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Are humans as a species slowly going insane and heading for collapse?

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posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:04 AM
Are humans as a species slowly going insane and heading for collapse?

I like my doom porn, just like the next guy, but here I would like to pose a serious question.

Is humanity, as a species, slowly going insane?

I have read/watched a number of items referring to the "rat/mouse utopia" experiments done by John B. Calhoun from the late 40s to the 70s with both rats and mice creating "universes" with nearly "ideal" conditions for the subjects in a effort to see what would happen. What ended up happening was, in many ways, truly horrific.

His most famous experiment was "Universe 25".

How 1960s Mouse Utopias Led to Grim Predictions for Future of Humanity

ON JULY 9TH, 1968, EIGHT white mice were placed into a strange box at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Maybe “box” isn’t the right word for it; the space was more like a room, known as Universe 25, about the size of a small storage unit. The mice themselves were bright and healthy, hand-picked from the institute’s breeding stock. They were given the run of the place, which had everything they might need: food, water, climate control, hundreds of nesting boxes to choose from, and a lush floor of shredded paper and ground corn cob.

This is a far cry from a wild mouse’s life—no cats, no traps, no long winters. It’s even better than your average lab mouse’s, which is constantly interrupted by white-coated humans with scalpels or syringes. The residents of Universe 25 were mostly left alone, save for one man who would peer at them from above, and his team of similarly interested assistants. They must have thought they were the luckiest mice in the world. They couldn’t have known the truth: that within a few years, they and their descendants would all be dead.

That time a guy tried to build a utopia for mice and it all went to hell

Great care was taken to ensure the mice were taken care of, food and water was unlimited allowing mice to eat or drink whenever they pleased and there was always space and clean bedding available so females could rear young in peace and safety.

Despite this, Calhoun noticed that after day 315 of the experiment, things started to go wrong. First of all there was a noticeable drop in population growth. While initially the population of mouse heaven had doubled every 55 days, after day 315 it doubled, according to Calhoun’s notes, approximately every 145 days. This made little sense as there was still at this time ample space to house an additional 3000 mice.

In addition to a drop in population growth, Calhoun also noticed an abrupt change in behaviour in both males and females. Social bonds effectively broke down and male mice, without a reason to defend their territory or food source (since both were plentiful) became dejected, forming cliques that randomly attacked one another for seemingly no reason. Females similarly began abandoning young or even attacking them and slowly but surely, both males and females simply stopped breeding.

In the lead up to this, certain of the male mice began continually mating with whatever mouse happened to be around, be it male or female. Many of the mice also began to simply kill and eat one another, despite the abundance of other food sources; mothers abandoned babies, mice would crowd together in groups of 50 or more in pens designed to hold 15 individuals, while pens with plentiful bedding sat empty inches away.

Most intriguing of all were a small group of males and females who withdrew themselves from mouse society altogether to live in the upper levels of the enclosure that Calhoun dubbed, “The Beautiful Ones”.

These mice did nothing but sleep, eat and groom themselves (this gave them noticeably smoother looking coats which, along with their isolation meaning no scars from attacks, led to their nickname). They seemingly lost interest in all meaningful social bonds, refusing to interact or mate.

The last birth in Universe 25 took place on day 600 and from this moment, the population slowly dwindled. Even when the population receded to levels where the mice had previously flourished, they refused to breed or go back to their old way of interacting.

A few months later, all of the mice were dead. Calhoun noted that although the population had survived for many months afterwards, it had effectively died on the 315th day- the day social bonds broke down, stating: “Their spirit has died (‘the first death’). They are no longer capable of executing the more complex behaviours compatible with species survival. The species in such settings die.”

Some have tried to correlate the "mouse utopia" Behavioral Sink experiments to humanity as whole such as:

  • Isolated females that reject male are radical feminists.
  • The "beautiful ones" are metrosexual versions of MGTOWS, Volcels, and everyone who seems uninterested in female companionship (and are the counterpart of the radical feminists).
  • The isolating ones are also compared to the Hikikomori phenomenon, and also the Herbivore men, a collective term for Japanese men who prefer personal grooming and introspective pursuits instead of seeking female companionship.
  • Sporadic acts of violence caused by sexually frustrated males are like our modern mass shootings.
  • The mistreatment and neglect of the offspring runs parallel to modern bad parenting and high divorce rates.
  • Overt homosexual behavior in modern society

These could be valid conclusions, but not necessarily. There are a number of other possible explainations to the rat/mouse behavior.

