Sunday, June 28, 2009

Of Mice and Men

No. I am not blogging about John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men. Too many years have passed since I read that book, and all I remember is that it had something to do with two men; one very big size and the other very small.

It’s just that Victor’s latest post on the New Paper article about durian hunters in Singapore raised the question of why people would take the trouble to travel and camp out in the woods, contending with mosquitoes and fellow durian hunters for something they can easily buy at the nearby market.

This reminds me of something I read in the Readers Digest years ago. I like to read those snippets and annecdotes in Readers Digest. This one was about a study on motivation. Scientists experimented with rats by offering them two sources of food. In one side of their cage was food which was freely available. In the other there was a lever. which they had to push in order to activate the delivery of a piece of food.

The scientists discovered that the rats prefered to get the food from activating the lever. In other words they prefered to work for their food. The scientists then gradually increased the number of times the lever had to be pushed before the rats were rewarded. Initially the rats still prefered to work for their food. But finally, a number was reached when they decided that it was not worth the trouble and they went back to the ‘free’ food.

So maybe the gahmen should follow the example of the Mowbray Camp RSM which sgporc mentioned and put up some triple-concertina wires. :)

3 comments:

Zen said...

Rats are very intelligent creatures which behave like men. But there is a difference, men have pride, going after free food (if any) is likely to hurt their ego.

Andy Young* said...

Been reading your postings and 5S Corner. Learning a lot from them.
Thank you.

Peter said...

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Tks again and nice keep posting
Rgs