[ExI] Mental Phenomena

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 19 18:20:25 UTC 2020

We are still pretty much in the dark about what neurons can do, as
evidenced by the latest data.  Now add to that the functions of the glial
cells, of which we are almost entirely ignorant (I have read two books on
them - have you?), the fact that dendrites may be able to produce more than
one chemical, the fact that a neuron can be excitatory or inhibitory, the
fact that the brain and the neurons in the gut interact in ways that we
have no idea about currently, the influence, again largely unknown, of
endocrine hormones,and that's just a few things I know.   How complicated
is that?  Way way way more than we can even guess at now.  Just sitting
here my neurons are firing at rates of quadrillions of times a second, as
discussed several years ago here.

What I am hearing from some people seems to me to be underestimating the
complexity of the brain.  I think we are hundreds of years from
understanding it to some extent- never completely.  It may be like that
Einstein quote, which I do not recall, but something to the effect that the
universe may be more complex that we CAN know.

If that doesn't get you off my back, well, just leave me alone with my

bill w

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 12:08 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 7:44 AM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> And I will respond that thinking that machines can have emotions and
>> consciousness is really way, way, far out - dreaming.    Read too much
>> scifi.  There is not one iota of evidence that such things are possible,
>> much less likely.
> Sure there is.  You, and me, and all of us.  Humans are biological
> machines.
> I know that you actually mean metal and otherwise nonbiological machines.
> But our brains work on electrical and chemical signals that silicon brains
> could react to just the same - indeed, modern CPUs are inspired by the
> electrical side of that, and there have been good simulations of neurons
> made - up to the level of complexity of insects, as I recall, and more
> complex is being worked on.  No evidence has yet been produced that
> extending that up to human-level is impossible.  All the evidence that we
> have so far suggests this can be done.
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