What Is So Special About The Human Brain? by Suzana Herculano Houzel

Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago to Science
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The human brain is puzzling -- it is curiously large given the size of our bodies, uses a tremendous amount of energy for its weight and has a bizarrely dense cerebral cortex. But: why? Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel puts on her detective's cap and leads us through this mystery. By making "brain soup," she arrives at a startling conclusion.
SOURCE URL: https://www.ted.com/talks/suzana_herculano_houzel_what_is_so_special_about_the_human_brain


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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
    Interesting discovery of the number of neurons and the thoughts per gallon (500 calories a day) . If the number of neurons determines cognitive abilities a bird brained macaw is more intelligent so is a dolphin( pilot whale) so back yo the drawing board. The food and cooking theory misses the mark in my opinion. I would focus more on the consciousness of the mind.

    "Let’s clarify a few things. Some ask about comparing the total number of neurons between various species. Rather than the total number, it’s the regional distributions of neurons that matters. For example, the author of this talk found that elephants have three times more neurons than humans (2014). But the elephant neocortex, the region for cognitive abilities, had 8 times fewer neurons than in humans. So far so good, but that’s until we examine dolphins and even parrots.

    A 2014 study showed that dolphins (pilot whales) have 37.2 billion neurons in the neocortex, twice as many as in humans. Our idea of intelligence is further challenged with parrots, such as the macaw. About a month ago a study showed that macaws have more cortical neurons than many primates, such as the rhesus monkey.

    As a neuroscientist, I think the quest for IQ needs to be resolved within our own species first. If we compared Einstein’s brain to the average brain, it’s unlikely that we would discover a much larger number of cortical neurons. It’s more likely that intelligence stems from the way that neurons are connected to each other and which specific areas of the cortex are more developed.

    I admire Suzana’s work because not only did she rigorously demonstrate the number of neurons in the human brain, but also proved that the number of glia is not three times more than the number of neurons (it’s ~50:50). Many scientists and even textbooks still use the old information and are teaching it to students.

    By way, I agree with posters who point out the lack of evidence that cooking is the reason for our large brains. I don’t know a lot about nutrition, but this hypothesis has already been tested by the large number of people on raw food diets. I’m pretty sure they don’t have to eat more than 9 hours a day to survive. Farming might come into play here… Nevertheless, the cooking hypothesis was not what the author tested and it does not take away from her ingenious work with neurons".
    From the comment section Beck Khekoyan.
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    • Posted by CTYankee 7 months, 1 week ago
      Farming definitely makes a difference! The way we acquire what we call raw food is hundreds of times more energy efficient than the food one would find walking through the woods or savannah.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
        By using our mind many things become more efficient Like riding a horse. Or teaming up for a hunt or sharpening stones and using language for planning.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
    Thanks for sharing. That was pretty fascinating.

    I think there are a couple of leaps in there that aren't particularly well-founded however. The first is that just because you create brain soup to measure the sheer number of neurons doesn't measure overall cognitive ability. Many animals devote significant neural capacity to sensory organs (especially olfactory and auditory) which in comparison outclass human abilities (sharks and dogs come to mind). Thus I think that a far better comparison would be to build upon the work she has done but to individually divide the brains for comparison into functional areas prior to liquefaction and comparison.

    I also echo the comments regarding simply cooking one's food, and would instead prefer a far more rigorous dietary examination. A cow has five stomachs to aid in the digestion of plant materials and is far more efficient at such tasks than humans, where that fiber simply passes through us. Primates are not vegetarian with specialized stomachs, so a diet heavy in plant fibers is going to be necessarily inefficient. Take koalas for example, who spend nearly their entire days eating eucalyptus leaves. A primate that subsists primarily upon proteins, however - especially animal proteins - can be much more efficient.

    I applaud her for her initial work, but suggest that she draws several conclusions which we will find do not follow from the abundant evidence.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
      I wonder how many neurons democrats have, blarman (probably in negative territory)...maybe democrats, progressives, liberals and marxist are a different race...maybe it is They that evolved from monkeys....cause the rest of us didn't; we were a completely separate species.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
        LOL. Got a kick out of that one.

