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Recent Primate Programming Article of Interest in the Press


In The News: Intelligent Apes Play Aggressive Poker Online. Article provides detail on poker playing activity of Primate Programming Inc staff, games played, winning performance, and the role of animal instinct in high-stakes, no-limit poker tournament competitions online.


Research: Non-human Primates can learn without language. From the report:"A newly-published study demonstrates that monkeys have significantly higher thinking skills than previously shown."

Research: The Evolution of Primate Intelligence The primer on IT intelligence in primates. From the study: "The study of the evolution of primate intelligence is still in its infancy."

Research: The Social Intelligence of Higher Primates An excellent report on the how's and why's of teams of IT primates. From the research: "I argue that a tight, concise theory of social cognition, such as script theory, is needed to explain the rapid learning and social guile seen in primates. It also has the benefits of simplicity and testability."

Report: Higher Primates Can Program After VB.NET Training The article that reported the groundbreaking research on primate programming potential. This article launched the primate programming industry.

Exclusive Interview: Exclusive Interview: The Interview with Founder Mark Bajek. Primate Programming Pioneer Mark Bajek is acknowledged as a great entrepreneur and the world's Primate Programming pioneer-- and spokesman. His company, Primate Programming Inc, received 10 million in first round financing in 2003 from 5 prominent VC firms. His clients now include many of the Fortune 500.

Linking To Us: The Primate Programming revolution is just starting. Link to PPI !! Obtain the official PPI link HTML and get the PPI Link Guidelines here.

DATE: Saturday, 08/16/2003


Ima Toole
Public Relations Director
Primate Programming Inc
One Primate Way
Des Moines, IA 50301
203 915 7248
Email: PrimateProgramming@Yahoo.com


Mark Bajek, the CEO of PPI who took the startup from concept to profitable, 30 million+ annual revenues in less than 18 months, will be stepping down as CEO effective November 1 to pursue personal goals.

PPI has already begun an executive search and will announce Bajeks’s successor very soon.

“My decision to leave PPI comes at an end point for this stage of the company’s growth,” said Mr. Bajek. “I believe that the next chapter of the PPI story is best written by a CEO with experience piloting a company of PPI’s size, growth rate and industry potential.”

Bajek will receive a severance package and remain on the Board of Directors of PPI. He will also help manage the CEO candidate selection and transition process.


Higher Primates Can Program After VB.NET Training (reprinted by permission)
Smarter Software Leads to ‘Primate Programming’ Research

SAN DIEGO, CA — Here by the San Diego zoo, experiments last month with baboons have proved that higher primates can perform software testing, traverse complex menus, and code simple XML schemas. The finding have implications for the entire software industry, with some scientists predicting routine programming such as maintenance and report writing will be performed by teams of primates within 10 years. McAuliffe’s work builds on research conducted in 2003 at several research universities. This university research supports the view that higher primates can learn language and perform complex cognitive tasks.

Dr. James McAuliffe of the Stamford school of Zoology performed a series of experiments on the baboons using laptop computers. What he discovered was amazing. His findings were reported in the Journal of American Zoology this month.

Researcher Dr. James McAuliffe found that baboons could use and test software, and perform simple programming tasks. The results were published recently in the Journal of American Zoology.

“Baboons and chimpanzees can use computers, do software testing, and even program,” explained Dr. McAuliffe. But they had some problems handling simple menu navigation. “Higher primates are very intelligent, but we found that they had problems with deeply nested menus. We found that these animals had trouble with multi-way branches beyond 2 levels. At first, these primates simply could not repeat a multi-way menu navigation.”

“However, when male baboons were shown multi-way branches leading to certain GIF, JPG and BMP images of interest, we found the male animals could quickly navigate and recall up to seven levels of deep menu nesting, with each level containing up to 27 menu items.”
According to McAuliffe, “that’s about 35 million possible paths. Clearly, the experimental menu navigation results, if repeatable, cannot be random.”
After simple training in Windows® menu navigation, McAuliffe presented the baboons with modern development tools. Predictably, they were baffled by anything to do with modern Java IDEs such as SunONE®, Visual Age® and Jbuilder®. None of the animals understood the Java programming language, even the ‘alpha’ animals.

