My handicap is you asking to play to one...
There’s a rumor going around among intelligent people that evolution is more than “just one of many theories.” If this is startling news to you or you absolutely know this is not the case then my story on monkey behavior won’t mean much to you. But if you can extrapolate that our personalities probably evolve right along with our genetics then you might encounter some of the monkey that still lurks within you.
Scientists ran an experiment. Two monkeys in side by side cages need to work together to obtain a payoff in grapes. The first monkey has little to do except pass an extension through his cage to the other monkey who then adds it to his own length of wood and manipulates it to tap a button far removed from the cage for which then he is rewarded a prize—two grapes. No problem. The monkey in possession of the two grape reward, somewhat in reaction to the other monkey’s shrieking, consistently hands over the smaller of the two grapes.
Here’s where it gets interesting—after an extended period of this scenario the scientists add a twist. This time the payoff is three grapes. The possession monkey still hands over one grape to his partner but he then eats the other two grapes to the sounds of some none-too-happy monkey shrieking. Initially a strike is threatened but management prevails, though there is some noticeable work slowdown protest and particularly so in the well-fed shifts later in the day. (I’m not going to do all the work for you on this one but the momentary monkey slowdown here is comparable to leaving an online site where you are ineligible for rake back and then soon returning because you are making some money anyway.)
The next day same thing: two grapes first, then three, followed by a bonanza—four grapes! The video of the expression on the face of the powerless monkey as he waits to see the decision by the monkey in control of the four grapes is poker familiar. I’m pretty sure he copied it from Matasow awaiting another impending river indignity in the midst of one of his “I am the unluckiest man in the world” episodes. But the river is kind to the monkey and monkey god hands over two grapes. Yippeee. Life is good-- as it says on the shirt.
The four-grape salad days continue on for sometime and then one day the payoff returns to three grapes. As before the monkey in control hands over one and keeps two for himself. But this time both the proverbial and real excrement hits the cage. The slighted monkey excretes some monkey number two into his own hand and begins to throw it at management. This time the strike is much more serious. It lasts a very long time. It’s hard going back once you consider yourself to be a two-grape monkey.
Then they bring in a scab. This new worker has his own extender in his cage. Heck it’s only a few seconds of “work” to pass it along through to the other cage and if he doesn’t he gets a total of zero grapes. What’s the big deal? Well besides that lunatic next to him screaming monkey talk and threatening to cover him in doo doo?
Later both monkeys are offered the chance to “work” knowing beforehand that the payoff is three grapes, their individual pay is one, and the lead monkey keeps two. Only the newest low EV monkey will work. The other guy has developed a monkey ego that absolutely understands the injustice of it all – thinking after all I AM A TWO GRAPE MONKEY!
Lately, poker has downgraded me to being a half-grape monkey and I don’t like it. At the same time golf has upgraded me to being a 2 ˝ grape monkey as the skin games here in Hawaii are the kind I like- NO HANDICAP.
What kind of monkey are you?
Thanks for reading.
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