Everything is a Computer

  • Thread starter ogb p
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  • #1
ogb p
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Since no one seems to care that everything is different, I figured I would say something slightly less obvious: Everything is a Computer.

I am, of course, speaking in the very metaphorical and abstact sense of a computer being any object that takes in a certain set of inputs, and, based on a specific set of internal rules, results in a determined output.

Basically, every object in the physical universe fits this definition, therefore, everything is a computer.
 

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  • #2
Kerrie
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judgement, opinions, feelings, intution are not a part of our current definition of a computer...unless you don't have any of these traits, you might be considered a computer...
 
  • #3
Mumeishi
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Perhaps you could say that everything is an informational process, but 'to compute' means something quite specific. It is to perform various functions with a symbolic language. Apparently the brain uses no such language and works in a different way. Don't think rocks and trees use a symbolic language either.

You might be interested in this:

God Is the Machine
 
  • #4
FZ+
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It is to perform various functions with a symbolic language. Apparently the brain uses no such language and works in a different way. Don't think rocks and trees use a symbolic language either.

Erm... I am not sure about that. In reality, computers do not really do their computing in a symbolic language, they do it in the flow of charge between semiconductors. You can also say that humans use a symbolic language to think, as most of us "think in words."

I think the real distinction is that computers have a use/task/purpose connotation.
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle put the final nail in the coffin of determinism.
 
  • #6
mikelus
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everything is a computor

if everything that has an action has a response. then you would say a computor needs human imputs to factor the question
In other words a computor by itself has no fuction without the programmer. so how could this tool be used as the controller and us the game?
 
  • #7
ogb p
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Originally posted by mikelus

In other words a computor by itself has no fuction without the programmer. so how could this tool be used as the controller and us the game?

It is easy to create 'open' functions. In otherwords, a function that doesn't finish in a known amount of time. Like solving the game of chess: assuming it is possible, how long would it take? If you create a solar powered computer programed with an algorithm to solve this problem and it took a million years, it could continue to funtion long after its origonal programmers became extinct... If a computers programed object was to 'control' its creators, well... isn't that the programming of every normal teenager? And if the object is to 'control the masses', well... aren't there a lot of governments interested in that program... and if the goal is to influence people to purchase certain products... wouldn't every corporation be interested in that program?
 
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  • #8
ogb p
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Originally posted by russ_watters
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle put the final nail in the coffin of determinism.

That is a very dramatic statement but not exactly true. The Uncertainty Principle does not contradict a deterministic universe. Uncertainty rules out the possiblity of we humans, being limited and partial observers, being able to actually predict, with Certainty, the future, since we can never know all the initial variables exactly.

We humans, more generally, we observers, can never know all the factors that determine the Universe. That does not mean that the Universe is not determined by variables which we are incapable of determining.
 
  • #9
ogb p
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Originally posted by Kerrie
judgement, opinions, feelings, intution are not a part of our current definition of a computer...unless you don't have any of these traits, you might be considered a computer...

yes... but if there is a computer C with normal computer functions and special X, Y, Z properties... wouldn't C still be a computer - and more than a computer?
 
  • #10
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by FZ+
Erm... I am not sure about that. In reality, computers do not really do their computing in a symbolic language, they do it in the flow of charge between semiconductors.

Yes and that flow of charge is always in discreet units because they are using a binary language.

Originally posted by FZ+
You can also say that humans use a symbolic language to think, as most of us "think in words."

'Thinking in words' is a very high level function of the brain. It is a function or product of the brain not the coding language used to produce it.
 
  • #11
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by ogb p
That is a very dramatic statement but not exactly true. The Uncertainty Principle does not contradict a deterministic universe. Uncertainty rules out the possiblity of we humans, being limited and partial observers, being able to actually predict, with Certainty, the future, since we can never know all the initial variables exactly.

We humans, more generally, we observers, can never know all the factors that determine the Universe. That does not mean that the Universe is not determined by variables which we are incapable of determining.

This is something I've been wondering about for a while. Is the Uncertainty Principle consistent with a universe which has parts with a discreet, precise existence, but information about which is fuzzy because the only way to get this information is by deflecting other particles (eg photons) off them. Thus there is not only a maximum resolution to this information but the aquisition of the information changes the state of the particle being observed. Do you have a reference for this?
 