        In all seriousness, one can affect the neural pathways in the brain by the choice of the decisions one makes. And this isn't necessarily purely chemical interactions such as psychotropic drugs or alcohol. Psychological studies have been done demonstrating that kids who watched "Sponge Bob Squarepants" had decreased IQ's. Others studies have shown that engaging one's brain in intellectual activities such as Sudoku on a daily basis strengthens and encourages synapse response - especially in the elderly.

        To be completely fair to progressives and other leftists, I think they have the same number of neurons, they just don't exercise them. Thinking is actual hard work as you encourage the brain to create the neural pathways which then facilitate critical thinking. Mindsets are as much literal and physical in the brain as they are mental constructs. Habits form in the brain as well-used mental pathways, which is why it is so important to form positive ones. I believe that the vast majority of leftists have never gotten in the habit of real, critical thinking and that this is one of the reasons why they react so violently when confronted with it. It is in actuality a response to an alien condition to their brains which must be consciously overridden (in the form of humility) so as to allow their brains to begin building the alternate pathways necessary to cognitively deal with these thoughts.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
          Much of that introspection takes a mind to accomplish, the remainder needed is the will to do so.
          Man, (Humans) can not live by brain alone anymore in complex times like they did in simple pagan bicameral times where all that cooked/raw, food and neurons were dedicated to dealing with the stresses of survival.
          Today, one's survival depends upon the mind otherwise those reliant on only their brain must "Take" what they need or perceive they need, to survive.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
    TED talks do not usually present coherent explanations of complex science. She is way off base in the causal process of cranial size and body mass. No species has more neurons than they need to do the work of living. Humans stood up learned to pick through the Savannah for food in odd shapes and other wise led more complex lives than fellow primates. You cant cook food until after you catch it and prepare it. SO the cooking is not a clue to brain size. So why did we stand up because we had to move horizontally for food while our primate cousins stayed in the jungle climbing trees for food. We do more complex motions to get food and stay alive than any other species. When we learned to talk after being human for 250,000 years we could try to explain what we could do. We do more work and that is why we have the brains we do. They let us cook so we could do less work per amount of food. The kinds and types of neurons depend on the work which makes food available not the other way around. See Leiberman on the reason humans stood up. Out in the Savannah the food is horizontally distributed. not vertically like in the jungle. .
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
    Interesting find, freedom, Thanks...of course the other thing that happened to us...isssssss....Consciousness!!! [ding ding ding], awareness of our own awareness, self introspection and all of that, is not located in those neurons and doesn't cost anything...unless your one the 60% that can only go with what those neurons crave...which most times, isn't pretty, moral and usually causes us trouble somewhere down the road.

    Just watch the news...you'll know to whom we speak.

    Laughing...psssst...we're not primates either, but don't tell anyone...
    (our makers must curse the day they used that clay)
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months, 1 week ago
    An enjoyable but somewhat misleading speech. Not all neurons are structured the same in all species. Just as important is the number of dendrites (neurotransmitter connections), which I believe are more dense in higher species. Also, the human brain has specialized cells that act to "rewire" those connections to effectively reprogram memories and actions. The complete explanation of why we think seemingly more effectively than other species has yet to be determined.

    Another recently discovered error in the thinking about the brain is the idea that all brains are mapped the same way. Corvids (crow and raven family) carry out reasoning processes in a much more efficient manner than humans, given the size of their brains and number of neurons, so that presents another conundrum to be resolved.

    Recently, some neurologists have determined that there may be extra-material elements to human consciousness, in the form of a low energy electromagnetic field that allows communication among brain components more rapidly than theoretically possible given the limitations of a 250 mph chemical reaction-driven neurological network. Some have misinterpreted this to mean they may have discovered a human "aura" or even the soul, but the energy level of this field makes it very difficult to detect outside of the human skull. It may even briefly survive the brain death point, but is highly unlikely to represent a non-corporeal element that can survive beyond the end of a physical body's existence.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
    The human brain is more complex than the fanciest computer humans can design, let alone build. How anyone imagines that one can achieve artificial reason--a machine that can think the way you and I think--is beyond my comprehension.

