Video: How do ants know what to do?
Armed with a few students, a backhoe and a handful of markers, Deborah Gordon digs up ant colonies in the Arizona desert. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business and even multitask when they need to with no language, memory or visible leadership?
Watch the video published on Ted.com
About Deborah Gordon
Ant biologist Deborah M. Gordon has spent decades digging in the Arizona desert to decipher the chemical, genetic and behavioral codes of ant colonies. Contrary to the popular notion that colonies have evolved into efficient, organized systems, she has instead discovered that the long evolution of the ant colony has resulted in a system driven by accident, adaptation and the chaos and "noise" of unconscious communication. Her studies of the harvester ant have shed light on the evolution of aggregate systems, whether biological or virtual, and may someday yield clues tracing the evolution of the brain from neuron to cortex. Gordon, a Stanford professor, wrote the acclaimed book Ants at Work, outlining her discoveries in generous, nontechnical detail.
Bioteams Books Reviews
Brainstorming, despite the popularity of the term, is one of the most challenging collaborative activities to carry out. While most people think they know how to brainstorm, very few really understand how to consistently make a session work. Ken Thompson and Robin Good share some of the secrets gleaned from "The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm"