[ExI] The Ant Game

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Tue Apr 7 13:38:13 UTC 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of
Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat
Sent: Monday, April 6, 2020 8:32 PM
To: ExI Chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com>
Subject: [ExI] The Ant Game

Ants are such awesomely successful creatures. They rival us for dominance of
the world. Scientists estimate that 20% of all land-animal biomass is
contained in ants. Army ants are particularly noted as being one of the top
predators in the South and Central American tropics where they devour
anything that cannot get out of their way. Here is a cool video of army ant
attacking a nest of their larger but nowhere near as sophisticated cousins
the wasps. Notice the wild bridge they built out of their own bodies.


They build such bridges to cross obstacles like rivers that are many meters
across. The game is try to guess *why* these army ants built that particular

Stuart LaForge


Stuart, if one is of a mind to do this kind of thing, you can arrange for an
ant bridge like this using a piece of string or a strip of duct tape.  It is
a low-cost way of getting rid of a wasp nest.  If the building is a storage
shed rather than a casa, keeping ants makes sense: they control your

This is not to detract from the brilliance of the ants.  I love ants (to
watch I mean, I don't eat them.)  I have seen cool ant-bridges in my
misspent youth in Florida, not made with any technical assistance.  Nothing
like this however.

But... that does give me an idea.  Create a hanging ant bridge like this
one, use it as a prize for an aardvark race.  Then we sell them the
aardvarks.  And the specialty bridge-twine made of crushed ant-bodies, so it
is all aardvark-edible, kind of like those treats your dog loves so well,
only for aardvarks.


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