Interview with behavioral biologist Stephen Pratt about his paper “The Psychology of Superorganisms: Collective Decision Making by Insect Societies”.
I think the assumption of a high degree of common interest is important to this idea of a superorganism, the expectation that it acts as a unitary, cognitive entity. In other societies where the integration is not as tight, it might be less fruitful to treat them as a single mind.
Obviously, there are a lot of differences between insect societies and human societies. If we find commonalities in how they behave, maybe that’s revealing.