Re: UPLOAD: advocatus diaboli

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Tue, 07 Jan 1997 23:38:24 -0600

> There is no purpose, Evolution just screwed up. You're not the first to be
> disappointed by Natures ineptitude as seen in these new findings. Roger Nicoll,
> a neuroscientist at the University Of California was yet another scientists
> quoted in the same issue, he was rather blunt: "Very Provocative. Nature has
> gone to elaborate lengths to create a structural edifice that can give you
> synapse specificity. To then just degrade the process and let it spread
> around a bit, makes it seem like Nature blew it somehow".

Ho, ho, ho! Scientists discover that neurons can influence each other
in yet another completely unexpected fashion. Does this make them less
complicated? Ho, ho, ho! My right foot it does. Just because a LTP
change releases nitrous oxide that causes another LTP change doesn't
change the amount of information stored by one neuron... just diffuses
it. To put it another way, instead of each neuron storing 500 bits of
information, a configuration of 500 neurons holds 500 pieces of 500-bit
data, one bit from each piece of data in each neuron.

To put this all in perspective, imagine this:

"Scientists have discovered that when a neuron fires, it releases
chemicals that cause other neurons nearby to fire."

Does this reduce the computational complexity of the brain? I don't
think so...

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.