Friday, September 5, 2008

Crow's Epistemology

There was an experiment done on crows.  This is a true statement.  Someone somewhere wanted to know how much a crow could count up to.  This all might seem very silly - but, as the experiment went - there were a lot of crows in a field, and the experimenters sent one person in, the crows scattered and flew to the trees, hid there and watched until that person left.  When one person left, the crows returned.  Then the experimenters sent in two people - again the crows scattered.  When two people left, the crows returned.   Three went in, crows scattered, returned when three left.  Four went in - same thing, when four left, the crows returned.  Then an interesting thing happened - five went in, and then left - the crows never returned.  Why?  The crows couldn't conceive beyond five.  To them, it was one, two, three, four, many.  This, to me, is the hardest thing to realize about 'abundance' - we become so used to having so much that we mentally lose track of how much we have.  So much is pouring in at this very second that we are much like the crow - we've lost count - we don't know.  


At September 8, 2008 at 9:19 PM , Blogger lenient said...

It is very interesting to know that crows can count up to five! This story reminds me the Anthropology class I took when I was sophomore, which had a great impact on me. One tribe happen to count only up to three. More than three is just many for them. I forgot what anthropologist learned from that finding. Possibly, numbers may not be important at all. The pont is, your stories awakens lots of thing I forgot, which I think is very inspring for me.


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