Cognitive Thrift 2 – Error Reduction
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
May 7, 2017
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: That recalls two things for me. On the one hand, the strength of the cognitive system. On the other hand, its weaknesses too. What would cognitive economic state about the strengths and weaknesses of an evolved organism such as the balance between energy consumption and efficiency, and computational capacity and error reduction?
Rick Rosner: In an evolved organism such as ourselves, evolved organisms such as ourselves. We must be right in our perceptions about and our actions in the world enough to live long enough to reproduce and raise offspring to continue the species. For humans, the standard lifetime according to the Bible is 70-80 years, more recently in developed countries it’s in the low 90s and according to the UN we’ll eventually shortly hit 100, and that’s a long time to be making the right decisions about the world so as not to be killed by accident or not to fall victim to other consequences of bad judgment.
So, an average brain needs to last a century. And as brain science finds out more and more about the brain, we find out just how physically complicated it is, not just in its physical structure, but in the processes, that then maintain it. The processes that allow you to learn and remember. It’s much more complicated in terms of all the moving parts than any computer, though computers will before too long have the computational capacity that we do, but since the brain is an evolved system.
Everything – since the brain is an evolved system, it is messy and organic and all these overlapping and interacting chemicals and electrical signals and constantly rewiring its dendrites and extending new ones and forming new synapses, and changing the – retuning synapses, constantly rejiggering the inputs that the strengths of the various inputs reach neurons and rejiggering how a neuron decides when to fire.
All this growth and change and maintenance is expensive in terms of the bodies resources and important in terms of our individual survival.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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