The social cell

“So language and comprehension are an essential part of the workings of social cells, but here is a surprising twist: it is very important in each case that the participants not understand too much. It is not just that the invention and refinement of these social cells do not depend on any intelligent designer; it is that the cells’ effective operation depends on the relative cluelessness – or innocence – of the participants. The membrane that restricts information flow is just as important as the membrane that restricts entry of outsiders, precisely because inside the barrier there are participants who are capable of understanding that information, information that can quickly transform them into outsiders. Bacteria don’t have to worry about the disillusionment of their motor proteins, willing slaves that do so much of the heavy lifting. For social cells, this is a big ecological challenge.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2012/04/social-cell

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Posted on May 7, 2012, in Social Organisms and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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