12/12/2017 1:06pm
RT @UoMNews: Think humanoid #robots will soon take over world? Well...don't worry just yet says @simon_a_watson of @UomRobotics [LINK]
08/12/2017 1:05pm
RT @farscopecdt: @farscopecdt gives you the best possible start on your Robotics and Autonomous Systems research and innovation career, PhD…
29/11/2017 2:28pm
RT @DrARichards: How @farscopecdt student Katie got totally hooked on robotics [LINK]
28/11/2017 1:12pm
A quick overview of our Information-Cost-Reward framework - see how #robot #swarm #foraging performance can be disa… [LINK]

[To Vote or Not To Vote: A Swarm Approach]

Added on 19/01/2012
Tags: swarm :: mind

I’ve never voted. I am not sure why, I perhaps don't care enough. People always tell me: 'Imagine everybody would decide not to vote! You have to vote because every small opinion counts towards the final results'. I've never agreed with it, although I couldn't express why. On one hand, it seems like democracy works because decisions depend on opinions of many people, yet it seems like your own vote does not matter at all. The answer to this dilemma can be found in principles of swarm behaviour.

The main strength of biological swarms is in collective decision-making about a common action like what to hunt or where to migrate. However, swarm behaviour only works because of interactions between individuals. One single unit on its own has no impact, even if it keeps repeating its behaviour over and over. An ant can forever walk back and forth to a bad nest site if it doesn't distribute pheromone. A bee can repeatedly collect nectar from a weak flower source if it does not dance to attract other nest mates. It is not the action itself but the passing of information about one's action that results in emergent global results, which is also what makes swarms hard to engineer.

I would therefore argue that there is nothing wrong with not voting. As long as you keep it to yourself or at least don't try to persuade others to behave as you do, your decision to not vote has no impact on who will be the president or who a parliament will constitute of. The same goes for your choice of whom to vote for if you decide to. Your individual action does not matter. Only waves of your impact on others do.

{Please enable JavaScript in order to post comments}


Robot swarms in action

Watch e-puck robots collect resources and bring them back to base. While the previous simulation work helped us to learn a lot about the...

[read full]

How to compile code for e-puck robots on your computer

Compiling code natively on e-puck robots or cross-compiling on your computer can be very tedious. Luckily, there is a third option:...

[read full]

Coding for tomorrow: Why is good code important?

"Why should I care about how my code is written, as long as it works?" I will argue here that well-structured and well-written code not...

[read full]

How Coding in Python Might Be Bad For You

7 reasons why coding in Python is like writing a really bad essay and getting away with it

[read full]