06/08/2013 by syrbal-labrys
In physics experiments, to the discomfort of a lot of scientists, it is famously found that wee tiny mindless particles seem to make something very like a choice, sometimes based on observation. A particle can pass through a ‘gateway’ like a marble rolling through a door, or it can change state and become a wave that goes through multiple gateways like a wave washing through pier posts. This has been used to create arguments both for and against free will and even suggested as an explanation about the process of time!
What has it to do with magpies? Well, magpies make choices, too. Like all corvids, they are very bright birds and they hurry their decisions and choices along considerably faster when they see people watching them! This is because the entire corvid clan knows what a duplicitous (like that wave/particle duality??) bunch we bipedal apes can be. Are they a macrocosmic quantum physics model? Or, like many creatures that live in groups, merely political?
I mean, what? Now that you know Big Brother IS watching YOU so much more closely and entirely, are you making decisions faster….better, or merely more diffidently? So, what chance that more surveillance will make us smarter? Holy crap, now THAT is a costly educational plan….