I have received a very inspiring comment to my blog paper of yesterday from AXIL and I have the pleasure to say him a big “thank you” and the duty to answer to it to tell, where I agree with it and where not.
Though they be little on earth, they are exceedingly wise.” To what does this refer? Ants (Proverbs 30:24).
Ants appear only twice in the Bible, both times in the Book of Proverbs being lauded for their wisdom (Proverbs 6:6-8, 30:24-25). Ants are one of the world’s oldest and most successful living creatures and their outstanding reputations have not changed much since the time of Solomon.
From the dawn of human civilization, the behavior forged in the roiling eons long caldron of evolution is recognized as a quintessential example of the ultimate expression of wisdom; a wisdom born by the witness of their continuing survival as they thrive over a span of some 150 million years to become 10% of the worlds biomass.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! (Proverbs 6:6)
Much of ants’ success as a species is attributed to cooperation and task sharing within the context of unselfish and anonymous hierarchical social structures. Ants work anonymously without the constrains imposed by individual ego in teams to collectively move extremely heavy things, capture prey, and they can when required summon extra workers who immediately respond without any concern about reputation, or ego gratification, or being in line for winning a next year's Nobel Prize for their efforts.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Colossians )
Each individual of the colony works in silence for the common good. Ants can also adapt their duties to overcome any unforeseen problems. They communicate within an ages old system that is the key to the success and survival of their society. This method of communication explains how though single ants are not clever; collectively they are capable of complex collective tasks. They have no interest in preserving intellectual property; they have no need for patents, and would never keep their activity secret from the other members of their colony.
Ants, known for being industrious, are lauded for their initiative. Ants have no leader—no commander to direct them, no overseer to inspect their work, no peer reviewers, no ruler to prod them on. People who act only when commanded do not possess wisdom. Such “swarm intelligence” is of huge value to science. Science needs less rock stars and more ants.
One final way in which ants display wisdom is that though each ant has a distinct function, all work collectively towards a singular goal.
Now, it is quite obvious that Axil does not want here to teach us the basics of myrmecology (the branch of entomology dedicated to ants) - this is an allusion to the LENR community- he wants to “point out the destructive nature that ego plays in the LENR ecosystem as all its major players are pitted against each other in a death dance of destructive competition” He is fighting against infighting.
It is fine that I just received this image, a good scientist supports Axil’s vision: http://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/7e34b936-0bf8-11e4-94b5-22000aa7091d-large.jpeg
And both Axil and Albert are right, ego, infighting is an ugly obstacle to progress now. However thinking very calmly, we can see that infight –globally -is much more the effect than the cause of stagnation. One of the many dark sides of human nature. However this changes nothing infight is harmful and has to be stopped.
AXIL praises the unselfishness of ants and re. my blog shows that we have to see “the value of the term "EGO OUT" for all those looking towards the advancement of LENR.” Out with the big, bad, dominant egos!
Yes, this is a good interpretation – however see the Unword Dictionary the name of my blog is in the realm of DIKW, more precisely IKW:
1. 1. (n.) The quantity of information, knowledge and wisdom lost by the death of an individual.
The duty of old humans is to decrease their “ego out” in order to not carry with them in the grave valuable ideas. I was inspired- as told- by Arthur C. Clarke’s EGOGRAMS that were both egocentric and unselfish.
I am grateful to my friend; he offers me a fine opportunity to discard fragments of my residual Ego Out.
He is right; we can learn good things from the ants:
First of all a proof of my admiration of the great modern thinkers coming from management- business, many of them American but Nassim Nicholas Taleb (presented on this blog by Alain Coetmeur) is also from this category.
I consider Jim Rohn’s ideas, philosophy papers and quotations a pragmatic treasure. I don’t care for the snobs promoting more academic high rank philosophers. For ants we have this bright one:
The Ant Philosophy by Jim Rohn http://getmotivation.com/jimrohn/jim-rohn-ant-philosophy.html
Read it- but I translate it in LENRese for you: ants do 4 things - ants never quit, they search all the time and if some ways are not accessible they discover new ways;
- ants know about the priority of the negative, obstacles have to be removed first;
- ants are obstacle-centric, are born to win because they know that obstacles will be eventually removed and what they do, they do fast;
- if it is about knowledge, ants follow a policy of “all-you-possibly-can” policy, life long learning;
Excuse me, Jim for this very personal interpretation of your ideas; I have learned change management from you!)
He is right- we also can learn what to NOT do from ants
It happens I know a few things about ant, I had studied them in the garden and I have read all the books I was able to find in those fuzzy times when I was very young. Re social insects unforgettable are: “The life of the bee”- by Maurice Meterlick-you know, the Nobelist guy who created the Blue Bird- the best symbol of happiness and “The Keyword of Crossed Antennae” by a less famous but also excellent Soviet myrmecologist,
I. Halifman. The natural
trend of pedagogy was then to present an idealized view of ants a model for the
people living in the communist society, industrious, individuals sacrificing themselves
for the welfare of the community but Halifman was a scientists so I knew about
the reality in the ants nests. The
idealized form resembles authoritarian fascist or communist societies the
individual is nothing the collective is absolute ruler. I don’t like this. But
the reality is even more richer in Antsland. Have you heard about the
Lomechusa- it is a beetle the most dangerous parasite of the ants nests? When
in 1965 I started to work in the Research Dept. at Borzesti the team leader was
a lady, A.A. who made me a lot of trouble sabotaging my research initiatives,
trying to make me responsible for work accidents, telling lies about me to the
secret police- I knew instantly she is the Lomechusa! (it happens she was a close relative of the General
Manager of the Chemical Works) I survived and moved to a better place.
In the anthill, Lomechusa
strumosa is overly popular in the ant society because it secrets some liquid
which is like a drug for the ants- they become addicted, neglect their own
“children” and many times the ant society degenerates and disappears. Unbelievable
A good description of the real ant society is at an Italian site called “Formiche lomecusomani” that is “Lomechusomaniacal ants” http://www.oocities.org/tetramorium/corte.htm
“In the kingdom of ants, in the depth of the anthill live many species of insects and parasitic ants that live on the expense of the colony using incredible tricks and tactics.
Beggars, parasites, exploiters, flatterers, thieves, eaters of cadavers, salesmen, assassins, beetles disguised in ants, sellers of molasses, vampire-insects, good-for-nothings, cleaners, table-companions, symbionts and tenants of many kinds and species, all walking freely and fearless on the streets and the markets, following the legions of ants marching on, all being tolerated even by the most bloodthirsty and aggressive ants, a genuine Court of Miracles…
Two fast conclusions:
-The ant society is more similar to human societies than to an ideal society
- The wisdom of ants is not human wisdom.
The wisdom of the ice-worm Mesenchytraeus solifugus or the wisdom of the extremophiles are also non-human form of wisdom. We are a special species. We have to solve our problems, Nature has only solutions can inspire us but will not help.
In this case we have to accept that analogies have their limits and have to be used with care- see please three relevant quotations:
Analogy cannot serve as proof (Louis Pasteur)
Analogies, it is true decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home. (Siegmund Freud)
No analogy, no metaphor and not the best rhetoric can resurrect LENR just solving of the problems and good results.
It can now happen that some offended researchers will call Mary Yugo a “Lomechusa” because the original one was a professional poisoner specialized in less functional husbands as later Giulia Tofana or Lucrezia Borgia and she is poisonous... I disagree; she is not as bad as she seems...