Behavioral Sink

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John B Calhoun set about creating a series of experiments that would essentially cater to every need of rodents, and then track the effect on the population over time. The most infamous of the experiments was named, quite dramatically, Universe 25. Youtube Link here.

In this study, he took four breeding pairs of mice and placed them inside a “utopia”. The environment was designed to eliminate problems that would lead to mortality in the wild. They could access limitless food via 16 food hoppers, accessed via tunnels, which would feed up to 25 mice at a time, as well as water bottles just above. Nesting material was provided. The weather was kept at 68°F (20°C), which for those of you who aren’t mice is the perfect mouse temperature. The mice were chosen for their health, obtained from the National Institutes of Health breeding colony. Extreme precautions were taken to stop any disease from entering the universe.

As well as this, no predators were present in the utopia, which sort of stands to reason. It’s not often something is described as a “utopia, but also there were lions there picking us all off one by one”.

The experiment began, and as you’d expect, the mice used the time that would usually be wasted in foraging for food and shelter for having excessive amounts of sexual intercourse. About every 55 days, the population doubled as the mice filled the most desirable space within the pen, where access to the food tunnels was of ease.

When the population hit 620, that slowed to doubling around every 145 days, as the mouse society began to hit problems. The mice split off into groups, and those that could not find a role in these groups found themselves with nowhere to go.

“In the normal course of events in a natural ecological setting somewhat more young survive to maturity than are necessary to replace their dying or senescent established associates,”  “The excess that finds no social niches, emigrate.” (in the modern world the destination of choice is the USA where a check for $450K and cradle to grave welfare & free housing awaits so long as you vote for the democrat of your choice)

Here, the “excess” could not emigrate, for there was nowhere else to go. The mice that found themself with no social role to fill – there are only so many head-mouse roles, and the utopia was in no need of a Ratatouille-esque chef – became isolated.

“Males who failed withdrew physically and psychologically; they became very inactive and aggregated in large pools near the center of the floor of the universe. From this point on they no longer initiated interaction with their established associates, nor did their behavior elicit attack by territorial males,” read the paper. “Even so, they became characterized by many wounds and much scar tissue as a result of attacks by other withdrawn males.”

The withdrawn males would not respond during attacks, lying there immobile. Later on, they would attack others in the same pattern. The female counterparts of these isolated males withdrew as well. Some mice spent their days preening themselves, shunning mating, and never engaging in fighting. Due to this they had excellent fur coats, and were dubbed, somewhat disconcertingly, the “beautiful ones”.

The breakdown of usual mouse behavior wasn’t just limited to the outsiders. The “alpha male” mice became extremely aggressive, attacking others with no motivation or gain for themselves, and regularly raped both males and females. Violent encounters sometimes ended in mouse-on-mouse cannibalism. (It sounds a lot like Democrat strongholds in 2021)

Despite – or perhaps because – their every need was being catered for, mothers would abandon their young or merely just forget about them entirely, leaving them to fend for themselves. The mother mice also became aggressive towards trespassers to their nests, with males that would normally fill this role banished to other parts of the utopia. This aggression spilled over, and the mothers would regularly kill their young. Infant mortality in some territories of the utopia reached 90 percent.

This was all during the first phase of the downfall of the “utopia”. In the phase, Calhoun termed the “second death”, whatever young mice survived the attacks from their mothers and others would grow up around these unusual mouse behaviors. As a result, they never learned usual mice behaviors and many showed little or any interest in mating, preferring to eat and preen themselves, alone.

The population peaked at 2,200 – short of the actual 3,000-mouse capacity of the “universe” – and from there came the decline. Many of the mice weren’t interested in breeding and retired to the upper decks of the enclosure, while the others formed into violent gangs below, which would regularly attack and cannibalize other groups as well as their own. The low birth rate and high infant mortality combined with the violence, and soon the entire colony was extinct. During the mousepocalypse, food remained ample, and their every need was completely met.

Calhoun termed what he saw as the cause of the collapse “behavioral sink”.

