'Scottish' Cats; Logic

From: Graham J Robinson (gjr@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Tue 07 Mar 2000 - 16:07:14 EET

I've been away for the last week, and am only slowly catching up with the
digest, so sorry for the late replies...

Jeff wrote :
>Probably. But they do differer from the RL lynx considerably --
>certainly in dexterity. What about that cat they are finding on the
>moors in Scotland recently? If nothing else, they ARE hard to find...

I assume this the infamous 'beast of bodmin moor' rather than the scottish
wild cat. If the latter, we are of course talking about a vicious
flat-headed tabby - but not spectacularly different from the cats who live
with me.

Skipping over the fact that the cats are in southwest england, not
scotland, they are ahrd to say much about. The evidence for their
existence so far is some corpses that SOME people claim isn't dogs -
others disagree - and some obscure sightings. The photos, etc. taken so
far make it difficult to even size them, although some appear to sceptical
me to be perfectly normal, black house cats. Until someone actually comes
up with real evidence - dung, tracks, hair, a living specimen - most of us
will remain sceptical.

If they do exist, the black panther would seem favourite for species.

>>Logic, common sense, cultural values are all things that people assume are
>>universal and they aren't. They aren't.
>Very true -- there was an interesting article about this in Science
>News recently. Researchers asked a question like "All bears north of
>the arctic circle are white. Jon saw a bear while north of the arctic
>circle. What color was the bear?" A westerner would answer, "White,"
>but Siberian nomads would all say, "I don't know, why don't you ask
>Jon?" Interesting roleplaying challenge!


I've come across similar results reported for studies in Kenya, among the
Masai. Appears that it is us westerners who are in the minority - we are
the only ones trained to play these word games.


- --
Graham Robinson. Dept. Computing Science, Glasgow.
gjr@dcs.gla.ac.uk http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~gjr

Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have
ample wages, but truth goes a-begging.
        Martin Luther


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