    But does anyone here have any idea of the origin of the conscious mind?
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
      I think that the brain is not so complex it can’t be duplicated. It’s just very complex programming and we haven’t figured it out yet
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
        I commend to you the challenge. But I will not, any time soon, be writing horror or science fiction on the premise of a self-aware supercomputer running for President, getting elected, and taking command, or any other such thing. For one thing, people have done that premise to death. They called it Colossus: The Forbin Project, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even Star Trek (1966) - S02E24 - "The Ultimate Computer." Plus a forgettable little movie titled The Demon Seed. Then in 1984 they called it The Terminator and began a franchise lasting to this day. Not to mention Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, each, in its own way, featuring an "artificial intelligence" accorded the full rights and responsibility of adulthood in a rational being.

        And I hold that they all have their basis in the false premise that anyone can duplicate the programming of the human brain, and produce not only machine intelligence but machine reason. Such an entity would of necessity have the right of citizenship in the country of its creation, and have the right to change citizenship, even to hire transport if necessary. Now imagine such a creature building enough tele-operators to design its own next generation. That second-generation machine would then be a natural born citizen within the meaning of Emmerich de Vattel's Law of Nations. (That could even apply to the first generation, if you grant to the creators of that system the title of "parent.")

        HAL for President? Colossus for President? SkyNet for President? (Well, that's a little different; SkyNet was a power-mad and mass-murdering military insurrectionist.) "Data" for President?

        Are you sure...?
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
          Look at the millions of people out there who have used their brain power to become statists, dictators, mass killers like hitler, Stalin’s, and even bush in Iraq and Obama in Afghanistan. If there can be a biologically manufactured and electrically operated and essentially blank at birth (human), why is it so far fetched to duplicate the design mechanically that also operates electrically. It’s complicated and we don’t know presently how the interconnections function , but brains do exist now therefore they can be duplicated one way of another

          As to being president, look at what we got with in the past. Were they intellectually consistent and freedom preserving? Some were mass murderers and others control freaks. A fully functional android is a long way off, but maybe an android neighbor wouldn’t attack me while I was mowing my lawn...
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          • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
            You left out one more consideration. A rational machine would own no fellow-feeling of any kind toward "organics." He would have no inherent sense of the worth of an "organic."

            Actually I left out one other television show that would be relevant to this debate: Battlestar Galactica. Your rational machine would be a Cylon. And if you recall, the Cylons began a war of extermination against the "organics" that made them.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
              What is it in a human brain that favors "organics"? We treat other animals pretty badly in most cultures. Even here we raise them only to herd them and kill them kind of unmercifully so we can eat at mc donalds. Chickens are "organic", but they have pretty rotten lives from what I can see on TV, make them lay eggs for new chicks, and then kill them off into chicken mc nuggets. If we figured out how a human brain works and duplicated it, wouldnt it then have to go through learning just like a baby, but perhaps going through a more rational process of growing up. We might have these brains be much better than human brains raised by ghetto moms.
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              • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
                It's not so much that. It's that the mind within that brain perceives being in an organic body. We naturally identify with those like us. Now you might find that racist, or "species-ist." But that's a cold, hard fact.

                What would a machine have in common with a flesh-and-blood human being--i.e., an organic?

                If--a mighty big "if"--we figured out how a human brain works and duplicated it, it would then have knowledge poured into it as an operating system, a database, and various programs to access that database. Trial-and-error learning would be a supplement at best. It would "grow up" knowing it was different.

                I don't know which would be worse--a machine brain in and as a mainframe, or a machine brain in a humanoid body. The latter would be different, and to be different is to be damned. The former would have no sense of identification whatsoever with other rational beings. It would not even have any inherent reason to accept human beings as rational.

                The disembodied brain might, like SkyNet, make war against all of humanity. Or it might, like Colossus, decide it cannot let us run around loose, and would thus establish a dictatorship of the machine brain.

                And the brain in the humanoid body might, Cylon-like, consider itself a slave, and revolt. And a slave race in revolt would settle for nothing less than the total extinction of the master race. As we see today with the movement now calling itself "Black Lives Matter."

                We have enough trouble with human beings playing the group-identity game. We ought not build for ourselves a mountain of trouble we never can climb, by creating a machine brain, or a company of machine brains, who, conscious of their differences with us, would be inclined more toward war than peace.

                All the above assumes a machine brain is even possible. I maintain it is _im_possible. And rejoice therefore.
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                  You bring up good points. maybe you should make sci fi movies and make money in the process !

                  Think of it this way- a biological brain as in a human is a "physical object", so it is possible to duplicate it. If it was made once, it can be made again is how I would put it. It is not some ethereal spiritual or mystical thing. It seems to be self contained so it doesnt derive its power from some mystical source deep in the galaxy.

