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198. Bee-brained

You make decisions. How good you are at doing so is irrelevant, what matters is that you make them. You make them in the same way as a bee. But how is that?

Decision making is a, decidedly complex process but it is vital. Also the actual process is near identical for anything with a decent brain. Decision making works like a debate. Neurons which zip around the brain collecting information and forming plans. Then neurons form groups and you ‘think.’ If you have ever been in two minds when making a decision, that is because it is exactly what happens.

Neurons find those sharing the same idea and send positive affirming signals. Which is nice of them. Then they find those who disagree with them and send inhibiting signals. The equivalent of you trying to win an argument by telling the opposition to shut up. As time passes the numbers supporting each decision vary, heading towards a single answer. When a large enough consensus of opinion is reached then hooray! You have just made a decision.

As was previously mentioned this is a technique that we use because it works, in fact every creature with a complex brain uses it. Bees do not have complex brains, they are fuzzy little colourful balls that fly into flowers and build hexagons; yet they use the same technique. No bee is smart enough to use the technique, so they use many bees, and form a hive mind. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Articles, Trivia

 

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63. World Wide Brain

FACT: You are probably smarter than you think, you are certainly doing more than you think. You are controlling your own breathing, heart rate, temperature, internal humidity, digestion and so on…

What you may not know is how large this is. In 2007, the combined power of every general computer in the world was capable of performing 6.4 × 1018 actions every second. That’s around six trillion four hundred million billion actions. A not unimpressive number.

Hear that number again… six trillion four hundred million billion. That is an unimaginably large number, yet you are doing that right now. Your brain, assuming you are human of course, performs around that number of actions every second. Compared to computers you are a bona fide genius.Now remember, you are smarter than millions of computers combined. Now think that there are six billion humans.

Computers are still in their infancy, and whilst they seem impressive; nature is far more grand.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Trivia

 

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