Re: Why Not Planet of the Apes?

Robin Hanson (
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 20:46:08 -0700 (PDT) writes:
>It seems to me that it is the very intelligence of primates that works
>against the possibility of using them as domesticated animals. Having had
>the opportunity to observe a prosimian at close quarters for a few years, I
>can say that the overpowering curiosity and playfulness of our primate
>cousins just isn't compatible with any sort of work habits: They're too
>damned smart to be put in harness and, after puberty, can't be said to be
>"docile" in any setting but one where humans are willing to accomodate their
>wild nature.

Should we expect A.I.s to be similarly uncooperative? Or is this some
unfortunate but coincidental feature of primates?

Hal writes:
>I saw a TV show last year showing monkeys who were trained to
>harvest coconuts from palm trees. ... This is
>apparently a common harvesting method in some parts of the world.

Curious. I wonder how this task differs from other tasks to make
this feasible. Too bad Sean's story sounds like an urban legend.

Robin D. Hanson