                  Assuming that one could duplicate the connections and "operating system" (read that as "instincts"), the real key to its operation would be in the learning that it absorbed from the sensors that were available to it.

                  Obviously, that means that one could put in erroneous data and warp it and turn it into a hitler brain. Connect it to some way of actually performing some actions, and LOOK OUT.

                  Personally I dont have a problem with "racism" so long as it accurately reflects the differences in the the entity being identified. Its way too overused today. A white dude eating vanilla ice cream could be called a racist.

                  A humanoid with a perfectly crafted super brain that was "spock-like" might actually BE a super race. Fortunately, we are a LONG way from developing such a brain. There are bigger fish to fry at present.

                  I would say that it possible for humans to develop robots to the point where they are actually better at dealing with things than WE are and leaving humans in an interesting position. We would have to up our game to compete in the world I suppose, just as we need to now relative to the chinese (who are kicking our asses currently)
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                  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
                    Robots (from robotnik, meaning "slave") would indeed do better at the repetitive, mindless, purely menial tasks. Humans would then become technicians, to service the robots. One such tech could likely keep ten robots on the job.

                    But a truly self-aware machine would be no robot. It would go beyond programming and would not be content.
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                    • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                      I am not so sure that "self awareness" is some mystical thing, and not just the result of particular "programming" that we dont understand yet. I think its going to come out eventually that a human is a self contained, autonomous "machine" that has special brain construction to allow it to learn from its sensor inputs and to conclude and generalize from patterns of those inputs and form concepts of how the world is. I suspect also that this self awareness is just the ability for it to have sensor awareness of its own body and recognition that its sensors and actuators are self contained and are different from the sensors and actuators that arent self contained. I think the mystery is going to come out of it as we learn more about how the brain actually works
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                      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
                        Therein lies the rub. No machine can comprehend fully any machine as complex as, or more complex than, itself. I'd say that puts the construction of a self-aware, rational computer out of reach.

                        But I am working on a science-fiction story about a "man" who actually is a human brain/eyes/ears/nasal tract/spinal cord transplanted into a mechanical body, discovering that an "organic" woman with whom he had a one-night stand now exists as a disembodied brain within a mainframe, whose builders intended that she run the computer system for an Orwellian surveillance state! When she "runs him to ground," he reaches out to her through his electronic interfaces--and convinces her that she's been had, in a viciously ugly form. Then let the surveillance state watch out!
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                        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                          But I can comprehend another human who is smarter and more complex than myself, so why couldn’t a non biologically based android who had built in sensors and was aware of its own sensors input (self aware) be aware of a human or more complex machine with more brain power or more advanced and complex sensory systems

                          I liked the movie. I think called ex machina as I remember.
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                          • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
                            Ex Machina, written and directed by Alex Garland, with Domhnall Gleeson, Corey Johnson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander; Pinewood Studios, 2014. Is that the title you meant to cite? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470752/

                            That's not exactly my premise. My premise is that someone transplanted a brain--and eyes, ears (inner ears at least), the olfactory nerve and its chemoceptor array, and the brain stem (or maybe the whole central nervous system) into a robot body. Then someone else transplanted a central nervous system into an enclosure that would serve solely as an interface to a mainframe. The first "patient" was someone who had been in a ground-transport accident (or was it an accident?); the second had died in the line of duty on a deep-space mission. The first person--after his transplant--knew the second when she was an ordinary "organic" woman. Finding her personality embedded in the central mainframe and having the task of running him to earth would be a shock to both.
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                            • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                              Interesting story absolutely I like sci fi because it makes me think about situations that could be. May your project be successful for you

