Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana over a set of stairs. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray the other monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result--the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when any monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace him with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To the monkey's surprise, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he'll be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace him with a new one. The new comer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous new comer 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 have no idea why they weren't permitted to climb the stairs or why they're participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all 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's the way it's always been done around here.
Monday, September 25, 2006
This is kind of "off topic" but I see this interesting: