When it is time to handle cattle for treatment or sorting or whatever, there is a sequence of moves to be carried out. First the herd is brought in from pasture. The easiest way is chosen, and this is made easier so far as the cattle can be made to think it is their idea. The human handler needs to have his mind engaged. When the herd makes it to the yard, they land in a lot which is much smaller than the pasture paddock, and with more substantial fences. After a calming five minutes or so, another gate is opened and the cattle are allowed to drift into an area close to the handling. By this time the cattle are mostly moving themselves. The fences and gates grow more substantial as they progress and if the handler understands them well, they grow calmer as well.
After another passage of time, they are brought slowly around a corner to land in a well fenced box. The handler knows the cattle have a built in tendency to circle around him at a certain distance. From there they will be brought up in the box, a few at a time, toward where they entered and calmly squeezed with a gate in a rough semi-circle until one of their number steps into the approach chute, which features seven foot solid plank walls. The rest follow. One at a time, they get to the working, or squeeze chute and put their heads into the headgate, where whatever procedure is needed can be carried out.
Is it just me, or is this a pretty good description of what is happening to us humans sponsored by Silicon Valley and Amazon? Our situation gets tighter all the time, more under control. Ownership is being centralized, on the farm and everywhere else. All repair work is being abolished in favor of planned obsolescence. Local retail is being put out of business, first by Wal Mart and Menards and Home Depot, and now by Amazon. Soon the package delivery services and the Post Office they have crippled over the years will be owned and/or controlled by Amazon. And like the cattle we keep stepping along, thinking we have a myriad of choices. It is past time to ask what people are for. The headgate is looming just ahead.