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Why does the brain put far more out than what powers it?


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#1
Maximum7

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I always was amazed that the human brain is only 3 lbs and requires the energy of a lightbulb to run; yet it is the most complex and powerful machine in the universe. It can store so many memories, work basically nonstop without “overheating”, have an infinite amount of ideas, figure out some of the most complex problems in the universe etc. It almost seems to defy logic with how little it takes to run but how much it puts out. What the heck is it?

#2
Yuli Ban

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It works by breaking the brain down and realizing that a lot of the "magic" isn't magic but billions of years' worth of fine tuning.

I've said before that imagination is really experience + abstraction + prediction. You experience something, and then your brain can twist it a bit and then predict what that final output would look like. This includes concepts and mathematics. As far as we know, most creatures can do the experience and prediction part; we just don't know if nonhumans can make experiences abstract in their heads. I don't see why they couldn't. It's a useful feature to have when you're trying to survive in the wild. The "magic" of human brains comes from taking those basic traits and pumping them into overdrive.

 

Of course, the real point to care about is the experiencing part. I've heard that the brain is a hypercompressor; something like the human body sends 11 megabits per second to the brain for processing, yet the conscious mind can only process 50 bits per second. Think about that: at any one moment, you're really only "experiencing" about 50 bits' worth of data, despite the fact that you're really taking in much, much more.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.





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