  • #12
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by Kerrie
judgement, opinions, feelings, intution are not a part of our current definition of a computer...unless you don't have any of these traits, you might be considered a computer...

The human brain does not 'compute' it works differently. A computer could perhaps one day have those qualities and still be a computer.
 
  • #13
FZ+
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Yes and that flow of charge is always in discreet units because they are using a binary language.

So is the pulses of the neurones in the brain? What I mean to say that the idea of language itself doesn't really have that much of a significance if we go down to the level of how things actually work. We can't really tell the difference.
 
  • #14
Mumeishi
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You can't tell the difference between a person and a computer?

I don't believe you.

Or you can't tell the difference between being a person and being a computer?

How would you know?

A brain does not work in binary. A neural net does not work in binary. A brain does not compute. A brain works in a fundamentally different way.

Reference: 'A Universe of Consciousness' G. M. Edelman & G Tononi, published 2000, p47-49
 
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  • #15
russ_watters
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Originally posted by ogb p
That is a very dramatic statement but not exactly true. The Uncertainty Principle does not contradict a deterministic universe. Uncertainty rules out the possiblity of we humans, being limited and partial observers, being able to actually predict, with Certainty, the future, since we can never know all the initial variables exactly.

We humans, more generally, we observers, can never know all the factors that determine the Universe. That does not mean that the Universe is not determined by variables which we are incapable of determining.
No, you are incorrect about what the HUP says. The unvierse has a fundamental graininess to it beyond which things can only be predicted according to probability functions. It has nothing at all to do with the capabilities of humans or number of variables involved. We can't MEASURE an exact position and velocity because a particle doesn't HAVE an exact position and velocity.
Originally posted by Mumeishi
This is something I've been wondering about for a while. Is the Uncertainty Principle consistent with a universe which has parts with a discreet, precise existence, but information about which is fuzzy because the only way to get this information is by deflecting other particles (eg photons) off them. Thus there is not only a maximum resolution to this information but the aquisition of the information changes the state of the particle being observed. Do you have a reference for this?
HUP is often described in that way (bouncing a photon off something to detect it changes its energy), but it is a mischaracterization. It is more fundamental than that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle
The uncertainty principle is sometimes erroneously explained by claiming that the measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum. Heisenberg himself offered this explanation initially. Disturbance plays no part, however, since the principle even applies if position is measured in one copy of the system and momentum is measured in another, identical one. It is more accurate to say that the particle is a wave, not a point-like object, and does not have a well-defined simultaneous position and momentum.
 
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  • #16
ogb p
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We can't MEASURE an exact position and velocity because a particle doesn't HAVE an exact position and velocity.

I can accept that within the framework of theory, but I don't believe it is experimentally provable: the only data you have is what we CAN MEASURE.
 
  • #17
Mumeishi
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Disturbance plays no part, however, since the principle even applies if position is measured in one copy of the system and momentum is measured in another, identical one.

Not sure I follow that logic. Different sorts of measurement could disturb it in different ways and give different results couldn't they?


It is more accurate to say that the particle is a wave, not a point-like object, and does not have a well-defined simultaneous position and momentum.

OK. So its a small wave (a superstring even, which essentially is a small wave).There's nothing too weird about that is there? It being emitted and absorbed in discreet quanta doesn't make it a particle. (Although clearly there is some fundamentally weird stuff going on with quantum mechanics) But isn't this 'wave-particle duality' a red-herring?
 
  • #18
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by ogb p
I can accept that within the framework of theory, but I don't believe it is experimentally provable: the only data you have is what we CAN MEASURE.

I agree.

How can we 'see' anything as small as a photon clearly when the only we have to see it is by bumping other photons off it?

Its like a blind man feeling around with only the aid of a log. (its a strong blind man ok!) He might conclude that the world had no fine details, but would he be justified?
 
  • #19
ogb p
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Originally posted by russ_watters
No, you are incorrect about what the HUP says. The unvierse has a fundamental graininess to it beyond which things can only be predicted according to probability functions. It has nothing at all to do with the capabilities of humans or number of variables involved.

Ok, after more thought I will agree with you that HUP does not state that it is based on the limitations of human beings. I did not mean to say that, but after re-reading my post I can easily see how it could be interpreted that way.

What I meant to say is that HUP does not contradict the possiblity of other theorectical models, including deterministic ones, because it is a theory created by humans and verified by experimental data that is ultimately collected by humans.

