Humans Are Like An Ant Hill

Humans are like an ant hill:

Each of us is way too small to comprehend the entire tea of the world. So each one of us tries are all a little strategy.

Sometimes we pull in the same direction, and sometimes in opposite directions. But when watched from above, it seems as if the ant hill has a plan. As if there was cooperation.

It is like when you watch some ants pull a caterpillar. From our perspective, it looks as if the individual ants are cooperating. As if they had a shared plan. In truth, every ant does its own thing. And out of that emerges a general vector of motion.

They might be pulling in different directions. But the end result is a path of motion that looks like a plan to us.

This is how we might say that the ant hill as a whole is smarter than the sum of its parts.

And I guess the same is true for humanity.

And it seems to me that this is something we should embrace:

We should embrace our own individual fallibility. Because it is objectively impossible for a single human to know what is right. It is impossible to avoid mistakes.

Each of us is going to make mistakes. Some strategies just “look good at the time”, but turn out to be a dead end. Or even lead to long-term disaster. But we can stillsurvive and thrive as a species if the mistakes are distributed among individuals.

So each of us tries his own worldview, his own career, his own investment advice, and so on. And sometimes it will work out, and sometimes it won’t. But then we are sharing our results with each other. And out of that emerges a picture of what works and what does not. And this lifts humanity as a whole onto another level.

So it is a good thing not to constantly compare yourself with other people. It is as important that they follow their path as it is important that you follow yours. If you both followed exactly the same path, it would be bad for humanity, and I would also be bad for you. Because if you both tried exactly the same thing, it would be a waste of human life.

The greatest outcome, both for humanity and for each of us individually, is if every single human being on the planet tries out a different path.

Evolution is quite effective in that it has made it so that this is how it actually works most of the time:

Most of the time, no two individuals are exactly alike. And whenever a group of people have become too much alike in their actions and in their thinking, they have been wiped out.


These are largely unedited brain dumps I have dictated into my phone. I’m posting them here just to see if anyone happens to find value in them. Most of these articles get something like 5 views — so I’m not going to bother making them pretty.