How do hamsters outsmart humans?

For those who came in late, this is Joan.

Born to Run

Most of the signs – particularly the signs she leaves in her food bowl – suggest that Joan is less intelligent than her owners. She’s a couple of orders of magnitude weaker. And yet, Joan has escaped from captivity on several occasions and will probably continue to do so from time to time. How does she do it?

Asymmetric Warfur

Joan…Joan’s Owners…
– has fur in the game and is desperate to explore;– are moderately serious about keeping Joan contained;
– is singlemindedly focused on escape;– are thinking of many things and easily distracted;
– systematically probes for weaknesses;– are somewhat lackadaisical in constructing barriers;
– is ever watchful for opportunities– are benignly negligent;
– acts alone and makes quick decisions;– distribute responsibility for Joan among the group, lack clear roles and accountability;
– is small, and alert to small possibilities;– are large creatures trying to close tiny gaps;
– only needs to find one gap every so often;– have to close every gap, every day;
– concentrates the strength she has to make small gaps just a little bit bigger;– find it inconvenient to regularly check what she’s up to;
– gives it all she’s got– work within clear limits (want to keep hamster alive and thriving; will not build permanent hamster enclosure that takes up half the room; will not seal hamster in concrete; will not glue hamster to ceiling…)
– will be back tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that;– might be tired tomorrow, or in a hurry the next day, or forgetful the day after that;
– is a professional– are dilettantes

Beware the determined local actor. Be one. Find others who want the same things as you.

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