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Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 23:59:44 -0500
From: Jeff Wilson 
Subject: Re: (urth) Mr Million v Oreb

> From: "Andy Robertson" 

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nigel Price" 
> >
> > intentions!) arises from the fact that Oreb's bird brain is already
> stuffed
> > full to capacity with night chough subroutines (datatypes? function
> calls?),
> > leaving relatively little room to spare for downloaded cyber-deities.
> The trouble is, of course, that a human personality needs a human brain to
> hold it.   A smaller brain will not do.    Only a fraction of a human
> prsonality could be embedded in a chough .

There are numerous documented cases of microcephalics with normal mental
functionality; a lot of the human brain is redundant, something that is
mentioned as a performance boosting factor in "5HC". This can be read
about in Carl Sagan's book _Broca's Brain_, somethign along with Ray
Kurzweil's book would have been available to Wolfe during the 70s.

> Today we guess that the fastest supercomputers carry out about the same
> number of switching events per second as a human brain does.  But they are
> BIG and consume a LOT of power.

Measuring raw switching events per second is misleading. The 10^11
neurons in the brain might change state 20-30 times a second each, for
2.5 2.5 x 10^12 switching events a second. However, almost 10 years ago,
Pentium processors with 3.3 million transistors were running at 100
megahertz, for 3.3 x 10^14 switching events a second, and just consuming
a few watts.

Ray Kurzweil writes on this sort of comparison extensively; at current
rate of development, computers will approach the complexity of the human
brain in terms of informational and interconnected capacity in about 30

Jeff Wilson
How Am I Posting? 1-800-555-6789
"If your SecOp can see you, so can the enemy." -Cpt Law


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