9 February 2009

Not so super

Parallels between the ants and ourselves are striking for the light they shed on the nature of everyday human experiences. Some ants get forced into low-status jobs and are prevented from becoming upwardly mobile by other members of the colony. Garbage dump workers, for example, are confined to their humble and dangerous task of removing rubbish from the nest by other ants who respond aggressively to the odors that linger on the garbage workers' bodies.
-- Tim Flannery in a review article of The Superorganism by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson.
All of a sudden, a pipe protruding into the drain above his head started spewing out water and human faeces that poured over his body.
-- Rupa Jha on 'My life cleaning Delhi's sewers'

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