Saturday, February 21, 2009

In nature, ant queens mate during just one period of time but mate with many males during that time (this causes the queen to build up a sizeable sperm bank.) Queens can store sperm and lay eggs during their entire lifetime [15-20 years].

Here's a youtube talk about ant colonies by Bert Holldoble, the author of "The Super-Organism: The Beauty, Elegance and Strangeness of Insect Societies".

Will humans still need males when the society masters the sperm bank technology? Or vice verse, will we need females, if an egg bank can be maintanied indefinitely?

In any case, storage is a very important element that often emerges during system evolution. Very often it indicates a new stage in system development. Specifically, it makes it easier to control the lifecycle of the system and extend it into new domains. E.g. money banks, food banks (Egypt, Mesopotamia), Tivo, oil and gas storage reserves, etc. One of the problems with the use of electricity is that we have not figured out a good way to store it.

No comments: