X-Message-Number: 13186
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: more on brain repairs and revivals
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 100 21:18:48 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

The problem with repairing which is NOT synchronous is the likely fact
that it's the relations of neurons to one another which need to be
repaired. This remains true even if those neurons are frozen through the
course of that repair (among other less significant problems, repair of
frozen neurons will have to do things which repair of nonfrozen ones would
not: the neural anatomy changes, so that repair would have to match the 
anatomy of the neuron after thawing --- an added problem).

But no single neuron or group of them can have their connections repaired
without also repairing the connections of those neurons which they
contact. To do otherwise would cause formation of a MORE damaged front
(since the connections, too, will have moved) which presumably moves
through the brain of the patient. This would not be helped by having more
than one center of repair: we'd still have to combine the different
centers, again a more difficult problem... which may require not only 
shifts in location of neurons in each center, but in some cases even
breaking and rerepair of connections. Our brain simply does not consist of
multiple totally independent centers.

Whether repairing while frozen or not, this problem will still exist. Just
like most problems, it may well have a solution, but its not obvious and
unlikely to be simple. 

There is an additional problem, too, which "sequential repair" still does
not address. Brains have many more neurons than any computer yet devised.
Just repairing them "sequentially" fails to deal with the length of time
involved. Supposing that the problem above can be handled, the simple
problem of the time required for repair raises its head. 

I've already given my personal opinion here, and will not repeat it. And
perhaps more important, this problem is one which is independent of the
temperature at which repair may occur. It's a problem with repairing
brains. And after all, just what is the problem with planning all the
repairs separately OUTSIDE THE PATIENT'S BRAIN and then carrying them out
in parallel?

As for the saw about revival into more powerful computers, we'll have to
see. One major problem is that our brain has many features computers do
not have, such as the ability to grow new neurons and make new
connections --- and remove the old ones. Speak to me again about this 
when we have computers with similar abilities and we might get somewhere.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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