What is body language? I’ve been working on an e-book concerning body language and came across this video which purportedly debunks Monty Roberts’ “Join Up” method of horse training. I’ve written about this video before but want to revisit the topic as an exercise in critical thinking.
This article demonstrates how interpreting behavior in the absence of a model leads to a defective conclusion. A model is only available by considering behavior as a function of energy (attraction) rather than intention.
I’m not speaking here about the right way to train a horse, perhaps one shouldn’t drive a horse away with a plastic bag and then about face and induce the horse to “Join Up.” But then again this experiment doesn’t do anything to elucidate that question. What’s interesting is how this experiment proves the exact opposite of the conclusions that the researchers have drawn. The researchers believe that if a remote controlled toy car can elicit the same responses from a horse that a human being can, that therefore it can’t be argued that horses are responding to the body language of the trainer given that it responds the same way to a machine that presumably has no body language. One obvious flaw in this reasoning is that we can extend this logic further to conclude that therefore when horses join up with each other, they aren’t responding to body language either and that horses are doing it as wrong as Monty Roberts.
What this experiment actually reveals is that all body language has one universal common fundamental denominator, energy, specifically the projection of force via the principles of thermodynamics and according to the laws of motion.
The one thing this plastic electric remote controlled machine has in common with an animal is that its “behavior” is a function of energy, i.e. it moves. Furthermore, it can focus this movement by pointing forward and then moving in the direction it points. When it faces and moves toward the horse, it is projecting energy at the horse. The horse experiences an increase of pressure, i.e. its stress reserves of unresolved emotion are triggered. When it directs force away from the horse, the horse experiences a decrease of this pressure. Thus in the mind of the horse the toy car conforms to the same energetic parameters which inform it about other living beings. The headlights become eyes, a predatory aspect, and its body with an internal vibration that by moving away can thereby reduce the pressure caused by the predatory aspect becomes the preyful aspect in emotional counterbalance to the predatory aspect. The horse recognizes its “self” in the toy car because of Newton’s third law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When the horse can apply this law to the toy car, it is able to overcome the gap it causes in its consciousness which depends on a continuous sense of movement. It can thus connect the car’s front-end-to-its-hind-end and thus compute a feeling for it because its unresolved emotion is grounded into the cars’ “hind end,” i.e. that which reduces sensations of pressure. This is the principle of emotional conductivity, the operating system of animal consciousness.
The horse is attracted to the toy car because at rock bottom, fear is energy and all energy works as a “force” of attraction. The toy car becomes an object of attraction (attracting both emotion via preyful aspect and stress via predatory aspect) and thus conforms to the standard of a living being. The toy is capable of triggering the horse’s emotional battery which is full of the unresolved emotion it has experienced with other horses, as well as dogs, cats, sheep, cows and human beings. Because the interaction between horse and toy car elaborates through an increase and decrease of pressure, i.e. a wave form, it is thereby elaborating according to the very same template that all feelings relative to all other living beings with whom it has relationships with elaborates upon. In the horses’ body/mind, the toy car IS a living being. Its head bone is connected to its tail bone by way of a feeling. This experiment proves the opposite of the conclusions drawn from it because the researchers are erroneously interpreting animal behavior through the lens of intention rather than attraction.
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Terrific. I suspect that once the designers of the robotic dogs (also “toys”) that you previously posted add an artificial intelligence program to mimic behavior, they will wind up with the same conclusion – that a thermodynamic model will produce the most natural self-organizing “behaviors” sans neurochemicals or cognition modules. Perhaps A.I. will be the proving ground for NDT rather than psychology/biology where the minds are too deeply vested.
Very well said, thanks. Actually about 15 years ago I wrote to some robotic engineers suggesting that they could embed a gyro, magneto, battery, compass in a robot and with the right feedback loops (for example the battery would increase in charge with contact, not deplete) mimic self-organizing animal collective behavior without any programming whatsoever. One receptionist was very impressed with my idea but I couldn’t seem to penetrate beyond that. Nevertheless I predict that this is on the horizon.
This is a really good example of proof of your principles Kevin. For me the description is even simpler! You say ‘ in the horses body/mind the car IS a living being’ and talk about the resulting movement of the horse being affected by the car. I would say the horse KNOWS the toy car for what it is, a concentration of energy, and responds as nature (or physics) dictates. I wonder if it would be possible to recreate the experiments using only increased, directed energy from the ‘car’ with no visual signs of physical movement and create the same behaviour in the horse?