[Paleopsych] Widsom of crowds
tramont at iinet.net.au
Sun Sep 19 06:40:25 UTC 2004
While we are discussing the wisdom of groups...
I am presently working on a chapter in my book with the following
sub-section. It is based on my encounter with "aliens" while I was on a
fishing trip. This is a true story. Read on. What is it about
across-species interactions that might impact on the development of
I was on a fishing trip some years ago with some friends, when I stayed at
a cottage out in the country. I chose the granny flat at the back of the
house, which was situated alongside the back door of the house, opening up
onto the back porch.
One cool, misty morning I woke up to a thump on the back porch. I opened
the door of the granny flat, and there it was, the alien, hesitantly
hobbling up the wooden steps, onto the porch and into the kitchen.
I looked down to the back yard, and there, about ten metres in front of me,
a troop of about six other aliens stood in anticipation, watching their
comrade, as if urging her on by telepathy, "go on, go on. Go inside! Check
it out!" The leader of the group stood closest to me, with his troop
gathering behind him. He was obviously their leader, calmly surveying
proceedings, while the others seemed eager for some action.
It was time for breakfast, so I followed the alien inside the house, urging
her on. And inside, to my astonishment, there was already an alien in the
kitchen! I could not believe it! My five friends were standing around
sipping on their coffees, as if nothing extraordinary was going on. The
alien that was already inside was as tall as a man, and she was helping
herself to the food on the table. She seemed to be motioning to the fridge,
as if asking us to open it.
I grabbed the coffee that was waiting for me on the table, and joined three
of my friends to discuss these strange goings on. The alien that I ushered
up the steps stood across from me, and she made her way between two of my
friends, as if to join in the conversation. Of course, she didn't say
anything, as she couldn't speak. My friends and I made her welcome, so she
just calmly stood there, perhaps trying to observe what strange ritual we
were partaking of.
After about ten minutes, we heard another thump at the back door, as a
third alien made her way up the steps. She obviously realized that it was
ok to come in, now that her friends had broken the ice. She made her way
alongside me. So there we stood, in the kitchen in a circle, three of my
friends along with two aliens.
We were warming to the novelty of having these aliens standing with us. We
got back to our plans for the day's fishing. Ron showed me his box of trout
lures. He explained that he was going to go to the lake to see if he can
catch one of the big trout that was rumoured to be lurking there. I told
him I'd rather be fishing on the river.
Alex was tired. He was going to go back to bed and see how he felt once he
woke up again.
I gently touched the alien next to me on her shoulder. She twitched
nervously. She really did not like it. Obviously, she was not used to it.
So I promptly removed my hand. But she wasn't shy about trying to get my
coffee out of my hand.
The alien across from me was also keen to sample some of our earthly
concoctions, shifting her gaze between my friends and her comrade next to
the fridge. She also seemed to be drawn to the fridge.
I was mindful of the rest of their troop waiting outside. Weren't any of
our guests in the kitchen going to report back to their comrades? Weren't
they going to invite them inside? I said to the alien next to me, "go on,
invite your friends in". She did not understand me.
I was keen to get some fishing in for the day. I excused myself from our
group of five and went to prepare.
It was an event that I will never forget. Of course, our three guests were
not aliens from another planet at all. They were kangaroos from the
surrounding bush. They were in the house primarily for one reason. Food.
Obviously, they had become rather tame because of tourists that feed them.
Does this manner of socialization suggest that this particular tribe might
be experiencing what, over a sustained period of time, would result in
evolution to some higher life-form?
Inside that kitchen, their character seemed to be that of grasping
opportunistically at food scraps. Their friends waiting outside in
anticipation wanted them to take the risk to venture into the house - they
were too afraid to enter. If their friends got into trouble inside, they
would be very unlikely to valiantly enter the house to come to their
rescue. Rather, they would flee for the bush. There is little among
kangaroos that we would identify with honour or courage. Or perhaps, might
we be pleasantly surprised?
Nonetheless, in the course of this remarkable encounter, the observation
remains that there seemed something humanly tribal and intelligent about
them. Their behaviour did not seem too unlike the sort of behaviour we
might expect from an isolated, primitive human tribe chancing upon contact
for the first time with "civilized" humans.
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