Graham

012 The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales

In Meaning of Life on December 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm

WHAT THE MATERIAL PRESENTED LAST WEEK NEEDS IS A GOOD SUMMARY

The theory restated: your brain constructs a plausible representation of everyone you know, including you, from limited real world data. Particular care is given over to individualizing faces because faces are important for you to know with whom you are dealing. Beyond face recognition, approximations seem to be acceptable for navigating the world as we know it.

Some Examples from last time:

  • There is limited evidence that we appear differently to different people based on how each of us “feels” about that person. (If we like them, they are attractive; if we don’t, they are unattractive).
  • There is evidence that the brain constructs an interpretation of everything we see, hear, touch, smell or taste.
  • That the brain paves over the gaps in radio transmissions.
  • That the brain acts as though a missing limb isn’t missing.
  • That our  brain tells us how to feel.
  • That the brain fragments what we see, and stores the pieces separately.
  • That the brain controls which brain maps will be changed (body maps extend into our comfort zone and define our space to include this zone).
  • And that the 26 modules of the brain act independently of each other.

All of these examples tend to support the idea that what exists appears to be a very sophisticated biological robot platform, minimally, or a creation of god (the other end of the spectrum), using many of the techniques currently used by man to build metal cousins to our human species. Over the top? Yeah, probably, but I think there is something to it, and the field of robotics has at least a few crackpots who may show us something more, one day.

If none of this suggests the same to you, then ponder this: software is nothing more than instructions. Most of our nervous system works based on inferred sets of instructions. The fact that the brain isn’t binary, that the skin, bones and organs are alive, or that the model is more sophisticated than any robot on earth shouldn’t be cause for rejection before you take at least a critical, hard look.

It’s been fun, but I am taking some time off, starting tomorrow, ending on January 6th. Before I leave tonight, I will convert the evaluation system to “Nero” (thumbs up or thumbs down). If you want to hear some more of this silliness, then give me a thumbs up (before the 6th of January); otherwise, I have no way of knowing if anyone is actually interested in continuing. (Although we are getting a lot more hits than before we started down this path.)

Have a great Christmas, or whatever other holy day you may choose to observe.

And Happy New Year …
Copyright © 2009 by Tad Laury Graham

“The Meaning of Life and Other Tall Tales”

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  1. I’m missing your posts! Terry

    • Hi, Terry

      Sorry for the delay in checking in, but I was put through the ringer Starting in October and lasting until Christmas. Three ambulance rides to the hospital, one of which brought on sepsis infection in the kidneys, with delirium. I am quite lucky to be here.

      I have been in physical therapy ever since, but haven’t progressed very far. Hope you are well, and things are going well for you. I will be in-and-out for a few more months.

      Graham

      • Graham – I’m so glad to hear from you. But not so glad to hear why it’s been so long. I’ll be thinking about you and rooting for you. I imagine your wife has been through her own ringer too.

        Things are going well over here. Just at a lot slower pace than they used to. It’s an interesting experience, this aging process, isn’t it? Not at all what I thought it was going to be like. Some things are a lot better than I ever dreamed. But not the slower part, or the sore joints. So far, though, we haven’t had any excursions like your repeated ambulance trips.

        Looking forward to hearing from you in a few months time that you have rounded the corner. (Or does one “square” the corner?)

        Terry

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