MysticWicks endorsement: "Spoiled brats of the pagan world, I thought. I really don't have a lot of respect for Discordians. They just strike me as spiritually lazy."
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Just to clarify, "OPEN BAR" means "place to shout out random shit that's going in your life," right?
So, this is only tangentially related to the topic, but I figured it goes here anyway. A lot of people think of the brain as a sort of meat computer. It's not (it's actually mostly made out of fat, but that's beside the point). The actual complexity is difficult to convey partly because we don't understand it very well; every time we zoom in, we just find another level of staggering complexity.
Let's start here: an average young healthy adult has about 200 billion neurons in their central nervous system alone. That's a lot of neurons. Each neuron makes up to 10,000 connections with other neurons. If we're looking at connectivity, we're up to a really, really big number... what is that, 2x1018? But of course, when you're talking about functionality, just the number of connections doesn't tell the whole story. You have to account for combinations of connections. I can't even guess at how many different combinations are likely for each neuron, so lets just be really conservative and say ten, because it's a nice simple number. That gives us, (unless I fucked up the math, which is completely possible) about 4.5x1084.
That's a lot. That is a very, very big number. But that's not all.
There are about ten times more glial cells than neurons. Glial cells are the support cells of the nervous system, and we don't know very much about what they do. We do know that they play a role in neuroplasticity (changing and strengthening connections) and in neurotransmitter regulation. I'm going to stop even trying with the math now, because I'm sure you get the point.
Speaking of neurotransmitters, there are over 100 different ones that we know about so far. What a neurotransmitter can do mostly depends on the types of receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, and where THAT neuron terminates. Some neurotransmitters only have one known receptor, but most have several; serotonin has 15. 14 of those serotonin receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors, which means that they release one of many types of G protein when the neurotransmitter binds to the receptor. What's a G protein, you might ask? WELL, it's a sort of tiny molecular switch that can act as a messenger that triggers a variety of other effects in a cell, some of which ultimately effect the DNA in the nucleus, changing how it expresses its genes. Remember, neurons are cells, so this means it alters the functionality of the neuron, usually on a graded scale, in any one of the many ways the neuron's DNA is capable of expressing.
I am simplifying this WAY WAY down. It's much more complex than I'm making it sound. I'm just trying to give some insight into why I do not believe that computer technology is anywhere close to "brain like", and may never be.
Brains are not very good calculators, which is why we invented calculators. Electrons move at the speed of light; electrochemical impulses in neurons are dependent on the physical movement of ions, and that speed maxes out at about 90 meters per second in humans. The trade-off is that they are staggeringly complex and yet are literally made of the most common and easily-replaceable stuff in the universe; crap you'd just find laying around on a planet.
You know what? It's just a different goal is all. Neither approach is wrong. You seem to be focusing on data collection, I seem to be focusing on data processing. Either one would be beneficial.
Though I still want life extension.
To tell the truth, I would love an implant that could accurately calculate probabilities at speed.
well, to address the first part, I was trying to argue for cyborgs as a shortcut to the level of grace and autonomy that were trying to achieve with robots like Asimo. why teach a robots to walk and run and shit when we can already do that stuff?
Admittedly I admit i think i might not understand what you mean by biomedically, which here i thought meant small stuff like pacemakers, or replacement limbs, and not augmentative things like brain to brain telepathy. If it is the proper term for what i'm trying to convey, (installing electronics directly into our meaty bits) then i'm sorry, not just for being ignorant but also for being dismissive.
Also, i blame that mad scientist wet dream I posted just now mostly on that Choice of Robots game. It has sent my imagination to some very odd places lately.
I still can't figure out exactly what you're asking. Can you distill it into something concise and specific? "installing electronics directly into our meaty bits" is hopelessly vague. Are you talking about putting a computer "brain" inside a human body? The human brain is already much much better than any computers are and possibly better than we can ever make them. Are you talking about adding enhancements, like implanted internet connectivity? That could be neat, and will almost certainly happen.
From all of the rationalizations one can create to avoid treatment for mental illness, one of them is people don't recognize they have a problem in the first place - they rather are special snowflakes that none understand -; another rationalization is sweeping generalizations to discredit entire fields of research and professions.
By your own logic ALL doctors and nurses make people sick, mechanics ruin cars, engineers break their systems.
Trust NO ONE, so do surgery on yourself, fix your own car and self medicate.
Is a humanoid shape the optimum way to lift things or kill things?
I apply the same logic to inventing conscious machines. "AGI" as they're calling it. I'm like human cognition is solved.
I can't have read that right.
Pretty much yea. My logic is, that since there seems to be a gap between human and robotic bipedal movements at least for the moment, will it be simpler to just jam a bunch of cyborg electronics into the human body(which is technically a machine that already knows how to run and jump and navigate through physical environments on its own) than to slog through however many years it'll take for bipedal robots like Asimo to surpass humans physically. After all, i remember reading an article about a man in France who has already become the worlds first living cyborg (he has a robotic eye which is also a functioning camera) and is already capable of going around and conducting his own affairs, whereas most bipedal robots have trouble navigating through uncontrolled environments. Our evolution has already created a machine that can walk around and survive just about every biome on earth, why not just upgrade it instead of reinventing the wheel?
The main problem is, music in your brain isn't physical sound. The only way that would work is to invent a neuron reader.