Re: jeff's cyborg cells

Paul Hughes (
Thu, 03 Jun 1999 08:59:38 -0700

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> > Since we're out on a speculative limb, I once heard the astounding
> >idea that vast mycelia networks under the Amazon rain forest, which
> >seem to extend for 1000's of meters, might match or exceed the
> >complexity of a human brain.
> In what way? After all, a lot of cells will contain a lot of
> complexity but might not think anything worthwhile. Fungi have never
> struck me as specially creative.
> But maybe we could design smart mycleia? Not necessary a hidden
> internet, but maybe something one could plug into to check on or
> regulate the local ecology.

I'm not sure how they are complex. I actually had no idea that such networks even existed until I read about in some biology journal. It piqued my curiosity enough, to go out in the field and try to find some. I eventually found a small grouping of mushrooms in the forest near my house. When I gently pulled up one some of the mushrooms, I was surprised to see a complex web of mycelia that extended in every direction. The first thing it reminded me of was a large cluster of interconnected neuronic cells.

According to mycologists, the mycelia networks are the main 'body' of the organism, and the actually mushroom head is only for sexual reproduction.

Yes, the idea of tapping into these mycelia like we would the internet sounds intriguing.

Paul Hughes