Perhaps it wouldn't have written the plan first if you explicitly asked it not to. It guessed that you'd want it, I guess.
Very interesting! If it can write a story plan, and a story that follows the plan, then it can write according to a plan, even if it usually doesn't.
But if these responses are typical, and stories written without a plan are similar to stories written with a plan, I take it to mean that all stories have a plan, which further means that it didn't actually follow your first prompt. It either didn't "want" to write a story without a plan, or, more likely, it couldn't, which means that not only does ChatGPT write according to a plan, it can't write in any other way!
Another interesting question is how far could this kind of questioning be taken? What if you ask it to , for example, write a story and, after each paragraph, describe its internal processes that led it to writing that paragraph?
Perhaps you could simply ask ChatGPT? "Please tell me a story without making any plans about the story beforehand." vs "Please make a plan for a story, then tell me the story, and attach your plan at the end of the story." Will the resulting stories differ, and how? My prediction: the plan attached at the end of the story won't be very similar to actual story.
Perhaps people have the intuition that it is impossible to understand the world through language alone because people themselves find it impossible to understand the world through language alone. For example, assembly instructions for even a simple object could be quite incomprehensible if written as a text, but easily understandable from a simple diagram. In your parlance, language does not model the world well, so a good model of a language does not translate to a good model of the world. This is why we have technical drawings and not technical descriptions.
Bees are indeed better example than ants, since we know how bees communicate, and there has even been some research in making bee robots for communication with bees, so if these robots are perfected we could tell the bees to pollinate here and not there in accordance with our needs.
So this seems like trade in that bees are getting information and we are getting pollination. Of course, trade is voluntary exchange of goods, and bees can not do anything voluntary, but humans can, so that is not actually the topic.
I am not sure that a canary string is ultimately helpful. A capable AI should be able to see that there are holes in its training data and fill them by obtaining the data by itself.