[ExI] asim roy brain theory

Richard Loosemore rpwl at lightlink.com
Sat Nov 22 03:53:21 UTC 2008

Brent Allsop wrote:
> Richard,
> Thanks for this informative analysis and judgment.  As I started 
> examining this, I had a similar feeling, but Richard, in operational 
> brain mechanics, is clearly much more of an expert than I.
> Additionally, non of this has anything to do with the 'Hard Problem' 
> right Richard?  Which is a much more significant and likely to bear 
> powerful world changing fruits (as in THE greatest scientific discovery 
> - ever) in the very short turn future - right Richard?
> Brent Allsop


Was this sarcasm?

If so, why?

Richard Loosemore

> Richard Loosemore wrote:
>> spike wrote:
>>> Is anyone here up to speed on Asim Roy?  This connectionist theory of 
>>> the
>>> brain seems cool, but I lack the background to judge it.
>>> http://www.physorg.com/news146319784.html
>> I got a draft version of the paper earlier this year, and after a 
>> quick scan I filed it under 'junk'.
>> I just read it through again, and the filing stays the same.
>> His basic premise is that connectionists argued from the very 
>> beginning that they wanted to do things in a way that did not involve 
>> a central executive.  They wanted to see how much could be done by 
>> having large numbers of autonomous units do things independently.  
>> Turns out, quite a lot can be achieved that way.
>> But it seems that Asim Roy has fundamentally misunderstood the force 
>> and the intent of that initial declaration by the connectionists.  
>> There was a reason they said what they said:  they wanted to get away 
>> from the old symbol processing paradigm in which one thing happened at 
>> a time and symbols were separated from the mechanisms that modified or 
>> used symbols.  The connectionists were not being dogmatic about "No 
>> Controllers!", they just wanted to stop all power being vested in the 
>> hands of a central executive ... and their motivation was from 
>> cognitive science, not engineering or control theory.
>> Roy seems to be completely obsessed with the idea that they are wrong, 
>> while at the same time not really understanding why they said it, and 
>> not really having a concrete proposal (or account of empirical data) 
>> to substitute for the connectionist ideas.
>> To tell the truth, I don't think there are many connectionists who are 
>> so hell-bent on the idea of not having a central controller, that they 
>> would not be open to an architecture that did have one (or several). 
>> They just don't think it would be good to have central controllers in 
>> charge of ALL the heavy lifting.
>> Roy's paper has the additional disadvantage of being utterly filled 
>> with underlines and boldface.  He shouts.  Not good in something that 
>> is supposed to be a scientific paper.
>> Sorry, but this is just junk.
>> Richard Loosemore
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