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Thread: A challenge or what yo do when you're not working on your theory of everything

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    A challenge or what yo do when you're not working on your theory of everything

    So, I said to the cattleman, "I reckon I could put together a team of 3 working dogs which could do the work of 10+".

    He replied, "Prove it"

    The next day I devised a plan to show him, saying, "Here you go, look at this!"

    He replied, "That is not proving it!"

    Frustrated, I said, "How can I prove it to you?"

    He replied, "Do it, win a cattledog show championship with your plan. Then, I will say 'you have proven it'."

    Thus, a challenge was born.

    There may be obvious weaknesses in the plan which I am not seeing, but the challenge has been accepted.

    The plan is here, I'd be interested in any weaknesses you spot: https://www.facebook.com/christos.fo...33?pnref=story
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-08 at 11:26 PM.

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    I was raised in a mixed household, (dogs AND cats), but I always admire people who can bring out the best in dogs.

    The last time I had an issue with a black bear my fat haunch was saved any real difficulty because one of the neighboring campers paid attention to, and trusted the judgement of his dogs. They didn't even bark, just came all alert and on point. So said camper got dressed and took a walk with his dogs. Saw me having a discussion with the bear by the campfire and decided the bear needed running off, which his four dogs were more than capable of doing. They even came right back when they ran it out of the area. Black labs, I think. But at night almost all large dogs seem to be black labs so I may be wrong. Came over my way he said, because I was addressing the bear as "bear" and was so calm about it he thought I was looking down the barrel of a rifle while doing so instead of just holding an empty highball glass and a cell phone.

    I was sooooo drunk I couldn't get out of my folding chair. And since there was a mountain top microwave reply nearby I was texting my oldest daughter hundreds of miles away about the bear even as it was approaching the camp in a round about way. After previous bouts of both bee charming and sneaking up on deer close enough to touch them my oldest daughter was afraid I might try to touch the bear. I wasn't THAT drunk. Besides, bears make me "tense".
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    I've always been taken by the similarities between bears and dogs. A youtube vid I saw with polar bears playing with huskies and the huskies seeming to enjoy it reinforced the impression. Apparently dogs are more closely related to bears and seals than cats.

    Despite that, it shouldn't surprise anyone that dogs are good at chasing away bears. They are also good at chasing away wolves, and just look at how closely related they are to them.

    The thing I have realised about dogs is that unlike most animals, including humans, they appreciate just as much, if not more, the "character" of a being, over species. This is why almost any species can become included as part of a dog's pack. When a canis looks at a human, it will see human, but it looks further for an identity. Once found, the outer physical characteristics are not important to a dog. How else can humans be their "top dog" despite all the physical clues that the human is not one of them? A dog simply doesn't prioritise the concept of species enough. This same tendency might be part of the reason why dogs can be selectively bred extremely quickly and are changeable. Dogs are tribal, for sure, but seem to be very open minded about members of the tribe.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-11 at 05:30 AM. Reason: grammar

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    The author's trick seems to hinge on something I would not have granted to be so.

    That cows would have the faculties to decide that a distant threat is a bigger threat than the one nipping and barking right next to them.

    I would not have granted that a cow could decide such a thing would be there protecting it.

    So - other than the fact that it appears to have worked - I don't see how he can presume to know what they're thinking.

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    I often see the complaint that humans have no in telligent co-species on Earth. Seems to me that dogs do just fine filling the role. Sure, they lack speech and hands, but they make up for it with four-footed mobility and a grreat nose. And I think BigD is right on about tribal behavior.
    Last edited by John Mendenhall; 2017-Jan-11 at 01:26 AM. Reason: very funny typo, 'dof' vice 'dogs'

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    The author's trick seems to hinge on something I would not have granted to be so.

    That cows would have the faculties to decide that a distant threat is a bigger threat than the one nipping and barking right next to them.

    I would not have granted that a cow could decide such a thing would be there protecting it.

