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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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)
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)
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