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I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories.
One reason I'm such a wayward prognosticator of rightwing trends is that I'm incapable of blacking out enough neural sectors to see the world through reptilian-brained eyes, a prerequisite for any true channeling of the mean resentments and implanted fears that drive hardcore conservatives.
If you want to make information stick, it's best to learn it, go away from it for a while, come back to it later, leave it behind again, and once again return to it - to engage with it deeply across time. Our memories naturally degrade, but each time you return to a memory, you reactivate its neural network and help to lock it in.
It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning.
In my books the technology that I choose to talk about has to serve the themes. What that means is that I end up having to cut out a lot of cool technology that would be really fun to describe and play with, but which would just confuse everybody. So in 'Amped,' I focus on neural implants.
Daniel H. Wilson
Actually, I think my view is compatible with much of the work going on now in neuroscience and psychology, where people are studying the relationship of consciousness to neural and cognitive processes without really trying to reduce it to those processes.
If you just have a single problem to solve, then fine, go ahead and use a neural network. But if you want to do science and understand how to choose architectures, or how to go to a new problem, you have to understand what different architectures can and cannot do.
When I'm writing, my neural pathways get blocked. I can't read. I can barely hold a conversation without forgetting words and names. I wish I could wear the same clothes and eat the same food each day.
What does it mean, exactly, for a given system to be a 'neural correlate of consciousness'?
We should be exploring consciousness at the neural level and higher, where the arrow of causal analysis points up toward such principles as emergence and self-organization.
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