Brent Meeker writes:

[quoting Stathis Papaioannou]
>In the case of the heart the
>simpler artificial pump might be just as good, but in the case of a brain, >the electrical activity of each and every neuron is intrinsically important
>in the final result.

That last seems extremely dubious.  What evidence is there for it?

They're completely different things: one is information processing, the other is... pumping. If we went back to ancient Greece, we could do much better in terms of transportation than horses and chariots, but if we wanted to know what was in the Iliad and the Odyssey, we would have to copy, word for word, what the ancient manuscripts said, even if we decided to put the whole thing on a hard disk as a text file or whatever. It's not that there is anything special about papyrus; Homer would probably have used a computer if he had one, especially since he was blind. But just as we have to pay loving attention to the crumbly old ancient documents if we want to know what they said, so we have to pay loving attention to the crumbly old neurons if we want to know what *they* say, before transferring their contents to a more modern and durable medium.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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