Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dueterostems Already In The DIE Phase Of Their Nightmare...,


bigthink |  There are nearly 7.5 billion people on the planet right now. The question of how to feed, clothe, educate, employ, and hydrate everyone is a problem that is widely acknowledged. The question of overpopulation, and whether or not it is a major problem, often asks how our limited resources can be used in a growing world.

However, while most discussion of overpopulation is focused on the material aspects of it, some have asked about the psychological ramifications. Chief among these thinkers was Dr. John B. Calhoun who worked extensively with mice and rats to study the effects of overpopulation on behavior.
Dr. Calhoun was a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In his most famous experiment, four breeding pairs of mice were moved into a mouse utopia. There were unlimited supplies of food, water and bedding. The area was disease free, the temperature perfectly controlled, and the researchers even cleaned the place monthly. As close to heaven as a mouse could get. All that they lacked was infinite space. There was, however, room for 3,000 mice.

Mice, for those who are unaware, are actually quite social creatures in the right conditions. They take on group roles, mark out territories, and develop hierarchies if their environment allows. It is this behavior that Calhoun wished to affect, and study. He described the experiment in terms of four “eras”, summarized here.

Days 0-100: The era called “Strive”. During which the mice were getting used to the new world, territories were established.

Days 100-315: The “Exploit” period. The population doubled every 60 or so days. Normal social behavior was noted here, and the population took full advantage of its unlimited resources.

Days  315-600: The “Equilibrium” period. It was here that the social roles of mice began to break down. Mice born during this period found they lacked space to mark out territories in, and random acts of violence among the mice began to occur. Many males simply gave up on trying to find females. These males retreated into their bedding and rarely ventured out. Simply eating, sleeping, and grooming. Calhoun dubbed these narcissistic loners “The Beautiful Ones”. They also tended to be rather stupid.

Days 600-800: The “Die” phase. The population, which maxed-out at 2,200, began to decline. No surviving births took place after day 600, and the colony ultimately died out. Individuals removed from the colony and placed in similar units continued to demonstrate erratic behavior and also failed to reproduce. The mice were remarkably violent at this time, for little reason.

A formula was written to explain what happened to the mice, how the population continued to crash even after conditions began to improve again. Calhoun felt there were truly two deaths for the mice: the first death was a spiritual one, leading to the decline into chaos and madness. After that event, no recovery was possible for the mice. The second was physical, and inevitable after the first.