Minds And Computers

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LostInTyme, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    Last evening, Vija and I were listening to some music on our Sony CD player. It holds and plays 250 CD’s so there is a LOT of music to be heard. The CD that was playing holds some music neither of us had listened to in a long time. On one song, Vija asked who the singer was, Kay Starr, or, perhaps Kay Ballard? No, I said, neither of them. Then Vija said, “the big fat one?” I knew immediately who she meant, but couldn’t think of the name. I also knew her most famous song, but more on that later.

    I wondered if I had compiled and created that particular CD, or if was purchased. We turned on the TV to watch the six o’clock news which was being pre-empted by college football, and forgot about our previous discussion.

    So, this morning, at 4:20 AM, I awoke and thought, Kate Smith. That was the singer we were trying to think of. Her most famous song was “God Bless America”. She had a TV show in the fifties and would close each episode by singing that song. No one has ever done it better, in my opinion. The song was used throughout the movie, “Once Upon A Time In America”, one of the best gangster movies, again, in my opinion.

    Well, this entire diatribe is just to illustrate how our subconscious minds will work to retrieve a long forgotten memory or thought that is not immediately available. Much like a modern computer, it does search and ultimately will find what you want to remember.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  2. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Diatribe? Not at all, it's a rather good analogy really. A neurosurgeon explained to me why memory starts to fail me on occasions, he used the computer as an analogy. "Like a computer starts to run slow as it stores more and more information, making retrieval a much longer task than when it had little information to retrieve, so too does the human brain. All the information we absorb through life and for the brain, trivial and important information are one and the same, the brain still has to recall it. Thus the longer we live, the more we see and do, the more the brain has to absorb. No wonder it seems difficult at times to remember that snippet.
    Best to write her birthday date down, you will only forget it once.
     
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  3. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    I agree with GHT completely. As I grow older, this is a more and more common occurrence. I used to be quite the walking encyclopedia, and could recall any bit of arcane data instantly (a historic name or date, some oddball fact, etc.). Since I turned 60, I have noticed that my recall is slowing down. Nothing serious, but still. The body is the bicycle, the soul is the rider. This old bicycle is starting to wear out. …or at least be clogged with mountains of memories. But, yes, to your point, the mystery of how consciousness and subconsciousness works fascinates me. Does a sudden 3:00am memory recall support or refute the current most accepted materialist theory; that consciousness is completely generated by a computer that is made of meat, between our ears, operated by neurosynapses? And —of course— when the brain dies, consciousness dies with it. There are other theories out there made by serious scientists and philosophers. Thank goodness, I won’t bore you with them here. But the gist is: Could it be that consciousness is “fundamental”. Does matter generate consciousness? Or does consciousness generate matter? The slippery slope quickly leads to pretty crazy territory. See my recent post in the Agents of F.L.A.S.K. thread about a Cornell University study, that has been replicated many times, that supports the idea that Consciousness might be not as well understood as we think. Forget outer space. Inner space is what needs investigation! ;)
     
  4. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

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    My memory has not been the same since the aliens abducted me. That anal probe really felt uncomfortable.
     
  5. Turnip

    Turnip One Too Many

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    I would say „the human brain“ is far from being comparable with modern, neuronal computers.
    Human brains reproduce the same bulls..t over and over and over again, unable to learn from abortive attempts.
    Modern ai computers won’t.
     
  6. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    It has reported by some as a rather pleasurable experience. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Random firing of synapses could probably be channeled into an interesting experiment in surrealistic art. Just in the past ten minutes I've thought about a grocery store in my neighborhood that burned down in 1967, a song they used to play over the sound system in the factory I worked in, the smell of the inside of my lunch box in the third grade, the way my grandmother's fingers all bent in different directions, the time my mother lost her partial plate in a garbage can at a McDonald's and we all had to dig thru it to find it, getting a Coke bottle that time with "Hilo, Hawaii" embossed on the bottom, the taste of Father John's Medicine, the sound of the engine in my first car, how to sew a bound buttonhole, that doll I had where you could make the hair get shorter or longer by turning a knob on its back, and how to make a wet-cell battery using lead strips, blotter paper, and sodium sulphate.

    This is what my every waking hour is like -- random flashes of memory, like a montage in a Soviet silent movie, that i have to constantly and consciously push aside in order to actually concentrate long enough to do anything. I look forward to that all slowing down, if it ever will.
     
