Re: Beam me up, Scotty

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 05:58:39 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Beam me up, Scotty
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    > "Dace" <> <> Re: Beam me up, ScottyDate: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 13:24:22 -0800
    >From: Joe Dees
    >> >> >I've never suggested that form (morphe) is beamed into our heads.
    >> >> >My claim is that memory is a property of nature. What distinguishes
    >> >> >life from, say, books and computers, is that living things possess
    >> >> >natural memory-- the retention of the past-- while books and
    >> >> >computers rely on storage of material configurations.
    >> >> >
    >> >> How droll. And disingenuous. The manner in which our brains store
    >> >information (in configurations of dendrite-and-axon-connected neurons)
    >> >IS natural; it naturally evolved.
    >> >>>>
    >> >
    >> >Mechanism confuses the distinction between nature and artifice by
    >claiming that mechanical objects evolved naturally. While our brains did
    >indeed evolve through natural selection, it would be the most astonishing
    >coincidence if they just happened to develop into essentially the same
    >device designed and manufactured by human intelligence. The idea that
    >brains are computers-- with artificial memory and logic-- is crude,
    >anthropic projection.
    >> >
    >> Of course, we made computers to operate like their intentional model, the
    >human brain. It's not that brains are computers, it's that computers are
    >modeled after brains (and imperfectly).
    >Says who? My impression was that the computer-brain analogy emerged after
    >the basics of computer science were already in place. The early 20th
    >century metaphor of the brain was the telephone switchboard.
    It closely followed such creations as ENIAC, and has influenced a half-century of cyberdevelopment.
    >> But one thing that people who built computers got right is the fact that
    >brains store knowledge and memories, so they intentionally built an analogue
    >into computers for the naturally evolved ability of human brains to store
    >memories and knowledge in neuronal-axonal-dendritic-synaptic configurations.
    >You sure about that? Who devised the electronic storage of data, and where
    >did he claim to have been mimicking the brain?
    Alan Turing and John Von Neumann both made such assertions, and were instrumental in elaborating the theory such technological achievements instantiated.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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