Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

We Are No Ants

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According to the bible, God created 4 other creatures which are so called “exceeding wise” besides human being – They are spiders, locust, badgers and ants.

And i thought dolphin is unique. Oh well … I think ants are interesting creatures too. But i’m not going to waste my time debating whether ants are any wiser than a dolphin or not. 

Actually an ant alone is insignificant and has limited capabilities. There’s absolutely nothing amazing to experiment with when dealing with a single ant. However, what make ants so interesting is the colony it is living in – The colony is a single complex organism. It seems we are fascinated with ants with their great ability to function together even without receiving any instructions from anybody. This is basically called The Emergence Theory – how simple actions of individual add up to the complex behaviour of a group.

Currently there are on-going studies by scientists on ant colonies in order to solve our world road traffic problem. You see, unlike ants, human need traffic lights and road signs to help us navigate around so not to end up in mess on busy and complicated routes. The answer could be by producing automated-driving car which do not require the driver to steer the machine. So, by creating  the ability to communicate with other cars and automatically avoiding obstacles, cars could travel up to 150KM/H on a busy road yet avoiding accident. But i will not go deep into this topic.

Another interesting stuff about the ants is the ‘socialism’ culture they are practicing. There is a strong sense of equality among the ants where every unit works together for the colony. There’s very little reward factors to motivate the ants and they could work all the day long to ensure the survival of its colony. Not only that, ants also could function perfectly well even if it exceeds millions. I’m sure Karl Marx would be more proud of the ant than human.

I always hear of people talking about rights and equality. I drew a conclusion that equality in every sense between human being is practically impossible and will just remain an ideal concept because we are:

1. Although human being is a social animal, things will go slightly out of control when we are in a big group. We are basically not programmed well to handle a situation in an organization or group once it exceeds 8 people.

2. Not intrinsically self-managed. Each of us have different motives and objectives, hence different directions.

3. Inherently born with different set of talent, abilities from an extremely diverse environment.

4. Great discoveries, breakthrough and advancement often came from individual brilliance.

5. Human being is bound by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

If equality and rights are inherently flowing in our blood, cells and neurons, we would not have so much problems today. It simply shows we are not born to champion the idea of equal and not programmed to be equal.

It’s a common idea that ants have hierarchy within their colony. We think that they have foragers, worker, cleaner, fighters, etc. But the fact is, we human were the one who defined the hierarchy. Ants could effortlessly swap and switch tasks when they are required to depending on circumstance. Hence, apart from the queen, they live in a flat hierarchy.

What about us? Now, if one of our public toilet requires a cleaning, how many of us will be willing to do it? We will most likely leave it to the people who are at the bottom of the pyramid chart.

To govern a huge number of people, we certainly need hierarchy. Unless all the individuals in an organization share the same desire, goal and objectives, i will be very surprise if a flat hierarchy could work well in an organization. There is one thing though which we have upperhand against ants – we could work well together among inter-race while ants generally ignore and fight against other ant species …well, if we could brush aside the fact that racism still exist today.

It is a waste God didn’t gave higher intelligence to ants or else, they would have surpassed us in many areas…. whatever.


Written by elan85

April 6, 2008 at 7:44 pm

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