brains ain’t computers

When, like recently, I am talking about the historical significance of cybernetics for contemporary culture and society I more often than not mention that in the process of marking itself off from mechanistic visions (Ashby 1957 [1956]: 1-6), cybernetics quite early emphasized a whole array of concepts: networks, complexity, self-organisation, reproduction, adaptation, cognition, aiming at and maintaining goal-states, purposeful behaviour (or action?), and autonomy. This line-up implicitly leads towards a vision of cybernetic systems as independent actors, maybe even gifted with ‘free will’. Therefore it is not astounding that a hypothetical analogy emerged early on: ‘mind to body’ is like ‘information to machine’. (Joslyn & Heylighen 1999, Heylighen & Joslyn 2001)
    Additionally I mention that computer technology early on was chosen as the perfect metaphor for cybernetic system.
    More or less by chance I today rediscovered Chris Chatham‘s 10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers, which do serve as a fine reality check.

HEYLIGHEN, FRANCIS AND CLIFF JOSLYN. 2001. “Cybernetics and second-order cybernetics,” in Encyclopedia of Physical Science & Technology edited by R. A. Myers, vol. 4, pp. 155-170. New York: Academic Press.
JOSLYN, CLIFF AND FRANCIS HEYLIGHEN. 1999. “Cybernetics,” in Encyclopedia of Computer Science edited by J. Hemmendinger and A. Ralston, pp. 372-375, New York: MacMillan Reference.
10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers via ancient entry at ye ole 2R—tnx into the not so distant past!
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