Re: Secrets of The Mind [ie, brain]

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 12:43:10 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> with the environment. The best part of all was when he described the neural
> pathways between vision and emotional salience, in the segment about David,
> the man with a condition called Capgras Delusion. He knew who and where he
> was, but he was sure that the people who said they were his parents were
> imposters. Dr. Ramachandran says David's injury destroyed pathways for
> emotional information, and since he didn't feel the appropriate emotions
> toward his parents, he concluded that they were lying look-alikes. (Reminder
> to uploaders: Don't forget to include the enteric nervous system.)
> Another file concerned John, who has temporal lobe epilepsy, and his seizures
> leave him with the absolute conviction that he is God. The doctor suggests
> that the seizures may have disrupted a part of the brain "whose activity is
> somehow conducive to religious belief," and that such a receptive region may
> have evolved because "it's conducive to stability of society."
> The doctor failed, however, to mention that it may also be conducive to the
> emergence of suicide bombers, but then, the show was created way before Sept.
> 11.
> Conclusion: The cognitive significance of sensations makes experience the most
> valuable part of human knowledge.

So can we draw the following conclusions?

1. Up until recently, the DEMM (deep emotional meaning manufacturing) chunk
of the mind was a positive factor for society overall. While it led to
the development of religions which became rather rigidly enforced on the
society, this also allowed the society to remain stable, which probably
allowed science and technology and trade etc. to grow. Societies of
individuals without this hardware must not have been as stable.

2. Unfortunately, this same DEMM hardware is now very dangerous to the

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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