They form these little coalitions, and then work with each other, to win fights and thus protect their territories and make mates. Another insect, the black widow spider, has learned to kill off its enemies’ mates because it can kill so many of them in a given year. And a third wasp species, the wasp that lays eggs in leaves, has learned to avoid enemies by avoiding their nests until the nest has been completed, so that they wouldn’t reproduce even before they were ready.
As you can see, these insects have learned a very important system of social communication that is very important for both their survival and social harmony. It’s been called “a system of mutual information with a deep evolutionary antecedent” in this review , and it has been linked with other social life in the animal world.
What was it about wasp groups that led to this system of mutual information?
It appears that wasps and other insects form and organize co-operative bands and colonies (in which workers work with other workers inside the same nest, or in separate nests which are in close proximity to each other) by forming long term alliances and alliances between different workers and the ability of them to coordinate these relationships (and thus work cooperatively) and maintain the group.
The social aspect of these ants/spiders can’t be seen with a microscope (or a camera or a drone). But what I can see is a series of social dynamics in which workers, in all manner of social groups, are allowed to live and work with each other and co-operate among themselves and in the other social groups. I see a complex network of interactions within these groups that allows the ants and spiders to live in social groups of other members of their colonies and to have a life of their own.
I’d be interested in knowing how you explain the role that mutual information within the human social world will play in science fiction. Do you think of science fiction science as “ancient” science, with its “natural” laws, and so on, rather than as a way of making a scientific change in the real world that might occur in the future? Or do you think that in fiction science is always “re-invented” as something closer to science?
In addition to these two examples of evolutionary adaptations for communication being used in story writing, this question could be posed more generally, as well. I am more interested in seeing how science and human culture can be co-opted by other modes of information processing and co-operation and how those modes of relationship influence people’s real (as opposed to fictional) world.
Another question I’d be interested in exploring is how science and technology might lead to new ways of social relationships involving information processing and communication that I haven’t yet mentioned here.
This would be analogous to the story I talked about about the first example of mutual information between honeybees: we’ve already seen that bees create an intricate series of “routes of least resistance,” through which they maintain and move large communities within a given colony. We’re not really sure of the details of how they work yet, but what we do know is that we’ve already seen for how long they co-operated in this way in the bee world: that they are capable of establishing a “routes of least resistance.” They are also capable of creating new sorts of “routes of least resistance” in which the group becomes able to move larger groups of workers.
As for my theory, I don’t think that there are really two types of human societies, either biological or technological. I think there are also more complex human societies, just as there are more complex biological ones. In my book “The Science Fiction Revolution: The Future of Science Fiction,” I examine how the human realm of science fiction became more and more inter-connected with other parts of the social and technological realms, and how that convergence of science and technology led to some major, and far-reaching, changes in how people lived and worked as humans. In particular I focus on the intersection of science and technology with human-machine interaction, and the intersection of human and non-human forms of intelligence.
You’ve done some interviews with some of the leading voices in the science fiction community. I especially like the interview with William Gibson, for which I was interviewed by Terry Pratchett for his new novel The Screwtape Letters . The novel is a sci-fi story of the 20th century, loosely linked to stories of Gibson’s “Screwtape” series in which the “Vampire” characters are all human. As I discuss in the interview, many of the characters in the previous worksincluding the vampireswere fictional characters created by the author through his imagination. It may be that the author is taking some credit for creating some of these characters without author’s written permission, or there may be a