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  1. #11
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I would say that technically the brain isn't a computer because it can't process information the same way as consistently, and doesn't have the same design, capacities, and specifications. However, I do think there are similarities between a brain and a computer on a macro scale. After all, computers were designed by people with brains, and similar problems were solved without them before they were created, and simply took longer.

    I think that a brain and a computer can learn do the same things eventually, but tend to operate in different ways due to their different design.

  2. #12
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    It isn't if it's humid/rainy/foggy out.
    Exactamond Zerg

  3. #13
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I would say that technically the brain isn't a computer because it can't process information the same way as consistently, and doesn't have the same design, capacities, and specifications. However, I do think there are similarities between a brain and a computer on a macro scale. After all, computers were designed by people with brains, and similar problems were solved without them before they were created, and simply took longer.

    I think that a brain and a computer can learn do the same things eventually, but tend to operate in different ways due to their different design.
    This is what appears to be a combination of a section of my post, with Night's emphasis on empiricism.

    The computer has to encompass traits humans are capable of, otherwise that means we didn't build them.

    I know very little about the hardware of the brain, but I do know enough about computers to know that you can't really make guesses like a humans intuiting (well if you had enough voltage and a strong enough inductor... etc.) but the humans intuiting, from what I do know of the brain can be cultivated by use of a series transistor imitating reactions.

    Again I stress that I don't have great knowledge of how the brain works -- that is, I understand the chemistry, but I've never heard, or seen anything on the neural 'pathways' I only assume (by use of my own inductive logic) that it must work this way, because it can't work any other way (or perhaps rather that I haven't devised another way to explain it Ha!).
    we fukin won boys

  4. #14
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    I believe the final assessment of Dissonance's assertion would read something like:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dissonance's Brain
    The brain is like a computer, because both the computer and the brain and all things work by layered physical systems, however sim/complex necessary to function
    Essentially, it's a computer, because it works by physics like a computer does. More inductive reasoning. My favorite.

    And what's with everyone giving me reputation all of a sudden? Just a few weeks ago I was the scariest monster here.
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  5. #15
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Essentially, it's a computer, because it works by physics like a computer does. More inductive reasoning. My favorite.
    yeah, that's basically my claim. the brain is a form of computer, just with different hardware and software, and designed to do different things.

    and induction, emotion, consciousness, etc. are really just complex routines that we could replicate if we knew the code.

  6. #16
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    As nightning mentioned, before electric technology was around, human computers and other instruments (abacus) were used.. If it was 2500BC, I would most certainly say that the brain is a computer. It would be the most advanced tool for organization around. Does its ability to compute diminish simply because there are smart cars, Macbooks, and Sharper Images? I don't think so. I have much regard for the human brain, and its biased or imperfect way of coming to conclusions is hardly a blemish on its power.

  7. #17
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    i was in my social psychology class today, and my teacher started out saying "i'm gonna give a bunch of examples why the mind doesn't work like a machine." he then talked about human biases, how we aren't logical, blah blah, etc.

    i sat there wondering...how does human bias prove in any way that the brain isn't a computer? what does it mean for something to work like a computer, anyways? that the programming is flawless? who defined "flawless"?

    my take on it is that the mind IS a computer. it started out a few lines of code, and over time, new routines were added, and selected for or against. but it's a sloppy process. some routines would positively affect certain areas of fitness and negatively affect other areas at the same time.

    if the overall effect of the new routine was positive in terms of reproductive fitness, the trait would be selected for. but then we get these weird side effects. those effects can't really be easily edited, so instead, new routines would have to come in to fix problems, but those new routines would affect other areas, etc.

    so it's basically like nature writing a program where you start with one line of code, which has to compile properly. then all you can do is add a new line, which may or may not affect the lines that already exist -- the new program has to compile as well. each step you take has to be valid by itself! if you get unexpected or unwanted results, you can only add new routines, because deleting a line would most likely cause your program to not compile, since every routine refers to other routines.

    as a result of this coding process over time, we have these traits we call "irrational". but they're only side effects of routines which fixed some other improperly functioning routine.



    i mean, at some level, things are running deterministically (i know someone's gonna bring up quantum mechanics, blah...). it's not like some atom can just choose to not follow the laws of physics. there's a physical state your brain is in at each specific moment in time, determined by the positions of atoms and their charges, etc. each of those atoms follows the physical law (some giant function, if you will), and the next position and charge of the atom is the output of the function. so everything is a giant computer! the whole universe, even.

    thoughts?
    The human brain is much more complex, much faster and more powerful than any computer.

  8. #18
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    The human brain is much more complex, much faster and more powerful than any computer.
    it's definitely more complex than any existing computer, no question about that.

    but it's not faster. at all. signals can only be sent somewhere on the order of a millisecond in the brain, whereas computers are in fractions of nanoseconds.

    plus, that's not really my point. my point is that they're both function-based systems, and that, given the right functions, we could make a computer that would literally think, feel, etc.

    the surface-level difference between brains and the computers we have now is that they're programmed for entirely different things, and the programming process is much different. plus, the programming for the brain has taken place over billions of years.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    it's definitely more complex than any existing computer, no question about that.

    but it's not faster. at all. signals can only be sent somewhere on the order of a millisecond in the brain, whereas computers are in fractions of nanoseconds.

    plus, that's not really my point. my point is that they're both function-based systems, and that, given the right functions, we could make a computer that would literally think, feel, etc.

    the surface-level difference between brains and the computers we have now is that they're programmed for entirely different things, and the programming process is much different. plus, the programming for the brain has taken place over billions of years.
    Arguing about the capabilities of a human vs. computer is pretty pointless, actually, just because they are good at different things. Depending on the task, a brain could easily be faster, simply because it has useful shortcuts, parallel processing, etc. abilities that computers haven't fully developed yet.

  10. #20
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Arguing about the capabilities of a human vs. computer is pretty pointless, actually, just because they are good at different things. Depending on the task, a brain could easily be faster, simply because it has useful shortcuts, parallel processing, etc. abilities that computers haven't fully developed yet.
    i meant faster processing. human brains obviously have more efficient routines for many things (face recognition, for example). but the actual speed of signals is much much slower.

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