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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds That was in my opinion a really fascinating movie about how ants communicate through a means of communication that they explore the world and find out collectively where to find food. The communication is essential here. The communication is a sharing of knowledge between ants and finding interesting places where food can be found. So communication is the key to understanding emergent social behaviour. Now, you can imagine, ask yourself. Does this apply only to animals, only to humans. Wrong. It’s applicable to basically all life. Think, for example, about plants and trees. Did you know that willow trees, and poplars, and sugar maples can warn each other about insect attacks. Really.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds Intact, endemic trees, near ones that are infested with hungry bugs, begin pumping out bug repellant chemicals to ward off attack. So they communicate. And as a group, they display emergent behaviour as a collective. They emit these chemicals to ward off the attack of the little insects. Also bees– you’ve probably heard about the bee dance. And bees communicate also in a rather intriguing way. And I just want you to watch the next movie in the next step to get an idea of how intriguing the communication between bees can be.

The engine of emergence

This video explains that communication is key for understanding emergence. Is this only applicable to ants? Or also to other social creatures? Even humans?

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Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

University of Groningen

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