[FoRK] Brain mapping and the connectome

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Nov 10 09:46:27 PST 2009


Re: Eugen / brain scanning / cryonics...

> If you're shooting for whole brain emulation, non-invasive methods  
> (which we've considered extensively, mostly from the physical  
> feasibility perspective) fail way before it gets interesting.  
> Unfortunately.

+1, understood.  That wasn't really the point I was making;  clearly  
we aren't going to get to that level w/ non-invasive techniques.  I  
was riffing off some vaguely-recollected exchange from a few years (?)  
back in which you and I were debating the prospects of getting e.g.  
ASCII out of the brain non-invasively and with practically-sized gear  
within the next decade or two.  Clearly we're mostly past that, cf.  
the infamous "direct from brain twitter" earlier this year. (I.e.,  
that minimal useful level of BCI is now "just" an engineering  
problem.)  (Also, my recollection of the exchange is spotty, so  
apologies if I was implicitly misrepresenting your point;  too lazy to  
actually check before said rif. ;-)

OTOH, I'm not sure that I agree that we have to get to hi-fi molecular- 
dynamics in order to make neocortical "emulation" work well enough for  
the task at hand.  Maybe, but I'm not sure there's any compelling  
evidence of it.  Certainly, that's the limit (unless you're Penrose.)

> Unfortunately, the chances of having you cryosuspended in good  
> enough shape have been sinking for some time now, so no customary  
> cryonics plug here (unless someone here is interested in spending a  
> decade or two fixing the situation, which is probably too much to  
> ask for of anybody).

Sigh, yeah, I've been coming to that conclusion a bit myself over the  
last couple of years.  Alcor's certainly not helping the situation.   
I've actually been pondering whether doing exactly what you suggest  
would be a reasonable use of time and resources on my part, however it  
doesn't seem like an optimum allocation at this point.  I could be  
convinced otherwise if enough folks with enough time, resources,  
interest and background disagreed, though.


jb



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