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RE: Article: SW = ( SM + SC )

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 22:13:01 +0600
To: "Frank V. Castellucci" <frankc@colconsulting.com>, "Sampo Syreeni" <decoy@iki.fi>
Cc: "David Allsopp" <dallsopp@signal.dera.gov.uk>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
<- But! Is every neurone an island? What is the cluster ratio? And from
<- that, what is the function it provides? Who/What are the collaborators?

Fair questions, and one's that shouldn't be impossible to answer (apart from
maybe the last ;-)

<- >> and various other sites estimate 100 billion (10^12) neurones in the
<- >> human brain, so I don't think we're there yet...

Ok, I was in a pretty large ballpark. I'm still a little uncertain of the
figure (does 100 billion = 10^12? - always had trouble with billions - uk/us

So how many hosts ~ 10^8? How do you think the processing power of a typical
host compares with 10^4 biological neurones?

<- > And let's not forget that the information storage capacity is
<- linked more to
<- > the number of synapses than neurones themselves. That number
<- is estimated to
<- > be some three or four orders of magnitude greater still.

Being crude, say a synapse represents 1 bit - what's 10^16 bits in regular
units? I can't be bothered getting the abacus out, because if I remember
correctly the synapses are to do with the connections between the neurones,
maybe like I/O paths. Serious interconnectivity, staggeringly massive
parallelism. If that's how it works (personally I prefer this kind of theory
to the quantum ones though). It's got pretty fine interfaces to the outside
world as well. I wonder what would happen if you linked up 10^12 of them
with a slow serial connection...

Let me try again with the original point, I obviously didn't make it woolly
enough - at one scale we know how a computer works, at the other end we have
a pretty weird system that is likely to be governed by similar information
processing laws (or physical laws if you prefer). When the web gets
semantic, I'd think you were likely to be approaching Weirdness on the Wold.

Anyway - metaphysics aside, what's the main purpose of this living organism
with the wildly complex system on its shoulders - live long enough to breed?
I wonder if the SW will ever manage it ;-)

Danny Ayers
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2001 11:16:38 UTC

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