An example of mad science or bad science journalism

KP-PC k.p.collins at worldnet.att.net%remove%
Sun Mar 16 15:55:15 EST 2003


"Allen L. Barker" <alb at datafilter.com> wrote in message
news:3E74D64A.F7D33155 at datafilter.com...
| [...]
| I have not read their actual article, so I don't know the details
| of what all they have done or claimed to have done.  It might be
| an interesting article.  The brain is very adaptive.  Rather than
being
| a *drawback* to neural prosthesis, that is an advantage.  If you
get
| the closed-loop feedback right, the brain can adapt to many things.
| Just as it can adapt to various brain insults, etc.

This's not True with respect to Human Nervous systems. In Human
nervous systems, all activation occurs with respect to the intrinsic
nerual Topology, which, itself, is modifed through experience.

To the degree that a prosthesis modifies the neural Topology, and to
the degree that it cannot modify its own Topology, it becomes
'foreign' to the way nervous systems process information, so, while
nervous systems are wonderfully adaptable [their
information-processing derives in such adaptability], if they adapt
to this 'foreign' stuff the 'foreign' stuff dictates that the nervous
system in question can no longer process information as Human nervous
systems process information.

Psycho-active drugs do the same thing, BTW.

| [...]

| > 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
| > experience.
| >
| > That's complete 'failure'.
|
| Not if the alternative is a person's death or complete disability.

I discussed this in a prior response in this thread. The "complete
'failure'" is relative to a 'normal' organically-intact nervous
system.

The failure is 'complete' in the same way that the failure of a
heroin-addicted nervous system is 'complete'.

Until the drug is withdrawn, the nervous system just doesn't process
information as a Human nervous system does. It processes information
in a way that's dictated by the abnormal presence of the drug within
it - the whole thing becomes, "Get the drug."

Neuro-prostheses will have analogous 'dictatorial' effects within
nervous systems, forcing the nervous systems to 'work-around' their
engineered-in qualities, rather than a 'normal' organically-intact
nervous system's innate information-processing propensities.

As I said in my prior post in this thread [and have discussed,
repeatedly, in b.n over the years] with respect to oganically-damaged
nervous systems, there might be some usefulness, but unless a
prosthesis is, in effect, an exact replacement, the result will not
be 'normal' information-processing capacities.

If my leg was broken, would I want crutches?

Yes.

If my leg was not broken, would I want crutches?

No.

They'd only impare my innate movement capacities.

Same-old, same-old.

And there're other considerations with respect to 'what-if'
definitions.

I like motorcycles, but there's a limit to what can be called a
"prosthesis".

A wheelchair could be termed a 'mobility-prosthesis', but a
motorcycle just isn't one, 'cause it requires a fully-functional,
'normal' body.

Same-old, same-old relative to Human Thought.

I Love 'computers', but see them in a way that's analogous to the way
I see 'motorcycles' - useful tools.

I like to do my own Thinking.

over-and-out.

ken

| [...]






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