Philosophy Phriday: Trantsformative Experience

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy. This is the twenty-second contribution in the series, submitted by Chris Blake-Turner.

Trantsformative Experience

Let me start by making sure I say at least one true thing in this post: ants and humans are very different. I’m going to use this platitude to explore a problem that arises when we try to make some of the most important decisions in our lives. In particular, it seems that we can’t rationally decide: to have children; to change careers; to go to college.


A leafcutter ant with its children in a colony. Photo: Alex Wild

Consider the following two scenarios.

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Theatre Thursday: Ants on a Plane

The Daily Ant hosts an intermittent ant film series, Theatre Thursdays. This is the second installment, by our Film Correspondant Derek Langston. Enjoy!

Six-legged Celluloid Presents…
A review of Ants on a Plane: “I’m tired of these mother formic ants on this mother formic plane!”


When I decided to watch and review this film, I chose the rental option on Amazon. I was immediately greeted by a message along the lines of “Ordered by mistake? Click here to cancel order”, and I thought to myself, “This must be a warning from the gods of cinema”. Well boy were they right to warn me! What was to follow was an hour and a half of my life I will never get back. But fear not – my job is to weed out the crap from the quality when it comes to formicly-centered films so you, our faithful readers, don’t have to!

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The 1%, The 99%, and Termite Hunters

We all know how ants forage for food. A bunch of workers are sent out randomly, then, upon finding some delicious munchie, each worker lays a chemical trail back to her nest in the hopes that other workers will follow suit. Whether or not nest mates do in fact reinforce a given trail is dictated largely by an emergent, semi-random selection process involving factors like the evaporation rate of trail pheromones, distance of a food source from the nest, and the size of the food source. So, that’s how all ants forage for food. Except it’s NOT!

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Philosophy Phriday: Dispositions and Ant-idotes

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy. This is the twenty-first contribution in the series, submitted by Dr. Lauren Ashwell.

Dispositions and Ant-idotes

Dispositions have seemed to some philosophers to be too spooky and other-worldly to be properties in their own right. Instead, these philosophers have tried to analyze dispositions away in terms they found more ontologically palatable. Dispositional ascriptions, it was once thought, are really just assertions of counterfactuals connecting stimulus conditions to manifestation conditions: to say that something is soluble in water is just to say that it would dissolve if it were placed in water, to say that something is flammable is just to say that it would burn if an ignition source were applied, and to say that something is poisonous is just to say that it would harm you if you were exposed to it [i].


This fire ant is very disposed to hurt you. Photo: Alex Wild

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BREAKING NEWS: Chinese Dissident and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo Dies at 61

Liu Xiaobo once wrote that “life is priceless, even to an ant.” We are thus very sad to learn that the life of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who was imprisoned in China up until his medical release a few weeks ago, came to an end on Thursday, July 13th, at the age of 61. For a spirited obituary by The New York Times editorial board, see here.


T.V. Tuesday: Jane the Virgin

Some time ago, Tube Correspondant Katerina Theodossiou let us know about a remarkable scene from Jane the Virgin, a show that Rotten Tomatoes justifiably rates as 100% fresh:


The inclusion of ants in the third season (and this is not the only occurrence!) virtually guarantees that this season, like the first two, will receive perfect marks from any rating site worth its salt.

Public Service Announcemant

Remember, dear readers, to stay vigilant against mainstream vertebrate bias, which takes many forms (really!). Pedagogical Correspondant Anna Cox shared with us yet another example of sneaky anti-ant writing featured in a practice test, in the form of the New York Times highlighting an invasive ant species in 2013. Invasive ants give the rest of the 10,000’s of species of ants a bad name – never judge the many based on the few!


A beautiful, non-invasive ant. Photo: Alex Wild

Ant Strength

Comic Correspondant Matthew Hernandez recently brought to our attention an interesting investigation of ant strength by Poorly Drawn Lines. Take a look:


This is not the first time that Poorly Drawn Lines has incorporated ants into their excellent work, and in fact they have a couple other pieces using ants that we have yet to feature here. Correspondant Hernandez reached out to PDL to request the incorporation of The Daily Ant into a new comic, but we have not yet heard back. Stay tuned!

Style Saturday: Florals and Ants

In case you’ve been living in an abandoned ant colony and missed it — floral patterned fabrics are on trend for 2017. Everyone, from Dries Van Noten to the ants in your garden, has their own take on the look. Unsurprisingly, here at The Daily Ant, our take puts a formicid-friendly spin on the trend, for ultra-cool, funky, feminine style. Florals and ants? That’s a match so perfect, it might as well have been made in a lab.

A floral print tank functions as the base of this look — the blues and purples coordinate with turquoise sandals and a peony (and ant!) print phone case. Note: coordinating is not the same as matching, and that’s okay. You want the different elements of your look to blend, but they don’t need to come together like a bunch of drones to work. Myrmecologically-themed jewelry lets you wear something that sparkles without feeling like a pupa. Without that balance, jewelry on top of florals can be overwhelming. Formicid fashion is in bloom!

Florals and Ants


Oasis floral top
$45 –

MANGO ripped skinny jeans
$26 –

Tech accessory