About “parralelism” it is certainly true that human beings perform many perceptual-motor things in parallel. There are many things that are bottlenecked. You cant talk and listen at the same time, you can typically only attend to one thing at a time (in the current theories). You cant type on two computers on teh same program simultaneously. Understanding the nature of that bottleneck has been a serious challenge to cognitive psychology over the past umpteen years. I do research in multitasking stuff, so its definetly an impetus for this ‘bottleneck’ research. Its definetly interesting stuff.
Reworded, then, for your reading pleasure:
If a human being did have an entirely original thought, it would be incomprehensible to everyone else because they would lack a familiar frame of reference, an existing departure point.
However, human beings often have ideas that build upon previous ideas; new concepts are originated to explain data (sometimes familiar old data, sometimes data just recently acquired), and although the function of these new concepts is to bridge back to the body of concepts with which people are already familiar, and therefore the terms, descriptions, allegories, metaphors, and examples are drawn as much as possible from the well of concepts and information that people know and are aware of, that’s not the same thing as saying “there is no original thought; all that happens is people rearrange the same components into different patterns”.
In fact if this were not so, you’d pretty much have to postulate some kind of primordial pool of thoughts that we somehow started off with which were “just there” and didn’t require anyone to think of them first (perhaps wired into our synaptical patterns?) or else you’d have to devise a theory to explain how we came up with them in the absence of a capacity for original thought.
Having said all that, I would say that the portion of “new ideas” that is genuinely new and original is very small, and does depend highly on new links, reformulations, and modified conceptualizations of familiar material. So my disagreement lies in the important distinction between “no original thought” and “very little original thought” (or at least “original thought that occurs in very very tiny increments, by necessity”).
Is that better?
(no snotty sarcasm intended)
The brain has something like 50 to 100 billion neurons, if I recall correctly, all arranged in a massively parallel interconnected architecture that is so complicated that we can’t easily unravel it. Maybe you want to compare this to about 50 million transistors in a modern CPU all organized around a handful of very precise data paths. The brain doesn’t have any organized storage facilities at all like a computer does. Instead it has some sort of distributed memory system where “data” is stored in the processing elements. I guess the closest thing in a computer would be to say the brain has a heck of a lot of cache memory, and lots of registers inside the processor.
0.1 MHz, no RAM, no hard drive, no ALU at all, no built in support for floating point numbers, not even a single clear data path for streamlined processing… the brain makes a piss poor computer.
My friend at work this week told me about how an acquaintance of his used to work near a functioning communications system with an open transmitter, and whenever the transmitter would pan toward her, everyone nearby would hear a humming.
My friend claims thats because the communications system was emitting at a frequency which stimulated the neurons INSIDE YOUR BRAIN, rather than inside your inner ear. (I argued that they probably actually stimulated the inner ear, but if that were this case this post would be a hijack)
So, I was wondering, since the natural firing rate of neurons is close to the frequency used by some communications devices, CAN said (Photon-based, i must add) waves affect our brains functioning? Or, conversely, would it be possible that “light” waves can stimulate our inner ear, causing us to hear a sound of the same frequency?
I feel a great debate about what constitutes thinking coming on…
I’ve read a story made by a computer. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Sure the setting was constant there were characters but it was jumbled and incoherant.
As far as mHz goes, as others have said, its apples and oranges. Think of computers as foils of humans. They can do billions of calculations a second, we can do a dozen if that in a minute with a pen and paper. We can create and recongnize a wide array of things with a glance whereas a computer needs time and detailed images to do so and it takes a lot longer. Were opposite entities working together. So mHz is to humans as IQ is to computers.
I understood this part, but since a thought can not arise that does not have a backing in reality, it is a statement that belongs in a fantasy book.
How is this not the same, then? Original thought implies that it has no backing in the persons past, his education etc. Original thought could, by definition, not even have a way to be expressed in language.
No, I would not have to postulate some kind of primordial pool of thoughts. Mankind has been around for what, 150k years? Language evolves, society evolves, and thought evolves. It is a gradual process in which information is passed on from one generation to the next, and altered as it is passed. Some take this imformation, and changes that occur in that persons brain due to enviromental issues caused them to look at it in another light. That is creativity. There is no magical process by which the human brain just invents crap out of thin air. There is no creation, only alteration.
Imagine perhaps, the first time somebody connected a sound with the idea of a monster. Did somebody just out of the blue invent the concept of a monster? Or did it slowly evolve from a predator lurking in the bushes, to a REALLY big predator that cannot be killed because it is the spawn of the gods that made the shiny things in the sky. I guarentee you that somebody didn’t just “come up with that out of nothing”. The concept of gods is no doubt a gradual process. So is everything else, all things have what I refer to as lines of influence. Influence causes what we call creativity. Its how our perceptions alter an idea that makes it unique. Not the idea itself.
And a computer makes an even worse brain.