Go poke an ant’s nest

If you get a long stick and repeatedly poke an ant’s nest, lots of things happen. The ants search for the attacker to try and fend it off, the damage that is being caused is addressed almost immediately with workers trying to repair it and those other ants work around it, moving on and around whatever damage and intruders there are. If you came back to that same ant’s nest 2 days later, much if the damage would be repaired, routes replaced and normality would have come back to that particular kingdom. I’ve watched a lot of Nature programs and in none of them were ants described as “Plucky” “Stoic” “Determined and gritty” “Heroic” or “defiant” . Why not ? They are words some will give to people yet we have no more options than the ants do we ? So why endow ourselves with such grand descriptions ?
Parts of the press have made much of the fact that people “carried on as normal” – like the option was what exactly ? Are global businesses, with bosses in remote countries really going to give their staff a day or few off ? Are then the smaller businesses going to close their doors for a few days and chill ? Are the transport and other infrastructures going to pull down the shutters ? No, no they are not – they will carry on as normal because that is the way of the corporation, of industry. There is no room for personal feelings or worries at such a level. As the attacks were happening, the Bank of England switched to secure communication because whatever happens, cash must be made. So there is no option BUT to carry on – not like Blair laid on several hundred flights to sunny shores either is it ?
The business of an ant colony has to go on regardless of what hits them and they react pretty much the same way as we do – with one crucial difference; They don’t go looking for trouble afterwards – we do. Maybe we should call ants “clever” “astute” “intelligent”…

2 thoughts on “Go poke an ant’s nest

  1. I would think that ants have a better social intelligence than do we puny humans. However, they are also single-minded automatons on the individual level. The question then becomes which is more important; the society or the individual? Can the society continue to exist with everyone being a completely unique individual?

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