Please note that this write-up involves copious quantities of insects. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. You may want to bring your bug spray.
This is a far simpler proposition than you might think, although it does involve more work than some people would care to contemplate. To quote Thomas Edison, however:
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
And at the end of the day, it really isn't all that hard. There are some basic requirements you will need, though.
Everybody still here? No, it's OK ma'am, toilets are at the back, on your left.
Once you have assembled your equipment and the imaginary hand in the sky has extended to you your $5 for the day, it's time to get dirty. Wear old clothes (although if you're on a $5 per day budget, you either already wear old clothes or have a shopping problem - Retail Therapy has been known to help).
Ask around your neighbourhood until you find someone with an ant problem. Offer to remove the ants, in exchange for some compensation. This should give you a little money to buy some more sugar. You're going to need a lot of sugar. Use the shovel, and dig out the ants, looking especially for the queen. Move as many ants as you can, including the queen, into the large tank, which you have hopefully already filled with dirt, and put the board across the center of, so that one side of the tank is isolated from the other.
While the first colony of ants is getting acquainted with its new home, it's time to find another colony. Ask around for more ant infestations, find another colony, and put it in the unoccupied side of the tank.
Now the fun begins.
For the first few days, let the ants settle in to their new homes. Keep an eye on the two colonies, and feed them both lots of sugar and water. A population explosion should soon ensue.
Ants are pretty clever creatures, but they're not about to achieve transcendence any time soon - nor will they be able to help you along the way. It's time to change that. Instead of putting down enough sugar for both colonies, put down enough sugar for one colony, and remove the board in the middle of the tank.
Yes, the carnage is quite incredible.
Watch in amazement as the ants butcher each other; they're so much like people - it near brings a tear to my eye, I tell you. After the initial fighting has died down, start introducing weapons that can provide a clear tactical advantage - small bug spray bombs, miniature trebuchets, petrol, and most important of all, fire.
A small word on quantities. While it is indubitably cool to see an entire fishtank full of warring warrior ants explode in an incandescent fireball of destruction, this will not help you along the path to strategic transcendence. So be careful how much petrol you give the little
It's time to bring the warfare back to a slightly more manageable level. Put back the board, so that it almost completely divides the tank. You should have one crowd of warrior ants on one side, and another crowd on the other. Both should be deadlocked. Please note that you will also have a few ants of the wrong colony on the wrong side of the tank - you can play drinking games as you bet on how long each ant will survive.
Start giving both sides equal and ample quantities of sugar. With any luck, an intellectual renaissance should occur on one or both sides of the tank. The population will boom, but hopefully so will learning and the arts. As the ants get smarter and more densely packed, there will be more pressure to beat back the other side for once and for all. Eventually, one side will develop some weapon powerful enough to not only make it past the blockade, but also to eventually take down the other side altogether. Enjoy the
flagfeeler waving, and laugh as the weapon inspectors look in vain for the dangerous superweapons that were the realgiven reason for the attack.
Now that your ants are advanced enough, it's time for them to start working for you. Ensure that each and every literate ant is given a special supply of caster sugar, a.k.a. speed. As more and more ants become literate (and much more highly strung), the ants will hopefully become smarter and smarter. After that, it's simple enough to harvest the best and brightest of the literature that the ants produce, and publish it en masse on Everything2, under your name of course. Thus you will achieve transcendence, and if you managed to make a compelling video of the War of the Ants, you may also be able to make some money on the side.
A small note before I leave you to your nefarious scheming and videotaping pleasure - once your ants have reached this transcendent point it is not safe to release them back into the wild. The theory runs that transcendent ants could quickly take over the planet, using humans as slaves to provide food, while they relax in the sun all day.
There is another theory that states that this has already happened.
There, there little nodeshell. No need to go hungry anymore.