If you begin with the assumption that there are objects in the universe whose exact position in time and space are unknowable to humans, then the next logical step in dealing with those objects would be to create a mathematical model in which exact points don't exist.

Determinism, as theory, is still alive because the Classical Model of Physics, which is deterministic, is still used extensively in engineering and mechanics; there are many scales on which quantum effects and relativity are not worth computing.

If you are asserting that HUP is the ultimate reality, then I believe you would be making the same mistake that Determinists made 100 years ago.
 
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  • #20
ogb p
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Its like a blind man feeling around with only the aid of a log. (its a strong blind man ok!) He might conclude that the world had no fine details, but would he be justified?

That is a great analogy!
 
  • #21
ogb p,

Check out an area of study called "Digital Physics".

Here is a link to get you started...

http://digitalphysics.org/


-Glenn
 
  • #22
tonyjeffs
34
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Computer brain

The Brain is imo a computer...there's no evidence to suggest otherwise.
Emotions and feelings can be programmed into a computer.
In contrast to the pc, the brain-computer is designed to be slow in certain respects, but very powerful. It makes up for lack of speed through clever use of algorithmic shortcuts and approximations. These are known as emotions.
Everything we do is based on algorithms. It's hard for us to see, be cause we arent smarter than ourselves.

Heisenberg.doesn't disprove determinism
You can program 'uncertainty' into a pc program if you want to level the playing field. If you aren't happy with standard programmed random number generators, you can produce an externnal randomizer of your own design; perhaps based on a heat cell, and a cat in a box

Tone
 
  • #23
dawidi
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I'd say the brain is a computer, but it has a different implementation. and maybe we use it pretty ineffectively.
For example, we solve equations by transforming them to high-level objects which we can "compute" - like the sound of "three", the glyph representation of sixty-nine or a variable named "foo". This is far more inefficient than a raytracer written in JavaScript...
It sure would be cool if we found a way to program ourselves in "brain assembler" or B++, like are our vital kernel processes "hrtbeat.exe" or "vislogd". We'd probably be able to cause stack overflows to ourselves as well... I, for example, keep running into a "division by zero in module <chew.dll,2>".
We have all sorts of utility programs in our brain, like "scanbrain" and "defrag" that run while we're sleeping - dreams are the equivalent of FILE0001.CHK, i.e. stuff we recorded during the day but which was not stored properly to long-time memory...

For example electrons are computers too, but they only support a few functions, like
electron::electron(photon& gamma_ray, positron& rest, particle& catalysator); /* gamma_ray.eKin must be >1.22 MeV, resulting positron is returned via reference parameter */
electron::collide(particle& something);
electron::doPhotonCommunication(particle& something);
the lousy thing doesn't even have a destructor function, afaik...
 
  • #24
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by russ_watters

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle
The uncertainty principle is sometimes erroneously explained by claiming that the measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum. Heisenberg himself offered this explanation initially. Disturbance plays no part, however, since the principle even applies if position is measured in one copy of the system and momentum is measured in another, identical one. It is more accurate to say that the particle is a wave, not a point-like object, and does not have a well-defined simultaneous position and momentum.

I am not a quantum physicist, so I cannot say which is the correct definition, accepted by the general scientific community, and as understood by Heisenberg. I would not trust a wiki source as providing the definitive truth.

That said, this definition does not preclude the possibility of determination. Where in the idea of everything being predetermined cause-and-effect does it say that an object has to exist in one point, or be traveling with only 1 velocity? If "particles" are really waves, then the wave should be able to have difference parts moving with different velocities, just like a macro-scale ocean wave, right?
 
  • #25
Mumeishi
219
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Whether determination is possible would seem to come from whether we can have a fully accurate description of the wave and whether we have equations to make accurate calculations from that description.

Some philosophers (usually of the New Age, amateur variety) erronously use the UP to demonstrate that there is no external objective reality and everything is mind-dependent.
 
  • #26
Mentat
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Originally posted by Mumeishi
Yes and that flow of charge is always in discreet units because they are using a binary language.

Sorry I got to this thread late, I hope someone else didn't already cover this but...

Mumeishi, the brain also computes in discreet units: neurotransmitter, released across the synaptic space.

Naturally, I'm inclined to agree with most of what Mumeishi has said in this thread, but this point I just don't get, since even Dennett's theory of consciousness allows for "stupid homunculi" or the most discreet unit of computation.
 
