Ants, Spiders, and Bees


Life is full of small synchronicities. As I was pondering the meaning of Hollis Chapter 4, I also ran across the following TED talk which also shed some unintended light on this week’s readings:

In the TED talk, she describes how bees create a Super Organism. They do not exist purely as individual entities. That they work together as one unit. How appropriate is this when you consider the bee metaphor that is used by Bacon in his First Book Aphorisms where he compares the “men of experiment” to the ant – they collect and use; he compares the “reasoners” to spiders – the make cobwebs out of their own substance; and, finally, the middle course of the bee – gathering material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforming and digesting it by a power of its own. Hollis says this is attractive because it captures a “general belief that knowledge is, somehow, a blend of theory and experience, to which each contributes something beyond the scope of the other.”

I think the future chapters of Hollis will hint more to the TED talk about the super organism. That our knowledge is not merely collected and digested by the individual self. It is integrally woven together amidst an entire social network that is intricately, intimately, and organically intertwined. Without working together, our knowledge would be not just be incomplete…it would be inadequate for our survival.

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