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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Dear Rhymer

Perhaps you could explain who these 'marketing professionals' you claim are doing all this stuff, really are.

This is typical of marketing professionals who wish to sell books and many are advertised on-site.

Do you suggest Maria is a 'marketing professional'? Did you read it? Did you do anything more than lash out with anger at me because you know I think you were duped into becoming (due to side effects of 14 years of drug use) what you are?
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rhymer
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Fear is a tremendous motivator!

I would like to ascertain that Maria makes no money and would then be quite prepared to accept that she is an innocent victim if that evidence is available. Not all others may be so situated!

You are commendable for fighting for the rights of those claimed to be badly treated people, but it needs to be proved that they are victims before credibility is assured - for me at least. Optherwise we all come become victims and the perpetrators win.

You are obviously entitled to your opinions also, and I respect them. But, I am entitled to accept or reject your opinionss based on my own efforts and experience.

Time may tell who takes the correct view!
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rhymer
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:40 PM
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RTB,
I am not in the least bit 'angry'.

And, for you to respond to my posts when you think that through 'drug abuse' shows your lack of sense in who you are prepared to communicate with.

If I am unfit, you are irresponsible in the first place and inconsiderate in the second for telling me so.

I have not accused you of being silly for your beliefs, for they are only beliefs.
Please give me equal consideration, and accept that whilst I may be wrong in my views I am perfectly entitled to arrive at them.

That way discussion can proceed in an adult rather than childish fashion: you are not being attacked, merely disbelieved!
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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:47 PM
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Perhaps after you apologize (like you did last time when you were butting in to try to get someone to become a druggie) for your comment about me being like Von Daniken (who we can assume you have not read) I will consider having an adult conversation with you.
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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:48 PM
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But instead of reading Maria's site or asking questions you proceeded to abuse her - did you not?
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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:49 PM
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A true melding of mind and machine is still far away, although the appeal apparently is irresistible. British Telecommunications has a project called Soul Catcher; the goal is to develop a computer that can be slipped into the brain to augment memory and other cognitive functions. Hans Moravec of Carnegie Mellon University and others have argued, somewhat disturbingly, that it should be possible to remove the brain and download its contents into a computer--and with it, one hopes, personality and consciousness.

Connecting neurons to silicon is only in its infancy. Peter Fromherz and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried-München, Germany, have managed to connect the two and caused the neuron to fire when instructed by the computer chip [see illustration]. Granted, the neuron used in the experiment came from a leech. But in principle "there are no show-stoppers" to neural chips, says computer scientist Chris Diorio of the University of Washington, adding that "the electronics part is the easy part." The difficulty is the interface. Diorio was one of the organizers of a weeklong meeting this past August sponsored by Microsoft Research and the University of Washington that explored how biology might help create intelligent computer systems. Expert systems, notes co-organizer Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research, do quite well in their rather singular tasks but cannot match an invertebrate in behavioral flexibility. "A leech becomes more risk taking when hungry," he notes. "How do you build a circuit that takes risk?" The hydrocarbon basis of neurons might also mean that the brain is more efficient with its constituent materials than a computer is with its silicon. "If we knew what a synapse was doing, we could mimic it," Diorio says, but "we don't have the mathematical foundation yet."

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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Dr. Wallace is from Carnegie Mellon where my partner told me (in the mid 80s) they would have light speed computing networks to surpass the human brain as they developed AI.

Dr. Wallace:

My longstanding opinion is that neural networks are the wrong level of abstraction for understanding intelligence, human or machine.

Neurons are the transistors of the brain. They are the low level switching components out of which higher-order functionality is built. But like the individual transistor, studying the individual neuron tells us little about these higher functions.

Suppose an alien came down to Earth who had never seen a computer before. Assuming interstellar travel is possible without a computer! He/she might be tempted to break it open, and discover that it is made of millions of tiny transistors. The alien may try to discover how the computer works by measuring the electronic signals in the transistors. But they would miss the operating system completely. The transistors tell us nothing about the software.

Similarly, neurons tell us little about the higher order software running on our brains.

Significantly, no one has ever proved that the brain is a *good* computer. It seems to run some tasks like visual recognition better than our existing machines, but it is terrible at math, prone to errors, susceptible to distraction, and it requires half its uptime for food, sleep, and maintenance.

It sometimes seems to me that the brain is actually a very shitty computer. So why would you want to build a computer out of slimy, wet, broken, slow, hungry, tired neurons? I chose computer science over medical school because I don't have the stomach for those icky, bloody body parts. I prefer my technology clean and dry, thank you. Moreover, it could be the case that an electronic, silicon-based computer is more reliable, faster, more accurate, and cheaper.

I find myself agreeing with the Churchlands that the notion of consciousness belongs to "folk psychology" and that there may be no clear brain correlates for the ego, id, emotions as they are commonly classified, and so on. But to me that does not rule out the possibility of reducing the mind to a mathematical description, which is more or less independent of the underlying brain archiecture. That baby doesn't go out with the bathwater. A.I. is possible precisely because there is nothing special about the brain as a computer. In fact the brain is a shitty computer. The brain has to sleep, needs food, thinks about sex all the time. Useless!