  • #27
Mentat
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Originally posted by Mumeishi
Whether determination is possible would seem to come from whether we can have a fully accurate description of the wave and whether we have equations to make accurate calculations from that description.

But the more accurate you get, the more chaotic the system gets. That's why (IIRC) non-commutative Matrix Mechanics are used, in Heisenberg's conception, to describe the characteristics (like momentum and position) of a particle. The more accurately you pin-point the position of a particle, the less accurate you can be on it's momentum. As far as philosophy of science goes, russ_waters is right, the particle is literally not in anyone place at any given time.

Some philosophers (usually of the New Age, amateur variety) erronously use the UP to demonstrate that there is no external objective reality and everything is mind-dependent.

You are absolutely right, and I can't stand to read that kind of garbage, but it's even worse to try to exorcise such misconceptions from the minds of those who have never taken a look at the technical aspect of QM, but only at such "New Age" drivel like you mentioned.

Such exorcising was the purpose of "Clarification on QM", a thread by KL Kam, but this did not end well, as it remains logically wrong (no matter how convincing the evidence, and no matter what the consensus is) to say that something is "definitely this way".
 
  • #28
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by Mentat
Sorry I got to this thread late, I hope someone else didn't already cover this but...

Mumeishi, the brain also computes in discreet units: neurotransmitter, released across the synaptic space.

Naturally, I'm inclined to agree with most of what Mumeishi has said in this thread, but this point I just don't get, since even Dennett's theory of consciousness allows for "stupid homunculi" or the most discreet unit of computation.

Interesting point, although I'm not sure that counts in the same way as a language. I'll have to defer to Tononi and Edelmann on this one - that book is a great read by the way.

I'm not sure I understand you last point (perhaps because I need to catch up on what Dennett jas been saying).
 
  • #29
Mumeishi
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Originally posted by Mentat
But the more accurate you get, the more chaotic the system gets. That's why (IIRC) non-commutative Matrix Mechanics are used, in Heisenberg's conception, to describe the characteristics (like momentum and position) of a particle. The more accurately you pin-point the position of a particle, the less accurate you can be on it's momentum. As far as philosophy of science goes, russ_waters is right, the particle is literally not in anyone place at any given time.

Okay. The common sense explanation I was exploring was explored and eliminated by the quantum pioneers, so my attempt was pretty well doomed from the start, but I just wanted to try to investigate the idea myself a little rather than take it on faith.


Originally posted by Mentat

You are absolutely right, and I can't stand to read that kind of garbage, but it's even worse to try to exorcise such misconceptions from the minds of those who have never taken a look at the technical aspect of QM, but only at such "New Age" drivel like you mentioned.

Such exorcising was the purpose of "Clarification on QM", a thread by KL Kam, but this did not end well, as it remains logically wrong (no matter how convincing the evidence, and no matter what the consensus is) to say that something is "definitely this way".

People love to believe this stuff with a quasi-religious fervour - they are emotionally bound to such philosophical rubbish. The mystically-inclined also like think that relativity shows that space, time and mass are subjective. I have nothing against spirituality, but to try to use it to understand the physical world is a confusion.
 
  • #30
Another God
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I moved this thread to Epist and Metaphysics, because it is about the nature of the universe...

-------------------------------------

If you want to know anythig about the computer as a brain: Read Searle. I have always been a fan of Dennet, but Dennetts work on the brain is completely ripped apart by Searle. Dennett, like the entire field of Cognitivism, has completely missed the point of an analogy. The brain may have attributes similar to a computer: But that does not make the brain 'A computer'.

The simplest example I can think of to demonstrate exactly how a computer is nothing like a brain, is like this:

  • A computer is a syntactical manipulator. You put in variables, it does its magic internal thing, and spits out a response.
  • Other people seem analogous to this on a behaviourist level. You do something to them, we assume something internal to their brain happens, and we get a response.
  • We, on the other hand, personally know that there is more to ourselves than input output. There is something that it is like to be us. There is something that it is like to feel pain, there is something that it is like to think/see/hear etc. We 'EXPERIENCE' stuff.
Because of that fact, and because of our genetic relation to other people, it is reasonable to assume that their input output behaviours occur on account of their Psychical experiences of the world. A computer on the other hand, has not displayed such psychical experience of the world. The only resemblance between a computer and a human, is the behaviourist accounts of the two. Behaviourism though, is not an acceptable model of the mind (on account of the fact that we all know for a fact that there is more to us (individually) than our behaviours.)


