Is uploading feasible?

lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu
Fri Dec 17 14:04:30 EST 1993

In article <2eptdk$cni at nucleus.harvard.edu>,
Dan Crevier  <crevier at husc.harvard.edu> wrote:

stuff deleted 
>	Who says that neural activity can "choose," and what is choosing?  
>Looking at the brain as a machine, with input as the axons projecting 
>into the brain, and output as the axons projecting out of the brain, if 
>you believe that the laws of physics are deterministic (ignoring quantum 
>mechanics), then it seems that the brain must be deterministic.  This 
>seems to contradict our ideas of consciousness and free-will, but it 
>seems to me that you have invoke religous arguments for a soul to get 
>free will.
>	Of course, the brain has so many neurons, and there is so much going on 
>in the brain with neuromodulators and other things we don't understand 
>very well, that there is no way that we could predict responses, but it 
>seems to me that the brain is ultimately deterministic.

Brain processing does not obey all the laws of thermodynamics.
It is an open system.  Yes there are axons going in and out, but there
is also blood flow going in and out, there is input going in and 
not coming out, and so forth.  To think of it as a box, into which
you put "stuff", and out of which pours "stuff", is much the same
as thinking of the earth as a closed ecosystem, not affected by the
varying relative position of it to the sun, meteors, and so forth.
Lately lots of folks are fond of saying that quantum effects provide
for free will, the reasoning of which escapes me.  I don't think that
you need to go to that level to find indeterminism.

Leslie Kay
lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu

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