                              I suspect that in future years engineers will be able to create an artificial brain as they uncover the operational secrets of the human brain. Then the task will be to match the brain power we have in the size of our biological brains. It’s a shame I think that we die eventually and lose the history contained in our brains. Maybe we should spend more time on anti-aging than duplicating whats already operational
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    • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
      The conscious mind is common to all minds. It is their function to take information from the surroundings and convert it into motor commands. That means awareness of what is outside and inside. WHat we humans do is have speech. We hear our inner speech we call thought and think we are unique but so do birds hear their inner calls. But What is unique is the ability to make so many diferent sounds that we can assign a sound set to different objects and build a vocabulary to turn into thoughts and then call that consciousness. Its not our brains but our ability to speak that sets us apart.
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      • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
        I miss the part about how this couldnt be duplicated in other than a biological way.
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        • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
          It cant naturally but the progress from non-living to living then evolving over 4 billion years is how energy and molecules can evolve into consciousness.
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          • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
            I think you are suggesting that there is some mystical element to consciousness. I would suggest that the human brain is essentially a series of logical elements like neural networks, "programmed" in a way so as to learn on its own. I dont think its mystical at all, just a collection of electrically operated elements with some pretty effective programming (maybe we call them instints instead of an operating system)
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
        Speech, words and much later metaphors; together with losing the inner voice of the brain/memory (illusionary voice of someone or something else) that lead some humans into the conscious mind, conscience and self introspection, between 2500/5000 years ago. (Julian Jaynes, The breakdown of the bicameral brain, (he like many others use "Brain and Mind" interchangeably but they are two separate entities)

        Once conscious...meaning one has gained a mind, That mind is the main source of insight, views of self and behavioral control...at that point, the inner voice is that of the mind, or the voice of self.

        My work involves the connections from the brain, to the mind and the quantum field.
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 7 months, 1 week ago
        Any idea where that ability to speak comes from? What made it?
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        • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
          Dr. Phillip Lieberman at Brown has done the basic work on the anatomical evolution of the capacity for speech. ( Toward an Evolutionary Biology of Language) The problem is standing up meant using the same pipe for breathing and food so complexity in anatomy and innervation to allow sophisticated controls which with our innovative brains eventually became guttural speech then articulated speech as we invented vocabulary and Aristotle gave us the syllogism and Rand gave us why to use reason.
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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 7 months, 1 week ago
    Presumably the soup is not intended for human consumption. Once upon a time people believed that if you ate the brains of your enemy, you would acquire his powers.

    I suggest that it is not necessarily the number of neurons or the weight of their communal mass, but what is fed into them from experience and acquired rules of existence. The neurons are just the hardware. Let's put on the detective's cap and explore the mystery of the software.
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
    A self driving car only has to be better than one driven by a typical human to be an improvement. Same with a kiosk st fast food restaurants. It was shown in the movie SULLY that the control system in the airbus could have safely landed at an airport instead of the Hudson River if it was allowed to be in control after dual engine failure
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      "Better" is not an objective term in the case of self driving cars. Better by sacrificing the individual for the "greater good" of the insurance company's bottom line is not better in the definition of the individual being sacrificed. Not wanting to restart an argument, term;^)
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      • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
        Better can be objectively defined pretty well regarding self driving cars actually. How about fewer crashes for a starter, since injuries by and large are a result of cars hitting other cars or fixed objects If the autonomous vehicle gets me into fewer crashes than if I drive myself- sign me up. Humans are not perfect, particularly at repetitive things like taking fast food orders- so bring on the robots. I thought Sully did a good job as a pilot in landing on the Hudson BUT he took so long in deciding what to do that he missed the opportunity to go back to LaGuardia undamaged

        It’s exciting to think how our lives could be improved by carefully substituting AI for human intelligence in a lot of areas. People do a lot of stupid things because they don’t think. At least the robot kiosk would listen to me the first time when I tell it what i want at Burger King. A self driving car won’t drink and drive, or get distracted by screaming children or a cell phone call. Food for thought. I go for the fast food kiosks NOW- a no brained.
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        • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
          Kiosk at BK, yes.

          Self driving car that decides I am less important than the people in the car that is about to crash into me, no, never. Not going to trust my life to a programmer with a bias against the individual in that situation. That is exactly what the insurance companies (and federal government looking to reduce their retirement cost) will get the car makers to do. Your identity will be known, your medical condition, the fact that you are receiving social security and the younger person in the other vehicle is paying taxes for another 20 years. Doesn't matter that you paid taxes for 50 years and paid to put that other driver through college with your tax payments.
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          • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
            it would be hard to know exactly who is in each car, at least for a long time until we are imprinted with RFID chips. What I like about the self driving cars is that they wouldnt do as many of the stupid things that humans do, like text, argue with spouses, fall asleep, change lanes at the last minute, etc., etc. There would be lots of disincentives to have crashes, as the makers of the cars would be defending themselves all the time in court for any injuries sustained by the occupants.

