TTBOOK: Hive Mind

Many animals, from fish to bees and ants, cannot survive alone. They need to live in groups, and these groups have a kind of collective intelligence. You might say the internet has developed its own "hive mind." In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll tell you how the modern science of complexity is unlocking the secrets of the hive mind. We’ll also hear from E.O. Wilson about the marvelous world of ants.

SEGMENT 1: Thomas Seeley is a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University. He talks about the social organization of a bee colony with Steve Paulson. And intrepid TTBOOK intern John Pederson visits local bee keeper Mary Seeley as she’s setting up some new hives.

SEGMENT 2: Len Fisher is the author of "The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life." He talks with Anne Strainchamps about "swarm intelligence" and how it differs from "group think." Also, E.O. Wilson may know more about ants than anyone else on the planet. He and his colleague, Bert Holldobler, are the authors of "The Superorganism." It’s a book about the organization and communication among the millions of members of the colonies of certain species of ants. Wilson tells Steve Paulson they do it all with chemical signals secreted by their bodies.

SEGMENT 3: Jaron Lanier is a Silicon Valley visionary and a virtuoso musician and composer. His new book is "You Are Not A Gadget." The man who popularized "virtual reality" in the 80s tells Anne Strainchamps why he thinks Web 2.0 technology is erasing our sense of our own identity.

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