  • The rats/mice instinctively knew that in such closed environment keeping their normal reproduction rate would eventually lead to problems, causing abnormal behaviors like refraining from mating or killing the offspring in abnormal numbers.
  • Lack of recreation for the rats. Scientists in the 1950s were not as aware as today of animal intelligence.The general thought was that animals just care for food and breeding and if that was provided they won't need more. Today we know that most mammals and birds require entertainment and that high levels of stress due to confinement and/or lack of recreational activities may cause neurosis and violent behavior in social animals.
  • Incest. As mentioned above the genetic diversity wasn’t the best and could lead to some pathologies.
  • Overcrowding did it. Yes of course that is a perfectly valid explanation. Similar behaviors have been observed in chickens in industrial farms for example including violent outbursts and cannibalism. Closed, crowded environments with no natural light or fresh air tend to make animals crazy (and who can blame them). In fact similar experiments were conducted in prisons (the only human environment that could be really similar) and indeed there are similarities among the prison social structures and how the rats and mice under Calhoun's experiments behave.

Some YouTube videos on the subject:

See part 2 below.

edit on 23-5-2019 by BomSquad because: formatting

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:04 AM
So, that's a lot of background information, but what am I really trying to say?
It is interesting to note the parallels between the utopia experiments and modern society, but noting the similarities does not mean that that they are a prediction of what will happen to humanity.

I look at the news today and see a lot of insanity (I don't mean clinical insanity, but the general craziness of things in the news). And I wonder if this is being caused not by abundance and overcrowding but by too much social interaction.

In a quote from Edmund Ramsden (a medical historian) about the utopia experiments The NIH Record:

“Rats may suffer from crowding; human beings can cope.", Ramdsen says. "Calhoun’s research was seen not only as questionable, but also as dangerous.”
Another researcher, Jonathan Freedman, turned to studying actual people — they were just high school and university students, but definitely human. His work suggested a different interpretation. Moral decay could arise “not from density, but from excessive social interaction,” Ramsden says. “Not all of Calhoun’s rats had gone berserk. Those who managed to control space led relatively normal lives. Striking the right balance between privacy and community, Freedman argued, would reduce social pathology. It was the unwanted unavoidable social interaction that drove even fairly social creatures mad, he believed. Culture and upbringing also play key roles in adapting to environment, others suggested.”

So perhaps it is more important for mental and spiritual health to not only have an abundance of food and shelter but also entertainment and "alone time". With the hyper-social world we live in today, could we be engineering our own downfall? Perhaps the design of our environment could be a ameliorating factor as mentioned later in the same article:

Further studies of space design seemed to prove this. One such study compared students living in two different styles of college dormitory— corridor versus a suite style. Those in the corridor perceived the environment as crowded and exhibited increased stress levels. Those in the suite style, where the dormitory was partitioned into a series of separate communal areas, fared better, even though the level of density was similar, Ramsden said. “By comparing the two, researchers were able to provide evidence both of pathology and its amelioration through more effective design.

So, in conclusion, I draw no conclusion! I put this information out here because I find it fascinating to think about. Could this be an explaination to some of the behaviors we are seeing in society today? Possibly. Does this mean we are fated to go the way of the mice in these experiments? Possibly, but unlikely.

Unlike the mice in the experiment, we can change our environment to suit our needs. We don't always know what our needs are, but experiments like this do give us a glimpse that simply having enough to eat and drink, a roof over our heads and safety from predation isn't enough to keep our society healthy. We need social interaction, but perhaps not TOO much social interaction. We need private space as well as communal space. We need things to stimulate our minds and creativity almost as much as we need food and water. When we lack these things, we suffer. When the community lacks these things, society starts to decay.

Let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

(post by spiritualarchitect removed for political trolling and baiting)

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:27 AM
a reply to: BomSquad

In order for a species to evolve, any species, it requires stressors. An organism, a species, will never grow/evolve if stressors are not applied to it.

We are becoming stagnant.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:28 AM
a reply to: BomSquad

Interesting thread OP.