I always say, if I wanted to build a computer from scratch, the very last material I would choose to work with is meat. I'll take transistors over meat any day. Human intelligence may even be a poor kludge of the intelligence algorithm on an organ that is basically a glorified animal eyeball. From an evolutionary standpoint, our supposedly wonderful cognitive skills are a very recent innovation. It should not be surprising if they are only poorly implemented in us, like the lung of the first mudfish. We can breathe the air of thought and imagination, but not that well yet.

And remember, no one has proved that our intelligence is a successful adaption, over the long term. It remains to be seen if the human brain is powerful enough to solve the problems it has created.

Functionalism is basically the view that the mind is the software, and the brain is the hardware. It holds that mental states are equivalent to the states of a Turing Machine. Behaviorism was a pre-computational theory, which imagines the nervous system as a complex piece of machinery like a telephone exchange, but they didn't think much about software. Dualism goes back to Descartes. It is the view that the mind and brain are separate and distinct things, possibly affecting each other, or possibly mirroring each other.

My view is a kind of modified dualism in which I claim that the soul, spirit, or consciousness may exist, but for most people, most of the time, it is almost infentesimally small, compared with the robotic machinery responsible for most of our thought and action. Descartes never talked about the relative weights of brain and mind, but you can read in an implicit 50-50 assumption in most Dualist literature. My idea is more like 99-1, or even 99.999999% automatic machinery and .00000001% self-awareness, creativity, consciousness, spirit or what have you.

That's not to say that some people can't be more enlightened than others. But for the vast herd out there, on average, consciousness is simply not a significant factor. Not even a second- or third-order effect. Consciousness is marginal.

I say this with such confidence because of my experience building robot brains over the past seven years. Almost everything people ever say to our robot falls into one of about 45,000 categories. Considering the astronomical number of things people could say, if every sentence was an original line of poetry, 45,000 is a very, very small number.
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rhymer
post Oct 19, 2004, 03:55 PM
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Quote from RTB,

I say:

Rhymer is an admitted sufferer (Though he has not explored alternatives and tries to get other people to take the meds he has to take because he accepted their silly diagnosis about being a chronic depressive rather than learning how to be a responsible human.) who welcomes the treatment by nutcases for nutcases. He has not read anything of mine or he would not compare me with Von Daniken - this kind of ridicule is beyond DENIAL and it speaks to larger problems in a society controlled by drugs and druggies or the other social engineering tools they use.

Sad to say - it is not unusual.

It is your opinion that my meds are due to a silly diagnosis.
You are wrong - totally wrong, and that makes any of yuour posts seem valueless.
Antidepressants relieved me of depression within 3 weeks and gave me what is so obviously a more normal life.
You fail miserably if you generalise about the best cure for everyone. My cure suited me; different cures suit others. It's quite simple really, though apparently too simple for you to comprehend.
It is kind of you to merely call me a nutcase, even though that is a personal insult. I would have been offended if you had called me a terrorist.
So I expect that next: those not accepting your point of view, whether right or wrong automatically become recipients of your lower vocubulary!
I regard yourself as a normal human being with your own perceptions of what goes on in the world. I do hope you become able to accept that different people have realisations of the real world.
Many of them are wrong, but it won't help you by getting upset every time you read other peoples ideas. You should consider them and review your own perception of reality from time to time.

And, most importantly, I leave it to other readers to decide which of us has the greater grasp of reality and the way to conduct discussion on a website.
Good day.
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Dan
post Oct 19, 2004, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (Robert the Bruce @ Oct 19, 04:17 PM)
If he says they can merge humans with robots he is going farther than mere dumping and when he says he 'I'll take it' he is saying what I said.

you moron, he is speculating. Nowhere has he claimed to have done anything of the sort that you claim, and his statement "I'll take it" is just his way of saying that he fancies the idea of having a synthetic body.



QUOTE
As to the dumping of the contents of the brain by Stanford (SRI) it was in Time. And it may be other places you can find - it was in the Toronto Star too. When Joy disagrees with him he is saying he does not think it will include the soul but you can read the whole thing someday and start getting informed.

blahblahblah
why don't you just produce the evidence yourself? or maybe you can't because there is no such evidence?
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Robert the Bruce
post Oct 19, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Dear Dan

Have you read the article? No. If you do ever get around to reading it and making an assessment of it as well as looking up the Time Millenium issue you will eat your words - till then I will no longer respond to your nipping at my heels.

Dear Rhymer

I may indeed be wrong if your condition is as bad as your logic. YOu have not attempted to understand the alternatives as you made clear when you said you would not try yoga while trying to 'hook' another victim and you have not read the research references I have provided you - because as you again make clear - you are happy being what you are.
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Dan
post Oct 20, 2004, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE (Robert the Bruce @ Oct 19, 08:20 PM)
Dear Dan

Have you read the article? No. If you do ever get around to reading it and making an assessment of it as well as looking up the Time Millenium issue you will eat your words - till then I will no longer respond to your nipping at my heels.

Ha!

all bark and no evidence
not very surprising brain.gif
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