Robot Dreams

Jure Sah jure.sah at
Mon Sep 11 08:23:18 EST 2000

George Bajszar wrote:
> Everything that we "pay attention to" will get recorded into our
> memory. This has been well demonstrated by various neuropsychological
> experiments.
> That shows that the brain is like a camcorder. Everything is stored
> that we pay attention to. If everything would be stored, our brain
> would certainly become full quite soon. So special filtering is needed
> to filter out useful information to keep, and clean out the unuseful
> ones so next Morning we wake up with a fresh clean mind. Dreaming could
> have such a major purpose.
> Perhaps Schizophrenia is a result of an overloaded brain. When the
> brain gets full, new memory gets written out of control onto areas
> where useful memory is already stored. The stable neural network
> becomes unstable as the wiring of neural networks will begin to deform
> into unstable randomness, and neurons begin sending signals randomly,
> resulting in hallucinative effects. That is my guess.

The brain is not a database; things don't fill up. It's just that the
blood needs to be filled with chemicals that are needed for synapses
(etc) and since we don't use a constant amount of them, we need to go to
bed to make the situation calm down; while the brain is still running,
but slower (standby) since the blood circulation has slowed to make the
neurons use less chemicals; in that time we still react to the
environment, but the levels and amplitudes are drooped and we cannot
function normally. 

Luckily the good old transistor is similar enough for me to form an
example (transistors work faster at higher voltages): Imagine you have a
laptop that runs from batteries and gets constantly filled at the same
time. The laptop is made in such a way that it increases the voltage to
the CPU when there are more things to be done, in order to make the
system run at a constant speed. Doing so, the laptop sometimes uses up
the batteries faster than they fill up. So on the end of the day, the
batteries are exhausted and the laptop has to work at very low voltages
and is therefore very slow; it's cameras can't detect lower amplitudes
of light and the visual analysis is slowed down dramatically. The laptop
does this crawling all the time until you turn it of and let the
batteries fill up. And the next day, the batteries are full and the
processing power at it's peaks.

P.S.: Building up voltage to your computer's CPU isn't healthy, since it
can't cool efficiently and it can get a headache. It can be lethal with
x86's, but is known to work fine with pentiums. You can increase the CPU
power by (an average of) 30% without risking a meltdown (making a 200
MHz computer a 260 MHz), since the factory defaults are set somehow
below maximum to ensure that the CPU doesn't meltdown under normal
circumstances. So those living in siberia can "pump up" their computers
without risking any damage. Also if the CPU temperature was controlled
precisely, you could afford certain 'bursts' of processing power.


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