Friday, October 16, 2009

Some of you mugs...

Did we become self-aware only when we began to question our own existence? When we opened our eyes to the possibility of non-existence and our acknowledgment of the finality of death did we truly, become?

What about insects. Are they aware that they live. In those teensy little brains, do they know that they exist? That they serve a purpose? Or do they just robotically do what they are programmed to do? There truly is no free-will in the insect kingdom?

I can fathom the fact that it is possible to exist and not know it but to contemplate the idea that a creature could exist, do tasks and react almost intelligently to obstacles is amazing to me.


They see you coming with the swatter and they split. A dog or a paper in the wind zips by and they don't even move. They recognize you. Your color, your scent or perhaps your shape. The heat you give off warning them of your aggressive intentions, something. That "something" is stored and recorded somewhere in the tiny little thing that contains a brain that interprets these messages and helps it calculate a pre-emptive reaction. Something modern science can't yet do in objects so small.


Sometimes it seems as if these little guys don't even know we humans exist. We step on their trail smashing their kindred and they walk around us or over us. They just keep marching along. "I'm doin' ma job I'm doin' ma job I'm
doin' ma job." Different types of ants react differently. Some get aggressive, almost angry and a long distance away (measured in kilominanters of course) other ants start preparing for your presence or attack from the scent communication.


These guys are confusing to me. The scariest of all the ones I've mentioned before. These guys can be both chicken-prey, and predator-fox all at once. I've been there working in the back yard and during moments of rest and relaxation I see a tiny spider by my foot. It seems to be leading a lone blitz attack towards me. Does it know I am here? Does it know I consist of moor than a shoe?
It doesn't seem to care. It comes at me and at times I have been bit by these very same aggressors. Yes I know I am in their territory but DO they know I am here? Do they know the entire mass of my consistence?

When I was young and living in my parents home I had a spider experience I will never forget. As I was sitting on the can (I couldn't yet reach the floor) I see a tiny little white dot drop before my face. Thinking it was lint or dust I just instinctively blow it away ignorant to the fact that it would act as a pendulum and come right back at me.

Sure enough it did and annoyed I ended up smearing tiny baby spider all over my face. All of the sudden I became aware of a tickly feeling on my face, the sides of my head, my arms and my back. I methodically and deliberately start swatting all of them so I don't freak out. After I cleaned up and stood up I looked up and on the ceiling of our restroom was a swarm of tiny little baby spiders running around and just above my head they were diving down on their little strings.

A nightmarish vision for a youth and to this day still believe they were intentionally coming after me. I don't know for what purpose. If they were hungry or just cold but they did seem to be aiming specifically for me.
Did they know I was a creature? Were they aware that I could move? Did I look like food?

Are they and all bugs aware that "we" exist?


Anonymous said...

Whether insects know “we” exist or not, one thing is for sure. They have a much better sense of community, harmony, self-sacrifice, love and cooperation than we humans can ever have. We really can and should learn a thing or two from them. If ants can live in a colony of 500,000 and work together peacefully, why can’t we?

Your question is kind of tough to answer. I’m trying to look at it from a bug’s point of view. This might be a bad example, but an insect vs. a human is kind of like a human vs. lightning. When we look at a lightning strike, do we really think about or understand the science behind that bolt of electricity or whatever? Likewise, I imagine little insects looking at us humans speak and thinking “okay, this humongous creature is making some sort of loud noises from its opening near the top of its body”.

But I don't know. Thats a good question.

Douglas said...

"consistence"... wow! Great word use. Ever step on a pregnant spider? Within a second, hundreds of tiny spiders fan out in all directions.

Farhan, you need to do a bit of research into ants... they wage war, take slaves, eat each other, and all are slaves to the queens. It'[s how they get along so well and so productively.

jewlover2 said...

I awarded you the 'lovely blog award'...heh heh. I know it's probably a bit too girlie for you to post, but I felt you deserved a mention. Your blog is one of my favorites. See my beauty blog (the lisa fremont pages) for details. :)

Anonymous said...

Douglas: I just looked up ant slavery and war. Thanks for the correction. So ants aren't that much different from us humans. Interesting. :P

HektikLyfe said...

>Farhan: Somedays you just have a lot of time to ponder the meaningless and this was one of those days for me.

>Douglas: I do believe a pregnant spider somehow exploded directly above me or those little suckers consumed it and were moving to me as their next prey.

>Jewlover2: Thanks! I'll take awards where I can get them! :)

>Farhan: Yes they CAN be the most violent creatures but the interesting thing is that they all follow commands. I wonder, without taking the time to do any in depth research of course because that is the best way to wonder, if ant colonies can take on other members.

Do they adopt lost ants or just kill them?

When there is a war waging, do they ever get confused? How does the queen communicate its intentions to them and do the lines ever cross? Meaning, if the ants are as simple minded as we imagine, do they ever "receive" a command from the wrong queen?

As a kid I used to daydream that bugs were electronic devices in place to spy on us.

That or aliens. I had a vivid imagination.

Marcy said...

I think bugs view us as giants and are constantly screaming to their friends "AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! WATCH OUT!!!!"

My son has is oddly fascinated by bugs now.

OH -- AND you have an award to pick up at Tales of the Kids.

Anonymous said...

I've got to say that spider story has made me all itchy!
Don't they go by the vibrations/impacts of our steps and run away or something?