Re: Singularity vs Free Will: False Dichotomy?

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 09 Dec 1998 23:31:30 +0000

At 06:43 PM 12/8/98 -0800, Paul wrote in response to my crabby:

>> Four of these brains are in the usually active left lobe and are concerned
>> with our terrestrial survival; four are extraterrestrial, reside in the
>> "silent" or inactive right lobe, and are for use in our future evolution.
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> This explains why the right lobe is usually inactive at this stage of our
>> development, >

>> I don't understand why or how the intelligent and informed people on this
>> list keep quoting such gibberish.

>Perhaps you should clarify why this is exactly gibberish.

As Joe mentioned, because, well, um, actually we *don't* have pre-packaged cerebral modules waiting for an extraterrestrial habitus to activate them, and certainly evolution doesn't work in such a way as to manufacture such brain gadgets providentially. But what I was complaining about seems to me so self-evident I hesitate to spell it out. The right lobe of the brain *isn't* either `silent' or `inactive'. Take a look at CAT scans, PET scans, or olde worlde EEG traces known to the ancients long before Doc Leary had his first white light flash. You might as well cite a document claiming that the human male left testicle is `immobile' or `inactive'. Anyone making such a claim, even as a kind of zoned-out metaphor, trips my bogosity meter *big* time.

>Since you seem to be suggesting that models of intelligence positing the
>existence of brain states beyond the conventional linear styles of thinking
>are gibberish, what are your alternatives?

I'm not suggesting that. Most brain states have nothing to do with thinking, linear or otherwise (whatever that means).

Damien Broderick