[ExI] ants again

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 22 14:36:51 UTC 2008

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 12:04 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> So here's a question: will an ant starve with food in her paws?
> If they get a ball of nectar but cannot return to the colony for whatever
> reason, such as some yahoo took away the bridge, there is nothing in the
> ant's programmed behavior that says anything about an if statement, such as:
> if you get hungry, to hell with the colony, eat the nectar.  I suspect they
> lack that piece of code.

Do you think this is an example of a group survival behavior
outweighing the individual's survival even to the point of being
irrational?  (in this case, a double-meaning on the word(s)

Consider: the ant has been a model for bottom-up robots; this
primitive "feed the hive" directive you've observed provides
interesting insight to that model.  (immutable primary goal)

> If I observe that an ant will starve to death with a ball of nectar in her
> paws, well hell, I will just give them back their gak bridge and let them
> farm my tree to their hearts content, assuming ants have hearts and paws.

Like peasants working on feudal lands, you could charge them rent -
maybe teach them to machine those tiny eyeglass screws or some other
piece work until we have nanobot technology working.

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