The Big Questions Small Creatures Provoke

February 8, 2013 — 0

The life's work of biologist Edward O. Wilson leads even the most solipsistic among us to a deeper curiosity about -- if not religious faith in -- our interdependence. Wilson was among the first biologists of the 20th century to propel the scientific community forward by illuminating the interdependent systems of the smallest yet most profound creatures around us. All along, he's brought the rest of us scientifically-challenged beings with him by carefully, elegantly deciphering central human truths and helping us understand the large (and small) scale implications. For example, if we were to vacuum up all the bugs in the world that annoy us, guess how long the human species would have left on earth? Months. At's second annual TRANS4M conference, yesterday, President Clinton shared with a group of us how Wilson's teachings have inspired perspectives on the world's greatest challenges that enabled him to imagine new solutions and act on them. On their own, Wilson's books (and I'm barely an inch through his vast oeuvre) gift us dramatic narratives, the kind that have made Discovery Channel so successful. Like watching a show on Discovery, it's our innate ability to extrapolate what we learn from a mind like Wilson's and apply it to our unique areas of focus that make it all matter more and mean something, personally. So I'm diving in here -- already learning from the ants, the worms, the bees.  It is fun but it makes it hard to shut off your mind and pretend to not want to grapple with the big questions small creatures provoke...


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February 9, 2012 — 1

Professor Andy Clark thinks so.  And he makes a pretty fun case.  Here's an excerpt:

Where Can I Buy Abilify, We are entering an age of widespread human enhancement. The technologies range from wearable, Abilify coupon, 200mg Abilify, implantable, and pervasive computing, 150mg Abilify, 20mg Abilify, to new forms of onboard sensing, thought-controlled equipment, Abilify japan, Abilify overseas, prosthetic legs able to win track races, and on to the humble but transformative iPhone, 1000mg Abilify. Abilify paypal, But what really matters is the way we are, as a result of this tidal wave of self- re-engineering opportunity, Abilify uk, Abilify ebay, just starting to know ourselves: not as firmly bounded biological organisms but as delightfully reconfigurable nodes in a flux of information, communication, 10mg Abilify, Abilify us, and action. This gives us a new opportunity to look at ourselves, 100mg Abilify, Abilify australia, and to ask the fundamental question: Where does the mind stop, and the rest of the world begin?

Kern Schireson was telling me about one of Andy's books, 40mg Abilify, Abilify craiglist, Natural-Born Cyborgs, which I just ordered, 30mg Abilify. 750mg Abilify, Clark's work presents challenges to current assumptions about cognitive processing and representation.   For example, much of the Artificial Intelligence community believes that we form "veridical representations of the world" -- we copy the scene we see, 50mg Abilify, Abilify canada, process it, then decide what to do about it.  

I'm oversimplifying, 250mg Abilify, Abilify usa, but Clark disputes that model.  Clark points to what he calles an "information bottleneck" in the brain, since we never stop processing.  In other words, 500mg Abilify, Abilify mexico, our brain isn't doing these things in phases or steps -- it's all happening at the same time, overlapping. 

Clark believes our brains act on much less information -- and much more quickly -- than we think.  He doesn't believe we reconstruct the world in our minds before we decide on action.  And that leads to radically different implications for AI development and advanced efforts to "wire" our brains, Abilify india.

Oh, and good morning.

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Discount Buspar

January 16, 2012 — 0


Not sure I agree with all of this -- or with Nicholas Carr Discount Buspar, , for that matter -- but a new study from Online College, much of it very obvious, raises good questions about the effect of the interwebs on our brains... (via Ray Kurzweil): 

  1. The Internet is our external hard drive

  2. Children are learning differently

  3. We hardly ever give tasks our full attention

  4. We don’t bother to remember

  5. We’re getting better at finding information

  6. Difficult questions make us think about computers

  7. IQ is increasing over time

  8. Our concentration is suffering

  9. We’re getting better at determining relevance

  10. We’re becoming physically addicted to technology

  11. The more you use the Internet, the more it lights up your brain

  12. Our brains constantly seek out incoming information

  13. We’ve become power browsers

  14. Online thinking persists even offline

  15. Creative thinking may suffer


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