You may scoff but we really have no idea how a 'swarm' of nerve cells communicating in a brain adds up to intelligence, and there is precedent to say that examining macro behaviour can throw light on the micro-opeations within.
So blue sky research into crab swarms, even as seen through a journalist's funfair-distorting lens, is as good a way as any to gather insights into life's mysteries. What's important is good observation, good recording, and good peer publication.
So, examining the behaviour of journalists and their subjects tells us what, exactly?
Researchers have been thinking about such biological computers for some time now. Except for niche applications, such computers have serious issues to do with dependability, generalisability, and scalability.
This is seriously mind boggling. I want to know how they got into a room together and decided that their next project should be building a computer based on soldier crabs. seriously? Have all of the other mysteries of science been solved?