Tag theory of mind

Computers, Brains and Accountability

I spent a good part of my working life programming computers. I started in the late 60’s, almost fifty years ago. Back then, computers were the size of houses, and the programs were punched on cards. Data storage was on magnetic tape. Processors were slow and memory was small. But in the early 70’s when the microelectronics explosion happened, memories grew from kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes. Processor speed accelerated from kilohertz to megahertz to gigahertz. And of course the cost went down and down and down. Today, most kids carry one around in their pocket.

On editing memories

I reported in my Free Will? book that we can laser in memories to fruit flies, so it was only a matter of time before such procedures were contextualised to humans. Scientific American reports:

Rats’ brains linked together to pass information directly. Mental (well, yeah).

Wow. This is mind blowing. Determinists, or near-determinists (such that quantum indeterminism may be true, but that it does not affect the macro level, and certainly not free will issues), will find this Science Daily article particularly interesting. Rats, and even pairs over thousands of miles distance, have had their brains directly linked in communication to solve puzzles. This really does gie the impression that brains are simply very complex biological computers (do you like that oxymoron?).