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Helter Skelter

Our brains really DON'T work like computers!

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
All the woo-woo stuff about the brain being analog (ie, continuous) .. thats just biased thinking based on your own limited experience as a particular type of observer in this universe.

high dynamic range != continuous
high precision != continuous
high dynamic range + high precision != continuous

Of there is anything continuous in this universe, its the neverending bias of the observer.


I disagree by saying as above that everything in the universe is natively continuous and that discreteness is a man-made artifact that doesn't really exist. By "continuous" I simply mean that no measuring device ever made will ever be able to measure anything to the precision that actually exists. If anything, the bias of the observer is what makes things discrete! ;-)

Really, items are not their function, but they are the precise makeup of "matter" in space. Humans categorize things into "functional units" to make them easier to understand, but in actuality an object is much more than an object's functional use -- it is a collection of molecules, it is a collection of atoms (a collection of "imperfect" atoms!), of electrons, etc etc. to an infinitessimal degree that can never be precisely measured. Hence, it can never precisely be described as "discrete".

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Well it doesnt matter how computers work. i am pretty sure they can simulate everything including brain. The can't simulate exact structure of itself but it may simulate different which acts the same (?)

But, if you go to smallest particles atoms or subatoms or whatever... u'll experience similarity since all the world consists of those particles. I would expect that underlying variety is quite small. So, in this pov yes computers are no different than stones or brains. Its just different combinations.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by mnansgar
I disagree by saying as above that everything in the universe is natively continuous and that discreteness is a man-made artifact that doesn't really exist. By "continuous" I simply mean that no measuring device ever made will ever be able to measure anything to the precision that actually exists. If anything, the bias of the observer is what makes things discrete! ;-)


You are infact wrong. Energy, for example, comes in discrete units called quanta. To the observer it appears continuous because he sees quintillions of quanta in action at once, but the FACTS dont jive with that macro-observation

Quote:
Original post by mnansgar
Humans categorize things into "functional units" to make them easier to understand, but in actuality an object is much more than an object's functional use


Ask any quantum physicist if "functional units" as you like to call them make things easier to understand. Its the exact opposite. We are wired to expect a continuous spectrum of values, but the reality is that such a thing does not exist in the universe.

Clearly your observational bias has got the best of you. Your presumption is wrong. You cannot even name ONE facet of the universe that behaves as if its derived from a continuous non-quantized spectrum. If you could then I suspect you'de be hired by CERN, get a nobel prize, and be able to leave all this arm-chair AI stuff to the lesser mortals.



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Despite his impoliteness and assertion that such an enitity as a quantum physicist exists, the AP is correct. I feel it presumptious to think mnansgar works only from his armchair.

Quote:
Original post by ACCU
Well it doesnt matter how computers work. i am pretty sure they can simulate everything including brain. The can't simulate exact structure of itself but it may simulate different which acts the same (?)

But, if you go to smallest particles atoms or subatoms or whatever... u'll experience similarity since all the world consists of those particles. I would expect that underlying variety is quite small. So, in this pov yes computers are no different than stones or brains. Its just different combinations.


Unfortunately no, for two reasons. One is to do with the fact that all of mathematics can never be placed in a completely secure, totally non self conflicting aximoatic basis. The other is that the computing device would have to be isolated from the universe while computing and able to do so in a coherent manner (i.e. superposed states).

Which brings me to another question, if a machine capable of performing any mathematics can never be built, can one be done, that is capable of simulating the universe? Perfectly.

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Anyway I am not talking about simulating your own... Since computer is different from brains it should be able to simulate it since it's not 'itself'

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Many in this thread would enjoy the discussion group at http://www.onintelligence.org/forum/.

The main point in the brain's information processing is not whether its signals are analog or discrete but that they are non-clocked. I am sure the programmers here remembers their finite state machine (finite automata) theory. In that theory the state of the system is completely defined so that it can transisition upon the command of a clock signal to the next state. The brain has no global state transition clock.

So one must first deal with state probabilities but because the brain is unconstrained the probabilites are not precise either (that is probability values have not had enough trials to be completely certain if the value is accurate).

So while states and state changes (events or quanta in physics) are discrete their probability of existence within any given time interval is an analog value.

So is time continuous or discrete? General Relativity Theory states that no absolute frame of reference exists. This means that no discrete time or space intervals can exist that are of a fixed common size throughout the universe. Since all scales are relative this forces us back to the definition of the derivative interval in mathematics. The whole idea of a limit is that some time or space interval exists for every function in which shinking it further is meaningless. That is shrinking it no longer changes the functional value. This interval can be different for different functions but at some point all interval shrinkage reaches the point of changlessness. This concept gets around the problem of the undefined "infinatly small".

As an example consider the function 1/x in an x-y plane. Its midpoint is 1 but then it extends infinately along each axis. So if discrete points exist in space there must be as many between 0 and 1 as their is between 1 and infinity! This seems to be an impossibility.

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How do you make 1 = 2 or fit the earth in a raisin? You have a physical universe whose properties are as continuous.

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If you like quantum mechanics, everything "simulates" shades of grey, since energy levels (and remember, E=mC^2 so mass == energy) come in discrete packets that don't go up and down smoothly. IMHO opinion, it isn't really fair to compare a computer's shortcomings with the human brains. My opinion is that with proper advances in hardware, computers could have sufficient computational power to be as capable of learning and pattern recognition as the human brain. However, I also think that we can't really achieve this until we understand how the human brain works. Good luck with that.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by ToohrVyk
The most interesting thing is that the human brain is microscopically continuous in its functioning, while the computer is, by design, microscopically discrete.


Not necessarily so:
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725074.600 ;)

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The laws are woven into the very fabric in the universe, threading through our mind and quasi stellar objects alike


Thats not entireley true, the laws are man made to fit experimental data and logic, in the language of mathematics. Which evolves to describe new patterns, logic and data as and when the challenge arises.

That doesnt mean the equations and language is woven into the fabric of the universe, that would be a very self-centered philosophy. It is just the best way ( that we have so far discovered ) to model, map and describe the universe and ( as by definition of language ) pass the information on for future ( and present ) generations.

I dont think you could ever prove that mathematics or the "laws" are the fabric of the universe, unless you were not part of that universe.

Maybe im mistaken.

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