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Colonies of Ants, Hives of Bees

November 12, 2008

Reading through the CCK08 moodle forum posts early this morning, I was struck by comments of a poster named “Old Socs”,

who included a link to an article by Dave Snowden, of ‘the Cynefin Centre’.

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=1090      and

http://www.cognitive-edge.com/ceresources/articles/37_Intranet_as_complex_ecology_final_.pdf

In this article Snowden discusses intranet and corporate behaviour, and there is the suggestion on page 5 that we should ‘look to the ants and other social insects’ as examples of complex systems, seemingly for the purpose of using this knowledge to develop complex corporate or intranet/extranet systems of our own.

Maybe there is merit in that, but I rather favour the historical times when humans looked to the heavens, or their intuitions, their minds, etc. rather than studying insects for the purposes of copying their behaviour. While there is no doubt of some benefits to be procured from studying the world around us, I admit to a bias against copying lower order life forms’ behaviour, thinking, rather, that humans are more advanced, and should be reaching for the heights rather than the depths.

Are we not more than insects?

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4 Comments
  1. Dave Snowden permalink

    When you can’t learn from “lower forms of life” you no longer deserve the title of being more advanced. 🙂

  2. deadvocate permalink

    Sorry, you will have to explain further. I don’t quite understand. Are you saying that if I don’t study insects I am not advanced?

  3. a_robot permalink

    oh, i think what Dave said is you are advanced, so you must know the life of insects.

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