However, most subjects immediately understood Visual Basic 3.0, and even displayed some comprehension of the VB3 debugger and simple VB data types. Most subjects could change properties of custom controls in the Properties window, and displayed some understanding of advanced concepts such as read-only properties.

Humans and higher primates share approximately 97% of their DNA in common. Recent research in primate programming suggests computing is a task that most higher primates can easily perform. Visual Basic 6.0 ™ was the preferred IDE for the majority of experiment primate subjects.
Some researchers observing the experiments commented that Visual Basic 3.0 was “way too easy for these baboons” to learn, and pushed for more Java testing. These researchers, who spoke anonymously, wanted to test the limits of what the subjects could understand and learn about software development tasks.

McAuliffe discovered the subject baboon behavior did not include the sharing of source code. In fact, many subjects were territorial, in some cases blocking the progress of other animals, with aggressive and subtle passive-aggressive behaviors. Males who could manipulate the laptop keyboard and traverse complex, multi-way menus gained an immediate increase in social status within the group. This led to some social friction, as more knowledgeable males enjoyed higher social status at the expense of then-alpha, more physical males. None of the baboons, regardless of rank, could perform an error-free compile or handle Windows registry tasks.

Test subjects with the best results were baboons and bonobo apes. Both primate species demonstrated stressful behaviors when presented with Java tools and utilities.

Research by scientists suggests that higher primates represent certain kinds of knowledge internally by discrete symbol structures, called scripts. This research tends to support the hypothesis that primates can program. Other scientific research also supports the idea that primates may be used for routine programming, such as maintenance and report writing, within 10 years.

The implications of McAuliffe’s work has wide scope, and may effect software developer education, open source programming, H1-B visas, and commercial software testing. The research is already making waves in the business community. Some early adopters-- and even some venture capitalists-- are funding business models based on primate programming. It remains to be seen how effective the exploitation of this research will be in the marketplace. Monkey see, monkey do.

Future experiments are scheduled to test distributed primate programming and report writing tasks. The results will be published in the Journal of American Zoology in October of 2003.


Interview with Mark Bajek
Primate Programming Pioneer

DES MOINES, IOWA: Mark Bajek is acknowledged as a great entrepreneur and the world’s Primate Programming pioneer-- and spokesman. His company, Primate Programming Inc, received 10 million in first round financing in 2003 from 5 prominent VC firms. His clients now include many of the Fortune 500.

We met at the PPI campus in Des Moines Iowa. I did not know exactly how to dress and went casual. What I found was an erudite, cordial and impeccably dressed European immigrant entrepreneur with a keen sense of the past, present and future.

Reprinted with permission from CxO International. The article was originally published in 2003.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Poland and later grew up in Fairfield, CT. Later I moved to Des Moines. I have a Computer Science degree and I dabbled in Anthropology. I read a lot of evolutionary biology. It’s a hobby. My dad owned factories in Warsaw, Krakow and Prague. I learned a lot about starting and keeping a business from him.

What was your first social connection with hominids?

My toddler play group!! We humans after all, are hominids. All of us….there is this popular misconception that apes are apes and humans are humans. That just isn’t so. We are all great apes—hominids, if you will. As it turns out, apes are people too.

OK…..I understand you graduated from Fairfield University.

Yes. It was a good education. I did it for my mother. No one says no to my mother.

Tell me about your childhood. For example, you mother.

Well, you know, that is an interesting question. Mothers…..did you know that male bonobo chimps (‘pygmy chimps’, a subspecies) derive almost all of their social status from who their mother is? My family was a lot like that too.

My mother came from a long line of theater people. As a result she was pretty plugged into Polish society. My father “married up” and got his first business financing from her family. So in a very real sense, I got my social status from my mother also. Just like a bonobo chimpanzee would.

