Name:Harrison Location:United States

The Original Lovable Little Fuzzball

Here's the straight stuff.

The adventures of Harrison are true.
Try a few of his Crunchy Bites for a taste.
--Alpha Human Mom

Monday, May 19, 2008

Political Movements and the Wisdom of Dogs

Considerin' we Aussies started out as herdin' dogs, movin' bunches of sheep and other livestock from Point A to Point No-Hell-I-Won't-Go, I am uniquely equipped to comment on the current political farmyard.

Now, your average sheep-herdin' canine seems to move the whole herd at once, runnin' back 'n forth, back 'n forth until they're a big tangled skein of wool lookin' confused and disoriented, which is pretty much their normal look anyway. Eventually they get a few pointed in the right direction, baain' and bleatin' "Follow me!" as if it was all their idea in the first place. The rest of 'em just follow the path of least resistance and soon whole crowd is rollin' merrily along. Let's call 'em the general votin' public.

Different canines have different styles, but the ones I've watched use large amounts of runnin' 'n barkin' 'n pantin'. Waaay too much runnin' 'n barkin' 'n pantin' for my taste. Think of 'em like the Main Stream Media, Demo-cats, civil rights agitators, environmentals, and other run-of-the-mill lefties.

The creative, outside-the-kennel-cab way of dealin' with sheep is somethin' else, 'specially when ya' consider I'm only 20 lbs. soppin' wet (a condition I try to avoid at all costs) and a sheep is…um…lots bigger.

First ya' take advantage of that need to huddle together, makin' a real convenient sheepskin rug. Then ya' hop up on their backs, trot over the whole bunch 'til ya' get to the front, and drop down among 'em. (It helps bein' only a foot high 'cause ya' can run under the sheep bellies, but ya' still gotta' be agile, quick and accurate to avoid those hooves.) Some well-placed nips here and there, and soon ya' got a couple or three movin' in the direction of your choice—no mean feat, let me tell you. Think of it like bloggin'.

Since your average sheep reacts more to the sound and fury of the runnin' 'n barkin' method, my ancestors moved on to other pursuits more suitable to our good looks and considerable intelligence—tho' we can still dog a mean bull when needed. It's also why our current political landscape looks like a potential disaster scenario.

"Have you ever arrived somewhere and wondered how you got there? Scientists…believe they may have found the answer, with research that shows that humans flock like sheep and birds, subconsciously following a minority of individuals."

Said individuals havin' a minority of common sense and a majority of ego.

"Results from a study at the University of Leeds show that it takes a minority of just five per cent to influence a crowd’s direction—and that the other 95 per cent follow without realising it. […] The findings show that in all cases, the 'informed individuals' were followed by others in the crowd." […]

'Informed individuals' bein' the ones doin' all the runnin' 'n barkin'.

"[W]hat's interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren’t allowed to talk or gesture to one another. In most cases the participants didn’t realise they were being led by others,” [says Professor Jens Krause].

No talkin' or gesturin' or fact-checkin' either—sorta' like this guy.

"In large crowds of 200 or more, five per cent of the group is enough to influence the direction in which it travels."

Down the Drain, Up the Garden Path, or To Hell in a Handbasket are a coupla' directions that spring to mind.

posted by Harrison at 9:10 AM


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