8.10.2009

::on empathy::

six rhesus monkeys have been trained to pull chains to get food. at one point a seventh monkey, in full view of the others, gets a painful shock whenever one of them pulls for food. on seeing the pain of that shocked monkey, four of the original rhesus monkeys start pulling a different chain, one that delivers less food to them but that inflicts no shock on the other monkey. the fifth monkey stops pulling any chain at all for five days, and the sixth for twelve days - that is, both starve themselves to prevent shocking the seventh monkey.
-social intelligence, page 55
i hope i can be like those little monkeys.

2 comments:

blackstarmonkey: aspiring ninja/sheepherder said...

monkeys. they seem little and mean, but they're not.

Anonymous said...

V. here... So sweet. The monkeys outdid themselves. v

 
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