A Technical Film Report on Project Deep Ops (1972) [video]

39 points
a year ago
by areoform



If there were one thing to deduce from the ancient history of using animals in warfare, it's that the people who manage to get animals to acquiesce to helping them tended to prevail. The willingness and intention exhibited by the animals in this video is just incredibly enthusiastic.

Watching that whale check its work is like the difference between someone sounding out notes to a song as they play them and knowing it well enough to completely rock it. Some people might read about operant conditioning in school and think this is just "circus training," but actually educating another being so that it can subdue its instincts and co-operate and reason about abstractions is an incredible accomplishment. This video is essentially an example of what could be called "whale dressage," where the animal is being educated to be fit for purpose. (from the French word, "dresser", meaning to train, or to set up for a purpose.)

The argument about "circus training," vs "education" is a very old controversy in horsemanship that persists to this day as well, and it's oddly relevant to ideas about animal consciousness and ethics around what intelligent life is. Such a great program.

a year ago


It's absolutely mind blowing to think the whales will be able to do this in early 70s.

I can only wonder if what could be possible by today's hardware and monitoring techniques.

There's a Wikipedia article on marine animal training : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_mammal_training

a year ago