toastthefuture

The future as at best a haze. We can make or break it. My rants, visions, ideas and dreams hope to make a better future. Lets learn to live a better life. Raise your glasses (no it doesnt have to be alcohol - I am using orange juice!), and toast the future!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Truly Amazing Experience - A Flocking Urge

Now, this experience struck me as worth blogging, on my somewhat neglected blog (I know, I know - but I have other stuff to do than tell you every sordid and probably quite boring detail of my life).

I was standing in a London park, specifically near Lancaster Gate, at a green in front of the fountains/pools that eventually lead to a balcony overlooking what I think is the serpentine . A flock of birds had alighted behind me on the pavement, which was clear for a moment, and they were quite clearly scavenging for food. Eventually, someone starts walking the path, and the birds up and flock.

Right around my head. And that, was a very, very weird experience indeed, as for a moment as the flock passed me, there was a forceful, almost overwhelming urge to turn in the direction they were headed and run. Not like a mere "I would like to do that", but a compulsion that I felt was not my own.

Do flocking birds have some kind of telepathic consensus? It sounds barmy to me. Although it is possible that a tuned circuit could be created in the neural pathways of a brain, it has never been proven. But that one species could influence another in this way sounds even more likely, especially those from such biological different branches.

I cannot explain this, and would love to hear from others. How is it birds do fly with such precision, in flock, in formation? How do they communicate when flying at speed, where sound is likely to be snapped away, or do they "communicate" in the conventional sense at all, and just behave like a loosely networked hive mind, a cluster of thinking elements (or motes) with a shared objective?

I will point out that I am teetotal. I do not take drugs. I happily eat meats, and do not attempt any odd dietary habits apart from trying to steer clear of bananoffee pie (that stuff is both wonderful and dangerously sugary). I was only in the park to wander around, and sit and read a book in a quiet area of shade, and eventually meet with some friends.

I probably would not have blogged this (which occurred a few months ago) had I not noticed the following: NKisi Project. I came across the site after reading up on the recent BBC Horizon program regarding chimps and people. And it really made me think, maybe I should not discount the experience at all. After all - the NKisi people do say they carried out a double blind test. Maybe birds possess some functions we do not.

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