Mouse Utopia Experiment

In the 1950’s John Calhoun decided to set up the perfect environment for a colony of mice. Everything that the little rodents could possibly ever wish for was provided for. However, as the experiment progresses, things take a turn for the worst. The conclusion of this experiment is both somber as well as terrifying. Is there anything to learn from this experiment for us as human beings?

We would like to imagine that if us as a species, the human species, ever eradicates things such as hunger and war, that life would turn into paradise on earth. If there is anything to learn from this experiment is that there are forces in play that we do not fully understand. Though a utopian society sounds ideal, we have no idea how such a society would play itself out.

Many of the richest industrialized nations report a low birth rate. Everyday life has grown in complexity from that which our forefathers experienced. Though we are surrounded by luxury and comfort, it is difficult to assert that as a species we are any better off in our existential experience of life. What we think we want is not the same as what is good for us. Plato covers this in the dialogue of the Gorgias when facing off against Polus in their discussion of power.

You can find more information about this experiment here.