Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Dog In The Manger

A dog was lying in a manger on the hay which had been put there for the cattle, and when they came and tried to eat, he growled and snapped at them and wouldn't let them get at their food. "What a selfish beast," said one of them to his companions; "he can't eat himself and yet he won't let those eat who can."


  1. Instead of condemning him, they should ask him why he is akting like that...

  2. "The first man who put a fence around a piece of land and had the idea to say: This is mine! and then found people simpleminded enough to believe him, this man is the true founder of the civil society" Jean Jaques Rousseau 1755

    More than this founder, Aesop's dog reminds a usurer who put's his feet on what other people need without needing it himself. But the difference between a usurer and an honest banker is a difference of graduation, as we had to learn recently.

    Anyway, dog's are nice animals, especially in front of all those horns. It is funny to enjoy the power we get by handeling an object which another person needs or desires. When I went to school, in winter sometimes someone took my cap and started to throw it to a friend of his, and I tried to get my cap back running around.

    But this dog reminds either a person in pain, a father who takes a hostage because he has an ill child and no money and wants an expensive, life saving treatment.

    Every kidnapper fundamentally has chosen to stay in front of those pointing long horns. Yes, one should ask him "why are you doing this?"

  3. How foolish the cattle is! They shouldn´t complain and rant about the dog. Better find a strategy to eliminating the dog´s reduced rationalism! What´s about a “quid pro quo” (this for that), maybe one of the beasts know where the pantry´s kee is hidden….Or for example arranging a beauty contest, where all animals have to walk around the stable…..
    The reason for this tragic situation is a lack of information about game theory. Obviously the farmer´s wife has never been informing her stock about the nash-equilibrium. This would not be – as a matter of course – the farmer´s job. And that is not only because the dog belongs to him…..