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An example of mad science or bad science journalism

KP-PC k.p.collins at worldnet.att.net%remove%
Sun Mar 16 11:22:16 EST 2003

"Allen L. Barker" <alb at datafilter.com> wrote in message
news:3E74266C.4C048A8A at datafilter.com...
| Here's another article on the research:
|    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2843099.stm
| They say the research is to be presented to a neural
| engineering conference in Capri, Italy, next week.  Maybe
| get the proceedings.
| And rockets will never work in a vacuum, because there is
| nothing to push against, etc.

With the brain, it's an entirely-different 'playing-field' because
the brain is a living, ever-changing system architecture, which
ever-changing-ness derives in neural-activation experience.

Part of this ever-changingness is with respect to the
relatively-recently [a couple of years back] hippocampal
'neurogenesis' stuff. The hippocampus is continually being
replensihed from a stem cell 'factory' - hard to duplicate in

So, even if a 'robotics' thing can be engineered, to replicate
'normal' biological function, it'd have to be able to not only
duplicate the ever-changing-ness that derives in activation
experience, and, somehow, duplicate all of the prior biological
ever-changing-ness that derives in the prior neural activation

It's the latter consideration that is the 'show-stopper - because,
while the rest of the brain has done it the normal way, the
'robotics' thing, even if it can duplicate 'normal' biological
function, has not.

So an overly-crude analogy with respect to introducing the 'robotics'
thing is trying to repair a computer with parts from an entirely
different generation of computers. This can be accomplished, but, at
best, the result will be a kludge, requiring a lot of work-arounds,
and the end result will have a lot of performance problems that a
'normal' system is not subject to.

The result, with respect to applications to the brain, will be a
drastic altering of what it is that the person whose brain it is will

That's complete 'failure'.

I stand on my Analysis, posted in my prior reply in this thread, that
this 'robotics' stuff is being passed-off as something that it
actually is not - that it is actually part of a much-larger program
to build a 'machine' that attempts to 'implements the brain'.

This's much more doable than is the 'machine'-biology hybrid.

I know because I designed the machine. My purpose was different,
however. The machine 'design' was a 'tool' that I used while working
to comprehend nervous system function. It just 'fell out' of the
other work I was doing.

All of my comments, above, with respect to experience, still apply.

If folks 'ignore' that, then they're deciding to develop just another
'robotics' thing, and that 'thing' will have more in common with the
'machines' that were depicted in the "Terminator' movies than it does
with Human nervous systems - which I'd not be surprised to find out
is the whole premise of the larger project of which, it's my
Analysis, this 'hippocampal' stuff is a part.

"DARPA" and ONR= "weapons systems"

"Neuroscience" = "understanding of Human nervous systems"

"And never the twain shall meet."

Some fancy stuff =can= be engineered and manufactured, and it'll have
its usefulness, far outstripping contemporaneous 'computers', but
it'll never 'clone' a Human in silicon. All it'll ever be is 'just'
another 'tool'. And the closer it does get to 'the brain', the more
it'll have to be dependent upon experience. The main advantage a
machine would have with respect to such is that, once experiential
databases are established, they can be 'migrated'
[transformed-in-process] to succeeding generations of machines. But
that's not an easy problem, and the hardest problem will remain the
'war' between mutually-exclusive experiences that is the main thing
with respect to which evolutionary dynamics have struggled, over
eons, with respect to their 'engineering' of biological brains.

There is, also, exceeding danger in such 'technology' - the
abdication of Human Choice. I've seen a =lot= of such resulting from
just the weak-kneed 'computers' that have already existed.
More-advanced 'machines' will tend to augment such as folks, more and
more, pass off the information-processing work that is necessary, in
order to imbue their own brains with the necessary useful experience,
to machines.

Machines are =tools=. To the degree that machines displace Human
thought, Humans become less-than-Human.

I've witnessed a lot of such already, and I've not seen anything that
leads me to believe that the folks engineering future machines are
cognizant with respect to such, so I'm not optimistic with respect to

All I see is more of the 'blindly'-automated Prejudice that's Ravaged
Humanity since the Beginning, itself being actively augmented.

K. P. Collins

| Peter F wrote:
| >
| > Go to www.newscientist.com and take a look at the article about:
| > a microchip to do the job of the hippocampus~.
| >
| > It made me check to see if it was April 1 already! Sadly, it was
| > :-|
| >
| > P
| --
| Mind Control: TT&P ==> http://www.datafilter.com/mc
| Home page: http://www.datafilter.com/alb
| Allen Barker

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