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MidgetD
27-11-2010, 02:59
Reading again through the fluff today, I realized that Hive Fleet Jormungander used asteroids as "orbital bombardments". Not only for the purpose of destruction, but for shielding, and mimicking mycetic spores. Then upon their arrival, the spores released burrowing creatures, and left them dormant.

After this, I read the final entry of The Ghorala Swarm, and the cunning of a SINGLE hive ship, and then the strategies of the organisms following their hive mind's destruction.

Upon finishing I began to ponder what the true extent of the hive mind's intelligence could be. With this kind of mind, is it even possible to finish off a swarm for good? :eek:

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 04:22
It is more than possible to finish the swarm. Just difficult.

I like to compare the Hive Mind's intelligence to that of Braniac from the Superman comics in that both are constantly absorbing new information and utilizing that information in the most logical way possible to overcome goals. In other words, I see the Hive Mind being capable of reason and ingenuity on an incredible level but likely devoid of personality.

ashendant
27-11-2010, 11:04
It is more than possible to finish the swarm. Just difficult.

I like to compare the Hive Mind's intelligence to that of Braniac from the Superman comics in that both are constantly absorbing new information and utilizing that information in the most logical way possible to overcome goals. In other words, I see the Hive Mind being capable of reason and ingenuity on an incredible level but likely devoid of personality.

And when the battlefield requires someone with a bit of personality and experience, the hive mind deploys the swarmlord

Nubl0
28-11-2010, 04:25
If it wasnt for the fact he was trying to kill you and your entire planet... you could say the Swarmlord is a really nice guy.

snottlebocket
28-11-2010, 09:00
I still can't get around the fact that the tyranid hive mind is actually the exact opposite of what a hive mind is. Very annoying.

MagosHereticus
28-11-2010, 09:58
I still can't get around the fact that the tyranid hive mind is actually the exact opposite of what a hive mind is. Very annoying.

can you express your grievance in words?

snottlebocket
28-11-2010, 10:37
can you express your grievance in words?

I just did. The tyranids work with a top down intelligence. There's some sort of uber creature (ship, queen, dominatrix pick one) and a de facto chain of command of lesser synapse creatures relaying intent right down to the lowliest near mindless minions. Not to mention a very specific intent, strategy and so on.

A hive mind is a structure where there is zero central command, each individual component is dumb as a doorknob but the cumulative effect of their actions achieves a result that appears be an intelligent decision. (but in reality is not since no thought went into it)

For instance take ants. Individual ants forage for food in a random pattern. Once food is found, the finder lays a scent trail from the food to the nest. Any random forager finding this scent trail makes a 50/50 decision to follow the trail or keep randomly foraging. If it happens to follow the trail and find the food, it to returns to the nest laying a scent trail, reinforcing the original scent trail.

The stronger the scent trail the heavier the decision to follow the trail or keep randomly foraging is made in favor of following the trail. Once the food is gone, there is no food left to return to the nest, the scent trail will no longer be reinforced, decays and eventually disappears.

The end result is that even though the ants don't think about it, don't directly communicate, and don't really cooperate. The nest as a whole has found an extremely efficient way to apply the correct amount of manpower in direct proportion to the size of a food item. A seemingly intelligent decision although no one gave it a single thought.

That is a hive mind. Tyranids are a lot of things but they're nothing like a hive mind. If you're having trouble picturing the difference between what ants do and what tyranids do, remember this: the idea that tyranids are all expendable is false. We all know how vital various synapse creatures are. In an ant colony there truly isn't an essential member. You can destroy any number of ants and their system will keep working without requiring any change. It will continue to work exactly the same way right down to the last ant. (even removing the queen won't change the way the colony works, it'll only ensure there won't be replacement ants. Many ant species keep more than one queen for that reason and regularly split up into new colonies)

TheShadowCow
28-11-2010, 11:00
I just did. The tyranids work with a top down intelligence. There's some sort of uber creature (ship, queen, dominatrix pick one) and a de facto chain of command of lesser synapse creatures relaying intent right down to the lowliest near mindless minions. Not to mention a very specific intent, strategy and so on.

A hive mind is a structure where there is zero central command, each individual component is dumb as a doorknob but the cumulative effect of their actions achieves a result that appears be an intelligent decision. (but in reality is not since no thought went into it)

For instance take ants. Individual ants forage for food in a random pattern. Once food is found, the finder lays a scent trail from the food to the nest. Any random forager finding this scent trail makes a 50/50 decision to follow the trail or keep randomly foraging. If it happens to follow the trail and find the food, it to returns to the nest laying a scent trail, reinforcing the original scent trail.

