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Obsidian- Edge of understanding

I have been increasingly fascinated by the intelligence of smaller creatures. Ants in particular! It's easy to look at ants wandering about on the ground as discrete individual creatures, however, is it more correct to consider the ant nest as the real organism? A human being is comprised of more non-human cells than human. A human is an ecosystem and so is an ant colony.

How does an ant colony make decisions? Individual ants rely heavily on collective intelligence with each ant having a much smaller neurological capacity to a human. However, like humans, communites of ants can communicate and make decisions drawing upon the collective learning from many individuals.


An ant nest can extend its network over a large geographic area; sending out scouting parties more than a kilometre from the nest. All the information gathered is made sense of, presumably by the central intelligence surrounding the queen.


Ants that build their nests in the ground build earthen mounds about the entrance when heavy rain events are predicted. These mounds are built days before the heavy rain event occurs. From my observations, the ants are usually more accurate thah the bureau of meteorolgy as to the likelihood of heavy saturating rain events. Does this make the ant nest smarter than humans?

Individual freedom and collective association How much freedom does an individual ant have to make its own decisions? Faced with a threat, some ants instinctively attack, while others will flee toward the safety of their nest. It appears that ants are heavily influenced by their preprogrammed responses, pheromones and interactions with the environment around them.


How about humans? Humans like the idea of freedom, however, so much of what people do is influenced by collective wisdom. Is true intelligence the collective capability of an organism?


Obsidian -Edge of Understanding is a fantasy story that explores, "what would it be like to be an ant sized human living in an ant sized world?"

The characters face realistic ant world challenges, which in many ways appear much like the challenges humans experience in our human sized world.




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