Albert learns that deciding to sit in the park can become extremely complicated for everyone else

pigeons 2

Albert sits in the park in central London enjoying the first of the spring sunshine.  Albert likes parks almost as much as he likes libraries.  In both places he can give himself the illusion of being amongst people but without the need to speak.

Albert watches a male pigeon clumsily strutting around a female.  The female turns one way, then the other.  Albert feels sorry for her.  Then Albert wonders how she decides which way to go?  Then he wonders if pigeons ever make decisions.  It’s impossible to tell what motivates them to take a particular course of action.  Unlike people, Albert thinks.

Then he thinks again.  It’s also impossible to tell why people take a particular path.  Our explanations are just justifications after the event, stories to tell ourselves.   To what extent is the path taken genuinely chosen by any creature.  No, Albert decides, intelligence has nothing to do with it.  When it comes to decisions, he concludes, we may as well all be pigeons.

Except for Albert, of course, who is certain he has chosen to sit in the park to enjoy the first of the spring sunshine and watch the pigeons.

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