This article is more than 1 year old

Anti-FoTW: Love amongst the neurons

"11-dimensional belief system :-o"

Letter Bill Softky's two part article on new approaches to neuroscience [pt 1, 2] provoked a fascinating mailbag, more of which we shall produce very soon. But it also brought a few new insights to the field of neuroscience from amateurs which can only be characterized as "truly original". However, there's no mistaking the good intentions. An enthusiastic reader in Australia merits a category of its own. So we present to you, the very first Anti-Flame of the Week.

From: Stephen Graham
To: Bill Softky
Subject: Your article?. The Question IS the answer :o)
Date: 21 Oct 2003 17:59:50 +0800

One of the biggest problems you have to face when developing software is making sure the client not only gets what he asks for, but gets what he wants. So, by asking someone to "create a digital brain", would you be truly looking to create a digital brain, or something else? Artificial consciousness, intelligence, or perhaps even life itself?

In re-engineering something like the brain however, you can take one of two approaches: copy how it works, or mimic its functionality. These methods have both been successfully utilized in the past by computer scientists seeking to re-engineer high demand (popular) CPU's.

Exactly how the brain functions is no great mystery in this day and age. Anyone with enough knowledge and expertise can build something that resembles and works like a brain. To copy how the brain works, you would use a neural network. If you wanted to mimic its functionality, you would use Agents. Either way however, while you would achieve exactly what you set out to achieve, you would not have created something truly capable of independent thought - intelligent.

So... If any attempts at creating a "digital brain" have already failed, is it honestly because the engineers have failed to deliver on their requirements... or it's just that the client didn't know what he wanted in the first place? Would it not therefore, be reasonable to assume that prior attempts at "creating a digital brain" were actually SUCCESSFUL???

After so many failed attempts through the creation of digital brains, isn't anyone even starting to wonder if the brain alone is what really makes us tick???

But then... this isn't really anything new either, is it? Ancient Egyptians thought so much of the brain that they removed it during their mummification process. Supposedly, this was done because they believed it wouldn't be needed in the afterlife - and there's the clincher...

If it's possible that there is an afterlife (surely sufficient evidence exists to say that there is), and you don't need a brain to function in the afterlife... you could therefore say our very own history tells us, that the brain is not an essential requirement for the creation of a living being.

You must however know what what life itself exists for.. in order to create a living, intelligent being. So there it is... When you say "the biggest mysteries left in science", you are truly referring to the following question:

What is the meaning of life?

Let's face it... Software Engineers and Computer Scientists are not the ultimate brain scientists, we're the ultimate philosophers - but not because we like questions though; it's because we can accept the answers we arrive at without being prejudiced enough to alter them to satisfy our egos. It's this mind-set that any programmer has to function in to be any good at his job, because that's how computers work: true or false, garbage in - garbage out.

Back to the brain though...

The "brain" is such a wonderfully beautiful thing, but to understand how it works, you have to understand what it's for, and to understand this... you must look elsewhere. And here's your hint... where does your motivation come from?

And the question of life...

You can build a "brain" with bits and bytes, but you can only build a "heart" with love! If you've never loved, you've never lived :oP

There's your real mystery...


How do you build it? What is it's purpose? What do you get from it? Where does it come from? But the list of questions doesn't stop here. But there is an answer to all these questions, and it's the same answer for almost every other question you could possibly think up...

The answer is so simple and obvious that it's hard to believe how you could have missed it. Hahaha.. when I realized what it was, I just laughed my pants off for hours... I couldn't believe how silly I'd been!!!

If you want to know what it is, just listen to your heart :oP

And no... it's not 42 :o)

Lots of love,

Stephen Graham.


Please don't take any of that personally, as my intentions were to help, not harm - if I wanted to harm or discredit anyone's work, I would have to do it publicly.

I devoted my life to this cause, but only at the end (when I had all my answers) did I ever know why I was doing it... don't waste your life questioning these things because you don't have to any more... it's been done already! Free your mind... live your life... love and admire all that you see and can't see... have fun... love.

Stephen followed up that extraordinary explanation with one more a little more specific a few moments later.

From: Stephen Graham
To: Bill Softky
Subject: Sorry
Date: 21 Oct 2003 18:44:23 +0800

Sorry Bill...

I neglected to mention something... in designing any such system, you will inevitably end up with an M-Theory of sorts...

As such, I now have in my head, designs for an 11 dimensional belief system. Only after I arrived at this design abstract did I ever open up a book on quantum physics or string theory. From these ideas I had, I've since successfully predicted several notable scientific discoveries over the last two years.

My problem isn't finding the answers.. never has been. It's finding people willing to listen to me - why? [Perhaps the answer is in the question, Stephen - Letters Ed.]

Firstly, if anyone ever did find a solution, would you believe him? Secondly... If you can explain quantum randomness, and know how it works... you could look through time... and that's the only thing keeping brute force encryption hackers away from your secrets and your money. Would our society be ready to sustain such a beast???

Personally, I don't care much for what I found - I'll give it away for free in an instant because it's completely financially worthless... but it would help so many people.

Such a priceless thought :o)

Don't get me wrong though... I'm not saying that my abstraction is right for our reality - I'm just saying it looks similar! I'm not a physicist, or mathematician and I certainly don't have the time or resources to verify any of it (against our reality). Nor do I have the inclination to do any such thing anyway... I didn't design it to be real - it's just an abstract design and I'm happy for it to stay that way... something I thought up.

If you want it, you can have it - though only under certain conditions ;o)



With that we must thank Stephen for the first, and quite possibly last-ever AntiFlame of the Week. Today, and today only - love is all around. ®

Related Stories

Part One: Software engineers - the ultimate brain scientists?
Part Two: Design patterns for a Black Box Brain?

Recent Flames

You are a lier
Did your dog write this?
Which school of journalism did you go to, Moron?
My 12-year-old nephew is going to rob your house

Writers Workshop

How to write a Flame of the Week

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like