The stronger the scent trail the heavier the decision to follow the trail or keep randomly foraging is made in favor of following the trail. Once the food is gone, there is no food left to return to the nest, the scent trail will no longer be reinforced, decays and eventually disappears.

The end result is that even though the ants don't think about it, don't directly communicate, and don't really cooperate. The nest as a whole has found an extremely efficient way to apply the correct amount of manpower in direct proportion to the size of a food item. A seemingly intelligent decision although no one gave it a single thought.

That is a hive mind. Tyranids are a lot of things but they're nothing like a hive mind. If you're having trouble picturing the difference between what ants do and what tyranids do, remember this: the idea that tyranids are all expendable is false. We all know how vital various synapse creatures are. In an ant colony there truly isn't an essential member. You can destroy any number of ants and their system will keep working without requiring any change. It will continue to work exactly the same way right down to the last ant. (even removing the queen won't change the way the colony works, it'll only ensure there won't be replacement ants. Many ant species keep more than one queen for that reason and regularly split up into new colonies)

The Tyranid Hive Mind is still a composite intelligence made up of every Tyranid mind within the Synapse web though. Even though there is a lot of top-down control (and there would have to be - the Tyranid race is involved in far more complex processes on a much grander scale than an ant colony), there is a staggering amount of bottom-up communication from the entire super-organism, and it is that communication which comprises the "hive mind" of the Tyranids, just as the pheromones, pre-programmed actions etc create the "hive mind" of an ant colony.

Perhaps we should call what the Tyranids have "Hive Mind Plus"? There is a comparison to be made, but what the Tyranids have is clearly different to (better than?) what ants have. I dispute your "no essential member of an ant colony" statement as well - as you yourself have said, if (for example) the queen(s) are killed, there will be no more ants in that colony. That seems like a pretty essential role to me, just as killing all of the Norn Queens in a Hive Fleet will cripple the Tyranid replication.

snottlebocket
28-11-2010, 12:34
The Tyranid Hive Mind is still a composite intelligence made up of every Tyranid mind within the Synapse web though. Even though there is a lot of top-down control (and there would have to be - the Tyranid race is involved in far more complex processes on a much grander scale than an ant colony), there is a staggering amount of bottom-up communication from the entire super-organism, and it is that communication which comprises the "hive mind" of the Tyranids, just as the pheromones, pre-programmed actions etc create the "hive mind" of an ant colony.

Perhaps we should call what the Tyranids have "Hive Mind Plus"? There is a comparison to be made, but what the Tyranids have is clearly different to (better than?) what ants have. I dispute your "no essential member of an ant colony" statement as well - as you yourself have said, if (for example) the queen(s) are killed, there will be no more ants in that colony. That seems like a pretty essential role to me, just as killing all of the Norn Queens in a Hive Fleet will cripple the Tyranid replication.

I'm not disputing nid complexity, they just are nothing like a hive mind. Psychic network sure, composite brain dubious but sure, hive mind... not even close.

As for queens being essential. Queens are essential for the continuation of a colony, not the running of a colony. Most species have many queens within a colony and regularly split into new colonies. (which technically are all instances of the same colony) Removing every single queen from a colony won't disrupt the colony one bit. The colony will wind down ofcourse without replacements but it will continue working normally until the last ant is gone. That's nothing like a tyranid army with it's synapse creatures removed, the organisation will fall apart on the spot.

Honestly, I don't know what a good label for tyranids would be. They're highly complex, specialized and organized. The one thing I do know is that they're simply not even remotely like a hive mind and completely unrelated. (I still maintain that tyranids are pretty much the polar opposite of a hive mind)

Iracundus
28-11-2010, 12:54
The Tyranids as a whole function like a multicellular organism except individual creatures fill the roles of individual cells. There is no boss creature any more than there is one boss neuron in a brain. Knocking out high level synapse creatures causes disruption, just like knocking off certain specific nerves or areas of your brain will disrupt sensation or cause paralysis or various other neurological effects, but for the Tyranids even the Norn Queens are ultimately replaceable and a Hive Fleet doesn't just have to have only one.

Is the gestalt consciousness that GW refers to as the "Hive Mind" acting consciously in its adaptations to the enemy or is its consciousness either non-existent or perhaps occupied with higher level things? We don't know. Certainly the lesser organisms like Warriors and Hive Tyrants have some initiative and can use tactics, but a single cell in a multicellular organism can also respond and interact to its local surroundings without the higher organism consciously doing anything. All the adaptations, both physical and tactical, that the enemies of the Tyranids have encountered might amount to no more than the equivalent of the digestive processes or immune system of the Tyranid super organism, which the "Hive Mind" may not be consciously aware of. To humans it may seem the Hive Mind has no personality or cannot be communicated with in any way, but imagine a bacteria in your gut trying to communicate with you. How could communication take place? What would there be to talk about given how different each entity's experience of life is? Imagine the utter bafflement of the hypothetical bacterium to hearing you talk about such incomprehensible things like a mortgage or interacting with other macroscopic organisms and objects.

