Feb 18, 2011

Optogenetics: Holding out the promise of a Mechanistic Mind?

In the quest to map the brain, many scientists have attempted the incredibly daunting task of recording the activity of each neuron. Gero Miesenboeck works backward - manipulating specific neurons to figure out exactly what they do, through a series of stunning experiments that reengineer the way fruit flies perceive light. 

Feb 11, 2011


In the grand scheme of things, i don't quite know anything at all that is more salient about our individual existences than the infinite landscape of ignorance that we trudge every moment of life, and manage only to map a laughably finite portion of it. The more one knows... the more one knows how much massively more one does not know. 

In a crude analogy for the quantitatively oriented, one might say that for every unit of even intelligent existence there is always more, much many more, units of ignorance than units of any other phenomenon. Thus my point about ignorance being the most salient phenomena of individual existence. 

In an ironic sort of way then.. the superiority of one's intellect is the extent, intent and clarity of the awareness of one's own ignorance. 

Anyhow, the point of the post is to share (the web link is at the end of the post) a remarkable set of 164 responses to the question "WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY'S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT?".