01 Jun 2008
Day of the Squishy Things

Human Brain I’m always inordinately delighted by interesting phrases (Ooh, shiny!). So much so that I’ll make a post just so I can reference the phrases. That isn’t to say that the posts I link to aren’t interesting in themselves — I didn’t find them while actually looking for quotes, after all. I’m just sayin’. I’ll try to ignore the eye-rolling.

In the post A Premature Word on AI (at Overcoming Bias), Eliezer Yudkowsky referred to an earlier post of his, The Power of Intelligence (at The Singularity Institute), which starts out with:

In our skulls we carry around 3 pounds of slimy, wet, greyish tissue, corrugated like crumpled toilet paper. You wouldn’t think, to look at the unappetizing lump, that it was some of the most powerful stuff in the known universe. If you’d never seen an anatomy textbook, and you saw a brain lying in the street, you’d say “Yuck!” and try not to get any of it on your shoes. Aristotle thought the brain was an organ that cooled the blood. It doesn’t look dangerous.

After a quick summary of early life’s competition and resulting hard-shelled armor, he says: Then came the Day of the Squishy Things. — how can you resist that phrase?

image: WriterHound, Brain 090407.jpg, Wikimedia Commons

Category: humor, Sci-Tech
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