The Cultures of Failure and Death, Part 3

Continued from The Cultures of Failure and Death, Part 1 and The Cultures of Failure and Death, Part 2

Even after the experiment was over, the mice showed what appeared to be permanent changes. Mr. Merrill took the mice to a pet store to sell them. The group of mice that had heard classical music and the control group of mice rode in groups to the pet store (remember that they had been separated earlier). These mice got along well together for that period of time it took Mr. Merrill to drive to the pet store. Not so with the group of mice that had heard Anthrax.

Mr. Merrill found these mice so hostile that he ended up giving them a week of silence to see if it would help their sociability. Eventually he even played classical music to them. After some time, Mr. Merrill was able to group them and drive them to the pet store, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience; however, all the mice survived the trip.

So, what we conclude from this is: the type of music mice listen to has permanent effects on their ability to learn, as well as their ability to socialize, and their level of aggressiveness. Many people argue that this is not applicable to humans. It is argued that one can’t generalize from plants, or mice, to humans because research shows that music’s effects on humans is influenced by whether it is the genre of their choice. However, those of us with pets and plants know that they both have ways of telling us what they like and don’t like, and anyone who doesn’t think that animals have musical preferences has not had a cat that sulked if it missed Oprah.

Others will argue that humans can reason, and animals can’t. Well, again, they’ve never had a pet that figured out how door locks work. Animals are smart and rational, all right. In fact, humans share 98% of their DNA with frogs. It’s not a coincidence that laboratory experiments are commonly run on rats and mice–over time, they’ve proven to be fairly reliable predictors of how humans will react to the same stimulus, be it a drug, a food, music, or anything else. Laboratories wouldn’t use rats and mice for experiments otherwise, because it wouldn’t be profitable.

So we can be fairly safe in assuming that what applies to these mice, in some way applies to us.

And now do you think I’m exaggerating for effect?

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