Blog Post

Only Humans Use Tools (O, and Octopi Too)

Today we are working out various remaining ingredients in a complex network  that spans a virtual institution primarily of academics, a prestigious foundation, two of the world's most important gaming companies, and a professional association of games---oh, and did I mention the White House and a 4.3 billion Educate to Innovate initiative?  

Our countdown clock counted down to December 14. . . and we reset it.   This is going to be an amazing new Digital Media and Learning Competition.  It is very exciting to "Reimagine Learning" when everyone in the world is welcomed in to some part of that reimagining in new relationships that redefine "learning labs" and "games."   But, well, watching that countdown clock is stressful . . .

I prefer to watch this octopus move a coconut shell across the ocean floor.  It is amazing, beautifully photographed, and quite brilliant.   Hey, Ms. Octopus--got room in that double-wide for moi?

(By the way, my title is ironic.  Many, many animals--maybe even all of them, in fact--use tools if only humans could "see" that they do.   We see tools very anthrocentrically in the same way that we hear animal "language."  Unless the animals translate it for us, we don't believe it exists.)  

Anyway, this octopus is marvelous to see.

Watch and enjoy:  


"Bizarre" Octopuses Carry Coconuts as Instant Shelters

Matt Kaplan
for National Geographic News
December 14, 2009

Octopuses have been discovered tip-toeing with coconut-shell halves suctioned to their undersides, then reassembling the halves and disappearing inside for protection or deception, a new study says.


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