    So - other than the fact that it appears to have worked - I don't see how he can presume to know what they're thinking.
    Yes, I've wondered if that is the weakness in the plan.

    The cow's experience of working dogs, particularly breeds which they are used to, such as Border Collies and Kelpies, should be they are not kill threats. They do have memories and some limited reasoning. They know from experience that a dog barking at them or staring intently is not a kill threat. It may be disagreeable to them, but thus far from all their experiences there should not have been any life threatening attacks. Cattle dogs are bred and trained not to harm the stock which is of value to the farmer.

    The close in dogs need to be trained to apply as much pressure to gain control of the cows without panicking them ("break-aways") to think their presence alone is not a life and death matter. They need to quickly familiarise themselves with the herd to make this known.

    The more distant dog is a different story. Its behavior must give off all the signs of a death threat - all the mannerisms and behaviors that a stalker intent upon a kill displays. Its training will concentrate on the performance of these traits. But, will the cows be intelligent enough to perceive the actions of the distant black German Shepherd as wolf-like preparing for a kill? It's an open question presently, but the hope is yes, and they will do anything asked of them by the close in work dogs they are more familiar with to evade the perceived death threat.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-12 at 04:47 AM.

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    How dependent are cows on smell? If all the dogs kennel together, they might not think too much of the threatening dog because he smells friendly. He could be doing his best war dance and if he smells right, the herd might not care. If the whole play happens too often, they may learn to ignore the threat.

    I don't know much about dogs or cows.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    How dependent are cows on smell? If all the dogs kennel together, they might not think too much of the threatening dog because he smells friendly. He could be doing his best war dance and if he smells right, the herd might not care. If the whole play happens too often, they may learn to ignore the threat.

    I don't know much about dogs or cows.
    Good question though!

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    Cattle, well bovines, are very, very capable of observational learning. People unfamiliar with them don't realize that.

    That's the reason Spanish fighting bulls only ever fight one fight, even in countries where the bull isn't killed as a finish. Fighting bulls learn how to fight bullfighters very quickly.

    Oh, since bull fighting has fallen out of favor, (in the sixties and early seventies bull fights from Mexico were televised on the Spanish speaking channels ever Friday in the San Francisco Bay Area, right after Creature Features with Bob Wilkins), most of you don't know that junior bullfighters sneaking bouts of unauthorized ring time is a serious problem in bull fighting circles. In order to perform properly a bull has to be intelligent, aggressive AND inexperienced. Yes, after one extended bout of "practice" a bull will begin to ignore the cape and go for the matador.

    So positive interactions with herd dogs should be well within their intellectual capabilities.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    "Honk! Honk-honk honkity-honk!" - Marx
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    I used to keep a few cows, they recognise people for sure. I think they may have abilities close to telepathy too!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I used to keep a few cows, they recognise people for sure. I think they may have abilities close to telepathy too!
    With herd animals I think it a necessity. Maybe someone has spotted a "cow communications system" like one cow going around passing messages or a Chinese whisper fanning out, but so far I have not read about such an observation. Nonetheless, it is obvious by the way they move together communication is going on. I suppose you could argue visual cues but in my observance of cows they hardly show signs of constant observation of each other in search of those visual clues.

    "Moo Moo" and whatever tone the cow gives her "Moo Moo" is no doubt communicating, but given its lack of regularity I suspect loud Moo Moos are saved for very important notices. Cow herds might even have the equivalent of the "town crier" to make important announcements.

    As an aside, tonal communication is the key to understanding animal communication. Truth be known it is the key to understanding all social interaction of humans. In the absence of an abstract communication system which humans have, it's all in the tone for animals,. With humans this occurs even if you don't realise the information you are conveying by tone. This is one reason your dog understands you better than you do often. Doggy listens to the tone very closely, and isn't distracted by all the confusing words which humans use so haphazardly anyway.

