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No news is the best news?


Ten years ago, I was a difficult teenager and regularly got into some dubious stories. For example, once I was a Saturday cloudy evening in the deserted city of Priozersk without a penny in my pocket, and I urgently needed to buy medicine. I have not found anything better than asking for money from passersby. But if in Moscow or in St. Petersburg, informal young people who shoot ten rubles are treated with benevolent indifference, then in provincial Priozersk I aroused lively curiosity among the respondents. The person who added the missing amount to me did not lose interest to me, contrary to expectations, but, on the contrary, proceeded to the pharmacy with me, observed how I made purchases, and then, when we left this pharmacy and I finally accepted my pill, hinted that it would be nice now to pay, namely, retire to the nearest bushes and have sex there.
I was very surprised. In my opinion, the thirty rubles borrowed by this man were absolutely not worth the reward. Therefore, I tried to gently refuse, but in response my interlocutor showed that he had a chainsaw with him. And he added that I, in fact, have only two options: have sex or be cut into pieces. I, frankly, did not suit both, but I regarded the chances of escape as dubious (physical fitness was never my strong side), but there was absolutely no one to call for help: in the city of Priozersk at nine o'clock in the evening a deep night comes and there is no literally not a soul. So I had to say that I didn’t refuse to, but, as a decent person, I wanted to first take a walk and chat. And we began to cut circles in the city, and I made sure that these wanderings led us to the railway station: I naively hoped that there would be police, but alas - there is not a single policeman at Priozersk railway station, but there is only an unlit park with on the one hand, the dump on the other, the railway depot on the third and overgrown by the river from the fourth. And in the middle - a tiny, lit asphalt patch, on which we made a new acquaintance and circled for the next three hours: he came to me, I was from him.
And all these three hours, without pausing for a second and controlling the timbre of his voice, so that he would not be frightened, I supported small talk. Every time when my interlocutor recalled that he was wasting time here and it was time to turn on the chainsaw and drive me into the undergrowth, I replied: “Wait, I didn’t have time to finish telling you another cool thing!” I was awakened by politeness for reasons, and he said: “Well, let's tell it quickly.” The most ridiculous circumstance is that all this time I was only talking about biology. However, this is logical: I, apart from her, still do not know anything enough to broadcast non-stop for three hours. During this time I managed to explain to my interlocutor (mostly I turned to the chainsaw, of course) the entire systematics of the living world; my enemy even divided my sincere indignation that the protists are a garbage heap, in which the unicellular ancestors of fungi, the ancestors of plants and the ancestors of animals were dumped. I outlined all the photosynthesis reactions, without missing either nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate or ribulose phosphate carboxylase - it is hardly possible to repeat this feat in the absence of a chainsaw! - and my interlocutor was seriously inspired by the new fact for him that the plants, it turns out, feed only on water (with dissolved minerals) and carbon dioxide and themselves build all of their proteins, fats and carbohydrates from them. And at that moment, when I was going to move from biochemistry to the structure and operation of the human nervous system (you can easily talk about this all night!), People who met the last midnight train from St. Petersburg, including a flock of local workers, finally arrived at the station. youth with plastic bottles of beer. They watched us from afar for some time, and then asked: “Girl, help you?” “Yes !!!” - I squealed, rushed to them and was saved: my unfortunate fan waved the chainsaw, quarreled and even went into the night, the boys threw a jacket on me, gave me their disgusting beer, calmed me down and put me on the very midnight train that took me to the forest with friends.
But if I still had to give a chainsaw lecture also on higher nervous activity, then it would be worth starting, of course, with stress and ways of reacting to it. The fact is that the above story is a good example of biased activity. I absolutely did not have any thought-out plan of salvation, I did not try to arrange the interlocutor to break the pattern, and not even consciously wasting time. I simply had no idea what to do in this situation, and so I unconsciously chose the most familiar form of behavior for me: talk of biology. All animals in difficult situations do the same - however, usually their behavior is simpler.
The concept of displaced activity was first introduced by the classic of ethology, Nicolas Tinbergen. He cites the example of fighting birds, which, not knowing who wins a fight, can suddenly stop it - temporarily or permanently - and do something completely outside. Tinbergen, in particular, observed the larks who, in the midst of a battle, begin to look for food on the ground; starlings and drakes, who pause in a fight to clean feathers, and then pounce on each other with the same fervor; silver gulls, which immediately before the attack begin to pick up material for the nest from the ground - then, gathering their courage, throw these branches off and attack the opponent, and right after that, to calm down, they fly on to collect sprigs, although there may not be any nest nearby .
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No news is the best news?

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