The Eight Monkeys Experiment
By Ali Cheaib - 06. October 2019
Eight monkeys are put in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling. Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, all other monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable.
Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all other monkeys set upon him and beat him up to evade the icy water. Soon, none of the 8 monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder.
One of the original monkeys is then removed and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys is doing the obvious. Undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder but the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why but he no longer attempts to climb the ladder.
A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the crap out of him. This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he’s not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. He has no clue why he’s attacking the new monkey, but he does it anyway because others are doing it.
One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them has ever been sprayed by icy water but none of them attempts to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.
And that’s precisely how traditions, religion, and ethnic profiling get established and followed. Learn how to question your reality and you’ll set yourself free.
Ali Cheaib - Independent Journalist. Author, journalist & philosopher. Best known for his book “Distribia: A Society Free of Tribalism.” linktr.ee/alicheaib