I've always wondered if the constant uptick in anxiety rates were due to the quick transition humanity has experience recently. Everything about our makeup has been for us to live in tune and harmony with the natural world until we learned how to control so many aspects. The day to day life we live now is by pure design and a construct of our own making.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:30 AM
Really interesting stuff that I have never heard before. Thanks!

But to answer your question, in my opinion the answer is No.

The media may try to make it look like everyone is pro tranny kids, 3rd trimester abortions,543 Genders, living in cities with 5 sq ft per person...

All the insanities of clown world. They want you to think thats just how it is now.

Or that climate threat, or war! Or immigrants! Or whatever keeps people stuck and unhappy.

Fear not! I think more people are getting it than you think! They have even gone so far to start shutting down descending voices on social media platforms.. they will even eat their own if someone steps away from the narrative too much.

They do this because they are losing their grip.

Once no one cares anymore about being called names, or losing their fancy pants everyone else will realize it and this self destructive up is down left is right evil is good clown world will straighten itself out.

At least I hope.

(post by Vroomfondel removed for political trolling and baiting)

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:35 AM
a reply to: BomSquad

All animals living in zoo go insane, they have been separated from the natural world.

Us humans live in a zoo.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:35 AM
While biological factors are very important the fact humans can teach and learn while designing tools has created a situation where we are a sex organ for the universe and we birth ideas into existence. (Stealing a Phrase from the 1950's about humans birthing autonomous robots).

Consciousness creates a situation where reality is 1. Only knowable from an anthropic perspective. 2. Is constituted by the observer.

Some humans will understand (because of our unique brains comapritavely to most other animals) that the biological factors of forced evolution of living in a society have unintended consequences.

Another factor here is we are evolving towards cyborgs. The smart phone and accessories is the beginning and creates a module cyborg situation. We are enhanced by the rapid access to information. The neural net will be next, chip implants at birth or in utero, and genetic design and engineering are probably only 15-50 years away. This will lead to reproducing in a synthetic environment.

A factor rats don't have the ability to create.

However there very well could be unseen biological controls like in the experiments that wipe us out with disease quickly first.

We are basically at the point of creating life from cells so it's very hard to predict how nature will react to human biohybrids.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:37 AM
Great thread, thanks for posting this!! I had no idea about that mouse experiment. Fascinating! I want to read more about it, now.

I don't think it's valid to make too many parallels between the mouse experiment and society today. But we are collectively losing our minds. Society has become very narcissistic; individuals in general have become selfish and self-centered, and I do think that social media is a factor. The ability to present an image to the world of how you want to be perceived, and the build-up people get from the instantaneous "likes" and agreement from others whom they may not even know, can give people an inflated sense of themselves and their ideas.

But the echo chamber effect that the Internet can provide people with, I think that is a huge factor in our social descent into lack of care and empathy for others. We can now easily surround ourselves, online, with thousands of others who hold our same views, and get puffed up into believing how "right" we are, and with no need (seemingly) to interact with others who hold different beliefs and ideas.

The elevation of science to religion status doesn't help either. Not that science isn't a necessary foundation on which society should function, but the increasing lack of belief in a higher spiritual power, coupled with the idolization of science, is having curious effects on people and society as a whole.

Great topic!

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:42 AM
Just a reminder folks. This is not the mud pit or even a politics based forum.

The OP obviously put time, research and effort into their post - so please respect it enough not to post one line, and/or politically trollish comments.


posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:44 AM
a reply to: KansasGirl

I couldn't agree more about the echo chamber effect of the internet. I have said on here numerous times that we need to listen to opinions that are contrary to our own. The key word is listen. If we go around hearing only our own opinions on things, we cannot grow. Anyone who is so arrogant to believe they have ALL the answers, really has none.

Listening to a dissenting opinion doesn't mean you have to agree with it, either. If your opinion is so weak that listening to someone else's changes it, your opinion was probably wrong in the first place.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:47 AM


posted on May, 23 2019 @ 10:54 AM
a reply to: BomSquad

Perhaps humans are losing their tolerance to things making us weak. Note tolerance in this context isn't meant to imply being accepting of everything, but able to listen like you said with ideas, or be exposed to something without adverse reaction.

