get here, they choose whatever courses they want to take. If it's in behavioral science, they'll come to our unit and take our courses, if it's a leadership they'll go to leadership units. And there's also forensics and communication and other areas that they can learn now with that training, in addition to National Academy we also teach new agents training. we teach the FBI Intel analysts and we take our courses and our blocks of instruction literally worldwide, all over the world where we'll get requests for training from everyone. And now in addition to supporting our traditional law enforcement clients, we also train the military, the Intel community, and some of our international partners. And that's what we do. That's our bread and butter. Now, along with the training we also do research and we also do consultations and our tag line are kind of the way we do business is that if we train, we research it and if we train we consult it. And that's an important model because the consults is are the things that a lot of times we're known for where a police officer will call us. And he'll let's say ask for interview strategies let's say he's working a gang matter a violent crime, maybe aberrant behavior, weird sexual type crime, and he'll call and want help, and he may only have one shot to interview the subject. And so we try our best to give him some idea of strategies and tactics. To get the person to confess or at least make admissions based on the behavior.
if you have various objects in space, what does space look like? How does the universe evolve? I mean, cosmology has turned into a science since the time of Einstein. I mean, before that people had ideas about the universe. And you'll often see people refer back to the same notions that occurred earlier. But really, it's now a scientific theory. So it's true. There were tremendous breakthroughs in the last century. But if you know what the universe is made of, that's going to tell you how, to some extent, how it evolves. And if you know how it evolves that gives you constraints on what it's made of. So it's not like there's one field of physics and you can do it in complete isolation from another one. I mean, part of what makes the field rich and enjoyable for me is that you can ask questions not just about elementary particles, but also about cosmology. And when you begin to think about ideas about the whole global nature of space-time, you can't help but think about cosmology as well.
You're now doing or rewriting a book called Warped Passages: Unravelling The Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. I love three words there one, unraveling the mysteries and secondly, hidden dimensions. What are you trying to find out? What is it you want to tell us that we're going to be amazed by? If it proved right.
We're really trying to understand, it sounds very vague, but what is the fundamental nature of matter and forces? What are the fundamental forces? And why are they related in the way they are? So we're trying to understand more about gravity. For example, why is gravity so much weaker than all the other elementary forces we know about, that is to say, the three other elementary forces we know about, electromagnetism and weak and strong nuclear forces. Gravity is far weaker. I mean, if you think about it, you can pick up a paperclip with a tiny magnet competing against the entire earth. And the fact that you can jump up and down I mean, gravity is not a strong force, although it dominates things. It's only because there's big massive objects.
Is it only, is not a strong force where we are, it might be a strong force somewhere else?
Yeah. So there's a question of how it manifests itself. And if there's a big energetic object, it seems strong. But if you took two elementary particles and compare the force of electromagnetism, and force of gravity, I mean, gravity is negligible. You don't even have to consider it, you throw it away. But why is that? Why is gravity so much weaker? And as for particle physicist, it's even more mysterious than just why is it so much weaker? If you natively just sat down and calculated how you expect the forces to be related, you would think that those forces should be about the same strength. So there's a big question that particle physicists have is, why is gravity so much weaker than the other forces? And so that's one question we have. But we have other questions too, what is the fundamental nature of gravity? Ultimately, we do want to know, what's a quantum theory of gravity that combines it with quantum mechanics, we want to understand what the universe is made of what is the dark matter? What is the dark energy that's not carried by matter? So there are some pretty big questions that are driving us.
Okay, this multiple dimensions idea. I think even Einstein said there were four dimensions, and then String's theories came along and said there are 10 dimensions.
Yeah, String theorists seem to think that there are at least 10 dimensions.
And how many do you think there are?
I'd like to leave it an open question. I like to say, what have we measured? What do we know? And could there be other dimensions out there? And there certainly could be other dimensions out there, it might be 10 or 11 space-time dimensions as String theorists tell us now. So why is it that physicists today are really thinking about extra dimensions? Well, one of the reasons is that we think it might actually have something to do with our universe, I mean, that's I think for me the most important reason. But another reason is in fact, String theory. And it's introduced the idea that maybe dimensions really are there because that's the only way the theory makes sense. But string theory has also introduced something else. In the 1990s a physicist Joe Polchinski realized that there were these other objects in the context of String theory called "brains". [laughter]
That word is sort of related to membrane and the idea is that there could be, even if you have higher dimensions, even if you have a fifth spatial dimension or fourth spatial dimension out there. There could be objects in the universe called "Brains" that don't spread throughout the entire universe. And maybe stuff is stuck on those lower-dimensional surfaces, and that's one idea that we got very excited about