            I live in las vegas, and the drivers here are crazy- instant changes in lanes, last minute decisions to go right instead of left, and other stupid things that a rational person would not do. No wonder Nevada went for Hillary...
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
    I have no idea where this came from but I process and remember things as pictures. If I am looking for something I find it by searching through the pictures stored in my head somewhere. It’s kind of like rolling back through videotape.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months, 1 week ago
      We Humans, probably like some Animals have what is called a "picture mind"...read that as the brain in animals...it may have been inherent in the "Clay" which harbored a more universal DNA some scientist posit that is in the cosmic winds.

      Studies of the brain show us chemicals associated with sound and light, so it's not to far fetched to derive the source of voices and pictures being created in the brain. In animals, sounds of other animals and pictures of strong events are used to learn, adapt and survive.

      I read somewhere that the inventor of the microphone used this chemical or mineral to transmit and amplify sound. The process in the brain is most probably electrochemical...did a quick search and could not find the source of that article...it was a very long time ago.
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  • Posted by salta 7 months, 1 week ago
    Fascinating topic, thanks for the post.
    The cooking and brain-cost connection is important but it doesn't explain the driving force in evolution. The driver must be an advantage to the larger brain, and that cannot be simply survival (hunting etc) otherwise it would be more common in other animals. My studies lead me to conclude that the driver is our storytelling ability. That is the uniquely human brain function which has been exaggerated over time due to mate selection. Storytelling has nothing to do with survival, and most traits which are not survival-based tend to become over-developed (eg. bright bird plumage)
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  • -1
    Posted by bsmith51 7 months, 1 week ago
    I like to point out, to anyone who feels some aspect of their physical self makes them different or inferior:
    Despite our physical differences, our brain is the only thing that really differentiates us. And brains are all the same color.
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    • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
      Its not the brain since they all work the same but how you use it. Its up to you how that 2o% of your body energy gets allocated.
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      • Posted by bsmith51 7 months, 1 week ago
        But your choice of how you use your brain - your attitude - comes from your brain. If not, from where?
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        • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
          It comes from self assembled character.. the identity you give yourself. See Robert Kane on self formed actions as the basis of character building. Just as you learn the character of a pet or loved one over time so you build your own character/identity. Bet you didn't know you had one and that you created it.
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        • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
          Your mind.
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          • Posted by bsmith51 7 months, 1 week ago
            If this a distinction without a difference?
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            • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
              Some believe they are the same many don't.The brain is the center of all functions, without the brain it is impossible to survive. The brain can be considered as the hardware of the human body. It is responsible for linking all parts of the body together and seeing that everything functions the way it is supposed to. The brain is in charge of sending messages to the rest of the organs in the form of electrical impulses. Now, the mind is considered to aid the brain. The mind is what creates the emotions and enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory. Basically, it translates these electric impulses for the rest of the organs. Many believe that the mind is the reason a person is the way it is and that the mind helps distinguish people from each other. Now, mental is closely related to the word mind, and refers to anything that has to do with the mind
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              • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
                Either mind is the brain or it evolved separately. If so when and why? Jumping spiders have powerful brains but do they have minds? What is the role of the mind other than the mystical connection to Descartes. Free will is the experience of volition, mind is the experience of Brain which is all that exists.
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                • Posted by  $  Dobrien 7 months, 1 week ago
                  Yes when and why. These are unknown.
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                  • Posted by philosophercat 7 months, 1 week ago
                    Ayn Rand said the key to understanding any concept is to ask what is it in reality that gives rise to the concept. Try and find a referent in reality for "mind" and you only find descriptions of the experience of being a brain. There is not such thing as "mind" or Descartes would have found it in his dissections of cadavers in Holland. Locke would have found it in Willlis's dissections or it would show up in MRI scans. SO no referent in reality thus it is a term that denotes the experience we humans have of being beings with brains. There is no such thing as consciousness but we are conscious, in a state of awareness of our surroundings and ourselves. All of this discussion is the historic remnants of defunct dualism. Rand's theory of concepts makes it clear if you cant find a referent it is an empty concept. Mind is an experiential concept not one denoting an existent per say. It is like distance, you can experience it but the referents are the two objects which have the human idea of distance between them. DOes this help?
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