LordLucan
28-11-2010, 12:57
The Synapse creatures are the brain cells in the singular vast consciousness of the 'hive' mind.

Synapse creatures are not the leaders of the race, they are the relay nodes for the galactic scale intellect of the Tyranid race. Destroying a synapse creature will not diminish the hive mind in any way. It will simply disrupt the LAN of the surrounding Tyranid cosntructs taht don't have a hardline to the hive mind itself.

The non-synapse creatures are more like biological machines manufactured in the factory ships that are known as hive ships.

Also, Norn Queens are vast biological factories, plumbed into the hive ships. They aren't leaders either, and destroying a norn queen only effects the hive fleet it produces constructs for. When a norn queen dies, the hive mind instinctively has several more norn queens produced. This is known as the hydra effect, documented in the 3rd ed codex.


Also, Tyranid fleets/colonies regularly split into other colonies like you say. That's what makes Kraken so dangerous, as it shattered into many colonies.

Iracundus
28-11-2010, 13:09
The Synapse creatures are the brain cells in the singular vast consciousness of the 'hive' mind.

Synapse creatures are not the leaders of the race, they are the relay nodes for the galactic scale intellect of the Tyranid race. Destroying a synapse creature will not diminish the hive mind in any way. It will simply disrupt the LAN of the surrounding Tyranid cosntructs taht don't have a hardline to the hive mind itself.


Well strictly speaking if the Tyranid gestalt is the sum total of all Tyranids, then destroying any creature or synapse creature does diminish it, but in a tiny infinitesimal way. The destruction of a major fleet like Behemoth would diminish it more, though to what extent we still don't know since we don't know what proportion of the Tyranid race was represented by Behemoth.

For purposes of BL and GW background and stories, the accounts of the disruption of creatures following the death of high level synapse creatures really appears to be more writer gimmick (or like a video "boss fight") to allow the heroes and the story an easy way to finish off the antagonist foes. Otherwise the Tyranids, who have the advantage of numbers, would swarm under the heroes. In Epic 2nd edition and even in 40K (barring the latest addition of the Tervigon creature), destroying synapse creatures had no specific detrimental effect on nearby Tyranids except the possibility of denying them synapse coverage. If other synapse creatures were nearby to take up the slack, then synapse cover was preserved. In other words, it did not matter if you destroyed the Dominatrix if there still remained a Tyranid Warrior next to the Termagant. It was a decentralized network. In Epic 2nd edition, different synapse creatures had a different synapse radius, but other than that, synapse coverage was synapse coverage.

LordLucan
28-11-2010, 14:05
Does killing one of your brain cells make you one brain cell less sentient? I believe that is what it is like with the aynapse creatures, and explains the quote in one of the codexes (3rd or 4th iirc) about the death of the synapse creature not diminishing the hive mind in any way.

On your second paragraph: I agree wholeheartedly. However, I suspect at least initially, losing the synapse creature would briefly cause the warrior constructs to lose cohesion. And I still believe it is a decentralised network. afterall, zoanthropes can also be back up relays for the synapse network, in case other synapse creatures expire.

Sanguine
28-11-2010, 19:00
There is one thing that is overlooked here though, and if it´s the hive mind has limitless potential to develop skills. We all know it can adapt to situations to suit the purpose of consuming bio-matter to ¨feed¨ the fleet. But does that constitute as intelligence?

Also it depends on how the hive mind is developed, is it a single organism with a capacity to learn at a set point, or does the capacity to learn grow exponentially with the number of tyranid species ¨alive¨. If it is just what GW says as a manifestation of the tyranid species can we reason it is more ¨stupid¨ with less organisms than more?

El_Machinae
28-11-2010, 21:04
Another difference between ants and synapse creatures is that synapse creatures have actual memories. Not just intelligence, but memories of previous struggles & solutions (etc.). While the components of my computer are quite swapable, and each component can be replaced with 'off the shelf' components, the data within some components is important and valuable too.

