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Brain Analogy

2016 October 30. Sunday.

Here’s a way to think about thoughts. Maybe not an accurate way to think about your brain but maybe a useful way.

A computer has different components, each with a specific purpose. The components communicate using streams of bits running through wires. Some of the information that is processed is displayed on the screen and you the human user get to see it.

Much of your computer’s behaviour doesn’t make sense if you only consider the monitor. Sometimes stuff freezes or crashes for seemingly no reason, but if you look under the desk then you can tell that the side is really hot or a cable is loose.

Now imagine if your brain also had different isolated components, each with a specific purpose. They communicate using streams of chemicals and electricity. Sometimes the information gets to reach your conciousness (the monitor) and is therefore acknowledged and written in the logs. But most information is processed, most decisions are made, entirely under the hood. You can’t explain all of your behaviour (e.g. why you ate that extra donut) by just thinking about the monitor.

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