So: Just because you ask a computer a question and it gives you the right answer, does not mean that that computer knows the answer to your question. The way things are today, it only means that teh computer has followed a good code.

Even if we exist in a deterministic universe that does not contradict the difference between modern computers and humans. Even if our brains are still just following ocde of some sort, there is nonetheless a difference. We still experience stuff, and we understand it. We have Semantics attached to our syntax. Computers are all syntax.

(Semantics = Meaning. Syntax = Symbols. We use symbols (words), but we use them with meaning. Computers just use words (which we humans then apply our semantics to, and claim that the computers are thinking!)
 
  • #31
Mumeishi
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I agree, pretty much.

And I agree that Behaviourism is not an accepteble philosophy of mind. But is there an acceptable phi;osophy of mind? Is there a philosophy which has beeen broadly accepted because it answers all the problems without creating a bunch of new ones? I don't think so. Not even Dennett AFAIK (but I need to swot up on him).

But I don't think we need to rely on philosophy to show this, I think that the differences between the brain and a computer can be demonstrated physically.

This well-regarded book is about some of the ground-breaking discoveries that have been made in recent years. I hope the authors would forgive me for posting such a large section

THE BRAIN IS NOT A COMPUTER
Our quick review of neuroanatomy and neural dynamics indicates that the brain has special features of organization and functioning that do not seem consistent with the idea that it follows a set of precise instructions or performs computations. We know that the brain is interconnected in a fashion no man-made device yet equals. First, the billions and billions of connections that make up a brain's connections are not exact: If we ask whether the connections are identical in any two brains of the same size, as they would be in computers of the same make, the answer is no. At the finest scale, no two brains are identical, not even those of identical twins. Although the overall pattern of connections of a given brain area is describable in general terms, the microscopic variability of the brain at the finest ramifications of its neurons is enormous, and this variability makes each brain significantly unique.

These observations present a fundamental challenge to models of the brain that are based on instruction or computation. As we shall see, the data provide strong grounds for so-called selectional theories of the brain—theories that actually depend upon variation to explain brain function.

Another organizing principle that emerges from the picture we are building is that in each brain, the consequences of both a developmental history and an experiential history are uniquely marked. For example, from one day to the next, some synaptic connections in the same brain are likely not to remain exactly the same; certain cells will have retracted their processes, others will have extended new ones, and certain others will have died, all depending on the particular history of that brain. The individual variability that ensues is not just noise or error, but can affect the way we remember things and events. As we shall see, it is also an essential element governing the ability of the brain to respond to and match the countless unforeseeable scenes that may occur in the future. No present-day machine incorporates such individual diversity as a central feature of its design, although the day will certainly come when we shall build devices that are truly brainlike.

If we compare the signals a brain receives with those of computers, we uncover a number of other feataires that are special to brains. First, the world certainly is not presented tothe brain like a piece of computer tape containing an unambiguous series of signals. Nonetheless, the brain enables an animal to sense the environment, categorize patterns out of a multiplicity of variable signals, and initiate movement. It mediates learning-and memory and simultaneously regulates a host of bodily functions. The ability of the nervous system to carry out perceptual categorization of different signals for sight, sound, and so forth, dividing them into coherent classes without a prearranged code, is certainly special and is still unmatched by computers. We do not presently understand fully how this categorization is done but, as we discuss later, we believe it arises through the selection of certain distributed patterns of neural activity as the brain interacts with the body and the environment.

We have also shown that the brain contains a special set of nuclei with diffuse projections — the value systems — which signal to the entire nervous system the occurrence of a salient event and influence changes in the strength of synapses. Systems with these crucial properties are typically not found in man-made devices, yet their importance for learning and adaptive behavior is well documented. Together with the morphological peculiarities of the brain and its neural connections with a specific bodily phenotype, these systems provide an animal with a large set of constraints whose role in fostering species-specific perceptual categorization and adaptive learning cannot be underestimated.