I understand the early PP article “Primates Can Program” originally influenced you.

Actually, the publication of that article was concurrent with my own research. That article pointed to experiments conducted in San Diego California. The truth is, that article kind of capped a lot of research up to that time. Including mine. I was up to my ears in PP activities around the time all the PR about Koko was coming out. I participated in the Koko web cast and immediately after that I dove into teaching a real smart chimp (Brainerd) how to do simple IT stuff like looping and if-then statements.

Tell us a little about Brainerd.

Brainerd just keeps getting smarter. Got a good head for business. He’s like my alter-ego. We were out drinking last night and he just kept clowning around, life of the party, betting people money on crazy things like how many bar pretzels he could get in his mouth. Stuff like that. (laughs) ….he won a lot of money actually, drinks too, but nobody minded. That’s his angle. He never pays for anything.

But that’s the end of the day. It’s his hustle. It’s a joke.

During the day, Brainerd is all business. Shows up early. Leaves late. I depend on him for a lot of the day-to-day IT project things that need to get done. He keeps everyone in line in the back office.

When did you know PP was a viable business model?

I remember the day exactly. I knew it when Brainerd, back in 1999, on the 19th of May, was able to get an error-free compile on the VB6 version of ‘hello world’. We’ve done tons of work since then but that was the day I really knew it.

What is driving this model for IT services right now?

Bill rate, bill rate, bill rate. The offshore model saved US corporations 50%. Now we are coming in and saving them 70% OF THAT. This price is just too irresistible to ignore. Everyone is going to be using IT primates in some way within 5 years.

How long will it take before competitors come in and take it away from you?

Well, that is a very complex question. Here’s a simple answer though: how long it takes them to catch us is a function of how fast they can figure out the training aspect. For example, how do you deliver C#.NET training effectively to this audience? That’s our competitive advantage. Some of these “competitors” are just in the dark about what it takes to get the developer training piece of this done.

How did you master the IT primate developer training aspect so quickly?

I have a friend in the training business. His company is over 10 years old, a leader in the industry, and they do the best .NET training and Java training in the world. The company name is New Technology Solutions Inc. The CEO of that company taught me a great deal about the developer training part of this business model.

What do you see happening in the realm of law and social custom now that apes are occupying positions previously reserved for people?

First of all, like I said before, apes are people too. Period. If you’ve ever hung out with apes, done some of the things they like to do, with them, you’d have a better appreciation for what I am saying. How far can you spit?


I said, how far can you spit? Apes are pretty competitive and they tend to pick games they can win when they engage you. I was out in the Jungle Room (the workout area for the IT staff at PPI at the Des Moines campus) and Max, a bonobo, he comes up to me and says, let’s spit. Did you know a bonobo chimpanzee can spit a distance of like, 30 feet?

No, I didn’t know that.

Well, they can. So you play the game and of course he wins, and then you say, ‘let’s have a race in the pool.’. Guess what? Max isn’t interested. No. He wants to wrestle, or play some kind of slapping game, or beat you at solving a programming problem, or something like that. Something he can win. So you see, they really are a lot like us. They like to win also.

How long before an primate programmer like Brainerd decides he no longer needs you? I mean, are you are you not: a middleman? Once apes have rights, where does that leave you?

It’s all in the relationship—just like with ‘people’, you know, human hominids. The relationship is the thing. You keep raising pay as value is created. At some point, no amount of money is enough. It’s not personal. It’s not about the money. People leave because some people are just made that way. They want to see how far they can drive themselves. Test themselves. Take on a challenge. It’s a natural part of the business. People leave.

What has most contributed to these breakthroughs in ape intelligence, thinking, or what you are calling proto-consciousness? What are the contributing factors?

First of all, every hominid is conscious. I use the term proto-conscious for animals like canines and felines. Dogs and cats have a clue. But apes actually know.

