5 Responses to We’re Drowning in Data But Starved for Wisdom: UNPLUG NOW!

  1. I totally agree.

    No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies of words, pictures, grammatical rules or any other kinds of environmental stimuli. The human brain isn’t really empty, of course. But it does not contain most of the things people think it does – not even simple things such as ‘memories’.

    Our shoddy thinking about the brain has deep historical roots, but the invention of computers in the 1940s got us especially confused. For more than half a century now, psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and other experts on human behaviour have been asserting that the human brain works like a computer.

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  2. Oops. Last 2 paragraphs were cut off.

    That’s why … although I think it is his best book .. Ray Kurzweil’s “How to Create a Mind” does not help because it exemplifies this perspective, speculating about the ‘algorithms’ of the brain, how the brain ‘processes data’, and even how it superficially resembles integrated circuits in its structure.

    The information processing metaphor of human intelligence now dominates human thinking, both on the street and in the sciences. There is virtually no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour that proceeds without employing this metaphor, just as no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour could proceed in certain eras and cultures without reference to a spirit or deity. The validity of the IP metaphor in today’s world is generally assumed without question.

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  3. Ralph Losey says:

    Greg – For once we totally agree. Perhaps because I quoted a Greek?

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    • Ralph … 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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      • If you get a chance, read “In Our Own Image”. Zarkadakis describes six different metaphors people have employed over the past 2,000 years to try to explain human intelligence.

        This IT kind of thinking I blame on von Neumann who stated flatly that the function of the human nervous system is “prima facie digital”. Although he acknowledged that little was actually known about the role the brain played in human reasoning and memory, he drew parallel after parallel between the components of the computing machines of the day and the components of the human brain.

        We ARE NOT born with: information, data, rules, software, knowledge, lexicons, representations, algorithms, programs, models, memories, images, processors, subroutines, encoders, decoders, symbols, or buffers – design elements that allow digital computers to behave somewhat intelligently. Not only are we not born with such things, we also don’t develop them – ever.

        We don’t store words or the rules that tell us how to manipulate them. We don’t create representations of visual stimuli, store them in a short-term memory buffer, and then transfer the representation into a long-term memory device. We don’t retrieve information or images or words from memory registers. Computers do all of these things, but organisms do not.

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