It’s time for another edition of Friday Notes, a dump of miscellaneous bits and ends. (Or do I mean odds and pieces? Odd bits and end pieces? Whatever. Stuff that doesn’t rate a blog post on its own, so it gets roped into a package deal along with other stray thoughts that wandered by.)
There’s no theme this time, the notes are pretty random. Past editions have picked the low-hanging fruit, and the pace has slowed. I’ve managed to whittle away a good bit of the pile.
Maybe some day no more notes and my blog will be totally in real time!
If it hasn’t been apparent, I’ve been giving a bit of a fall semester in some computer science basics. If it seems complicated, well, the truth is all we’ve done is peek in some windows. From a safe distance. And most of the blinds were down.
I thought we’d finish (yes, finish!) with a bang and take a deep dive down into the lowest levels of a computer, both on the engineering side and on the abstract logic side. When they say, “It’s all ones and zeros,” these are the bits (in both senses!) they mean.
Attention: You need to be at least this ━▇━ geeky for this ride!
Last time I introduced four levels of possibility regarding how mind is related to brain. Behind Door #1 is a Holy Grail of AI research, a fully algorithmic implementation of a human mind. Behind Door #4 is an ineffable metaphysical mind no machine can duplicate.
The two doors between lead to physical models that recapitulate the structure of the human brain. Behind Door #3 is the biology of the brain, a model we know creates mind. Behind Door #2 is the network of the brain, which we presume encodes the mind regardless of its physical construction.
This time we’ll look more closely at some distinguishing details.