There is a lot of evidence that identifies song and dance as the origin of hominid language. A new theory of hominid development called ‘shift theory’ is becoming more widely understood. Shift theory says in part that, dances are really elaborated, complex gestures rich in specific messaging and meaning. Also, songs are vocalizations of these same messages. The theory is that song and dance spawned language acquisition in hominids—humans. We’ve seen these same patterns in higher primates—apes—for some time. Shift theory is described very well at the web site . Our own record of observation of ape society is not sufficiently long to say with certainty this is what is going on, but clearly language has everything to do with the ability of these apes to do IT work.

If apes are coming up like this, what does that say about us as a species? Specifically, what can we expect from ourselves in the next 100, 300, 500 years?

We’ve probably maximized our intellectual development already. The next steps for us are advances in social organization, and our spiritual sense. A semi-heretical Jesuit named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin described a sphere of thought like the atmosphere or the ionsphere—he called it the noosphere. It’s a timely notion. Eric Raymond, the open source guy, he wrote a paper in 1998 called Homesteading the Noosphere. DeChardin himself had a lot to say about evolutionary leaps and what’s next for mankind. I think his stuff pretty much says where we are heading. This is a man who was describing aspects of the Internet in 1925. I mean, he pre-dated Al Gore by decades in terms of inventing the Internet ! (laughs).

He had a lot to say in then that is actually very current right now.

What do you see as the next step in the development of the PP industry? Where will it be in 10, 15 years?

In 10 or 15 years, we are going to have an ape running a major software company. We may see apes taking over a lot of industries that are high-paying but actually easy targets for apes, for example, health and fitness. Stuff like that. Human great apes will be pushed further upstream, into the realm of theory and pure thought.

What steps can companies take today to get positioned to take advantage of these changes?

Get with the program. Learn about hominids and realize—recognize—that you ARE one. Get your head out of that little box it is in. Go out drinking with some gorillas. Play soccer with some chimps. Tell a bonobo a dirty joke—they love that…(laughs)…get a clue by getting engaged. You can talk about this until you are blue in the face. Knowing an ape is what makes you ‘get it’.

What advice would you give would-be entrepreneurs looking to jump into PP feet first?

Learn everything you can about hominid social organization. Here, we like to keep groups of related individuals on the same project. The more you know about the ‘pecking order’, kin selection, things like that, the better prepared you are to actually execute on this business model. Learn the differences between gorillas, chimps, bonobos, orangs. That’s critical.

Mark, thanks a million for your time.

Oh no, the pleasure was all mine. Thank you for visiting the campus.



DATE: Friday, 04/16/2004


Ima Toole
Public Relations Director
Primate Programming Inc
One Primate Way
Des Moines, IA 50301
203 915 7248
Email: ppi_feedback@Yahoo.com


PPI announces today the confirmation that certain members of the primate IT staff play recreational poker online, using PPI-supplied computers and T1 connections.

Trainers at PPI taught the staff simple card games in the course of the overall training process. Certain of our staff taught limit poker and no-limit poker to the more talented players. Specifically, certain trainers at PPI taught our staff to play Texas Hold’Em and Omaha poker games. Some assisted in setting up bank accounts for the funding of online play.

The aggressive and instinctive nature of no-limit poker has been very attractive to our staff. While many staff members have lost small sums, the majority have won many thousands of dollars online. As responsible employers, we are helping our staff invest this money for retirement. Some of these funds have been used to purchase land in St. Maarten for the eventual retirement of our more successful staff members.

PPI does not approve of gaming online, nor does the company disapprove or prohibit such behavior. Our mission is to advance opportunity and gainful employment for non-human great apes within the United States information technology sector. We support the The Great Ape Project, PITA, and other animal rights groups. We also support the proposed Primate Bill of Rights. What our great apes do on their own free time is entirely up decided by each individual.

Related Links:

The Primate Bill of Rights

The Article from The NewTechDaily That Exposed the Story

The Primate Poker Inc. Web Site

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