I had intended to blog about The Ant and the Grasshopper, one of Aesop's fables. People in my area of upstate New York are busy getting ready for winter's challenges, and I could draw a number of educational parallels regarding preparation, collaboration, and gathering resources.
But a search for suitable quotes resulted in a slight change of focus.
Philosopher Francis Bacon explained different scientific approaches by comparing the ant, the spider, and the bee:
“Those who have handled sciences have either been men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes the middle course; it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy.”
Aesop's imprudent grasshopper idled away his summer and learned from the industrious ant that "It is best to prepare for the days of necessity."
Bacon, however, found the ants, who "collect and use" less admirable than a bee, which "gathers its material...but transforms and digests it by a power of its own."
The transformative power of the web depends on more than just the tools it provides. It requires planning, creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to continuously monitor and adjust expectations.
The 21st century requires bees, not ants.
"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" -Henry David Thoreau
"Ant on Birch" by E.B. White
All other photos by dmcordell