We are just like ants: the proof

As I kid I spent hours playing with ants. I’d move stuff around their nests, watching how they responded to whatever I did, amazed at how dedicated they were to whatever they were doing and would completely ignore whatever I did.

Turns out we’re not so much different. This little experiment in sidewalk design proves it (by PFSKvia @Rbanks).

People Watching Plus from Rune Madsen on Vimeo.

8 Responses to “We are just like ants: the proof”

  1. Txerra

    That’s because you respect the law….you should come to my country…that wouldn’t work :-)

    1. Scott Berkun

      Txerra: and what country would that be?

      I think this experiment would go differently in different locations. If they put this in the middle of a busy subway station where there was too much traffic, eventually people would step over barriers like these.

      But on this particular block there wasn’t quite enough traffic, or a long enough wait, for people to feel the need to do that.

  2. Mike Nitabach

    I don’t see why that “experiment” is at all interesting. Yeah, people don’t walk into shit that’s in their way. They walk around it or over it, depending on what seems like less effort. And people in cities see cones and tape and police barriers directing their movements all the time, so it’s perceived as a complete waste of time and effort for them to stop and wonder why they are being directed and whether it’s for a good reason.

    The only thing this points out in terms of similarity between human beings and ants is that we are both animals, and all animals must make efficient decisions about allocation of effort in achieving their goals.

    1. Dylan

      Why the anger Mike? What you can take from this is the behavior of one species relating to another. Don’t think that you are any different from that ant. We are very minuscule like ants in the grand scheme of things.

  3. raccet

    Seems to be like a form of low-level auto-pilot mechanism. Some of them are more intelligent (no autopilot) and cross the way. Auto-pilot is used for saving energy.

  4. Matthew Martin

    We are all ants in the grand scheme of things – I dont care if your Warren Buffet or in a soup kitchen for the homeless – we are all pushing one grain a sand into position only to grab another one and push it – or we are hunters – or we are nurtures caring for the next generation – some of us are soldiers while others tend to the “queen”.

    And when we are gone – the “colony” will continue to go about its business as if we were never here. By the 2nd or 3rd generation we are forgotten.

    It silly to see what people sacrifice in the name of the “colony” in our society because in the end it is all so fleeting. Que the music – “Cats in the cradle with the silver spoon”……



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