    As another aside, tone will part of the training regime. The lower pitched instructions are those directed at the German Shepherd (wolf), the higher pitched nasally commands at the dogs in close. Both groups are accustomed to these tones by breeding. With Kelpies I've had instances of me using this tone to command one I just met. Not only did it respond to the command immediately as instructed, but it wanted to ditch its owner in favour of staying with me. The tone hit the sweet spot with all its breeding background - I was imitating the classic Australian high pitched farmer command ( think of the Confederate yell if you are familiar with US civil war history - similar but different). Whereas the Kelpie's owner never thought to use this tone with the Kelpie; he kept it as a pet, not a working dog. German Shepherds, on the other hand, a dog not associated with Australian farming, but more military type work, respond more naturally to low tones, not high ones. This is why women find it more difficult to control such breeds, unless they learn to lower tone of voice for clear commands and control like men do.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-12 at 04:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx
    I'm enjoying your contributions and their style. Please don't take this any other way than it is intended - well.

    Would not the following edit and addition give your highly entertaining footer more symmetry and punch?

    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. - Marx
    (Groucho, not the other one.)
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-12 at 04:32 AM.

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    I was just looking at that this morning!

    I was going to use that very set up on my next Groucho Marx quote! ("Those are my standards. If you don't like them, I have others...")

    Great minds think alike.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

    "Honk! Honk-honk honkity-honk!" - Marx
    (Harpo, not the other one.)

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    Need to avoid this type of thing: https://www.facebook.com/DailyMail/v...5145094545230/

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    Well, here's something you might sympathies with Mr. Lupus.

    Mind you, she was going to be 17 years old this February, but my little Buddy-dog didn't wake up today.

    She was just curled up on her pillow, gone.

    This stings more than just a little bit.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

    "Honk! Honk-honk honkity-honk!" - Marx
    (Harpo, not the other one.)

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    Sorry to hear about that BigDon and I know that it is small comfort at the moment but at least she had a long life, was loved and went peacefully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    With herd animals I think it a necessity. Maybe someone has spotted a "cow communications system" like one cow going around passing messages or a Chinese whisper fanning out, but so far I have not read about such an observation. Nonetheless, it is obvious by the way they move together communication is going on. I suppose you could argue visual cues but in my observance of cows they hardly show signs of constant observation of each other in search of those visual clues.

    "Moo Moo" and whatever tone the cow gives her "Moo Moo" is no doubt communicating, but given its lack of regularity I suspect loud Moo Moos are saved for very important notices. Cow herds might even have the equivalent of the "town crier" to make important announcements.

    As an aside, tonal communication is the key to understanding animal communication. Truth be known it is the key to understanding all social interaction of humans. In the absence of an abstract communication system which humans have, it's all in the tone for animals,. With humans this occurs even if you don't realise the information you are conveying by tone. This is one reason your dog understands you better than you do often. Doggy listens to the tone very closely, and isn't distracted by all the confusing words which humans use so haphazardly anyway.

    As another aside, tone will part of the training regime. The lower pitched instructions are those directed at the German Shepherd (wolf), the higher pitched nasally commands at the dogs in close. Both groups are accustomed to these tones by breeding. With Kelpies I've had instances of me using this tone to command one I just met. Not only did it respond to the command immediately as instructed, but it wanted to ditch its owner in favour of staying with me. The tone hit the sweet spot with all its breeding background - I was imitating the classic Australian high pitched farmer command ( think of the Confederate yell if you are familiar with US civil war history - similar but different). Whereas the Kelpie's owner never thought to use this tone with the Kelpie; he kept it as a pet, not a working dog. German Shepherds, on the other hand, a dog not associated with Australian farming, but more military type work, respond more naturally to low tones, not high ones. This is why women find it more difficult to control such breeds, unless they learn to lower tone of voice for clear commands and control like men do.
    My observation would be that a small group of cows forms a hierarchy and then communicates by body language. Here is an anecdote: in winter I used to take hay up to the 20 acre field. It was humped, so they would hear me arrive and appear over the brow with some enthusiasm. Now I should explain with a small group of beef cows, you hire a bull and you get some calves, you keep the females and castrate the males, called bullocks. After a year or so the bullocks are slaughtered, in our case by being shot by a licensed person, to minimise stress. I assure I did not mention this to the cows. But on the chosen day and before the gun man was due, I went up as usual with hay but that day they all stayed at the far side and when I went there they made it clear they had no intention of cooperating. Had to cancel and organise a lot of people to drive them sulkily up and Corral them in an enclusure. They knew!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Mind you, she was going to be 17 years old this February, but my little Buddy-dog didn't wake up today.
    Wow, so sorry to hear that, Big D. I know how tough that can be....
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Wow, it took three days to even be able to post again.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