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  8. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    Someone once suggested that I try meditation to calm my brain and suppress the incessant mental chatter. I last about two minutes before thoughts of dental appointments, the book I am reading, a conversation I had, or some other inanity muscles in. They say “with practice it will get easier.” Bah! Sounds like work.

    Help is on the way, my friend. People are slowly becoming less likely to automatically assume you are crazy.

    https://www.wric.com/news/u-s-world/congress-calls-for-permanent-uap-office/

    :):):)
     
  9. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    I once had a tooth that received a local A M radio station. Fortunately the radio station stopped broadcasting, and the tooth finally fell out. Music has never been the same for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  10. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    ^^^^ Funny that you should mention that. I was just reading a true story about a guy they wanted to lock up because he was hearing voices. However, a dental examination revealed that he had a filling (or something) that was picking up a local talk radio station. At the time, I didn’t know if this story could be believed.
     
  11. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

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    That was an episode of Gilligan's Island.

     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    For several years in the 1930s, WLW in Cincinnati broadcast at a power of 500,000 watts -- the most powerful standard-broadcast station in the US. People thruout Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky reported picking it up on dental fillings, water pipes, stoves, and furnaces. Near the transmitter site in Mason, Ohio it was sometimes impossible to completely turn off light bulbs, which would glow in rhythm to the modulation of the signal.
     
  13. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    It started happening when nine or ten, after I had a cavity fixed and the tooth was filled. About a year later, the tooth came out during a football game the when I got clobbered by some guy way bigger than me. Funny thing about my teeth. I have three empty places in my mouth where there were no adult teeth too fill the gaps left when my first teeth fell out. I kept those first teeth until I was about four decades in. Now, just gaps. I had to give up smoking my pipe because there weren't any teeth to hold them anymore. Oh, another thing, the teeth turned yellow when I was 12 years old. Nothing could bring them back to white. Good old yellow teeth. I don't smile a lot because of them.
     
  14. EngProf

    EngProf Practically Family

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    In the house where I grew up - which was located about half-a-mile from WLAC-AM (50,00 watts) - we could sometimes hear the radio on the bathroom sink and toilet.
    However, best reception was on the metal washtubs in the basement.
    You could put your head down in an empty tub and actually understand what they were saying.
    The local paper had a series of articles about odd aspects of the various zip codes in the city and ours was: "37207 - Where you can hear radio on the plumbing".
     
  15. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I once recall somebody describing the human mind as "the world's greatest supercomputer," capable of both autonomous computing, and data input at the same time. And the more data input, the better the autonomy. The human mind is also capable of something no computer can: original creation. The human mind can imagine a landscape that has never existed. The human mind can create a painting from that created image. Anything similar in machines is still the stuff of science fiction. A computer can "create," but only after analyzing data, and even then it is nothing more than a shadow of a copy.

    There seems to be truly only one limit to what the human mind can accomplish: it cannot comprehend its own nonexistence. It cannot imagine what would happen to itself should it cease to function completely.
     
  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    What I find is that I can remember with increasing sharpness even actual dreams I had when I was four years old, but ask me where I put my keys ten minutes ago, or the TV remote, and it's the wife increasingly frustratedly saying "think! where were you when you last had it?" and me wailing "I don't know!" After watching a documentary a few years back when the late Terry Pratchett talked about his early onset dementia, I convinced myself I had that for a few days. I was always the optimist.

    I'm told we're all having slower or simply less recall now because we rely so much on having access to facts at all times. Downside of the information era. I try to commit as much as I can to memory, but....

    It's amazing what the mind chooses to retain, though. I realised a couple of months ago that despite not actually hearing it for over twenty, perhaps closer to thirty-five, years, my recollection of the lyrics of Spitting Image's The Chicken Song (a 1986 UK number one, a novelty single release tied in to Spitting Image, a then popular satirical programme about current affairs / politics, with a cast of puppets) is word-perfect. I remember cases and bits of contract law I haven't studied since 1994, but my damn keys...

    I am trying to commit things to memory more now to keep the mind going, but it's not always easy.

    Sounds like my experience. Particularly at 2am, lying awake, on any given school night...


    For years we lived right in front of the village RUC (police) station. They had a huge communications aerial; my mother always claimed she could pick up signals from it in her fillings. Stopped when we moved elsewhere.

    At the rate things are going, I wouldn't rule out artificial consciousness in my lifetime. Good luck to it - it can't be more of a disaster than humanity itself!
     

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