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"The best fuzzy rules, the best knowledge, deal with the turning points of the system. If a race-car driver teaches you how to drive, you don't need him to show you how to drive on the straightaway. It's how he handles the curves that matters."
- Bart Kosko

Dumbler  
  Half-sentient spores of the whistle thistle.  

Lily-yo climbed astride the hooked base of the dumbler, whispering softly to it… The tips of their feathered spokes carried seeds; the seeds were strangely shaped, so that a light breeze whispering in them made them into ears that listened to every advantage of the wind that would spread their propagation. Humans, after long years of practice, could use these crude ears for their own purposes…
From Hothouse, by Brian Aldiss.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1962
Additional resources -

Compare to the treeship from the 1989 Dan Simmons novel Hyperion and to the dray-fish from Jack Vance's brilliant 1976 short story The Moon Moth.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Hothouse
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