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Normal Topic Food for Thought (Read 319 times)
cathexis
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Re: Food for Thought
Reply #4 - 09/08/20 at 12:43:05
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Hmm,

You're aren't saying anything untrue, but you're making an unspoken, but unsupported assumption here: That the resident monkey population is invariant.

But the monkeys come and go as they are trained and sold off (or perhaps escape, or some darker fate etc.).  So, just like an average workplace, new monkey's come in and are subject to the same old management tricks. Any monkeys who display savviness now become "Intelligentsia." And we know what Stalin did with those!

To mix the metaphors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZ63iwnn5M

  
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Re: Food for Thought
Reply #3 - 09/07/20 at 18:14:27
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cathexis wrote on 09/07/20 at 13:12:02:
Eventually, I realized that this ploy would never work on some, but always on others.

It's not quite like that. My sister likes to say "always and never" when people make such sweeping statements. The most stupid monkey will eventually adapt to repeated manipulation. And the most intelligent monkey can be manipulated at least some of the time. Any monkey who tells himself he is above such manipulation doesn't completely understand his own monkey nature.

Perhaps the monkeys had different reasons for becoming quiet after the second offer of four in the morning and three at night. Some were, illogically, satisfied with the offer. Others had been screaming just out of reaction, and became quiet when the first monkeys settled down. And a few monkeys started plotting how to overpower the monkey trainer and grab all the acorns.

Monkeys are complicated.
  
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cathexis
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Re: Food for Thought
Reply #2 - 09/07/20 at 13:12:02
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Thanks for that link!

The original is by Taoist philosopher, Zhuangzi (369 - 286 BCE).

Here's another version, very close to yours from You-Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5GAOrN-bOE

But I admit my nature is to see this as a cynical comment on humankind. Due to the many times I have seen lower and mid-level managers (as well as many politicians) try to pull this on unsuspecting rank and file employees or citizens in one form or another. Eventually, I realized that this ploy would never work on some, but always on others. Hence, the cynicism. Hence, the dry humor I intended.
  
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Re: Food for Thought
Reply #1 - 09/07/20 at 03:23:04
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Inscrutable.

I'm not a fan of Stephen Mitchell, but he also has this story. Mitchell (2009) The Second Book of the Tao
https://books.google.com/books?id=LQtR1qLQ9x8C&pg=PR14&lpg=PR14&dq=monkey+traine...
  
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Food for Thought
09/06/20 at 12:29:39
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Long ago in Ancient China there lived a man who made his living as a monkey trainer. He kept a large cage of monkeys behind his home and he would try to tame and train them. The best would be used to put on shows or be sold as pets.

One day the monkey trainer went to do his daily monkey training in the cage. But all the monkeys were hooting and hollering and jumping about. They paid him no attention.
The monkey trainer spoke out, "That's it! From now on, every monkey will receive only 3 acorns in the morning and 4 acorns in the night."

Right away, all the monkeys began hooting even louder; jumping about and protesting this decision. They were not going to take it! At last the monkey trainer said to them, "Very well! From now on, all monkeys will receive 4 acorns in the morning and 3 acorns in the night." The monkeys hooted their approval and settled down so training could begin.

Outside the cage, the monkey trainer's wife stood watching all this. She said to her husband, "Husband, what difference does it make if it is 3 acorns in the morning and 4 at night or the reverse? It's still the same amount of acorns."

But the monkey trainer answered his wife, "Because this way is much better for the monkey trainer!"
  
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