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From: Scott Chase
> > >> Grant,
> > >>
> > >> This is getting very complicated. Far simpler if memories aren't
> > >> stored anywhere but emerge from the act of recollection. Instead of
> > >> attributing an artificial memory system to the brain, we should be
> > >> searching for the basis of natural memory, that is, the recall of
> > >> was once present.
> > >
> > > Recall it from where?
> > You mean, from when.
> > Memory concerns time, not space. Otherwise it's not really memory but
> > merely the storage and retrieval of information. In our memetically
> > ingrained, mechanistic worldview, true memory is a thing of the past.
> > Artificial memory is just that-- artifice.
> Not tht I've had my nose in the literature enough lately to give it a fair
> whirl (use it or lose it), but one is tempted to wonder wheter Ted has
> reading any stuff on the molecular research of memory.
As I pointed out to Keith, who claims we now have a "fairly good idea" of
memory in sea slugs, the only theory we have is what sea slug *brains* are
up to when the slugs themselves remember things.
Neuroscientists study the brain and imagine they're studying the mind. No
different than biochemists who study DNA and think they're perusing the
secrets of living form. Studying brains produces theories of brains, not
memory or any other property of mind. No theory of the brain can constitute
a theory of memory. By definition, memory is the re-presenting of
experiences now past. The brain, by contrast, is a physical object,
composed entirely of particles and the physical principles behind their
behavior. Neither the past nor its representation is to be found among
these particles and laws. If memory is isolated to the brain, it ceases to
be memory and becomes data. If we ever found the long-sought "memory
traces," they would become mirages the moment we came to them. We seek to
comprehend memory the same way we study an insect, by killing it. But
memory refuses to get pinned to a wall.
You brain doesn't recollect any more than it experiences. It's an organ on
top of a stick walled in by skull and skin. It's not you. It doesn't know
you and doesn't experience or remember your life. It helps *you* experience
and remember and live.
I do know how to read, by the way. Enough to know that any mechanistic
theory of memory must get beyond severe obstacles, such as the ability of
memories to reappear in a different neural region following brain damage and
the continual disconnecting and reconnecting of neurons that ought to be
forming static storage receptacles.
> Sounds quite "material" and "mechanical" to me.
Well, naturally. When you look for mechanical matter, that's what you find.
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