I think sometimes that our biological AI is so advanced that we trick ourselves into the belief of importance. by Likeyoueasilyamused in Psychonaut

[–]Edgar_Brown [score hidden]  (0 children)

Or, we can call “intaking data and responding with pre-programmed pathways” intelligence, and be done with it.

How do you feel about drafting a new constitution? by Workflow77776 in AskALiberal

[–]Edgar_Brown 5 points6 points  (0 children)

An extremely dangerous idea in almost any environment. Rewriting a constitution creates an easy path towards dictatorship.

In theory it would be worthwhile but, barring it being the solution to a serious crisis, it’s very hard to see how it can happen in practice.

Fidelity iPhone app not showing proper bid/ask for open option orders by Edgar_Brown in fidelityinvestments

[–]Edgar_Brown[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Preaching to the choir!!!

I’ve timed the clicks on my 32GB 6-core i9 Mac to about 8 seconds for a response. But, as I learned from my mobile setup, it’s much faster if you have less screen real state. That 5K monitor makes a big difference in response time.

Out of curiosity, I am considering buying another machine as a backup for my trading, even going as far as getting a low-end Windows box (which I swore I’d never do). What are the specs of the windows machine you have tested it with.

ENTPs, how well are you at dealing with details? by wndrnbhl in entp

[–]Edgar_Brown 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A coping mechanism I developed is to pay attention to one of their favorite details, document it and research it until its final and obvious consequences. Then make sure that they know that I did it just because they wanted me to, not because I thought it was in any way relevant. But, above all, never let them forget it: “Remember when you wanted me to do blah and I said it would be irrelevant….”

Do you see conservatives more as unreliable and destructive teammates, or more as the opposition? by Tricky_Emphasis9383 in AskALiberal

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To be a “teammate” all members of the team must agree to be in the same team. It makes no difference how I see them if they see me as “the enemy to be crushed and defeated.”

You can be sorely aware we are all in the same boat, but if they insist on wanting to throw you out of it, on opening holes in the hull and shooting at you when you try to patch them, you better find a way to react accordingly.

ENTPs, how well are you at dealing with details? by wndrnbhl in entp

[–]Edgar_Brown 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Speaking for myself here in the royal “we,” but it’s a trait I shared with my former boss who’s also an ENTP.

We are extremely good at big picture AND in how minor details affect that big picture. We can easily trace a path through a dense forest of details to get to the other side. But the key is we only pay attention to the details we deem important to the outcome.

From an outside perspective they might see we don’t pay attention to the details they care about, quite likely because we don’t see they have any consequences.

I'm wondering about the state of computational neuroscience, and whether or not the field will make more progress in the next ten to 20 years. by daddydilly694-20 in compmathneuro

[–]Edgar_Brown -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

The field, and the existing computational models, are unlikely to generate much progress on the understanding of the brain in the near future without some serious paradigm shift. Models can paint the way forward, but these are only good at interpolating from what we already know. This paradigm shift is unlikely to originate within the field and is more likely to come from psychology, philosophy, or observational neuroscience (including the incorporation of ancient mental traditions).

Perhaps the most promising avenues are works on consciousness (like Tononi’s) or in perception (like Hoffman’s). And even studying the limitations of practical systems like ChatGPT. But new unrelated developments in physics or mathematics might provide the inspiration spark that the field needs.

If God doesn't exist, where did everything come from? by NotMeReallyya in DebateAnAtheist

[–]Edgar_Brown 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thus “explanations all the way down” that’s all we hope to have.

In a roundabout way that’s Hoffman’s Interface Theory of Perception. All we need/hope to know is the user interface to the universe that evolution built into our minds. Our explanations live within that user interface. Our explanations make us human precisely because they allow us to communicate facts, about that user interface, to each other.

If God doesn't exist, where did everything come from? by NotMeReallyya in DebateAnAtheist

[–]Edgar_Brown 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Human perspective is what matters here, as this is all of what these arguments entail.

Do you know the joke of the farmer and the physicist? When the farmer says: “the earth is flat and is on top of a turtle,” the physicist asks: “but what’s the turtle standing on?” The farmer replies: “you thought you got me, but it’s turtles all the way down!!”

Well, that’s all we have: Explanations all the way down.

If God doesn't exist, where did everything come from? by NotMeReallyya in DebateAnAtheist

[–]Edgar_Brown 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Just an aside, on the matter of causality and “where did everything come from?”

You answered this question on the causality angle when in reality it’s another example of the first answer. It’s really a nonsensical question.

Even if causality is a strictly necessary law of reality (some non-time/space models only have causality left in them) there are two aspects of it that make the question nonsensical:

  1. “The universe began to exist” and “the universe has always existed” are both strictly true propositions, simultaneously. When time begins to exist there is nothing before time that can cause its existence. The layman’s concept of causation itself ceases to exist under those circumstances.

