Ant programming in humans

The other day I was sitting in an airport gate, waiting for my flight that got delayed. The gate was packed with people, & I barely found a chair to sit & read a beautiful book on Ants. I was reading about the way ant choose the task to work in, according to the rate of encounters with other ants doing that task. It reminded me the birds flocks (or “Boids”) computer simulation, which are based on the simple rule for each bird: set your movement vector to the average movement vector of the birds near-by.

Then I noticed 2 guys in-front of me talking & watching something above me. I remembered there was supposed to be some important football match that day & looked up to see that indeed there was a screening of the game above me. I went on to read, & then noticed the loud joy (or maybe it was sadness) acclamation of a guy sitting a few meters in front of me. It didn’t take long & I noticed another guy standing & watching the game.
At that point, my brain made the calculation of the current average task of the people around me (well the males at least) & I felt the drive to stand & watch the game as well (although I lack the slightest interest in it). A guy sitting next to me, also foreign to the game, who was busy ranting about the airline all the time, said to his wife what stupid game football is, & stood up to watch it.
I smiled & told my brain that I refuse to this ant programming, & insist on continuing to read my kindle, in spite of the drive that by then swept almost everyone around me.


The book I was reading is: Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior, by Deborah M. Gordon
To learn how to program flock simulation read this book: the Nature of Code, by Daniel Shiffman