[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Christopher Luebcke cluebcke at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 26 21:38:18 UTC 2010

I've already argued for thinking as an emergent property, but to assume that since the brain is made of mass that any of its properties must also have mass is absurd. Mass is a noun. Thinking is a verb.

The brain is greyish. Greyish does not have mass.

From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Fri, February 26, 2010 12:54:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

--- On Fri, 2/26/10, Christopher Luebcke <cluebcke at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Surely you're not claiming that thoughts are brain matter?

I do claim that conscious thoughts arise as high-level features of brain
matter, yes. The idea seems odd only because we don't yet understand 
the mechanism.

I see no alternative aside from dualism.

In answer to Dan's post:

Dualism is not ruled out a priori, but as you probably know it leads to 
serious problems. For example if mental phenomena have a reality distinct 
from material phenomena then by what causal mechanism does the mental 
realm affect the material realm? What sort of magic happens when, as a 
result of your mental act of wanting to raise your arm, your arm rises? 

By modern standards, at least, Descartes failed to provide a plausible 
answer to this question of how mind affects matter. He posited a theory 
that the pineal gland in the brain acts as the intermediary. He considered 
this endocrine gland the "seat of the soul". But I think it just secretes 


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