Monday, March 12, 2012

Thinking In Written Words

Thinking, An Exercise

If you want your muscles to get strong, you need to exercise them. That's a fact. Writing is an activity performed by your brain, an organ that needs to be treated like a muscle, and more. If you don't use your brain, it will lose its capacity to do quickly and efficiently that which it's designed to do: think, invent, imagine, create, solve, decide, write, speak, dream, and similar things. Those are actions. They're all performed by our brains. When you say I, what do you imagine you're referring to? Your brain! Of course, what else?

For some people it's simply impossible to accept the fact that our brains are the organs in our bodies that execute our actions of thinking. All of our memories exist within our brains. Nothing that we imagine, that we decide, think, dream or feel has its origins in any other part of our bodies, but our brains.

What a fantastic piece of design our brains are! They are so incredibly fantastic that we reject to believe that when we say "I", it's our brain the one that's speaking, thinking, deciding, remembering and making choices. We have not been able to design any machine even close in power, to our biological brains. Computers, and the network of them have an incredibly efficient memory system at the service of millions of brains. But they are way less powerful than one single human brain.

We've been able to teach our computers to make decisions. If they're capable of moving robots and robotic arms and robotic storage houses, then they're close, but not quite that close to mirroring what our brains do. Our brains make decisions considering a literal myriad of factors simultaneously. Computers are capable of reasoning down a gigantic hierarchy of if-then-else's at lightning speeds — probably much faster than our brains — but we don't seem to have been able to make any computer consider, simultaneously, variables chosen by the computer itself, in order to end up with a refined decision. Our brains do that all the time, and we don't even know they're doing it!

Also, the most powerful computers — as far as I know, maybe some of you know better — are ordered to consider a preset collection of conditions, including any conditions that might derive from the initial tree node, but not any conditions outside the initial node of reasoning — which is really that hierarchy of if-then-else statements.

The closer we push computers to do what our brains do, the more energy they need to fulfill their tasks. That should give us an idea of the efficiency with which our brains are capable of using energy. The energy we provide to our brains is fed into our system via the carbohydrates of the food we eat. That's all our brains need to function. The modern and most integral dietitians recommend that our calories should come from protein, fats and carbohydrates. We need only 5% of our calories to come from proteins, which leaves 95% to come from carbohydrates and fats. The myth of "high protein diets" for muscle building has been busted. (Please, investigate the details by yourself and let me know what you found out.)

This Was All About Thinking

That's it! We said that at the beginning, and there isn't a good reason — at least, one we could think of right now — to change our minds: this was supposed to have been a thinking exercise. As such, we are free to consider it concluded anytime we feel our muscle — our brain — has worked enough.

And it has! Just as I sat to write this, it occurred to me that, after all, it's our brains the ones that have generated every single piece of culture that exists today or has ever existed on the surface of our planet, The Earth.

And I have questions that were the result of this exercise, and I asked you, the readers, to proceed to finding answers to those questions. Are we getting closer, with computers, to the way our brains work? Have we chosen — randomly, of course — a line of development that will force the increments of technology in our computers to follow a line different from the line our brains followed during evolution?