[FoRK] On the unreality of bottom-up brain simulation

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 13:49:36 PDT 2010

On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM, Jebadiah Moore <jebdm at jebdm.net> wrote:
> I agree with what you're saying, but he also was saying that you couldn't do
> bottom-up brain simulation without understanding all of the complex
> interactions between proteins and whatnot, which isn't true so long as you
> simulate whatever causes those interactions to happen.

That's a possibility, but cuts across my grain in how simulation
generally works. Let's take the example of a nuclear blast. It's a
hard thing to understand. There are simulations of blast effects --
computationally intense programs -- built by physicists on the basis
of lower-level physics, e.g., fluid mechanics. Running and validating
those simulations explains blast effects and provides an understanding
of them. So to say, "oh, simulate from the bottom up, without
understanding" .... puzzles me. Maybe. But I'd like to see some
examples of that.

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