So, killing synapse creatures hurts the 'nids in a way that killing non-synapses creatures doesn't. Many of the creatures are completely replacable

Son of Sanguinius
28-11-2010, 21:43
Another difference between ants and synapse creatures is that synapse creatures have actual memories. Not just intelligence, but memories of previous struggles & solutions (etc.). While the components of my computer are quite swapable, and each component can be replaced with 'off the shelf' components, the data within some components is important and valuable too.

So, killing synapse creatures hurts the 'nids in a way that killing non-synapses creatures doesn't. Many of the creatures are completely replacable

Do we know that? Would the psychic connection between the creature and the hive mind automatically impart the memories to the collective?

Nubl0
29-11-2010, 00:42
We could assume so, does the Swarm Lord not regularly update it's Repertoire of tactics and strategies after defeating a new foe? Or is it so old that it know every concivable strategy to employ and just draws on that?

ashendant
29-11-2010, 01:19
We could assume so, does the Swarm Lord not regularly update it's Repertoire of tactics and strategies after defeating a new foe? Or is it so old that it know every concivable strategy to employ and just draws on that?

I think it's implied that it's "Mind/Soul/Whatever" is "copy/pasted" over the old "file" at the moment of death

Sanguine
29-11-2010, 07:51
But that shows experience not ¨intelligence¨ of the hive mind, another thing is the swarm lord the hive mind manifested in the flesh, is that why it can be copied and pasted back over multiple hive fleets?

El_Machinae
29-11-2010, 13:57
Do we know that? Would the psychic connection between the creature and the hive mind automatically impart the memories to the collective?

Well, it's guessing on my part. But the memories have to be contained somewhere. So, if there's only a physical storage (synapse) or both physical and psychic (synapse and 'warp'), I don't know. If there's redundant storage, then my little thesis is false

Chaplain of Chaos
29-11-2010, 15:41
It's more like a field or continuum of consciousness really. Even our own brain when damaged can recover things from that damaged portion of the brain through plasticity. The memories and experiences of a synapse creature aren't stored in any single spot they are diffused over the entire tyranid super-organism.

ashendant
29-11-2010, 16:06
Well, it's guessing on my part. But the memories have to be contained somewhere. So, if there's only a physical storage (synapse) or both physical and psychic (synapse and 'warp'), I don't know. If there's redundant storage, then my little thesis is false

I think the storage is the ships with multiple backups

Sanguine
29-11-2010, 17:50
So the general consensus here is that the HM is a manifestation of all of the tyranid creatures, would we say these are absolutely every gaunt, fex and ravenour, or just the synapse creatures? I also heard (somewhere on here in fact) a theory that the HM is an Old Once what do people think about that? I know this is just fluff but I am quite interested in it :D

SrgReefer
29-11-2010, 23:34
a theory that the HM is an Old Once (One) what do people think about that? I know this is just fluff but I am quite interested in it :D

I don't think an Old One could ever become something that is bound to devour all life. If I remember the Old Ones have always been the ones to create life, not snuff it out. Even after the C'tan wars I don't think an Old One could have gotten that messed up to make a HM to simply snuff all life out.

On top of that how do we know how many other galaxy's they have visited be for that, and to eat a galaxy as well as traverse the void would predate the war in the heavens.

The Hive Mind is a collection of a psychic bug like race that has hit critical mass (much like the Eldar at the fall) that made a Hive Mind instead of a god, or if you want you could call it a god in a sense.

SolkaTruesilver
30-11-2010, 03:18
What if the Nid Hive Minds were in Fact Warp manifestation of the race it composes. What is the #1 purpose of Tyranids? Nom nom nom.

So their Warp entity guiding the whole is also feeding on the Warp itself. They are not merely biomass predator: they are also Warp predator.

Which is why they have come to out galaxy. They have felt thr incredible Warp signal in the Astronomicon, and plan to destroy all in their way.

What if a full Hive Fleet were to invade the Eye of Chaos?

El_Machinae
30-11-2010, 13:04
I think the storage is the ships with multiple backups

The problem with backups is completely an economic one: storage that you're using for backup could be used to store new information. If there's 5x backup in 'the ships', then there's actually room for 5x more information.

This means that the synapse creatures minds would contain information - useful information - that's not worth backing up. There's only so much room for 'backup' and (unless the Warp changes everything) backup will be reserved only for very important information.

SolkaTruesilver
30-11-2010, 13:14
Just to add to the theory I mentionned up-here: what is the Shadow of the Warp was a temporary Warp disruption caused by the feeding of the Hive Mind on it?

If you destroy the Astronomicon, all the Tyranid Hive Fleets become blind and only go about randomly through the Galaxy, lacking a driving purpose (think of the Astronomicon as the light which attracts bugs).

ashendant
30-11-2010, 23:11
Just to add to the theory I mentionned up-here: what is the Shadow of the Warp was a temporary Warp disruption caused by the feeding of the Hive Mind on it?