Finally, if we consider neural dynamics (the way patterns of activity in the brain change with time), the most striking special feature of the brains of higher vertebrates is the occurrence of a process we have called reentry. Reentry, which we discuss in detail in chapters 9 and 10, depends on the possibility of cycles of signaling in the thalamocortical meshwork and other networks mentioned earlier. It is the ongoing, recursive interchange of parallel signals between reciprocally connected areas of the brain, an interchange that continually coordinates the activities of these areas' maps to each other in space and time. This interchange, unlike feedback, involves many parallel paths and has no specific instructive error function associated with it.
Instead, it alters selective events and correlations of signals among areas and is essential for the synchronization and coordination of the areas' mutual functions.

One striking consequence of reentry is the widespread synchronization of the activity of different groups of active neurons distributed across many different functionally specialized areas of the brain. This synchronous firing of widely dispersed neurons that are connected by reentry is the basis for the integration of perceptual and motor processes. This integration ultimately gives rise to percept&al categorization, the ability to discriminate an object or event from a background for adaptive purposes. If the reentrant paths connecting cortical areas are disconnected, these integrative processes are disrupted. As we discuss in detail in chapter 10, reentry allows for a unity of perception and behavior that would otherwise be impossible, given the absence in the brain of a unique, computerlike central processor with detailed instructions or of algorithmic calculations for the coordination of functionally segregated areas.

Indeed, if we were asked to go beyond what is merely special and name the unique feature of higher brains, we would say it is reentry. There is no other object in the universe so completely distinguished by reentrant circuitry as the human brain. Although a brain has similarities to a large ecological entity like a jungle, nothing remotely like reentry appears in any jungle. Nor in human communication systems: Reentrant systems in the brain are massively parallel to a degree unheard of in our communication nets. In any event, communication nets are unlike brains, in that they deal with previously coded and, for the most part, unambiguous signals.


Edelmann & Tononi - A Universe of Consciousness
 
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  • #32
Another God
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As we discuss in detail in chapter 10, reentry allows for a unity of perception and behavior that would otherwise be impossible, given the absence in the brain of a unique, computerlike central processor with detailed instructions or of algorithmic calculations for the coordination of functionally segregated areas.

This is interesting to me. The only reason I really know anything about this is because I did one Philosophy of the Mind course, where I met my GF who is intensly into this stuff. So through her I have learned a lot. One thing I believe she said just recently was a proposition that perhaps the perception isn't so unified as everyone claims it to be. Sure, it appears that our perception exists in unit, and that there is a single point of reference that is the mind etc, but the mind plays a lot of tricks on us which we are completely unaware of.

I won't take this any further though, because I would only serve to destroy her point rather than help her make it . I'm sure she'd be interested to come in and say something though (having fished her last exam...ohhh...in about 11 hours from now.)

Anyway, back to the point:
Here is an interesting thought: The re-entry of the brain seems to be similar to the ways a jungle may work. "Of course though, we don't think the jungle results in a mind" Isn't it possible that Jungle, Cities...ponds, whatever, do actualy result in the creation of 'minds'?

Remember: The only mind I really know of, is my own. Your mind is simply infered by your bodies behaviours. Without a body, a mind is only evident to itself.

but then, saying that: Does it matter? Whats the point of wondering if there are 'minds' all over the place which are completely withdrawn from any sort of interaction?

Hmmm...its all a bit too strange for me.

That books sounds interesting though.
 
  • #33
Mentat
3,918
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Originally posted by Mumeishi
Interesting point, although I'm not sure that counts in the same way as a language. I'll have to defer to Tononi and Edelmann on this one - that book is a great read by the way.

I haven't been able to find it, for some reason. I'll keep looking though.

I'm not sure I understand you last point (perhaps because I need to catch up on what Dennett jas been saying).

Well, Dennett got rid of the homunuculun problem by his theory of the "question/answer game", as the producer of consciousness. However, he admits that this "game" must be played between what he calls "stupid homunculi", or specific neurons (or sets thereof) with very minor tasks that play a role in the "higher" tasks.

I'll have to get back to this later, because I have to get off-line now.
 
  • #35
Mumeishi
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The Other God,

If you read accounts of experiments with split-brain patients and the apparent fact that they have no sense of having a divided consciousness (which they demonstrably do), the idea that our consciousness may sometimes (or always) be divided into subsets seems more plausible.

Does it matter? Whats the point of wondering if there are 'minds' all over the place which are completely withdrawn from any sort of interaction?

I think the conception of minds which are separated from the rest of reality in any sort of fundamental way is mistaken.
 

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