Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Way We Always Done It

I lifted this pic from Sipsey Street Irregulars.

I got an e-mail the other day. I don't know who wrote it--it was a fwd, fwd, fwd, fwd that has probably been around the world nine times. The point of the writing was to urge us to "vote out the incumbents." Well, I think voting is pointless; it only encourages them. But I thought that what this person had to say about the human condition in general was a brilliant observation. Here's the pithy part:

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes the attempt with same result, all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another Monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the Stairs.

To his shock, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one.

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know, that is the way it has always been done around here.


  1. Monkey see, monkey do. That's how the system is rigged. Time to teach the monkeys something new...

  2. Hi Mayberry,

    F'shizzle, dawg! Just changing the monkeys doesn't seem to work.


  3. Nice UC and I think you are both right, changing the monkey and reprogramming the monkey is what is needed but whats bad is that most people do not want to change....

  4. Hi Scott,

    Fear of change (risk) holds back more human potential than government.



All comments are welcome.