Month: January 2017

Current Immigration Crisis and Islamic Civil War

Sunni and Shia in a tug-of-war

No one (except terrorists) believe we should allow immigration of likely terrorists into our country. The question arises in the interpretation of likely. Our mass media (NY Times, Fox, Washington Post, Huffington Post, etc) should present a running total showing  terrorist violence to date. It shows that terrorism results primarily from the Islamic Civil War.…

Some Brain Connections are Not Complete until Your 20s

nerve cell showing myein sheath in repeating units on a long axon

Myelination Do you know that some brain connections are not complete until your 20s? The process is called myelination. It is the coating of neurons with a chemical insulator which makes a signal travel along it up to 100 times faster. There is signal regeneration at the nodes of Ranvier. The effect is similar to…

Learning by Ignoring Details

Input enters black box. output exits

Lately I have been trying to see if I can program the Propeller microcontroller chip to act like a neuron. Using the Hydra kit—propeller chip, SPIN programming language, and peripheral drivers precoded for a game machine—I’m overwhelmed by the eight hundred page guide, the intricate links between the components, and the electrical know-how presumed but…

Pattern-Matching and Invariance

Seawall with waves crashing against it

In neuroscience, the process I call pattern-matching is often called invariance. Yohan John in Quora raises the question and suggests the form of the answer: How does your brain discover similarity in the midst of so much dissimilarity? The answer is that the brain somehow creates invariant representations of objects and patterns. What is invariance?…

Troublesome Inheritance Thoughts

Four children of different skin color

            Troublesome Inheritance is a polemic by Nicholas Wade to develop his position—racial differences are real and account for the differential success of individuals and societies. He claims that there is a 14% genetic difference across the races. The differences are not uniquely different DNA strings (we’ve all heard that humans and chimps only differ…

Champions

Suited man holding a silver cup

The opening notes of the old Queen hit “We Are the Champions” rang out of Amy’s desk. Pushing the project funding graph forward, Amy opened the desk’s bottom drawer to get her cell phone. Her favorite photo of Ryan lit the screen. “Hi, Honey,” she said. “Make it quick, please. It’s only a few minutes…