Rather than use opposition in life to balance or ground us, we try to supplement against it.

Instead of having biodiversity in our natural food supply, we have isolated and modified things so heavily we have all our eggs in that basket. Forgetting that a moderate input of local natural foods helps bolster our bodies for the area we live, possibly leading to ailments.

We live in the most consequential information renaissance the world has ever seen, but ironically as many have pointed out, we are selective with it creating the possibility we have more isolation than times prior.

I took the question as the thread as "is humanity (as a whole) going insane", I think we should also note that as our population exponentially grows, even if the whole doesn't trend in a negative direction, it could be effected by the adverse reaction by a minority.
edit on 23-5-2019 by CriticalStinker because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:00 AM
The last 50 years of our technological leap is just a sliver of human beings time on earth.

We are a social species but I believe nature intended us(our brains) to live in smaller social groups like we have for the majority of existence on earth.

Smaller is of course relative throughout time, small tribes/villages and even cities in the thousands(50-100K) are still minuscule compared to people today that have the voices of the entire world(via social media/internet) screaming at them on a daily basis.

I just think at some point it's too much for the human brain. Anecdotally I'm sure we can see the evidence of these theories by observing those that are more exposed than most. Namely those that are social media addicted and/or those in the high density population areas.

I notice that those that live away from larger populations and don't participate in social media are more likely to be more grounded. Maybe because they are living in a smaller social bubble(their community) and are in fact living more as nature(and or brains) intended.

Either way, if this is the case, we may well be doomed. Things will just keep moving forward, technologically. If the whole world wants to scream at everyone 24/7. You either listen and go insane, or shut it out and watch the world crumble around you in insanity.
edit on 23-5-2019 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-5-2019 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:06 AM
a reply to: MisterSpock

We are a social species but I believe nature intended us(our brains) to live in smaller social groups like we have for the majority of existence on earth.

Interesting addition to the conversation.

I think there is definitely something to be said for societies losing their sense and connection of community. If you look at societies that have really weathered the test of time, you're going to find strong traditions and celebration of shared culture, values, and roots.

We're seeing that dissolve in many ways, but like others have pointed out, I think the main accelerate is self isolationism people are exhibiting.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:11 AM

originally posted by: CriticalStinker
a reply to: MisterSpock

We are a social species but I believe nature intended us(our brains) to live in smaller social groups like we have for the majority of existence on earth.

Interesting addition to the conversation.

I think there is definitely something to be said for societies losing their sense and connection of community. If you look at societies that have really weathered the test of time, you're going to find strong traditions and celebration of shared culture, values, and roots.

We're seeing that dissolve in many ways, but like others have pointed out, I think the main accelerate is self isolationism people are exhibiting.

I'm sure those that are self isolating are those that are in larger communities(major cities) and those that have engulfed themselves in social media. So it's probably all interconnected.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:12 AM
Some on ATS would claim that the breakdown of the mouse religious structure and consequently the family units is the cause of societal/moral breakdowns. Mice living in paradise but the equivalent of falling from grace.

Or perhaps the stress of living under constant surveillance drove them insane.
edit on 23-5-2019 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:23 AM
My father was born in 1931, in that time we have gone from horse and buggy, to virtual reality, in 88 years

Look how much development there has been in the previous 100 years before he was born, not much changed

between 1776 and 1876 not much changed, between 1976 and 1996 (20 years) almost everything has changed

information moves at the speed of light now, you can burp in Burma and Bermuda can here it, Live.

Never before (according to current knowledge) have so many known so much so fast, so yes there are stressors never before encountered, so how the species reacts will be unprecendented.

posted on May, 23 2019 @ 11:30 AM
Reminds me of a doom day theory or porno that we might not be used to our increased life span, and that it might be a factor to our mental stability.

Technology is making things convienent, and giving us ample time to do things, but it does take away the struggle/routine in a sense. Most animals wouldn't be able to plan or make a structure with their freedom time and stimulate themselves with hobbies.

Could have to do with Atrophy, and that the lack of Chaos I guess you could say isn't keeping them sharp or keen.

I do know that if a man has worked his whole life and hasn't made any time for themselves while dreaming of retirement is sort of death wish. They don't have the drive to keep them alive sort of speak an it kills them.

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