Ken Miller in the Times

Read what computational neuroscientist Ken Miller of Columbia thinks about brain preservation and emulation. The piece captures Ken’s tragic sense so perfectly.

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4 thoughts on “Ken Miller in the Times

  1. There seem to be quite a few people around into ‘cryonics’ or whatver its called—freeze yourself for later. (I am into frozen vegetables since they keep—i think these may be the same thing as people into cryonics). Some seem to be up at GMU–‘transhumanists’, or with http://www.lesswrong.com and mercatus, tyler cowan, bryan caplan tabarrok and rest of mafia. those people creep me out–went up to GMU to check out grad school, one person gave me a book to read to see if i was interested (i wasnt –not in that somewhat confused mess) and never went back nor returned the book (they called me too, but i said i dont go to virginia anymore). (I didnt return nicholas tideman’s book either of Va Tech –a georgist economist; i had to dissapear since the person i was staying with in Blacksburg, a former Va Tech economics prof who studied under Solow at MIT, had his place raided by cops since he got kicked out for teaching classes under the influence of LSD). I just ran up to mountain lake on Wv border and kept going too–head on over to burkes garden (looks like ka’au crater in hawaii where i also went —very dangerous hiking there .—mark twain also went to hawaii, wrote a book which offended some people—native hawaiians arent too down with ‘howlies’ (whites) ) then cranberry glades and head north towards hardy county and the potomac and walk canal to dc.

    Ken Miller seems to be a kind of ‘connectionist’–hinton, etc. There is also another Ken Miller, not at columbia, but brown, who is into ‘evolution’. One of the 1st connectionist models i saw was one by james anderson also of brown u. also into neuroscience there was leon cooper of BCS theory. so you have anderson cooper (quite a pair—they call these ‘cooper pairs’) . Anderson Cooper also is a journalist for cnn (which i have never seen since i dont do TV).

    Death is an intersting topic or idea i think freud wrote on this in his last book. (my area has had quite a few of these last few years—people my age, mostly either drugs or violence). (i almost got killed last week). I don’t see why anyone would want to live forever. Alot of animals only live a few years—kit foxes live from 3 to 6. (my landlord gave me a 30 day warning to ‘cure or quit’—i was playing stuff like ‘ready to die’ by notorious BIG (gangsta rap) after hours too loud). i like edward munch’s philosophy (he painted ‘the scream’—sold for many millions$)–‘sunrise, sunset, dust to dust’. (fiddler on the roof movie)

    i see columbia u has e phelps (econ laureate who had an article in NYR which seemed shallow like RBC theory) , they also have jeffrey sachs (feed the poor, but feed me first) , michael woodford (had some good stuff—chaos theory in econ) and many more (s gelman).

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  2. ps i looked at the ‘less wrong’ site. i see the 3rd discussion on the community blog is on cryonics—it turns out that if you can make it to 2050, then there will be technology available to live for 1000s of more years. (by somone called turchin–there is a peter turchin at U Conn who does these simulations of social evolution ‘cliodynamics’. i dought its same one). (first post is on ‘effective altruism—raising money–and i’d give it a rating of ‘very questionable’. i see at national portrait gallery they have a meeting on ‘utilitarianism’. sort my thing—bentham, etc. i did go to one of those meetings—on ‘using to do lists’ to be effective. i brought all my to do lists from the last 4 years to see if i could get help sorting them out. i left after a half hour. also one person (macho man) who was at that gallery has it out for me—i told him he better stay away or im calling the cops.

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  3. He seems to be saying that we have to not only model all of those details, but that we have to know initial conditions to run a model that really corresponds to a particular person.

    This seems at odds with the way that most people model — initialize variables corresponding to, say, the Tsodyks-Uziel-Markram short term synaptic dynamics to just about anything and you still get roughly the same simulation across long time periods.

    It also seems at odds with the fact that there a tremendous number of sets of initial conditions which are all “me”, or at least the “me” that has that particular connectome. With each elapsed time step there are new initial conditions, but it is still “me”. So I doubt these initial conditions are important. Particular relationships between them might be important (i.e. correlations and constraints), but I doubt we have to know the exact values which seems to be what he implies is necessary in order to make the simulation authentic.

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