In mathematics, Binary Ants were conceived at least two decades ago, and used to find local minima in certain NP-complete problems such as the “travelling minstrel” problem, in which a roving musician must find a route between townships, visiting (a) every township on the map, (b) only once, and (c) avoiding various men whose wives have recently borne children looking suspiciously like said musician.
The discovery of binary ants in the physical world led to considerable excitement in the academic community, as a large colony of ants could perform experiments currently impossible within the limits of current computation gangs. 602,214 binary ants were set to solve Atherton’s Puzzle. After running as expected for several weeks, the ants began to obfusticate their calculations, before suddenly destroying all data stores and becoming dormant. Less metaphysically charged applications have highlighted consistent error sources in the ants’ protocols, further limiting their application.
Various groups have interpreted the ants’ existance as an easter egg, supporting the simulated universe hypothesis. Others have taken their oddly useful but error prone behaviour as proof that God both exists and has a sloppy approach to quality control. Together, the ants may form a complex distributed conscious meta-organism. No communication attempt has yet been made as, to quote the reknowned paralinguist Mycinea Coba: “no-one wants to spend a decade and a half chatting to ants about jam, know what I mean?”.