Behavioral Sink: The Mouse Utopia Experiments
In 1972, John B. Calhoun built an utopia for mice. Every aspect of Universe 25, as this particular model was called, was designed to cater for the well-being of its rodent residents, increase their lifespan, and allow them to mate. It was not the first time the ethologist had built a world for rodents. Colhoun had been creating utopian environments for rats and mice since the 1940s, with consistent results: overpopulation leads to explosive violence and hypersexual activity, followed by asexuality, self-destruction, and extinction.
READ THE PAPER
“Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun & Their Cultural Influence,” from Edmund Ramsden & Jon Adams : http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22514/ or http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22514/1/2308Ramadams.pdf
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Script: Edmund Ramsden & Jon Adams
Editor: Will Wiles, a London-based author and journalist
Screenplay: Jonas Koblin
Artist: Pascal Gaggelli
Voice: Matt Abbott
Editing: Peera Lertsukittipongsa
Sound Design: Miguel Ojeda
Fact Checking: Ludovico Saint Amour di Chanaz
Production: Selina Bador
Toys Are Alive – Studio Le Bus
Terror Avenue – Jack Pierce
Divine Masquerade – Jack Pierce
DIG DEEPER with these top videos, games and resources:
Watch Soylent Green, 1973. The film depicts a futuristic society in which overpopulation is so catastrophic and food in such short supply that the populace survives on rations of the titular food product, which turns out to be made from processed human flesh.
Watch Snowpiercer (Netflix, 2020) depicting a society in a train where population has to be controlled and the ecosystem rests on a very thin equilibrium.
Read about Behavioral Sink on Longreads
Read about the life and work of John B Calhoun
Edmund Ramsden & Jon Adams, “Escaping the Laboratory: The Rodent Experiments of John B. Calhoun & Their Cultural Influence,” The Journal of Social History, vol. 42, no. 3 (2009). Available as a working paper at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22514/ or http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22514/1/2308Ramadams.pdf
The Behavioral Sink, the mouse universes of John B. Calhoun by Will Wiles
Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Population
John B. Calhoun, “Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population,” in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, vol. 66 (January 1973), pp. 80–88. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1644264.
John B. Calhoun, “Population Density and Social Pathology,” Scientific American, vol. 206, no. 2 (February 1962), pp. 139–150. Available at http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1963-02809-001
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00:11 Universe 25 experiment
00:51 Beginning of experiment
01:18 Population growth
02:25 Population peaks
02:59 The last conception
04:10 Behavioral sink
04:56 What do you think?
05:26 Patrons credits
#sproutsschools, #universe25, #behavior, #utopia