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Re: Request for Info @ Meetup: Philosophy and the Singularity

From: Greg
Sent on: Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:48 AM

Instead of sending this to you, I have addressed this email to the group mailing list in hopes that others will contribute to our discussion.

After reviewing my first email about it I can see that I may not be making what I'm asking clear.?? Please bear with me while I try again...

The important thing about a repeated electric discharge through protoplasm is that the path it follows tends to be the same.? If I remember correctly what Robert Pula said, with more repetitions it appears to re-enforce the likelihood that it will follow the same path.? This suggests that this may be basically how the physiology of memory or learning works.?

I'm not sure that I understood all of the video that you showed on the difference between digital and organic data processing.? Where could I find it?


On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 10:54 PM, New Meetup Message <[address removed]> wrote:
Steve sent you this message from Plato's Cave - The Orlando
Philosophy Meetup Group on Meetup:


At the Meetup, we didn't get much of a chance to see where you
were going with your comment about electric discharge, but here
are my thoughts:

Definition: Protoplasm ?- The complex, semi-fluid, translucent
substance that constitutes the living matter of plant and
animal cells and manifests the essential life functions of a
cell. Composed of proteins, fats, and other molecules suspended
in water, it includes the nucleus and cytoplasm.

I trained in electronics in the Navy which means I had courses
in basic E & E as well as training in advanced weapon
electronic systems. As I understand, electricity flows fairly
consistently through homogeneous substances like copper wires
or metals. That's because of the conductivity and the
? consistent alignment of atoms and molecules in materials like
metals. Protoplasm is heterogeneous, inconsistent and
dynamically complex. It is usually lumpy and multivariate. So,
when an electromotive potential is applied, protoplasm becomes
even more dynamically complex due to heat and ion action among
other processes. The same thing happens in the atmosphere when
polarities form causing lightning. It is impossible to predict
the exact path of lightning due to the complex dynamics within
the atmosphere. So even if you apply the same charge to the
same two points over and over again in protoplasm or the
atmosphere, you change the conditions (heat, ions, density,
etc.) with each discharge making the exact path unpredictable.
There are likely quantum effects as well making the system too
complex and random to predict with perfect precision.



At yesterday's Meetup: Philosophy and the Singularity I made a
request to the group for more information on an assertion that
"a repeated electric discharge through protoplasm will tend to
follow an apparently random path". ? As I remember, you said
something to the effect that you would like to say something
about it, but declined to do so at that moment. ? Would you be
so kind as to do so now?

Best Regards
Greg Pettengill"

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