Team formation[ edit ] There is a common ritual for choosing teams, which has each player "throwing" their hockey stick into a pile at centre ice, or the middle area between two nets. Once people follow suit and enough sticks are in the pile, someone divides the pile into two smaller piles, perhaps strategically assigning sticks to one side or another. Players then pick up their own sticks, the teams having been formed.
DENNETT Now that I've won my suit under the Freedom of Information Act, I am at liberty to reveal for the first time a curious episode in my life that may be of interest not only to those engaged in research in the philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience but also to the general public.
Several years ago I amputee essay help approached by Pentagon officials who asked me to volunteer for a highly dangerous and secret mission. The problem was that in an early test they had succeeded in lodging a warhead about a mile deep under Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they wanted me to retrieve it for them.
Well, the mission involved some pioneering applications of current brain research, and they had heard of my interest in brains and of course my Faustian curiosity and great courage and so forth.
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Well, how could I refuse? The difficulty that brought the Pentagon to my door was that the device I'd been asked to recover was fiercely radioactive, in a new way. According to monitoring instruments, something about the nature of the device and its complex amputee essay help with pockets of material deep in the earth had produced radiation that could cause severe abnormalities in certain tissues of the brain.
No way had been found to shield the brain from these deadly rays, which were apparently harmless to other tissues and organs of the body.
So it had been decided that the person sent to recover the device should leave his brain behind. It would be kept in a safe place as there it could execute its normal control functions by elaborate radio links.
Would I submit to a surgical procedure that would completely remove my brain, which would then be placed in a life-support system at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston?
No information would be lost, all the connectivity would be preserved. At first I was a bit reluctant. Would it really work? The Houston brain surgeons encouraged me.
If your brain were just moved over an inch in your skull, that would not alter or impair your mind. We're simply going to make the nerves indefinitely elastic by splicing radio links into them.
I met the large and brilliant support team of neurologists, hematologists, biophysicists, and electrical engineers, and after several days of discussions and demonstrations I agreed to give it a try.
I was subjected to an enormous array of blood tests, brain scans, experiments, interviews, and the like. They took down my autobiography at great length, recorded tedious lists of my beliefs, hopes, fears, and tastes. They even listed my favorite stereo recordings and gave me a crash session of psychoanalysis.
The day for surgery arrived at last and of course I was anesthetized and remember nothing of the operation itself.
When I came out of anesthesia, I opened my eyes, looked around, and asked the inevitable, the traditional, the lamentably hackneyed postoperative question: She handed me a mirror. Sure enough, there were the tiny antennae poling up through their titanium ports cemented into my skull.
A cheer went up from the assembled support team, and I responded with what I hoped was a jaunty salute. Still feeling lightheaded, I was helped over to the life-support vat. I peered through the glass. There, floating in what looked like ginger ale, was undeniably a human brain, though it was almost covered with printed circuit chips, plastic tubules, electrodes, and other paraphernalia.
I moved the switch to OFF, and immediately slumped, groggy and nauseated, into the arms of the technicians, one of whom kindly restored the switch to its ON position. While I recovered my equilibrium and composure, I thought to myself: I tried to project it into the tank, offering it hopefully to my brain, but I failed to carry off the exercise with any conviction.
Most puzzling and confusing. Being a philosopher of firm physicalist conviction, I believed unswervingly that the tokening of my thoughts was occurring somewhere in my brain: I tried and tried to think myself into the vat, but to no avail.
I tried to build up to the task by doing mental exercises.
I tried closing my eyes while thinking it. This seemed to help, but still I couldn't manage to pull it off, except perhaps for a fleeting instant. I couldn't be sure. The discovery that I couldn't be sure was also unsettling.
Nagged by confusion, I attempted to orient myself by falling back on a favorite philosopher's ploy.Where Am I? by DANIEL C. DENNETT. Now that I've won my suit under the Freedom of Information Act, I am at liberty to reveal for the first time a curious episode in my life that may be of interest not only to those engaged in research in the philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience but also to the general public.
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