What do we mean when we say the word “intelligence”? The immune system is the fascinating, distributed, mobile, circulating system that learns and teaches at the level of the cell. It has memory, some of which lasts our entire life, some of which has to be refreshed every twenty years, every twelve years, a booster shot every six years. This is a very fascinating component of our body’s intelligence that, as far as we know, is not conscious, but even that has to be questioned and studied.~ Caroline Jones from, https://www.edge.org/conversation/caroline_a_jones-questioning-the-cranial-paradigm
I often think of my conscious self as the only part of me that really matters. But when I read articles like this one I’m reminded of the rider-and-elephant metaphor. A case can even be made that our entire body, consciousness, and societies at large are just very clever ways for all the non-human things that live in our guts to get moved around… a sort of human-body-as-spaceship, for microbes.