“A savage serial killing mad scientist has discovered a way to create the ultimate supercomputer by combining the thought power of 100 brains that he extracts from the smartest people he can kidnap and murder.”

That was an idea I posted a couple of days ago. Thankfully science fiction doesn’t have to be anything particularly possible. Because this is not… I know this now because ironically the story below showed up on my facebook feed this morning.

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

Apparently many of us make an incredibly wrong assumption that the brain processes information like a computer. Incase you are not familiar with the author of this story, a little research shows that he’s pretty qualified at explaining this.

Setting aside the formal language, the idea that humans must be information processors just because computers are information processors is just plain silly, and when, some day, the IP metaphor is finally abandoned, it will almost certainly be seen that way by historians, just as we now view the hydraulic and mechanical metaphors to be silly.

I won’t hash out what all he writes in this story. But it basically goes to show how little even our greatest neurologist know about the brain. According to Dr. Epstein here, if our brain ceases to function it’s all gone immediately. And it does not process stored information like we tend to assume it does. This is a real bummer article when you think about it’s implications to cryogenics, brain downloads, and other important science fiction ideas.

But, thankfully science fiction is fiction! And the brain is still pretty mysterious. So I’m perfectly fine with the idea of using the brain in any manner needed to pull off an idea or story.

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