Re: ant! experiences

Bernard Hughes (
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 12:51:04 -0230

Joe E. Dees wrote:

> Wrong, wrong, wrong! There is a certain Godelian critical mass of
> cortical complexity (translation: quantity of neurons and synaptic
> connections) necessary for the emergence of self-reference (and
> much more for context-sensitively evolving self-and-other
> consciousness). Read "Biology as Ideology" by Richard C.
> Lewontin, who trenchantly make the point that it is our cortical
> volume, providing the space for this complexity to manifest (thus the
> number of connections it allows), that permits the awakening of self-
> awareness. Mighty Mites as mental whizzes are not merely science
> fiction; they are irrevocably anchored in the realm of fantasy. Joe

I hope not. I like Spike's idea. Surely if there is a critical quantity it is connectivity and processing power rather than physical mass. Likely we can do better than the biological neuron with with nanotechnology. With a smaller than neuron equivalent, we can build a smaller than natural human equivalent brain. If not ants, at least mice.

Small is beautiful :-)


Bernard J Hughes
Timedancer Systems
 -- Creative Laziness at its best --