Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage,
hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under
it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to
climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs,
spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a
while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result
- the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty
soon, when another monkey tries, the other monkeys will try
to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the
cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the
banana and goes to climb the stairs. To his horror, the
other monkeys attack him. After another attempt, he knows if
he touches the stairs he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and
replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs
and is attacked. The previous newcomer joins in the
punishment with enthusiasm! Then, replace a third monkey
with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time a
newcomer takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
Most of the monkeys beating him have no idea why they were
not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are
participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After
replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining
monkeys has ever been sprayed with cold water. Still, no
monkey ever again approaches the stairs.
Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been
done around here...
And that is how MOD policy begins.