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Showing posts from July, 2010

The why of emotion, from whence did it come?

A recent article positing a theory for the origin of emotions as a system to induce cooperation got me to thinking about this subject which I've been mulling for quite some time recently in an effort to understand the requirements for building a truly stable Artificial Intelligence. A post from a few months back covers how emotion once emerged is used to tie emotional import to newly sensed memories while comparing those sensations to previously stored memories and the associated emotional triggers to them. Conditions like Kapgras syndrome highlight the unique role that deep brain regions like the hippocampus and the amygdala play in tying emotion to memory. The new study however knocks at the heart of the question, why do we have emotion in the first place? Why did it evolve? What necessity did it serve?

Fundamentally, we should be able to agree that our emotional system emerged to trigger the individual as to important occurrences in the surrounding, to serve as a stimulant to a …

Lucky Earth

A random sample of the collection of improbable and mutually exclusive events that led to our emergence here on this rock.

If the Sun formed in a region with less or different gas contribution the Earth would likely have an ammonia Ocean instead of a water one.

If the proto planetary disk didn't have so much accreted asteroids and comets proto Earth would not have gained so much water and would likely be dry.

If the Earth didn't accrete as much dust as it did, we'd have a smaller radius and likely not have a radioactive active core..the active core is what produces our magnetic field and thus protects us from the deadly solar wind of the sun. Life would not exist.

If the proto Earth had not been struck by another body just before 4.4 billion years ago, the planet would not have reconstituted into the present Earth 2 + moon system. Without the gyroscopic stabilization of the moon against the distant but influential gravitational nudges of Jupiter we'd have no predictable se…

My short walk in faith...

I was too inculcated into the ways of religion to seriously give it thought as being *unreal* until about the age of 9. My parents (read: my mother, my father was religiously apathetic) did a good job of taking us around to various prayer services with her evangelist friend who happened to be married to a pastor. Tangentially, I found out much later that he used to physically beat her in accordance with the scriptures he preached at the pulpit, now he's suffering from severe dementia induced by Alzheimer's disease. Karma? No...just bad luck. During those times I was forced to endure 3 hour long services that consisted of grown adults and their kids sat on white sheets in hot living rooms (many times our own) with their kids forced to pay attention (some how) to the constant singing, talking or Bible reading in Haitian Creole and French. I was partially curious about the various stories I'd read and wondered if they could be real, I was an avid comic book fan from an early …

Accident: A view into the future of organ replacement...

Listen to the podcast: Accident:A view into the future of organ replacement.

Mira Chu is always in a rush, she got up today filled with particular excitement as it is her first day giving the inaugural speech at the Institute of Exoplanetary Studies. Mira joined the institute 3 years ago in 2045 and had been deep in her studies of the spectral characteristics of the 50 or so Earth class planets found decades previous by the Kepler Satellite mission. She was anxious to report her findings regarding the specific bio signatures emanating from 43 of those 50 worlds.

Unfortunately for Mira today, she tends to get her mind very wrapped up in her work and today was so focused on the talk that she failed tohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif heed the pick up truck making a quick turn before the light as she charged across the intersection unaware that the light was about to switch. The truck struck her with more force than one would expect given the fact it was turning. She was knocked out of…