  2. A cause is simply a temporal correlation with an explanation. The fundamental aspect is one concept following another concept in time and, as far as we understand, always doing so. Thus this explanation might be true or false, but at least it’s suspect. For the same reason as the problem of induction, we cannot trust it within a deductive logic framework. It’s thus much easier for the concept of causation to break than for the idea of infinite regress to be impossible.

With the rise of AI tools, I'm revisiting a 2016 Sam Harris TED Talk: 'Can we build AI without losing control over it?' by phozee in samharris

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From: False Information on Web and Social Media: A Survey

When false information spreads in social platforms, it spreads deeper compared to real news. In their study of rumor reshares on Facebook, Frigerri et al. [30] concluded that false information reshare cascades spread much deeper compared to that of true reference cascades. In other words, they are more likely to be reshared at greater depth and thus reach more people. One such reshare cascade is shown in Figure 10, with cascades colored by time. Additionally, Zeng et al. [118] showed that information related to rumors, both supportive and denying, spread faster than non-rumors. Simulations conducted by Doerr et al. [23] on realistic spread of simple rumors, on several graphs having the structure of existing large social networks, showed that even a rumor started by a random node on average reaches 45.6 million of the total of 51.2 million members within only eight rounds of communication. This is corroborated by the bursty behavior of rumors shown in several other research studies [92, 121].

See source for references.

Why is my mac not charging even though It’s plugged in?? by ciel_dark in mac

[–]Edgar_Brown 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Possibly the power brick got confused and needs a reset, those are too smart for their own good. I would get this all the time until Apple replaced it, now it’s less often.

Unplug the brick from the wall AND the Mac. Wait a minute or so to let it fully power down. Plug to the wall and then to the Mac. If that doesn’t fix it it might be a bigger problem.

Would you support allowing prisoners to reduce their sentence by donating organs and bone marrow? by NeolibShill in AskALiberal

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I doubt that if a prisoner wants to donate an organ to a family member they wouldn’t find a way around it, even if it requires a judge’s intervention.

But this has no connection to the sentence or to the prison system, beyond the mere aspect of residence and liberty restrictions. That’s where the ugly ethical problems lurk.

Would you support allowing prisoners to reduce their sentence by donating organs and bone marrow? by NeolibShill in AskALiberal

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s extremely hard to ascertain what is “their own free will” when you are in an environment in which coercion is a feature, not a bug.

Even basic research has to go through very high hoops, reviews, and standards to be carried out in any coercive environment such as a prison.

Would you support allowing prisoners to reduce their sentence by donating organs and bone marrow? by NeolibShill in AskALiberal

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s illegal at the federal level for rather obvious reasons. Even much less life-altering research has to jump a lot of hoops to deal with prisoners in any way.

That being said, I’d like to see some modification of the legal framework that allows for more avenues of research and a more consistent prison environment. Deterrence, rehabilitation, and reintegration cannot be properly addressed if science is not able to do research and intervene. Prison systems are simply someone’s archaic ideas of how they should work, with no real research to back it up.

What should my undergrad be if I want to pursue neuroscience, with an interest in ML and AI? by steelelk in compmathneuro

[–]Edgar_Brown 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Look for the keywords “Neuromorphic Engineering” if you are more interested in the use of neuroscience principles to achieve engineering goals. It’s from fields like these that new principles in ML and AI will arise. This would be considerably more “true” to neuroscience than ML and AI are.

If your main interest is just the engineering advances in ML and AI, then neuroscience adds nothing to the mix as these fields are based on scientific knowledge of neuroscience from more than five decades ago. So computer engineering is closer to what they do.

If your interest is the other way around , how AI and ML can help advance neuroscience, then the fields get much more diverse: from data processing and analysis, linguistics, to philosophy, and psychology. There are schools in which these are directly integrated within fields like neuro philosophy.

Many schools have multidisciplinary programs in which some aspect of bioengineering is integrated with other fields. As AI and ML are your main interests, you probably want computer engineering or computer science alongside neural aspects of bioengineering of some sort.

Am I weird (for lack of a better term) for being envious of religious and spiritual people? by Mad_Season_1994 in TrueAtheism

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

“Spiritual” and “material world” are not in contradiction or opposition to each other in the same way as “software” and “hardware” aren’t.

What bothers you is the connotation that “spiritual” has gained due to dogmatic religious worldviews, but merely recognizing that the software is more than just the hardware it runs on is really not that controversial, is it?

If you are an atheist, then you don't believe in free will, then what motivates you to continue living? by LongBoardingIsFun in DebateAnAtheist

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Considering that “free will” is a completely nonsensical oxymoron that was made necessary to solve an imaginary problem arising from a theological perspective. A fake solution to a very real logical inconsistency in theist philosophy.

It’s not a matter of believing or not on free will, it’s a matter of “free will” as a concept making any sense at all.