    "Honk! Honk-honk honkity-honk!" - Marx
    (Harpo, not the other one.)

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    Don, my deepest sympathies. I've been there myself many times and it never gets easier. Remember her well and fondly.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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    Veryy sorry for the loss...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Well, here's something you might sympathies with Mr. Lupus.

    Mind you, she was going to be 17 years old this February, but my little Buddy-dog didn't wake up today.

    She was just curled up on her pillow, gone.

    This stings more than just a little bit.
    Yes, I do very much indeed.

    I lost "Alice", a 51kg red-heeler/bull mastiff cross - a gentler creature hardly walked the earth - about 6 weeks ago. She had a heart tumor and battled to the end while myself and another battled with the issue of when the time was right. On a drive back from mountain country she put her head on my shoulder briefly while I drove, collapsed in the back seat, then let out a howl as if to say goodbye and died.

    For those who have a different perspective on this great mystery we know as life, the poem I wrote for the "other" and myself might offend, however, it was a true reflection of the loss felt, if nothing else.

    "How can we recall them – distilled forever,
    Resting on grass as if it were never?
    We are content with them as they with us.
    They came, then left undoubted without fuss;
    Speechless, attentive, acutely sensitive,
    Telling no lies, utterly offenceless.
    There they go! There they are! There they will be,
    Waiting for us to pass, devotedly."
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-20 at 11:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    My observation would be that a small group of cows forms a hierarchy and then communicates by body language. Here is an anecdote: in winter I used to take hay up to the 20 acre field. It was humped, so they would hear me arrive and appear over the brow with some enthusiasm. Now I should explain with a small group of beef cows, you hire a bull and you get some calves, you keep the females and castrate the males, called bullocks. After a year or so the bullocks are slaughtered, in our case by being shot by a licensed person, to minimise stress. I assure I did not mention this to the cows. But on the chosen day and before the gun man was due, I went up as usual with hay but that day they all stayed at the far side and when I went there they made it clear they had no intention of cooperating. Had to cancel and organise a lot of people to drive them sulkily up and Corral them in an enclusure. They knew!
    That's an impressive observation.

    While I was away, I made a point of making some observations of a nearby cow herd.

    I came to the conclusion, after watching and listening the herd communicate, that:

    (1) they do communicate by tone;
    (2) engaged in conversations; and
    (3) it is quite possible that some of these tones and conversations are undetectable generally to the human ear. I concluded this when I approached a cow and calf, the calf panicked slightly, and then was reassured by its mother making an extremely low sound which I barely heard except that I was quite close.

    Anyway, the important conclusions I took away from these observations was that it was most likely the communication and structure of the cow herd is hierarchical.

    I then reflected on the differences in nature of a group of wolves and cows. The bottom line conclusion I came to was that the cow group represented a line and wolf group represented a circle. The difference between the two set ups representing yet again the way maths, particularly geometry, is universally pervasive.

    I understand wolf packs are generally thought of as hierarchical, but I disagree. One has to consider the nature of the Omega in any wolf-pack in making a circle rather than a line.

    Besides, the concept of a "pack" can never be a line. It accords more with a circle - a "package", an enclosure.

    In the relationship between pack (hunter) and herd (the hunted) we have a primeval example of binary.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Jan-21 at 11:31 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    That's an impressive observation.

