Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

The difference between a scientist and a regular person

Simple and concise, xkcd got it right 🙂

Growing a Brain in Switzerland

Now that the human genome is complete, I guess the natural next step would be to attempt to simulate the human brain:

Print – Neurotechnology: Growing a Brain in Switzerland – International – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News

Reading Shakespeare has dramatic effect on human brain

I came across this interesting post:
Reading Shakespeare has dramatic effect on human brain | Science Blog

Maybe I should replace my new book recommendation page with Shakespeare’s works?

Anyway, the type of word-play suggested in this post has been a very common custom for me over the years (I have no idea where I picked it up), and has in fact annoyed several people at some points of time. Saying that I will winrar them things, or that I will sempai tomorrow, they would look at me angrily. Now I understand why – it probably just actually made them accidentally think for a second…

Penrose, consciousness, incompleteness

Scott Aaronson wrote a very nice piece about consciousness and Quantum Mechanics. Actually, he’s just bashing some of Penrose‘s ideas about consciousness and the inability of machines to achieve it.

I personally dislike these ideas of Penroses or Searles (Such as the Chinese Room). I find that any logical proof regarding a computation machine must apply, by definition, to humans (the thought experiments such as the Chinese Room or the halting problem do not refer to a computer – they portray ideas inherent to any logic system).

If you think otherwise, it means you are assuming humans are beyond computers to begin with – and then no wonder you reach this conclusion eventually.

Savants and Synthesia

I’ve hemi-neglected this blog for too long, but now that exams are over, maybe I’ll have more time to post.

Sunil wrote A very nice post about Savants and Synthesia. We tend to see perception as something that is unisensual, meaning we percieve sensory stimuli via one sense at a time. A picture is only percieved by our vision, sounds are only percieved by our hearing, etc. But for some people, this is not so.

Interestingly enough, I find this topic relevant to the idea I have for a research thesis, but only in the slightest form. Since I’ve not yet refined it, and due to academic competition, I won’t be able to explain this further right now – maybe in a month or two.