Category Archives: Asides

Interesting links.

Logical Conclusion of AI

There’s been some great threads going around inspired by the book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, including Elon Musk hoping we’re not just a biological bootloader. Via Automattician Matt Mazur I came across this fantastic review of the book on Amazon that gives a great counter-balance and lots of additional information you wouldn’t get from the book itself, and also summarizes it quite well.

Dueling Ants

Ants Are Amazing

[A]ll of California’s Argentine ants belong to only four colonies. The largest, euphemistically named the Very Large Colony, contains hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of ants, and extends from the Mexican border to San Francisco. In the largest battles ever recorded, millions of ants die each month along this colony’s border with its rivals in San Diego County.

That’s from this article by Mark W Moffett that describes his book Adventures Among Ants.

In 2010 Wired took a cool look at Looting, Cannibalism and Death Blows: The ‘Shock and Awe’ of Ant Warfare.

Finally as a 2013 update, there’s a new boss in town, the Asian needle ant which is literally eating Argentine ants for lunch:

All ants essentially hibernate when wintertime hits, but the Asian needle ants “wake up before other ant species wake up,” Spicer-Rice explained.

This head start allows them to build nests, find sources of food, and start reproducing before the other ants get going.

Amazing ant photo by János Csongor Kerekes and CC-licensed.