Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Lunch break

Is a human being really the connections between the neurons in his or her brain?

By Ezra Klein  | September 30, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McDonald's vs. health-care reform
Next: Are we a center-right nation?


It ain't the meat it's the commotion

Posted by: bdballard | September 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I watched this whole thing and nothing on how we're engineering mice with human brains.

I was very disappointed.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 30, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Haven't watched the video yet but, if he didn't recommend reading "I am a Strange Loop", by Douglas Hofstader (author of "Godel, Escher, Bach"), he should have.

Posted by: mudlock | September 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Just as a cake or car or computer is more than the sum of its parts, so is a human being. How the parts of the brain — and the rest of the body — fit together is the great mystery. The concept of a connectome is one more part of the puzzle, not its solution.

The more we discover, the more we realize how much more there is still to be discovered. That's the fun part of being human. And happily what motivates people like Dr. Seung.

Posted by: tomcammarata | September 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

tomcammarata, the argument about humans being more than the sum of their parts aside, aren't cars, computers, and cakes exactly the sum of their parts? There's no ineffable magic that happens when a bunch of car parts click together, or when a SATA hard drive clicks into a motherboard. They perform just as you'd expect them to based on the components of which they're made, and the quality of components directly impacts, and is the only impact, on the qualities they exhibit when they are assembled.

The argument that humans are more than the sum of their parts is that we're *not* like something you can assemble on a factory floor. There's something magical about an individual that couldn't be captured by a Dr. Frankenstein. I'm not sure I buy that argument, but I don't see how someone that believes it thinks that we're the same as a computer.

Posted by: MosBen | September 30, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Dunno 'bout the rest of you, but this woman is a whole lot more than some neuron connections.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 30, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@bgmma50: Hahaha, I'm just going to assume you're less, since you don't seem to be using all of it.

Posted by: HerooftheBeach | October 1, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company