Aside from overt ethnic discrimination, the real and lasting tragedy of IQ and other intelligence tests was the message they sent to every individual—including the students who scored well. That message was: your intelligence is something you were given, not something you’ve earned.
The brain is a 1.5 kilogram mass of jelly, the consistency of tofu, you can hold it in the palm of your hand, yet it can contemplate the vastness of space and time, the meaning of infinity and the meaning of existence. It can ask questions about who am I, where do I come from, questions about love and beauty, aesthetics, and art, and all these questions arising from this lump of jelly. It is truly the greatest of mysteries. —Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran on unlocking the secrets of consciousness and behavioral neurology (Edge.org, Feb. 21, 2012)
At carboncopies.org, we strive to take this research a step further: to bring about and nurture projects that are crucial to achieving substrate-independent minds (SIM). That is, enable minds to operate on many different hardware platforms — not just a neural substrate.
The attributes that we possess […] are not attributes of the brain, any more than the attributes of our brains are our attributes. It is plainly false that we are ‘no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells (and other cells) and the molecules associated with them’. What is tautologically true is that we do not consist of any more cells that the vast assembly of nerve and other cells of which we – living human beings –actually consists. But we are no more just a collection of cells (nerve cells or otherwise) than a painting is just a collection of pigments or brush strokes, a novel just a collection of words, or a society just a collection of people – although what more there is to a painting than mere pigments is not more pigments, what more there is to a novel than mere words is not more words, and more there is to a society than mere people is not more people.
Although we have the illusion of receiving high-resolution images from our eyes, what the optic nerve actually sends to the brain is just outlines and clues about points of interest in our visual field. We then essentially hallucinate the world from cortical memories that interpret a series of extremely low-resolution movies that arrive in parallel channels.
Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity is Near, referencing Roska and Werblin’s article in Nature ‘Vertical Interactions Across Ten Parallel, Stacked Representations in the Mammalian Retina’ (March 29, 2001)