“For an animal as simple as a mouse, the most complex behaviors involve the interrelated set of courtship, maternal care, territorial defence and hierarchical intragroup and intergroup social organization,” he concluded in his study.

“When behaviors related to these functions fail to mature, there is no development of social organization and no reproduction. As in the case of my study reported above, all members of the population will age and eventually die. The species will die out.”

He believed that the mouse experiment may also apply to humans, and warned of a day where all our needs are met.

“For an animal so complex as man, there is no logical reason why a comparable sequence of events should not also lead to species extinction. If opportunities for role fulfillment fall far short of the demand by those capable of filling roles, and having expectancies to do so, only violence and disruption of social organization can follow.”


I think about this study every time I think of those hive cities that the democrats all advocate that we live in. Huxley’s Brave New World is a roadmap to extinction. Of course, fleshing out the plan, the elites (philosopher princes like Al Gore and AOC) will live in spacious estates in wine country with servants, savage armed guards, high walls, private runways for their executive jets, and chauffeurs for their Bentleys.

18 thoughts on “Behavioral Sink

  1. How poignant. In some respects, we are already there. Just look at how so many people use their idle time. Of course, as far as elites are concerned, the ultimate goal is all about the last paragraph.

      1. Hey+Booms, I think that it is happening. You don’t have to look hard to see it. I think that’s why the study is so interesting.

        Ed, they’re just like the mice.

  2. Appears to start with the death of the alpha male…decades of easy divorce that excludes fathers is largely to blame. Males who spend far too much time preening – with the ubiquitous use of “product”, and more interest in unserious “guy” pursuits with other guys – has led to fewer serious men. Boys are not being taught to be men, and immaturity prevails. And – generally speaking – younger gals don’t seem to mind, not having been taught they are the gatekeepers as God designed; what they demand, or not, from their male counterparts is what they will get.

      1. Not to get too deep into the weeds here…I don’t get it [“that” pursuit], maybe showing my more seasoned age where ones desire was to become a man and shed “childish things” (1Cor13:11). Maybe it’s that “lovers of self” thing run amok.

  3. I did not know about that experiment. Thanks. It brings to mind this–

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    More here–

  4. Moustopia is scary for sure, read about it years ago. Dems and Rinos. Seemed determined to bring it to us all.
    Off topic but has anyone else seen the story on the Mojave war games where the US Marines got their ass handed to them by the Royal Marines . I didn’t read much past the top paragraph , too depressing , looks really bad.

    1. Caveat: I read the article. I’ve been to The Stumps (29 Palms). I was seconded to 42 Commando for 12 months many years ago while a US Navy officer.

      The Royal Dutch Naval Infantry/Marines were also involved in the war games you mentioned. War games aren’t a paintball game – the scenarios are scripted. I’m sure that the Royal Navy accounted very well for itself. They’re solid men, well trained, but the fact that the US contingent surrendered does not necessarily reflect badly on them.

      There are currently 8,000 UK Royal Marines (total), 40 Commando, the unit in question has 8 battalions (400 men each) for a total of about 3,200. I think that there were 1 or 2 battalions in the exercise, so 800.
      There are 82,000 in the entire UK Army (total)
      There are currently 2,300 Royal Netherlands Marines (total)
      There are currently 181,000 US Marines (total)
      Of marines, 1,500 are attached to the Raider Regiment (USMC Special Forces)
      There are currently 2,500 US Navy SEALs and another 600 SWCC (small boat crewmen)

      You can say, “so what”, but the USMC is more than twice as large as the British Army and Royal Marines combined. So as forces, missions, etc. you’re really talking apples and oranges.

      The Dutch Marines are also quite good. They’re small and are usually brigade with other marine units in NATO but they train actively, are well equipped for their mission, etc.

      1. One more size comparison. The Bundeswehr (German Army) is almost the exact size of the US Marine Corps.

  5. And there’s the thing, they eat each other. Excellent parable.

    That in mind, is there a way out of mouse trap? I call Divine intervention.

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