[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Christopher Luebcke cluebcke at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 26 06:43:30 UTC 2010

I'm sure you're right about how the argument would (and probably will) go. However, the opening notion that materialists must believe that thoughts have mass seems to come from a preposterous assumption that everything in the material universe has mass; this is inarguably not the case, yet acknowledging the existence of photons does not commit one to dualism.

And the argument is still pointless without an agreed-upon definition of "a thought". But I'm sure that won't stop anybody.

From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Thu, February 25, 2010 7:08:02 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

On Behalf Of Christopher Luebcke

...If you pass a high-powered magnet over the hard drive of my computer, the
mass of the hard drive will not change, but the information will be
destroyed... Christopher

In every imaginable practical sense, I agree.  However, any absolute
statement with this bunch of scientific yahoos is a red cape before the
raging bull.

The argument would go like this:  You specified that the magnet destroys
information, which represents the creation of entropy, which implies an
exothermic process, so energy is released from the system (granted it is an
unmeasurably tiny amount, but some).  Energy is equivalent to mass:  E =
mc^2 so mass = E/c^2, so passing the magnet over your drive causes it to
lose mass.  Granted it might be only a few AMU, so you would need to pass
magnets over a mole of drives to cause their collective mass to go down by a
few grams, but in any case, OLE!




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