Looking to Ants to Better Understand Collective Behaviour

How can we extend what we are learn­ing about how sim­ple local inter­ac­tions in ant colonies or in brains, in the aggre­gate, pro­duce the col­lec­tive behav­ior of the group and the way that it responds to chang­ing con­di­tions? How can we extend what we’re learn­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in oth­er sys­tems to begin think­ing about col­lec­tive behav­ior in human social orga­ni­za­tions?

The Internet of Damned Things

We have to be aware that when you cre­ate mag­ic or occult things, when they go wrong they become hor­ror. Because we cre­ate tech­nolo­gies to soothe our cul­tur­al and social anx­i­eties, in a way. We cre­ate these things because we’re wor­ried about secu­ri­ty, we’re wor­ried about cli­mate change, we’re wor­ried about threat of ter­ror­ism. Whatever it is. And these devices pro­vide a kind of stop­gap for help­ing us feel safe or pro­tect­ed or what­ev­er.