GENTECH archive


The apes; human conditioning to economic worship and violence.

Thanks to

Here's a forwarded email from a friend who is integrated in the corporate
world. I tend to think that this apes story is much what upbringing and
education is about.

<<<forwarded post>>>

An anecdote to start yet another week in the heady world of business!


Subject: The apes

How It Happens Start with a cage containing five apes. 

In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before
long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water.
After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result - all the
apes are sprayed with cold water. This continues through several more
attempts. Pretty soon, when another ape tries to climb the stairs, the
other apes all try to prevent it. 

Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one ape from the cage and replace it
with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.
To his horror, all of the other apes 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 apes 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. 

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to
the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have
no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are
participating in the beating of the newest ape. 

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes, which
have been sprayed with cold water, have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape
ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? 

Because that's the way they've always done it and that's the way it's
always been around here. 

And that's how company policy begins....

<<< end of forwarded post >>>

Today's Wellington's Infotech Weekly (Monday supplement to Rupert Murdoch's
"The Dominion") features an article by Richard Pamatatau "Avoiding the
digital divide". 
Mr Pamatatau (possibly aged 25 - 35) writes on the necessity to support the
Information Technology industry, referring to economic policies and the
incumbent Labour-Alliance government in NZ.

Towards the end he writes:


"And what about the children?

"Education is clearly on the agenda of the new government. But just how far
will it go to get the future citizens fired up for a smart new century, as
the intersection between technology, culture, health and wealth becomes

"Maybe schools will be required to start teaching reading, writing and
quarterly results. With all the talk of of venture capital, and how hard it
is to get, not to mention mention how quickly it gets burned up, it might
be time for the new education minister to look at a developer's curriculum.

"A 'how to' for budding enterpreneurs, the dos and do'nts of pitching, how
to trademark your product, as we move to an equity economy.

[end of quote]

I'm not sure whether the author writes in jest. But the terminology fits in
with the ongoing corporatisation of schools and universities, the
worshipping of economics as the ultimate god and wisdom. 

The division of educational tasks is given:

- the people in business teach the worshipping of individualism, financial
values and economic growth.

- the people in TV and the media teach and condone violence, both passive
(the public) and active (corporate, police)

Few seem to realise that this planet is finite and growth is suicidal.

Other great cultures have vanished in the past. But ours will not be
superseded by a new era. Ongoing worldwide toxification (chemical and
nuclear), as well as depletion and climate change will make our society the
last one, going down in an ultimate collapse. One, maybe two generations -
according to the present trends - it's just a matter of time.

(GE-Biotech will never have to feed the projected 9 billion, even if they

Sic transit gloria mundi (thus passes the world's glory)

Cheers ... Eric Auciel