Monday, May 12, 2008

Humans Sentient? Sounds Crazy to Me



Since the hairless monkeys have been too awed of my wisdom to ask a question, I will tell everybody about an article I read.

While making good use of an issue of The New Yorker magazine, I read all about an African grey parrot named Alex. He lived with a weird lady who asked him dumb questions all the time, trying to find out whether parrots think. The lady who wrote the article seemed to think Alex was able to think, because he gave the right answers so many times. But the thing that disturbed me about the article was that it suggested that hairless monkeys ALSO think. Which was something that had never occurred to me before.

I have taught my fat human to bring me goodies and rub my glorious fat on command, but I always figured these were simple reflex actions. If he can think, maybe he has feelings, and if so, it may be wrong to poop in his hair and bite him for sport.

Not that this would alter my conduct in the slightest.

Parrots are very much aware of the concepts of right and wrong. However we have concluded that they are of little practical use.

I have spoken. Or at least squawked. You may now bring me cookies.




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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

what happened to Alex's feathers?!?!??!
That looks like one stressed out bird ! ! ! !

Keith said...

Dear Marv,

If you're so smart, why does the human keep you in a cage?

Keith

chardin said...

What subarea of a unit square maximizes its ratio of area to perimeter?

Suze said...

I'm with anonymous - the bird asked a few times to "go back", which I took to mean, "can I go now?" I think he is stressed out, poor baby. I hope someone gives him love and squeezes and lets up on the tough questions.....

JenLars said...

Do you prefer shelled or unshelled peanuts?

Can parrots eat chocolate?

richard mcenroe said...

Does ontology REALLY recapitulate phylogeny?

fwdeible said...

who knew amy winehouse knew so much about parrots?

Anonymous said...

Marvin:
I still worship you!
It is Barton your humble ape-like follower. Cookies? What kind of cookies does Marvin like? My pet rats like oatmeal cookies.