Is there any creature that cannot benefit from networking

Wednesday, 17. June 2009

I saw some goats networking in Greece once, very successfully deciding not to clamber over a barbed wire fence, explaining to me in their uniquely beautiful language that to them success meant being happy on your own side of the fence even if the food is a trifle chewy. Fair enough.

In the last couple of years we have established quite conclusively that insects are networking crazy and since there are 1.6m ants for every human on earth this makes our little quivery friends easily the most prolific makers of useful contacts on the planet.

But is there any creature that cannot benefit from networking, I wonder? What do you think? I mean, does whatever lives in pools of polluted sludge on old Dr Who sets have an inner life with emotional wealth sufficient to benefit from a friend in every cesspool?

(Originally published as a joke on Ecademy)

6 Responses to “Is there any creature that cannot benefit from networking”

  1. Michael Heaney Says:

    Since you asked….

    And you thought you were miserable, isolated, lonely and separated from the rest of the world.

    Consider the situation of Desulforudis audaxviator
    According to my local newspaper it is possibly the world’s loneliest living species.
    It’s a rod shaped bug that survives on its own in complete darkness nearly two miles underground and has been discovered in South African gold mines.

    Experts believe it represents the first single species ecosystem known on the planet.
    The bug gets its energy from hydrogen and sulphate produced by the radioactive decay of uranium.

    …And we thought we had problems and limited opportunity for social interaction.

    Now if only they could decide to bem nore social and engage in networking they could have fleeting meaningless interchanges with contacts all over the world in just a matter of moments.

  2. Vincent Says:

    O Michael, you have aroused in me a sense of Universal Oneness. I want to clasp these creatures to my bosom, for they are our distant relatives, however strange they may appear to our own preconceptions of normal life and social interaction. And what evidence do we have that they lack an inner life?

    Suppose other forms of networking exist than the social networking model? Suppose nuns really can pray for the world. Suppose the whale-songs which traverse oceans are merely the visible tip of a deep iceberg of what the Americans call “mental telepathy” (is there another kind?)

    Benefit” from networking? Before I lose myself – and you – in New Age ramblings, what do we mean by benefit? Do we all need benefit? Suppose we already have enough?

  3. Steven Holmes Says:

    I knew you two would get on fine!

  4. Cora Says:

    Surely I can’t deny the benefits of networking.

    Years ago one of my friends sent me an invitation to LinkedIn. I knew nothing about networking at that time. There was a woman on Likedin with a huge number of connections, so I thought she should be able to explain to me the benefits of such a large network. Well…I asked her and waited…and she didn’t. She mumbled something about introducing me to one of her other networks, which was Ecademy. And because I was really curious, I entered after a while this other network, for no other reason that the name puzzled me…
    And it is through Ecademy that I noticed this rather serious and yet ironic guy with his outspoken views on matters that really matter.
    And one day we agreed to have a conversation by phone. And the next day he invited me to his club, Destiny Discussion…
    The rest of the story is well known, I suppose.
    So yes, networking can have some benefits…

  5. mindy Says:

    I think that “networking” is a modern word for an age-old survival instinct … the herd instinct … Whether we flock together for survival, mating or (modern) business survival. We as humans want to put a meaning to everything we experience. To animal & insects…it’s just life as they know it. We live in an interconnected world, at whatever level we exist…any more meaning attached is of our own creation. And at any level…ain’t it a wonderful thing?


  6. Vincent Says:

    Mindy, good to meet you. Tell me (& please don’t consider this remark aggressive, that’s in no way the intention) when you supply that web address under your name, is it mostly a way of giving background about yourself, or is it more a habit of advertising your services, and therefore a manifestation of that age-old survival instinct?

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