flock of birds LO21864

Douglas Max (dmax@bellatlantic.net)
Tue, 08 Jun 1999 11:05:41 -0400

Replying to LO21846 --

Dear LOer,

I'm pleased to see that Leo is as interested in birds as he is caves. We
have a lot of common interests it seems!

Although I've been too busy to keep track of all the dialogue on this
subject, let me offer another thought, which, if it's off base, I
apologize in advance for.

Flocking behavior in birds and humans is also a protective mechanism. In
bird flocks (3D or 4D, depending on your orientation) it minimizes the
liklihood that an individual bird will be eaten by a predator. The
predator is either intimidated by the mass of prey, or has a harder time
picking out the weak/older--could be both, but I'm not a bird-brain, so
I'm not sure! ...grin...

"Flocking" in humans, which also is known as Groupthink in sociology,
provides the same protection for individuals. The attractiveness of a
group could be a function of the anonymity that membership in a group
provides. An "opposing" group might be warned off in seeing the mass of
common opinion. I think part of this might be a function of the
Politically Correct movement in the US. We don't care about what we say
of individuals, but as soon as we refer to a group, that group becomes a
class to be protected.

We're seeing the negotiations with Kosovo break down a little because the
UN countries and the Russian Federation aren't presenting a unified front.
Milosevic and his cronies seem to be capitalizing on the separation they
sense in this "group."

Again, apologies if this "contribution" isn't one, or was presented
earlier. But, having been an avid birder in my former (pre-parenting)
life, I thought I'd toss it into the ring.



Douglas M. Max
Managing Director
LR Communication Systems, Inc.         http://LRcom.com

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