Author Topic: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!  (Read 2541 times)

Miyabi

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 04:33:25 PM »
Oh snap. >>'  Now I'm all confused and don't know what to do.


New note to self: never be a monkey.
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Loud_G

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2009, 04:43:37 PM »
He was smart so they castrated him!?  Poor poor monkey. :(

Note to self: If I'm ever a monkey, play dumb.


hopefully they don't castrate apes for being dumb as well! :P


Mediocrity is the key.  Neither smart nor dumb. You coast through life and no one castrates you :D
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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 11:53:32 PM »
But who wants to be a mediocre monkey??
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Necroben

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2009, 02:06:22 AM »
But who wants to be a mediocre monkey??

Considering the alternative, I would.
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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2009, 12:27:41 AM »
Good point.
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GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2009, 08:02:10 PM »
Ummm.....why is this earthshattering news?

"Animals Plan" "Animals don't live in the moment, like we thought they did"

Anyone who has ever had a pet can attest to these kinds of things.

I thought the whole "Animals are dumb, soul-less creatures" idea was far behind us.

My HAMSTER planned in response to a future psycological stimuli. That stimuli was HUNGER. So the Hamster stored food.

I don't know why people are so surprised when animals do stuff.....


But yes, the Monky apocalyse, now that could be fun :D

Your hamster didn't plan anything.  Your hamster was responding to an instinct.  There is a HUGE difference.  If your hamster was planning, it would be looking toward the future and recognizing that it is fed by you on a regular basis (one hopes) and does not need to stockpile food.

Most mammals don't have the frontal lobe capacity (planning, some memory, a lot of functions we consider "human" or "intelligent") to do any real long term planning.  For example, if you take a cat (note, we consider cats to be very smart in general) and put it in a room with a hanging cat-treat which is out of reach and a box it is capable of moving, it will never, with the exception of a complete and blatant accident, think to move the box beneath the treat and use it to jump high enough to get said treat.  It's been tested a LOT, and was the basis for creating early artificial intelligence.  Monkeys can do this, and so can humans. 

Most mammals live with some ability to predict the very near future, but mostly just run out of instinct and behavioral conditioning.  The reason a dog seems like he's planning when he begs to go out before you go to work every day is because he's been conditioned to, not because he actually recognizes that if you leave and he hasn't gone out, he may urinate on the carpet.  However much we'd like to think they're that bright, they really aren't.  The ability to plan this intricately, especially this intricately and with the use of tools, is very rare in nature.  It's not something any reptile is capable of, and it's not something a grand majority of mammals can do.  The only non-primate animal I can think of which may be capable of something like this is the dolphin.

[edit: grammatical error and adding the following:]

Also, hunger is a physiological stimulus, not a psychological one.  I guess one could make a similar argument for emotion being a physiological stimulus as well, but there is far more psychological involvement in emotion than there is in hunger.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 04:05:25 AM by GorgonlaVacaTremendo »
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Loud_G

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2009, 02:48:02 PM »
I respectfully disagree. :)

I believe you are confusing complex raional thinking with simple planning.

Usage of tools has little to no relevance on the ability to plan.

As with most things there is a gradient of abilities, not a simple "On/Off".

Simians have better planning ability than dogs, cats or hamster, but that does not imply that the dogs, cats, or hamsters have no such ability.

Instinct is a powerful motivator, but I think it is overemphasized in animal behavioral analysis. Studies in recent years have shown animals often act contrary to instinct, and think about things, and yes, even perform simple planning.

Instinct is an ancient "catch-all" for those who thought animals were souless automatons. Animals are really much more amazing than that.

I've seen my dog get angry at us, pause for a moment, then run off to the living room and deliberately pee on the couch in an effort to get back at us. (Most times he would even wait for us to follow him into the room, so that we could see him do it) That is a form of planning. And when a dog had been house trained for 6 years and does this, it is quite obvious that there is more going on inside that head than instinct.

Edit: fixed spelling (Thanks for pointing that out, I KNEW it looked wrong!) :D
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 05:33:52 PM by Loud_G »
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Eerongal

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 02:53:14 PM »
Loud_G: Minor nitpick - You forgot the u in automatons. I knew what you meant, but others might not, and i'm not trying to single you out or pick on you, it's just a habit to correct errors i notice (and i hope others do the same for me) :)
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GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 06:38:31 PM »
The use of tools is a complex form of thought made possible by the same part of brain (once again, the frontal lobe) that planning is.  Planning and complex rational thought are both created more or less the same way by this same area of the brain.  Also, I never said they were related, I said that complex plans which also involve the use of tools is very impressive.

A tool-free example of the cat planning test I mentioned would be if a cat climbs up into a tree or onto a roof.  The cat, when called down the opposite side of the tree (especially roofs) will be unable to recognize that it can more quickly get down the same way it got up and then, once down, walk around to the person calling it.  Instead it will continue to try to find a way to go directly from where it is to where you are until it gives in and begins to call for help.

I said animals have some ability for simple planning, but act nearly entirely out of instinct.  I didn't say they couldn't plan at all, just that the level of planning is rather basic and entirely unimpressive, especially compared to something like in the article.

Your dog has been conditioned to know you get upset when he pees in the house.  He is responding to a combination between his natural instinctual response to anger and his learned instincts.  He does this by peeing on your sofa, which was embedded in him through conditioning (he pees, you get upset, it embeds in him that this action will solicit this response).  He has the ability to do simple planning, but the example you gave is almost all a combination of natural and taught instinct.  I can make an dog run an obstacle course, do a series of tricks and then select a proper box out of a series of options entirely out of instinct.  This can be mistaken as planning, but is not.

And, for the record, people are hardly more amazing than that, and are relatively easy to predict using just a behavioral approach, especially en masse.  Granted, a pure behavioral approach is not the entire picture, there is a lot more at work (most approaches have valuable insight to certain areas of human behavior).  But it is a great way to predict how people will act, especially when combined with a genetic or evolutionary approach.  Animals are far less impressive than this.  When animals surprise us, it's nearly always because we had a misunderstanding of their base instinct or the balance of instincts at work, not because they're thinking or planning ahead.  They can, but most do so very rarely and cannot do so very far into the future.
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"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
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