Re: Across Realtime (WARNING: spoilers)

Kennita Watson (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 02:15:55 -0700

>On Mon, 9 Jun 1997, Kennita Watson wrote:
>> Maybe someone with 10,000 or 100,000 years to spare? I might try it myself
>> sometime, just for fun.
Eugene Leitl responded:
>Fisher monkeys! Fisher mawnkeys! (Across Realtime, Vinge, of course).


I actually spent a while thinking about how he was doing it all wrong.
Juan Chanson's attempt was documented near the end of the book (pgs.
534-536 of the Baen paperback). He apparently:
a) didn't control the breeding of the monkeys
b) didn't even measure the monkeys' intelligence in any quantifiable way
(speed at solving problems, number of different attempts to solve a
particular problem, attention span, number of communication symbols
learned, etc.)
c) taught the monkeys to do a particular task rather than how to solve
d) gave the monkeys no pro-cognition evolutionary pressures (I bet I could
think up some very useful predators, given time) (or, say, I could try to
get something as yummy to a monkey as a banana to grow inside something
as hard as a coconut shell)
e) didn't even significantly control the environment of the monkeys
f - z) (and more) a whole _bunch_ of stuff I'd have an awfully long time
to think of

Basically I convinced myself in short order that, given his resources,
there's no way I would have ended up in his sorry situation. No surprise,
since _he_ was well on the way to being nuts when his ordeal started, and
had pretty much snapped before he even started his work on breeding an
intelligent species.


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_