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 Post subject: Man's best friend
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:54 pm 
Dogs are more adept at following gestures than higher apes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:17 am 
Not having read the full text yet, I'd guess it has something to do with how people selectively bred the dogs that we domesticated in the first place, and maybe something to do with the fact that they're pack animals as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:25 am 
If you would actually read the full text, you would know that it is thought to be caused by breeding. The pack animal theory was tested with a group of wolves and the dogs still permormed better.


Last edited by DarthBaboon on Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:50 am 
Knowing my dog, I suspect it's because the bastards will do anything if there's food in it for them. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:06 pm 
This is something I've got some experience in, having trained a few bird dogs. My old bird dog Gypsy, who died a few years ago, understood a pretty good range of hand, voice and whistle signals. I could, from forty yards away, direct her into a specific brush pile, tell her which fork in a trail to take, or get her to stop trying to dig up a mouse.

And it's true that breeding is a lot of that. Gyp was an English Springer Spaniel, and she had a couple hundred years of ancestry that hard-wired her to like chasing birds and working closely with people, too. But it wasn't all that, and it wasn't food. The dog really, really loved to hunt, and she loved being out in the field with her boss (me.)

Incidentally, anyone who says 'you can't buy love' has never had a puppy.

Gyp worked because she loved it, and she loved it when I was happy with her. She hunted up to her last year, the year before she died at 17.

I miss her a lot.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:08 pm 
DarthBaboon wrote:
If you would actually read the full text, you would know that it is thought to be caused by breeding. The pack animal theory was tested with a group of wolves and the dogs still permormed better.

There's an interesting ongoing experiment in Russia with very draconian breeding policies in place with a bunch of foxes. Basically, the foxes which nip at people the least are those which are permitted to breed.

I need to check up on how that experiment's going, been a while since I heard anything about it.

-John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:53 pm 
What sort of experiment is this, "We hypothesize that given a cute and non-biting fox we can make lots of green?" :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:34 am 
"Money: the driving force behind all scientific achievement"

I wish it was less true.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:11 pm 
DarthBaboon wrote:
"Money: the driving force behind all scientific achievement"

I wish it was less true.


Why?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:58 pm 
DarthBaboon wrote:
"Money: the driving force behind all scientific achievement"

I wish it was less true.


It's not particularly true. It's quite true of technological achievement, however.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:28 pm 
gwalla wrote:
DarthBaboon wrote:
"Money: the driving force behind all scientific achievement"

I wish it was less true.


It's not particularly true. It's quite true of technological achievement, however.




Consider an analogy:

Money's the main driving force behind much of what I do.

I provide a valuable service for my clients. I do a lot of crap they either don't want, or don't have time, to do. I'm good at taking scraps of frequently disjointed and disorganized information from technicians, production line workers, engineers, marketing and sales gomers and QA types and producing clear, concise, intuitive and useful user instructions, manufacturing and QA procedures, and so on. I'm good enough at it that I've just recently won a contract to write a pile of global compliance procedures for a huge company with offices all over the globe.

And I do it for money. I do it because I make pretty good money doing it, and because the potential is there to make a hell of a lot of money doing it.

Is what I do any less valuable because I do it for money?

Is what scientists and researchers do any less valuable because they do it for pay?

People generally work harder for personal gain than any other motivation. Why shouldn't they?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:54 pm 
Animal wrote:
People generally work harder for personal gain than any other motivation. Why shouldn't they?


No argument. I was just saying that I don't think that money is the driving force in science. The recognition of one's peers seems to be a pretty big factor. I think money is more of a factor in the applied sciences than in the "pure" sciences. But needing to put bread on the table is part of any career.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:04 pm 
gwalla wrote:
Animal wrote:
People generally work harder for personal gain than any other motivation. Why shouldn't they?


No argument. I was just saying that I don't think that money is the driving force in science. The recognition of one's peers seems to be a pretty big factor. I think money is more of a factor in the applied sciences than in the "pure" sciences. But needing to put bread on the table is part of any career.


Yeah. Ain't it the truth.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:13 pm 
Money being a driving force isn't the problem. The problem is when scientists start to cut corners or fudge results a bit for money or to get the results out quicker to get fame. Money is great, but it shouldn't be aloud to corrupt their results.


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