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Thought Experiment

September 3, 2012


If you could scan a brain to read thoughts (see previous post) – MRI, EEG, whatever – you could simulate human brain activity in the way they already do with simulated cat and mouse neural networks. The only thing stopping us, as far as I know, is processing power. And that is just a temporary stopgap which, while somewhat dependent on Moore’s Law, is hardly an obstacle. Possibly it’s already being done? In any case, this is not the point.

So we simulate, Monte Carlo style, as many brain patterns as possible then train a computer to recognize and extrapolate the meanings of these patterns based on prior scans of actual people.

After X infinity loops (oh gawd, Apple reference… kill me now), could we then have complete knowledge of all the thoughts humanity could ever think?

Profound as we pretend to be, every word that has ever been said is the result of electric pulses travelling between gooey neurons with pretty much the same chemical properties as that piece of moss  growing between the cracks in the sidewalk.

But so as not to end too depressingly, here is Neil deGrasse Tyson.


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