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Mice utopia study

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by WC53, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. WC53

    WC53 GC Hall of Fame

    Oct 17, 2015
    Old City
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. slightlyskeptic

    slightlyskeptic GC Hall of Fame

    May 13, 2021
    Not sure why, but that article reminds me of two movies.

    "Lord of the Flies" and "Wall-e".


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  3. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    The OP report of this 1970's experiment reminded me of a similar one conducted by an Austrian ornithologist near Vienna, Austria 10 years earlier. Instead of mice, animal psychologist Otto Koenig observed the behavior of several generations of cattle egrets. He found their behavior turned perverse in ways similar to what was observed in the mouse 'utopia.' Details of Koenig's experiment were originally reported in the German weekly Der Spiegel in 1965.

    Koenig placed a number of egrets in a large enclosure and observed their behavior for six years. They were provided with every necessity for life and comfort: food, water, bathing facilities, and nesting materials. Koenig's experiment was reported in Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) publication in its April, 1966 issue. What he observed " reminded him of a list of cases on a court calendar: adultery, alienation of affections, bigamy, rape, incest, assault upon neighbors and within families."

    Of Birds and Men | Foundation for Economic Education

    "His hope in this experiment was to discover what might be expected of human beings condemned to a sort of super-welfare state, so fully mechanized that men need spend hardly any energy to subsist, protected by the state against sickness and old age, freed from work and care for a life of leisure."

    "At the 1965 annual meeting of the German Ornithological Society in Constance, Professor Koenig first reported the results of his prolonged investigation of cattle egret response to the guaranteed life, stressing two points:
    1. The social order of the colony completely collapsed.
    2. The sexual activity of the feathered creatures became abnormal."

    "Within the enclosure, food always was at hand in abundance, so there was no need to go off in search of it. All members of the colony remained continually in sight of one another, literally pressed together. More frequently than under normal conditions there was strife, often bitter fighting. And as the fighting increased, so did the sexual activity. While a male was feeding, his mate might be raped by a neighbor, leaving her young in the nest to be molested by others. During the breeding season, the hackles of the females were torn and bloodied by the claws of the sex-crazed males.

    "Koenig also noted a sexual jealousy not found among wild egrets or herons. In their natural state, other herons of a colony are unconcerned about the home life of a couple; but in the Viennese cage, the mating act often evoked interference from other males."

    More interesting details can be found in the short 5 minute read on the FEE link.
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  4. Spurffelbow833

    Spurffelbow833 GC Hall of Fame

    Jan 9, 2009
    So there is hope.

    Somehow, some way, we are meant to struggle. It is the only way for all members of a society to be perceived as valuable.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  5. 108

    108 Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    I’d prefer a range of struggle similar to the social democracy’s of Europe, rather than the US, where the rat race is much more unequal..

    My guess is that would prove to be the best model for rats also..
  6. GatorRade

    GatorRade Rad Scientist

    Apr 3, 2007
    I do see it something like this.

    I keep coming back to relative vs absolute wealth. In terms of absolute material wealth, everyone on this board is likely wealthier than Charlemagne, but I bet most of us don’t feel like it. That family down the street has a huge house. That friend spends so many weekends in Europe. That business owner sent himself to freakin space!

    Status can only come from a place that is above those of the others around you. Evolutionarily, this makes sense. Imagine that red haired people always had 10 children that made it to adulthood. Red hair would still eventually go extinct if black haired people had 11. The relative reproductive rate is the only thing that matters.
  7. slayerxing

    slayerxing GC Hall of Fame

    Aug 14, 2007
    Was anyone here actually concerned we were going to create a utopia?
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  8. WC53

    WC53 GC Hall of Fame

    Oct 17, 2015
    Old City
    Lol, good point! ;)

    The incels vs the roving gangs. ;)

    Compared to the trials, tribulations, hunger, war occurring in many parts of the world, many countries could be considered utopianesque.
    • Agree Agree x 2