Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Capuchin Monkey's know when they are getting hosed

Via economist Greg Mankiw comes this hilarious video:

I'm not quite sure how the analogy with the Occupy protesters works out. What work were they doing that was sufficiently like the work of Wall Streeters, for which they feel they should have received grapes? How much were they getting paid for it? What was the remuneration given the Wall Streeters? Perhaps the idea is that Wall Streeters really don't work, but leach off workers, and get paid well for it? But then, again, who exactly benefits from the work of investment bankers, stock brokerages, etc. Investment has not been, for some time now, the exclusive province of the well to do. Consult your retirement account. Who runs those things? The monkey on the right?

At any rate, the monkey on the left is fine with being paid cucumber bits until he sees his peer being paid in grapes. Primates love them some sugar, dontcha know. I'd like to see this experiment run on humans. Guy on left receives water, guy on right receives beer. Chaos ensues. You have to love the way monkey number one shows displeasure.

And the complete lecture, the point of which is to argue that non-human animals have a sense of fairness much like ours, which forms a basis of a sort of proto-morality, which adumbrated with human capacities, gives rise to our full blown moral behavior:

How would W.T. Sherman deal with non-uniformed guerrillas mixing in with civilian populations?

He answers that question in an 1862 letter to the editors of two Memphis papers, laying out for the readership not only the ongoing actions of the guerillas, but the actions he would take in response. He considered the letters fair warning. This letter comes from a blog, General Sherman's Blog that updates daily. Maintained by JJ Brownyneal, it is based on Sherman's letters and Memoirs. It follows the progress of his civil war career day by day. Right now, it is 1862 over at the blog. This specific entry is for August 22. Reading each day's entry is a great history lesson. The blog is linked on the over-full blogroll to your left.   Doubtless, Sherman would have loved blogging technology. It would have been right in his wheelehouse. He was a gifted, bracing, concise, and prolific writer. His output was stupendous. The guerilla letter appears in this post. The choice bit:
The Confederate authorities have encouraged and sanctioned Guerrillas, issuing commissions and organizing them into Regiments and Brigades, but allowing them to remain at or near home. This enables them to draw in a class that otherwise could not be employed in war, but at the same time it places the People in a very awkward fix. These Guerillas are not Uniformed, they can if pursued, disperse and mix up with the people and thereby elude pursuit, but like a few notorious men, they involve the whole crowd in the punishment due the few. If an officer is in pursuit he would be perfectly justified in retaliating on the farmers among whom they mingle. It is not our wish or policy to destroy the farmers or their farms, but of course there is and must be a remedy for all Evils. If the farmers of a neighborhood encourage or even permit in their midst a set of Guerrillas, they cannot expect to escape the necessary consequences. It will not do for them to plead simple personal ignorance of a particular transaction. They become accessories by their presence and inactivity to prevent murders and destruction of property, besides, giving a color of right to our Detachment, always in uniform, to commit those acts of waste and destruction which will inevitably lead to the entire devastation of the country where the Guerrillas operate. These principles of war and common sense should be made familiar to the people that they may clearly understand how by men in authority or neutrality as they call it, they lay themselves clearly liable to all the risks of war without any of its excitement.

How would 'Cump' have dealt with insurgencies such as this today, with modern technology, and modern COIN doctrine and ROE? Food for thought.