Monkey mafia steal your stuff, then sell it back for a cracker

Brian Owens, New Scientist, Jun 05, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We like to think that certain things are uniquely human, things like language, tools, economy and culture. But we are increasingly seeing that these things are found in living beings generally. Take these monkeys in Bali, for example, who will steal your stuff, and then exchange the loot for food. This is a learned behaviour, culturally transmitted, that incorporates both economics and crime. Or take these spiders who use their webs to record information. All this says to me that whatever theory of learning and cognition we embrace has to apply not only to adult humans but to infants and animals as well. Cf. David Hume, Enquiry, Section 33, p, 28.
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