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Jacque Fresco - Science and Social Change - Mechanisms of Behavior - February 16,1980

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So, in other words, if you try to think of anything that’s self-activating-... Again, when I was a kid, they told me that the sunflower turned towards the sun to receive the sunlight. You know, and I wrote it down, it made sense. But later on I learned that the sunflower doesn't turn toward the sun. The sun, hitting the sunflower at a given angle, causes shrinking and pulling of certain membranes, and the sun turns the plant, which is quite different. Do you see what I mean? There? Another interesting experiment was-... If you're familiar with these experiments it helps you to better understand the situation. So we take Estonian fish, which is easier now - If you take a tank, and put little guppies in there, or any other kind of fish ... The question that started this experiment was one done in the presence of Loeb, Jacques Loeb, the physiologist. And everyone was saying that this fish have instincts, and they swim up to spawning grounds. They can find a river, like the Orinoco River, and they’ve never been there. And they’ll swim across the ocean, up the Orinoco River, or up any other river, a thousand miles away, and they will have their offspring, and then they will die. And they used to think that there was an instinct in these fish, some inborn inheritance, that takes them there. They call the word 'instinct'. And Loeb said that he could not conceive of a fish born with a blueprint for behavior, never having studied geography, and never having an imprinted map, how the fish can possibly do that. So he made assumptions, or worked upon certain hypotheses. He said: Possibly, all animals orient themselves into oncoming shadows. Now that’s very, very different. Here’s what he did. He took a single fish and put it in a bowl, and he took a glass cylinder and mirror-coated it. That is, it was covered with a mirror like surface, and he rotated that glass, and he painted black dots on the glass. So, when you rotate a glass, like this, chromium with black dots and shine a light on it this way, shadows will go across the water that way, you understand that? Do you? It was silver, and there were black dots on it; you turn it and you can see those black dots moving across the floor. Well when he turned this above the fishbowl, all of the fish, no matter how many he had in there, turned right on into the shadows. Is that clear? Immediately. But, he then rotated it at an angle, and all the fish turned at an angle into the shadow. So he said, the running stream of a river ... with the waves on top, reduce shadows going against the fish, and the fish do not swim against the water, they swim against the oncoming shadows. Because when he turned the wheel around and spun it faster than the stream was moving, they turned around. Then he said this: that the mechanism that orients the fish to direction is oncoming shadows. Is that clear? He tried to find the mechanisms behind the movement. In the early days, when a child would play the piano at 9 years old, they said they were gifted, had an instinct for music, talented, all of those shitty words; and he tried to define those terms. He tried to find-... he called himself a mechanist. He tried to find the mechanical relationships, that’s what mechanistic means. It means, when you roll your eyes to the right, there are muscles that pull the eyeballs. There are things that-... and there are chemicals that cause the muscles to do that, see what I mean? There's a whole series of events, so when you come back to the old question: what makes a fish swim upstream? Oncoming shadows. So by taking oncoming shadows, and throw them over a bunch of baby chickens, same thing. They all orient themselves into the oncoming shadows. Think you know what I mean there? And on down the line, all his work that was backed up with words like 'instinct' were thrown out. And he said there are certain patterns of behavior we haven't been able to decipher as of yet; let's hunt them out. Let's try to find the mechanisms that generate behavior. Is that all right? Fresco's Classic Lecture Series www.thevenusproject.com

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 16 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Venus Project
Director: The Venus Project
Views: 107
Posted by: ltiofficial on Oct 7, 2012

A short clip from Fresco's Classic Lecture Series, (1b) "Science and Social Change"- February 16,1980.

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