Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 1st, 2022

Note: the idea for this article is from Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter, No. 470 —May 1, 2022

Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire.


“In July 1968, 4 pairs of mice were introduced into this habitat.

The habitat was a 9-foot (2.7 m) square metal pen with 4.5-foot-high (1.4 m) sides.

Each side had four groups of four vertical, wire mesh “tunnels.”

The “tunnels” gave access to nesting boxes, food hoppers, and water dispensers. There was no shortage of food or water or nesting material. There were no predators. The only adversity was the limit on space.

Initially, the population grew rapidly, doubling every 55 days.

The population reached 620 by day 315, after which the population growth dropped markedly, doubling only every 145 days.

The last surviving birth was on day 600, bringing the total population to a mere 2200 mice, even though the experiment setup allowed for as many as 3840 mice in terms of nesting space.

This period between day 315 and day 600 saw a breakdown in social structure and in normal social behavior.

Among the aberrations in behavior were the following:

  1. expulsion of young before weaning was complete,
  2. wounding of young,
  3. increase in homosexual behavior,
  4. inability of dominant males to maintain the defense of their territory
  5. females, aggressive behavior of females,
  6. passivity of non-dominant males with increased attacks on each other which were not defended against.

After day 600, the social breakdown continued and the population declined toward extinction.

During this period females ceased to reproduce.

Their male counterparts withdrew completely, never engaging in courtship or fighting or competition…and only engaging in tasks that were essential to their health.

The males ate, drank, slept, and groomed themselves – all solitary pursuits.

Sleek, healthy coats and an absence of scars characterized these males. They were dubbed “the beautiful ones.” Breeding never resumed and behavior patterns were permanently changed.

John B. Calhoun drew his conclusion:

The conclusions drawn from this experiment were that when all available space is taken and all social roles filled… then competition and the stresses experienced by the individuals will result in a total breakdown in complex social behaviors, ultimately resulting in the demise of the population.

Other possible conclusions:

One of the lessons you can draw from this is that human situations are no different. At our core we are animals. When things are abundant, it’s easy to get along.

When times become lean, however, our biological tendency towards self-preservation takes over.

Scarcity — real or imagined — triggers our unconscious mind to take over and react without reasoning. And when we react without reasoning we are no better than other animals.

In fact, in these moments, we’re told we are “behaving like an animal.”

Note 2: I conjecture that the purpose of this experiment is to confirm the old racist/colonial strategy for exploitation and expansion into other people communities.

Fact is, as the world population grew to about 9 billion in less than a century, aggressive behaviors are on the rise.

Far more wars and far more cruel and done with massive extermination of civilians with new war technologies (nuclear, biological, chemical, long range missiles, long range military fighter jets with deadly missiles, drones…)

Fact is there are drastic shortage of natural potable water resources and water is monopolized by a few multinationals.

Fact is Natural food resources are monopolized by multinationals and prices are increasing as new agricultural technologies were suppose to double and triple food production

We’ve been living in an era of abundance with world open trade, until now.

And this Ukraine war is beginning to question whether superpowers have changed their behavior on the ground of “National security, safety, vital spaces, vital resources…”

Apparently, we badly need to feel that the notion of saving Gaia/Earth from human aggressive attacks on its slow reproductive process is making any headway in climate change and healthy survival for all living creatures, including trees, fish, forest, polluted rivers, polluted maritime costal lines…

Tiny Thought

How people behaved over the past two years? A background is the mindset gap.

At the onset of COVID, one group of people, became paralyzed and waited.

They waited for someone else to take the lead and tell them what to do. They waited for schools to go online and figure out how to educate their kids. They waited for the government to tell them what was safe and what wasn’t. They waited for clarity. They waited for certainty. And they waited for other people to solve problems so they could continue with life.

Another group of people refused to stop living and work for a better future, while waiting optimistically.

While they might have slowed down, they kept adapting.

Inch by inch they did what they could and moved forward. They hired teachers or turned to Khan academy for their kids. They kept the expectations of themselves and their kids high. They pushed forward at work and home. They solved problems. And they learned new skills.

All the energy you put into things you can’t control comes at the expense of things you can control. 

And because they focus on what they can control, the second mindset is far more resilient and adaptable than the first. And that makes all the difference.

Note 3: Should we factor out the wealth gap in that notion?

I hear things like, “It’s easy for the rich to hire tutors and teachers and childcare and keep their kids working hard.”

Can you frankly admit that this misses the point?

Is it easy to overestimate the role of money and underestimate the role of mindset? Yes, I can, as the vast majority can.

Often, we convince ourselves that if only we had the resources, we would apply the second mindset.

The question is: How many “rich people” who inherited their wealth managed to switch to the second mind set?

But the second mindset isn’t a luxury of the rich, it is a necessity to build wealth in the first place.

When you focus on the money you miss the leverage of mindset hiding in plain sight.

A lot of people without a lot of money figured out ways to focus on what they could control.

While they didn’t control what the schools did, they did control giving their kids extra work or putting them in Khan academy.

Your mindset gets applied to life thousands of times a day. It’s at work in every interaction and every circumstance.

At the end of day one, the difference between the first and second mindset is indistinguishable but at the end of a decade, the gap is too large to catch up.

Sooner or later, you realize everything comes down to mindset.

When you focus on what you can control, there is always an action you can take to put yourself in a better position.

When you focus on things you can’t control you tend to freeze, unsure of what to do, and you wait.

The world might have paused for two years but people with the second mindset never stopped.

Rather than be mastered by circumstances they didn’t control, they mastered them.

For the past two years these two mindsets have been invisibly applied in the background.

Now that the world is opening, the gap is becoming visible.

My son’s teacher told me she’s never seen so many grade 6 kids so far behind.

