Posts tagged New Yorker

Hey look, it’s Gary Marcus over at The New Yorker talking about neuromorphic engineering in THE BRAIN IN THE MACHINE:

At present, we still know too little about how individual neurons work to know how to put them together into viable networks. For more than twenty-five years, scientists have known the exact wiring diagram of the three hundred and two neurons in the C. Elegans roundworm, but in at least half a dozen attempts nobody has yet succeeded in building a computer simulation that can accurately capture the complexities of the simple worm’s nervous system. As the N.Y.U. neuroscientist Tony Movshon notes, “Merely knowing the connectional architecture of a nervous system is not enough to deduce its function.” One also needs to know the signals flowing among the elements of neural circuits, because the same circuit can perform many different functions under different circumstances. By extension, building a device whose wiring diagram mimics the brain (e.g. Markram’s Blue Brain) does not guarantee that such a device can simulate the brain in any useful way. [img]

Building something we don’t understand™ 

Hey look, it’s Gary Marcus over at The New Yorker talking about neuromorphic engineering in THE BRAIN IN THE MACHINE:

At present, we still know too little about how individual neurons work to know how to put them together into viable networks. For more than twenty-five years, scientists have known the exact wiring diagram of the three hundred and two neurons in the C. Elegans roundworm, but in at least half a dozen attempts nobody has yet succeeded in building a computer simulation that can accurately capture the complexities of the simple worm’s nervous system. As the N.Y.U. neuroscientist Tony Movshon notes, “Merely knowing the connectional architecture of a nervous system is not enough to deduce its function.” One also needs to know the signals flowing among the elements of neural circuits, because the same circuit can perform many different functions under different circumstances. By extension, building a device whose wiring diagram mimics the brain (e.g. Markram’s Blue Brain) does not guarantee that such a device can simulate the brain in any useful way. [img]

Building something we don’t understand 

photographyprison:

Almost six years have passed since Seymour Hersh’s seminal investigative piece about torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was published in The New Yorker. Shortly after its publication, Colombian-born painter Fernando Botero was on a flight to Paris, equally horrified and fascinated by the details mentioned in the article. He read the full official report and then, without even looking at the disturbing pictures that began to emerge on the press, Botero began to put his impressions on paper and on canvas. The self-titled “most Colombian of Colombian artists” had taken a radical departure from his satirical, but cutesy work, populated by large and rosy-cheeked figures. He has undoubtedly produced (and now presented as a gift to the University of California at Berkeley’s Art Museum) his most overtly political work. As a viewer, you can feel Botero’s pain and empathy towards the victims. His paintings of Abu Ghraib force you to reexamine that shameful episode once again; they engage and disturb you on a level that only fantasy can, especially when reality has already left you desensitized.

photographyprison:

Almost six years have passed since Seymour Hersh’s seminal investigative piece about torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was published in The New Yorker. Shortly after its publication, Colombian-born painter Fernando Botero was on a flight to Paris, equally horrified and fascinated by the details mentioned in the article. He read the full official report and then, without even looking at the disturbing pictures that began to emerge on the press, Botero began to put his impressions on paper and on canvas. The self-titled “most Colombian of Colombian artists” had taken a radical departure from his satirical, but cutesy work, populated by large and rosy-cheeked figures. He has undoubtedly produced (and now presented as a gift to the University of California at Berkeley’s Art Museum) his most overtly political work. As a viewer, you can feel Botero’s pain and empathy towards the victims. His paintings of Abu Ghraib force you to reexamine that shameful episode once again; they engage and disturb you on a level that only fantasy can, especially when reality has already left you desensitized.