[ExI] The point of emotions

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Thu Apr 24 17:18:36 UTC 2008

At 07:50 AM 4/24/2008 -0700, Lee wrote:

>Look, if some computer interface attached to a bodiless
>head simulated *all* the feedback conveyed by nerves
>in a normally functioning body, then what would be the

This question seems to imply a sort of 1930s' view of the 
organism-as-telephone-switchboard. But the brain and its 
enabling/enabled body are not just wired circuits; they are vastly 
elaborate rivers of liquids bearing weirdly shaped interlocking 
molecules. The brain is as much a set of glands as it is a circuit 
board of ons and offs. I'm no neurologist or endocrinologist, but it 
seems very obvious to me (although it didn't back in the sixties, 
when everything seemed simpler) that it would require a truly 
staggering amount of parallel linear computations to model, in real 
time, the ebb and flow of neurotransmitters and other gooey factors 
that are more than simple pulses or switches.

Damien Broderick
[currently reading Bainbridge's BEYOND THE ZONULES OF ZINN, a quite 
charming book on the topic]

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