Fwd: TEACHING TECHNIQUES-- 100th Monkey Shines

From: Wade T.Smith (wade_smith@harvard.edu)
Date: Sun Jun 03 2001 - 05:10:43 BST

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    TEACHING TECHNIQUES-- 100th Monkey Shines

    Salient information about teaching and learning

    by Bertha Vanatian, AIR staff


    Today is approximately the 48th birthday of the famous 101th monkey that
    learned to wash potatoes by being somewhere physically far removed from
    the 100 monkeys that lived together on island of Koshima and taught each
    other how to wash potatoes. We deduce this from having read part of the
    classic scientifical tome "The 100th Monkey," written by Ken Keyes, Jr.

    If you have not had the pleasure of reading the book (and even if you
    have), you can peruse its essence by looking at

    While Keyes does not specify the exact mechanism by which information is
    transmitted from the 100 monkeys to the 101st, he does provide a general
    description of it:

    "Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new
    awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. [T]here is a point at
    which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is
    strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!"

    The phenomenon is real. We conclude this because (a) it is described in a
    book, and (b) that book has (according to a report someone told us about
    having seen mention of) sold more than 1.5 million copies.

    For educators, the lessons are clear and compelling:

    1. Every classroom should have a minimum of 100 students.

    2. Worldwide, only one classroom is actually needed. Provided that that
    classroom always holds at least the minimum number (100) of students, the
    field is strengthened so that awareness of any and all lessons taught in
    the classroom is picked up by almost everyone, worldwide.

    We would be delighted to help publicize any school systems that operate
    this way. If your school system operates this way, please send details to
    MONKEY SHINE SCHOOLS c/o <marca@chem2.harvard.edu>

    NOTE: For Doubters Only

    Some hard-core skeptics imply that perhaps, maybe, somehow, the story of
    the 100th monkey was merely concocted -- that it did not in fact happen.
    Well, the story is true -- it did happen (see reasons (a) and (b)
    mentioned above).

    However, for those who insist on thinking about the truth of stories that
    authoritative people tell them, and want in particular to think about the
    truth of the story of the 100th monkey, we reluctantly recommend two

    "The Hundredth Monkey: And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal" by Kendrick
    Frazier, Prometheus Books; 1991, ISBN: 0879756551

    "The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist"
    by F. B. M. De Waal, Frans De Waal, Basic Books; 2001, ISBN: 0465041752

    Copyright 2001 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

    ===============================This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

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