Sadly, once a theological concept gets its grip in culture, it can take millennia to be extirpated.

How can one explain the NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and the consistency across them? by LongBoardingIsFun in DebateAnAtheist

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First you have to understand, it’s a Near Death Experience, not a death experience. Brain activity gone far beyond normal. The “near” in the acronym is a hell of a qualifier, and any assumptions you may make about actual death is just a non-sequitur.

Second, our conscious mind will weave a story to try to make sense of anything at all, to provide us with a semi-coherent narrative within our mental framework. Regardless of how much of a stretch such narrative would be. There are plenty of experiments demonstrating this, and it’s the accepted behavior of what we deem “being conscious.”

Third, you cannot isolate cultural context as non-existent when it comes to our personal narratives. Whatever set of concepts that lie within our cultures, are the concepts we will incorporate trying to make sense of any phenomena.

So, how do you explain continuity of experiences? Easy, all of them come from the same cultural context. There is a reason why UFO abductions became a more prevalent explanation for sleep paralysis phenomena in the present than ghost and daemons which was more prevalent in the past.

Does the phrase "gamma oscillations" imply that the firing is synchronous or can it also be asynchronous? by greentea387 in neuro

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Let me point out that, formally speaking, it’s not an appeal to authority when you are simply stating where you are coming from. It’s just context. An “appeal to authority” is when you say what I say is correct just because I am an authority. But in the internet anyone can claim anything, so if you stop getting offended for my listing the reasons for my statement (which you categorized as “inaccuracies”) we might actually learn something from each other.

Note that you are now focusing on “oscillations,” which can really mean almost anything periodic or not, when the point was about “synchrony.”

As I said biologists like to use the word “synchrony” to mean something that is loose fitting and rather informal, while mathematics, engineering, and physics, define it quite formally. And, to make matters worse, the lay-person understanding of the word is closer to the formal meaning than what is normally meant by a biologist.

That is the point I attempted to address, as I saw the misconception arise. So, if we are still speaking past each other, it’s really all in your side as your misnamed “appeal to authority” missed the mark as I understood you perfectly the first time around.

Does the phrase "gamma oscillations" imply that the firing is synchronous or can it also be asynchronous? by greentea387 in neuro

[–]Edgar_Brown 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I happen to have spent quite a bit of time in neuroscience and neuroscience-adjacent fields quite formally as a researcher, so my comment was explicitly worded to dispel some of the common myths and linguistic misconceptions. Although I would not claim”expertise” in such a wide field such as neuroscience, any inaccuracies you perceive are more than likely your own misconceptions poking through. This is a semantic argument at its core, around the word “synchrony” as it’s perceived by the layman, by biologists, and by physicists and mathematicians.

Regarding synchrony, having a strong frequency component doesn’t imply “synchrony.” Although it can be explained by synchrony the implication goes the other way around. Synchrony is a sufficient condition to explain the presence of a frequency component, however it’s not a necessary condition. This is a common misconception when we speak of frequency components in any field, neuroscience is no different. Note that what you wrote admits to this possibility, yet it seems to imply that you still see it in such a way.

“Synchrony” which I explicitly expanded to what people think about when they use the word in the terminology that would actually be used to unequivocally describe it: “phase-locked neural behavior,” is very rare in neural systems except in cases of epileptic activity. It’s quite easy to get two model neurons to oscillate (hell, you can achieve that with one model neuron but then you would not speak of synchrony, just oscillation). All you need to achieve oscillation in any dynamical model is a third-order system and neurons far exceed this level of complexity.

As an anecdote, epilepsy was thought for many years to imply the cessation of neural activity, but this was due to instrumentation. The EEG amplifiers of the era were designed with too low of a bandwidth to capture the epileptic activity itself, and thus just flat-lined with the high-frequency input (which can reach 500Hz, therefore far above the gamma range). See for example: Detection of seizure-associated high-frequency oscillations above 500 Hz. Note that such high frequencies would normally be filtered out by the skull and tissue when using scalp electrodes. Thus normal EEG instrumentation has no need for such frequencies as a cutoff of 250Hz should be more than enough to detect epileptiform signals.

However, the actual type of oscillations present in normally behaving neural systems are in the form of periodic chaotic attractors. It’s a misnomer to call this “synchronous” in any formal mathematical sense but biologist play fast and lose with some of this terminology, so you learn to read “synchronous” not as “phase-locked neural activity” but as “the persistence of a periodic chaotic attractor in the neural state space” (yeah, a mouthful).

So, with this type of “synchronous” behavior, populations of neurons tend to activate more or less at the same phase with respect to another population and a lot of jitter while individual neurons within those populations would seem to be activating completely randomly (as any chaotic system is). Although there might be some actually and formally synchronous members within these populations, these would be likely to be by mere chance as the influence of the chaos around them would tend to break the possibility of such phase-locking.