I can only imagine the education loss in higher grades. At the office, if you stood still for the past two years, you were lapped by the people that didn’t stop.

The mindset gap created an outcome gap that will only compound in the next decades.

Hanna Farha


The events in our customs that are viewed pessimistically:


عودة الى الاستاذ مفيد الخوري وكتابه المرجع حول العادات والتقاليد اللبنانية القديمة..والآن لنرى مما كانوا يتشاءمون..

– …من رؤية قطيع الماعز صباحاً او مساءً(المعزا عزا)

– صوت الغراب والكلب بالمقلوب ..كلها علامات شؤم وغنذارات شر(غراب البين)

-إذا دخل الوطواط الى البيت ينذر بسفر او موت,ويجب إخراجه لا قتله وتسكير البيت.

-الهر الأعور والأسود مصيبة على أهل البيت.

– قتل الكلب او الهرة مجلبة للشر والأذيّة والموت.

– رعية الحاجب اليمين هو إنذار بقدوم مصيبة.

– إذا رعيك كفك اليمين فستدفع مصاري.

– إذا رعيك الأنف فهو علامة نحس وسماع خبر مزعج.

– طنين الأذن اليمنىعلامة شؤم ونذير سماع خبر مزعج.

– تنميل (تخدير)الرجل في الصباح إنذار بالشؤم والنحس..

– رؤية الكاهن او الراهب (صباح الشيطان ولا صباح الرهبان).

– رؤية الأجرودي الذي لا شعر في ذقنه شؤم..

– إذا تصبّحت بالأعور او الأحول او الأحلط شؤم.

– إذا لم يغطّى جرن الكبّة حلّت المصيبة في البيت.

– إذا وقعت مرآة من يد أحدهم او رأى مرآة مكسورة في طريقه تشاءم.

– يجب ان لا ينام الانسان وأبواب الخزانة مفتوحة لأن هذا يشبه التابوت وتنذر بالموت.

– يجب ان لا نهدي أحداً محارم لأنها للحزن والبكاء والمصائب..

– فتح الشمسية في البيت نحس

– على المرأة الّا تلبس الثياب السوداء إذا كان أحد أفراد العائلة مريضاً لأنه لون الموت..

– إذا مررت على نبع ماء نضبت مياهه فتشاءم..

– يجب ان لا يترك المقص مفتوحاً في البيت لأنه يأتي بالمصائب..

– يجب ان لا تقوم إمرأتان معا بتكنيس البيت ,ولا بعد سفر أحد أفراده.

– الخسارة في القمار ليلة رأس السنة تشاؤم بالسنة الجديدة..

– إذا رأيت نجماً او نيزكاً يجنح ليلاً يقولون ان أحدهم قد مات ,فهو روح صاعدة الى السماء..

– لا يكنّس البيت يوم الجمعة العظيمة وفي اسبوع الآلام..

(ملاحظة: نظراً لطول لائحة التشاؤمات,اكتفي بهذا القدر الآن والبقية تأتي لاحقاً إذا رغبتم في ذلك…)


صباح الخير

حنا حبيب فرحة


Now the list of optimistic events:

تفاءلوا بالخير..تجدوه

ما أكثر المعتقدات التي كان يتفاءل ويتشاءم بها آباؤنا والاجداد…

واليوم إخترت لكم بعضاً من الامور التي كانوا يتفاءلون بها,نقلاً عن كتاب قيم للصديق مفيد شفيق الخوري إبن بلدة” الكفير”الجنوبية ,تحت عنوان:“الكفير في حياتي,وطناً ومهجراً..

يتفاءلون :

– إذا وقع النظر على غنم (الغنم غنيمة)أبيض,

– إذا التقوا بامرأة راجعة من العين تحمل جرة ماء ملآنة.

– إذا ولد طفل وكانت ىكفه مفتوحة.

– إذا حامت حول القنديل او السراج فراشة بيضاء(بشّورة).

-إذا قامروا ليلة رأس السنة وربحوا فتكون سنة خير.

– إذا عثر أحدهم على نعلة فرس(حذوة),فتعلّق فوق الباب “خير الخير معقود بنواصي الخيل”.

– إذا أرادوا تفصيل القماش إختاروا الخميس..(الخميس فصّل وقيس)

– إذا كبّت القهوة قالوا:كب القهوة خير.

– إذا شربت من إبريق اول مرة ,أو نمت في فراش اول مرة ,ولم يقم أحد قبلك بذلك قالوا :خيراً

– إذا شاهدوا هرة تغسل وجهها او تلحسه إستبشروا خيرا بقدوم ضيف..

– إذا رعتك كف يدك اليسرى وحكّيتها,تفاءاوا بالخير والقبض.

– إذا طَنّت الأذن اليسرى إستبشروا بسماع خبرٍ سار,

– إذا رف جفن العين اليسرى أشتبشروا خيراً

– رؤية الهلال لأول مرة خير.

– يذبحون خروفاًاو جدياً على عتبة البيت عند إتمام بنائه..

– يربون السلحفاة لأنها تبعد الحسد وتأتي بالخير.

– عضّ اللسان أثناء الاكل يبشّر بالخير وبمجيء هدية.

– التصبّح بمن تحب او تهوى تفاؤل بان نهارك سيكون سعيداً

– إذا وقعت علبة الكبريت ووقفت على جانبها اعتبروا ذلك خيراً

– إذا انكسر صحن او فنجان او إبريق إعتبروا ذلك علامة خير(إنكسر الشر)

– إذا سقط سلح الطير على أحد المارة توقّع له الخير…

والى اللقاء لاحقاً ببعض ما يتشاءمون منه..


حنا حبيب فرحة





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