At 7:20 AM -0700 5/23/00, Paul H. Dillon wrote:
>"Now the physicist, himself, who describes all this, is, in his own account,
>himself constrcuted of it. He is, in short, made of a conglomeration of the
>very particulars he describes, no more, no less, bound together by and
>obeying such general laws as he himself has managed to find and to record.
>"Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world we know is constructed in
>order (and thus in such a way as to be able) to see itself.
>"This is indeed amazing."
>G. Spencer Brown - "Laws of Form"
Nicely put, Paul. I'm there -- except for the self-perception motive, imposed by Brown, on the universe. Why, after all, would the world need, or even want, to 'see' itself, when there are so many other ways of self-perception, self-interaction, self-knowing, that are not limited to what humans can detect and know? Consider this transform, granting that humans already know about x-rays:
"Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world we know is constructed in order (and thus in such a way as to be able) to x-ray itself."
Don't even think about sex. Don't go there.
This brings us to bunnies. Today, while shoveling out backyard topsoil in preparation for a patio, we noticed that the bunny was acting quite... well... 'nuts'. She herself had been digging a bit here and there in her pen since the ground had thawed, limited by the fence put underground to keep her from going too far. As we were digging, she was running back and forth along the retaining fence rather excitedly -- shadows of Leont'ev. Was it the smell of the fresh earth? Instinctively, I took a chunk of sod that Judy B. had dug up and dropped it into bunny's enclosure. She began nibbling on the grass, and I cautioned her against eating too much greens in one day, ignoring my own earlier conclusion that she was quite deaf, and the fact that she probably could not understand what I was saying, even if she was not.
After a few minutes of munching, she began running around the chunk of sod -- it was about half her size. Clockwise, then counter-clockwise, then sometimes leaping over it. It was a similar pattern to the one posted about the card-board box, except for the jumping, the box being higher than the sod. And of course she was able to go into the box, but not the sod. After ten minutes or so of running around, she began (repeatedly) digging with her front paws at the dirt and roots of the clump, then rolling in it, forehead first, performing a 360 turn and finishing on her feet. A new behavior, not seen with the introduction of the box into her enclosure -- digging and rolling. We were amused. Was she marking the sod with her scent? If so, why the sod and not the box? We continued to dig ourselves, minus the rolling of course, and observed her in parallel. She alternated the digging, rolling and encircling of the sod clump, without apparent design, for over half an hour. I began to wonder about humans' predisposition for gardening in the spring...
Since there will be lots of opportunities to drop a chunk of sod into her pen in the future, we're wondering how to go about it next.
Bill Barowy, Associate Professor
Lesley University, 29 Everett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138-2790
Phone: 617-349-8168 / Fax: 617-349-8169
"One of life's quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself
and watch yourself softly become the author of something beautiful."
[Norman Maclean in "A river runs through it."]
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