Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random Internet: If Ants had Nuclear Weapons

Image Source: National Geographic via Spaceghetto.

I ran across this comment on ant warfare through a series of links from the Sockstuff Comments on Ants forum (Hat Tip: Shaun Usher):

"I had a lecture on Ant Warfare in one of my classes last year and it was really interesting. They're considered to have the most sophisticated system of war after humans but to be far more aggressive, and Edward O. Wilson wrote that 'their foreign policy can be summed up as follows: restless aggression, territiorial conquest, and genocidal annihilation of neighboring colonies... If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week.' Some examples of the sophisticated warfare systems that ants have developed:

* A war-based class system in the Pheidole genus means that there are ants whose only job is act as a soldier for the colony while other forage
* Suicide bombing as a last resort in Camponotus saundersi
* Sticky 'bombs' in Crema[t]ogaster inflata
* Laying seige to both predators and other ant colonies in Tetramorium caespitum
* The infiltration and enslavement of an entire colony in Myrmoxenus ravouxi
* Couldn't find any good links, but ants utilize diplomacy before engaging in large intercolony battles; a small group of ants from each colony will meet between the two colonies and dance at one another - if either of the groups can gather from the dance that the other colony is small enough to easily defeat, they will attack first. This leads to interesting situations when groups 'deceive' or perhaps misread other groups' intentions."

More on Myrmoxenus ravouxi, also known as Ravoux's Slavemaker Ant from Wiki: "The species are helotistic, that is, they oppress another species of ant in order to sustain their colony.  The queen will fake death to entice ants from another colony to drag her back to their nest, where she awakens and kills the nest's original queen. She will then cover herself in the dead queen's pheromones, and will begin producing eggs. The slavemaker ants then overrun the colony and then find a new colony to take over."

I think I'll stick to studying humans.  And on that note: CNN news item - Iran agrees to new nuclear talks; and another news item - a quarter of the world's nuclear aircraft carriers will soon be in the Arabian Sea; there's another report here that the US has just deployed its fourth submarine to the Persian Gulf, joining French and British vessels; and another here summarized by @swadeshine: "Obama sends 3 aircraft carriers, 4 nuclear submarines and marine assault units to Iran's shores" (Hat Tip: @swadeshine).

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