Fight Fire With Sapphire!

~ Friday, May 09, 2003
Still on the subject of creativity, fellow travellers, here's an interesting story. It's about a paradigm-busting experiment in which monkeys were allowed to play with a computer for an extended period to see if they would create anything meaningful to us. As the headline states, they didn't write Shakespeare.

Well, that's hardly surprising, isnt' it? They are much more discerning than that. Monkeys, having been the victims of simeon-phobic oppression ever since the "ascent" of man, clearly lean to the left in their politics. Shakespeare, however, was a Nazi! Everything he wrote was appallingly fascist. (Er, except for his characterization of the Jew, Shylock. That was an accurate depiction.) Why would a macaque even begin to stoop so low?

Apparently quite a sum of arts money was spent on this project. Right-wingers will of course have a great time condemning it as a misuse of funds. But frankly I think it was money well spent (and I don't mean that in a capitalist way). In fact, inspired by this story, I just rang a rather influential friend who works for the Australia Council. I asked if he'd give a grant to my animal companion Jocelyn to fund her latest paw-painting exhibition. He was very enthusiastic about the idea!
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