I Have Ants In My Pants

Not this ant.

Not this ant.

Well, I did, but I don’t now. I killed those fuckers. I realize that my pants contain glories that can transport one to heights of pleasure or to the depths of despair, but I won’t even give that much to ants. They get death.

I don’t know where they’re coming from. I don’t know why they’re coming. I don’t know what their intentions are. OK, I do know that last bit. Their intentions are the complete destruction of the human race through a clever combination of annoyance attacks, reproductive ability, and extreme patience.

Ants are objectively evil. Ants are the ideological opposite of Discordians. Where Discordians value a true balance between order and disorder, ants brook no talk about “balance”. If they could, they’d remake the universe into a place of pure order, thus destroying all of existence when, according to the Law of Eristic Escalation, it explodes in the rage of pure chaos.

Like all good villains, ants are amazing. Individually, they’re nothing much. They’re strong and fast, but almost complete idiots (or are they?). On average, an ant only has about 250,000 neurons, which is a small enough number that we could build an artificial ant brain. If we knew how brains actually worked.

An individual ant is mostly an automaton, even more so than people. Ant behavior is so simple and predictable that we can, in fact, write software to reproduce it. With a brain of that size, though, any kind of useful consciousness is extremely unlikely to exist. They are best described as biological machines, and compared to some of the machines we all use every day, they are simple ones.

Woman riding antHowever, an ant colony is an entirely different matter. Ant colonies can be frighteningly intelligent. In fact, you can never understand the “ant life form” by examining a single ant, because a single ant is not an “ant life form” any more than a single cell of your body is a “human life form”. You can only understand ants by examining colonies as a whole. Think of the colony itself as the individual, and each ant as multipurpose, mobile body cell, and you’re much closer to the truth.

Ants love order because they are composed of it. A large colony consists of millions of tiny robots following a deterministic program. This is the pure order at work. (A fact that can be used against them.) These robots coordinate with each other through a simple system of scents. These scent trails work in a way roughly analogous to how neurotransmitters in your brain work: different scents cause different preprogrammed responses.

But when you put millions of them together, you get something much more than an ant. You get something with intelligence, with decision-making ability and some amount of self-awareness. In other words, you get consciousness.

And this is what makes ants evil. They are intelligent, conscious robots who view you as irrelevant. While everyone is worrying about human-made robots becoming our overlords, the ants just sit and giggle while they wait, knowing that stupid humans still don’t even know that their robot overlords have been here all along.

Oh, did we mention that 15-20% of the terrestrial animal biomass is ants? Just sayin’.

Anteaters have it under control

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