Why Your Brain Is Not a Computer

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From The Guardian: “At the very beginning of the digital age, in 1951, the pioneer neuroscientist Karl Lashley argued against the use of any machine-based metaphor. ‘Descartes was impressed by the hydraulic figures in the royal gardens, and developed a hydraulic theory of the action of the brain,’ Lashley wrote. ‘We have since had telephone theories, electrical field theories and now theories based on computing machines and automatic rudders. I suggest we are more likely to find out about how the brain works by studying the brain itself, and the phenomena of behaviour, than by indulging in far-fetched physical analogies.’”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Interesting article. As a child when my Mother would say to me on those breakfast days where it seemed I was slow in awakening, “Can’t get your motor started”. Years later I would experience my first manic episode while becoming depressed and then manic working in a small state chartered bank in Conway, Arkansas. After being fired, and now at the breakfast table, in an argument between my parents, my Mother would say in anger, “Well, it certainly was not on my side of the family”. Since I had majored in Biology at Hendrix College and taken a genetics course, I would wonder which side of the DNA was the “it” hiding. For if I could find out, then share with others, the story inherent to the experience, could We become better?

    Later, when our group of Kentucky mental health customers would attend Alternatives in LA, I was scrambling to try and find a way to the Salk Institute to meet with Francis Crick. That did not happen, but I would write a letter to him and his assistant wrote back suggesting I read his his book, The Astonishing Hypothesis:The Search for the Soul. And she would add how touched Crick was that I would want to visit. Later in Scientific American, there would be the painting by Magritte opposite the Crick Article. The artist did not show in the mirror what one would have seen his face, which in a wry manner really says a lot about facing and knowing the self. In his book, the sign would hang in Crick’s Lab, Conscious NOW, with the NOW being flipped in white as opposed to the black. I think it would have been better to move Conscious into the middle in order to convey more of the Butterfly effect.

    Fast forward, in starting art classes on the Spalding Campus in Louisville, James Watson would speak before an audience at the Brown Auditorium. And as I would read more, I would learn that Watson’s son would experience being labelled with the bipolar trait and that Watson was somewhat considered a eugenicist.

    To understand the scale the our issues, one only has to look at the beginning of horse racing in Lexington, where the patrons of the track would also fund Cold Harbor Research Institute. The nightmare of the Narcotics Farm, while understanding the nature of breeding human and animal livestock seems to still be an issue within our humanity. Prisons and mental hospitals seem to concentrate and avoid solving the issues. And the tragic nature of medical practice (not the art), the prison would be used to try and realize a perfect pill for a perfect soldier as the government would be feeding the prisoners with LSD, Heroin and so forth while really not understanding outside observation just doesn’t play the jazz. Thus fathom the design of life and operation of the racing industry amidst the Covid19 virus, the opening day of the Kentucky Derby has now been moved to September 5.

    In Lexington and nearby Georgetown, I would attend my first statewide customer of mental health services conference. And I would be disgusted by the caseworkers keeping us on the bus once arrived at the campus for fear that we might wonder off at the Georgetown College Campus. The most amazing experience was to witness an auditorium full of mental health customers sit still and focused on Esso Lette, the guest speaker from Denver.

    In the following years in Lexington, we would increasingly realize stronger conferences, our first art shows (not art therapy shows) being supported by the Ky Arts Council with small grants. Somehow in the world of having printing work performed by a union print shop, our flyer would read, “Advocates Taking Action in Kentucky Against Mental Health”. Time had to be spent going back to the printer to correct the verbiage to read “Advocates Taking Action in Kentucky Against Mental Illness”. Eventually, the legitimate non-profit, with a 501.c3 classification was undermined later in the struggle to have state dollars when the consumer and regional mental health agency in Lexington obtained the funds that had been supporting ATAK/MI. This was in the era about when the Opioids were just taking off in the state.

    But what can one expect in a culture where the beasts and humans would be drugged? And gamed on? The Federal Prison, with Narcotics Farm over the entrance would be shut down during Nixon’s administration, but I don’t believe we have yet had an ADAPT Meeting, a Come to Jesus Moment, an atonement for what the hell is going on in the gaming nature of finance in our country.

    Mother’s Day would become a Law, Nixon would make Father’s Day a Law while Parent’s Day is still a resolution signed by Clinton.

    Yo understand how or why one would decide not to have children when the labeling and forced medication experience is problematic to understanding the nature of life, requires some sort of reparations? But more importantly, how can We, an extraordinary people find recognition for who and what was sacrificed in the name of medical science.

    There is no excuse for the way we have been mistreated!

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