If you destroy the Astronomicon, all the Tyranid Hive Fleets become blind and only go about randomly through the Galaxy, lacking a driving purpose (think of the Astronomicon as the light which attracts bugs).

the commonly accepted theory is that the shadow of the warp is caused by static of too many messages between Tyranid going on at the same time, or something like that

TheShadowCow
01-12-2010, 07:06
So the general consensus here is that the HM is a manifestation of all of the tyranid creatures, would we say these are absolutely every gaunt, fex and ravenour, or just the synapse creatures?

My take on this has always been that the Hive Mind is a composite of all Tyranid creatures... within the Synaptic web. Therefore, Synapse creatures are always a part of it (because they have a direct link) and everything else is a part of it when "plugged in" to the Synapse web.

What we've got to remember is that the Hive Mind is "life" on a scale completely out of our range of understanding. It spans a galaxy, probably more than one (and the void between). The input of a brood of Termagants on a world is going to register in the same way that you register the individual electrons at the end of your index finger.

I heartily recommend this article for everyone - it outs it very nicely, and is something to consider when thinking about "The Hive Mind".

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2010/02/40k-fluff-nature-of-hivemind.html

eyescrossed
01-12-2010, 07:34
the commonly accepted theory is that the shadow of the warp is caused by static of too many messages between Tyranid going on at the same time, or something like that

Yeah. I heard that Daemons even "run" in "terror" because the constant messages basically own them.

Crazy Ivan
01-12-2010, 08:33
Yeah. I heard that Daemons even "run" in "terror" because the constant messages basically own them.I now have an image of the Tyranid Hive mind basically being Twitter gone rogue... :eek:

eyescrossed
01-12-2010, 09:24
It basically is :p

Sanguine
01-12-2010, 12:57
First of all top notch article really defined what I thought the tyranids would be like.

The idea presented that the Hive Mind is an Old One isn't that far fetched (really should get the auther of the piece here) the whole point of the Old One's was to create life, and you could say the Tyranids are the pinical of an evolution of a species. They can think on levels that are beyond our comprehension. The Old One's created beings to do their will, we know that they spanned galexies with single footsteps and could make life itself.

Anyway the Old One's created life to do their bidding, just like the tyranids we don't know anything about this, they are as alien to us as anything else. Who can say the tyranids arn't part of that plan? They are resistant to the warping affects of chaos, even going so far as to "block" out the warp. They can also use the power of their species to manifest psychic powers able to rip apart tanks and affect a persons mind.

Another thing is that each tyranid organsim (even though they can be morphed and changed) all have a sense of order and purpose, a design to them if you will.

Another question: are deamons able to manifest themselves on a planet with the "shadow in the warp" in place or not?

eyescrossed
02-12-2010, 09:27
On your last question, I assume it would be hard.

TheShadowCow
02-12-2010, 21:59
On your last question, I assume it would be hard.

Indeed, I guess it's a question that doesn't have a full-stop answer. It would depend on the number/nature of the Tyranids, the number/nature of the Daemons, any external phenomena (Warp Storms, yadda yadda). I've always imagined it to be like two tidal waves smashing together. Sometimes one is enough to outright bury the other, but usually there's just a whole lot of violent crashing.

Spectre
03-12-2010, 01:41
I'm not disputing nid complexity, they just are nothing like a hive mind. Psychic network sure, composite brain dubious but sure, hive mind... not even close.

Honestly, I don't know what a good label for tyranids would be. They're highly complex, specialized and organized. The one thing I do know is that they're simply not even remotely like a hive mind and completely unrelated. (I still maintain that tyranids are pretty much the polar opposite of a hive mind)

Eeh, I think you're juggling semantics here. The phrase 'Hive mind' has kinda been assimilated into several different fields with subtly different meaning, so a sci-fi hive mind is not a psychology hive mind is not an animal behaviour hive mind.

An ant hive mind could more accurately be called swarm intelligence. The Tyranids could more accurately be called a collective consciousness. In both cases the definition hive mind can be incorrect. Or you could argue that the tyranids as a whole are a swarm intelligence with individually conscious elements within it. Swarm intelligence can be applied to avalanches and water drops, basically anything that unthinkingly path optimizes counts. So an unthinking collective devouring a galaxy or non-cooperative human individuals who collectively exterminate the mega-fauna of a whole planet can both kinda be described as swarm intelligences. But hey, we've gotten used to calling it a hive mind, so that's the name that tends to stick.