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Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable 426

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "One of the most profound advances in science in recent years is the way researchers from a variety of fields are beginning to formulate the problem of consciousness in mathematical terms, in particular using information theory. That's largely thanks to a relatively new theory that consciousness is a phenomenon which integrates information in the brain in a way that cannot be broken down. Now a group of researchers has taken this idea further using algorithmic theory to study whether this kind of integrated information is computable. They say that the process of integrating information is equivalent to compressing it. That allows memories to be retrieved but it also loses information in the process. But they point out that this cannot be how real memory works; otherwise, retrieving memories repeatedly would cause them to gradually decay. By assuming that the process of memory is non-lossy, they use algorithmic theory to show that the process of integrating information must noncomputable. In other words, your PC can never be conscious in the way you are. That's likely to be a controversial finding but the bigger picture is that the problem of consciousness is finally opening up to mathematical scrutiny for the first time."

Comment Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1633

But you really think you can do anything with your guns against government tanks, drones, planes, missles, ... Don't be silly. You can't. It's simple. You just need tighter regulation. Force gun owners to register and pass safety exams and phych evaluation. Most should pass just fine. But no, somehow, liberty for you means every nutcase can get AR-15.

Comment Re:Hmm..... (Score 1) 279

If censorship is hard to pull over there, why are cursewords forbidden on tv? Or nudity? If you dress up like nazi, you won't be imprisoned in most of europe. Germany went a bit far, but they had their reasons :). If you dress as KKK, what will happen in usa? Can you guarantee you will be free to spread "white power" statements? I kind of doubt it. You pepper sprayed students just sitting in park peacefully protesting. Personally I don't see why hatespeech should be legal, since I don't see how that is limiting our freedom of speech in any meaningful way? What is so great to have absolute freedom of speech, when making it absolute just legalises lying and you are free to character assasinate anybody. And his ability to fight is none, if he does not have the resources. And then, when company does it, you get Foxnews. And then you have 50% of population beliving creationism.

Comment Re:Hmm..... (Score 1) 279

Can you give a specific example of how free speech is limited in europe? Cause i'm from east block and never saw anyone get in any trouble, unless they were making shit up. You can freely express your opinion, you can even say prime prime minister stole money and nothing will happen to you. Free speech is special for you in USA somehow. Like freedom. You are so proud of it you fail to realise it is something very common. > The UK already has filters for the pirate bay and pornography. Oh, so that is free speech limitation? Let me remind you that it is your country that beeps curse words on tv. Which seems kind of retarded, but hey, you are free speech lovers. You must have your reasons. :)

College Students Lack Scientific Literacy 382

An anonymous reader writes with news of research into the scientific literacy of college biology students. Earlier studies found that students tended to "rely on mainly informal reasoning derived from their personal experiences," so the researchers derived a new instructional framework that explicitly taught principle-based reasoning. While the number of students who used this method did increase, more than half continued to use informal reasoning, which the researchers say points to a flaw in the way biology is taught (PDF). "Most college-level instruction presents students with complicated narratives about the details of key processes (e.g., cellular respiration), but does not explicitly reinforce the use of key principles to connect those processes. Therefore, students are understandably occupied with memorizing details of processes without focusing on the principles that govern and connect the processes. ... As a result, students may leave an introductory biology course with the ability to recite the reactions in the Calvin cycle but still believing that plants obtain most of their mass from the soil rather than from the atmosphere, that plants photosynthesize but do not respire, or that the mass of a decomposing organism will primarily return to the soil."

Comment Re:No it's not Wikileaks that is negative impactin (Score 5, Interesting) 696

Exactly. Last sentence in WSJ article says: If he is not charged or is acquitted of whatever charges may be made, that may well lead to the adoption of new and dangerously restrictive legislation. The way I understand ths: You live in a free speech state, but if you actually practice free speech, we will hit you with restrictive legislation. Therefor,e with practicing free speech, you are being responsible for it's destruction. So in god's name, don't do it if you want to live in free speech society.

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