    While I was away, I made a point of making some observations of a nearby cow herd.

    I came to the conclusion, after watching and listening the herd communicate, that:

    (1) they do communicate by tone;
    (2) engaged in conversations; and
    (3) it is quite possible that some of these tones and conversations are undetectable generally to the human ear. I concluded this when I approached a cow and calf, the calf panicked slightly, and then was reassured by its mother making an extremely low sound which I barely heard except that I was quite close.

    Anyway, the important conclusions I took away from these observations was that it was most likely the communication and structure of the cow herd is hierarchical.

    I then reflected on the differences in nature of a group of wolves and cows. The bottom line conclusion I came to was that the cow group represented a line and wolf group represented a circle. The difference between the two set ups representing yet again the way maths, particularly geometry, is universally pervasive.

    I understand wolf packs are generally thought of as hierarchical, but I disagree. One has to consider the nature of the Omega in any wolf-pack in making a circle rather than a line.

    Besides, the concept of a "pack" can never be a line. It accords more with a circle - a "package", an enclosure.

    In the relationship between pack (hunter) and herd (the hunted) we have a primeval example of binary.
    I can quite believe you are right about tones although I am no sure about your binary metaphor. Another cow anecdote. I was new to cows and our cows were small, Dexters and one Jersey. I discussed cow psychology with an experienced farmer. He told me they judge you by inertia, so it is important to have enough bulk. My bulk at 100kg was enough to gain respect, I could shove them and they would give way. A local farmer was much smaller and he had to use a cattle prod. I think you could feel the cow assessing whether to give way.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Nice one - plenty of good ones there. Now bookmarked. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    ...I am no sure about your binary metaphor...
    It actually wasn't being used as a metaphor unless one regards Nature's use of mathematics as one giant metaphor. I can see how that can be argued.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    My observation would be that a small group of cows forms a hierarchy and then communicates by body language. Here is an anecdote: in winter I used to take hay up to the 20 acre field. It was humped, so they would hear me arrive and appear over the brow with some enthusiasm. Now I should explain with a small group of beef cows, you hire a bull and you get some calves, you keep the females and castrate the males, called bullocks. After a year or so the bullocks are slaughtered, in our case by being shot by a licensed person, to minimise stress. I assure I did not mention this to the cows. But on the chosen day and before the gun man was due, I went up as usual with hay but that day they all stayed at the far side and when I went there they made it clear they had no intention of cooperating. Had to cancel and organise a lot of people to drive them sulkily up and Corral them in an enclusure. They knew!
    Silly question.

    Did you bring food for the bullacks that were to be shot? If not, you broke the rules and the would not come until your job was complete. Since you didn't complete the task, they were not coming to eat and harbored some ill-will towards you, which could be the cause the the next day's behavior. Some animals do have a sense of fair.
    Solfe

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    Caution: I may contain caffeine.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Silly question.

    Did you bring food for the bullacks that were to be shot? If not, you broke the rules and the would not come until your job was complete. Since you didn't complete the task, they were not coming to eat and harbored some ill-will towards you, which could be the cause the the next day's behavior. Some animals do have a sense of fair.
    Fair question but of course there was the same amount of hay every day. What amazes me is that the discussions were all at the human level using the telephone etc. Never any discussion in the field, they were on their own all day generally, extensively reared, so the different behaviour on the day was a complete surprise. How did they pick up that one bullock was due for the coup? I don't know.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Silly question.

    Did you bring food for the bullacks that were to be shot? If not, you broke the rules and the would not come until your job was complete. Since you didn't complete the task, they were not coming to eat and harbored some ill-will towards you, which could be the cause the the next day's behavior. Some animals do have a sense of fair.
    I have read about dogs sense of fair play and I think you can easily see that in Dogs . However the follow up on those cows was the next day they behaved as normal, so did they forget or were they just resigned? In general I think they forgot, they lived in the present moment and reacted to a danger they perceived somehow . Dogs however would remember.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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