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Mind a no-brainer?

damscot at my-deja.com damscot at my-deja.com
Sat Jan 8 13:32:12 EST 2000


In article <__5d4.1430$0s5.48342 at news1.online.no>,
  "patrik bagge" <patrik-b at online.no> wrote:
> [don]
> Brain and Mind are different species as are hardware and program.
> I see Mind (program) as purely an abstract (non-physical) entity;
Brain
> (computer) as a purely physical entity. Thought is a physical (Chem.,
> elec) process, but "meaning" is not. Mind is the meaning of thought.
> This is my own understanding of such.
>
> [pat]
> i disagree a bit and when one comes close to the atomic level
> , the distinction disappears.
> A running program (processor) is the physical movement
> of electrons according to the specification (program)
> The human brain has, of course, some more chemical/biological
> 'stuff' going on.
> The 'program' of a human brain is very complex and includes
> not only reason and conscious thought, but also many
> subconscious information processes. Furthermore
> it's a , from experience, selfmodifying piece of 'wetware'
> One has to admire the engineer... whoever that was.
>
> [don]
> Yes it is amazing to me that
> brains can process thoughts, even of thought itself. But, I don't
think
> brains can understand themselves, not ever. That would require
> understanding understanding itself. As you approach it, it changes.
> Your very observation modifies it. Like the uncertainty Principle.
>
> [pat]
> Well, if one should try to 'understand' ones current thoughts
> and processes, it gets very self-referential.
> I was suggesting more at a 'functional' module level.
> Part A does B and inputs C while producing D.
> If all modules could be modelled/understood this way
> we would have come far. In the equation one also has
> to put all experience until current point in time for a particular
> individual + pre-programmed instincts.
> Makes complete analysis a bit tricky.
>
> 'funny' sidenote:
> since we seldom really forget anything and the brain
> probably stores some concepts/experience by permanent
> chemical / connectivist states, there might be some
> 'knowledge' past death.... interesting thought, no?
>
> Yours
> /pat
>
The most interesting thought I can think of right now! However,
your "self-modifying system of wetware" Mind description, as it were,
runs a close second place in my estimation. Did you coin it yourself?
I love the "wetware" part of it. I am comming from Computer Science
where I once (years ago) designed a Universal Turing machine computer
comprised only of a self-modifying non-volatile memory system. The
memory cells themselves did not change in macro, of course, but rather
merely their electromagnetc states. I wonder where that physical
hardware is today? I'll bet its last "state" is still preserved, even
though the HW assembly itself has long since disintegrated. However,
one wonders how long our thoughts, as expressed here and elsewhere will
be preserved, for instance, our posts in Deja's memory banks? Likewise,
If fixed thoughts (memories) are really just brain neural net states,
one might think those states should still exist even after their host
neural interconnects disconnect. Of course our state "signals", though
everlasting, probably get lost eventually in the "noise" of universal
background radiation anyway. :)

Yours,

Donald


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