7 yrs+21 grams meta-pseudoscience

Recently I had a conversion over a drink about the human-computer interface, and it got stuck in my head. This McCallan induced topic included the reference to Human-Computer Mentat from sci-fi author Frank Herbert’s Dune series.

It all went downhill from here.

The current computing paradigm based on silicon has binary states of 1 and 0 which feel quite primitive against the arcane leap of quantum qubits with fancy states like superposition and entanglement.

If we are convinced that quantum computers will usher in a brave new world then what is the catch? The problem with qubits is that they need a lot of energy to create a usable computing platform. For a starter, they need superconductivity and microwave and other human unfriendly stuff to achieve a usable quantum coherence state.

The largest accessible quantum computer from IBM has 53 qubits, and Google is rumored to have slightly more — perhaps 54 qubits. And they all promise to hit 1,000 qubits in the next couple of decades.

“It’s hard to imagine what we could do with so much computing power and storage.” The famous last words from just a short 20 years ago. We now carry that supercomputer in our pockets and still complain about how slow it is. What would we do with1,000 qubits? I am not smart enough to imagine this.

What about other forms of computing machines? All of us have one that is more complex than anything we’ve invented so far. The human DNA contains 3.2 billion base pairs, each cell contains two of these, and there are about 37 trillion cells. I am not a math genius but that’s a lot of permutations in a single human body!

In Dune, the training and discipline of Mentat to replace the computers with humans are an interesting and fictional paradigm, but that’s not actually a biocomputer. The biocomputer can create a pathway based on a chemical reaction within the bio machinal subsystems with nothing more than what we feed it to keep our body alive.

It is commonly believed that cells in our body have an average life span of 7 years. Well, that is not exactly true since there are types of cells that do not fit into the cycles, like neurons. Although thinking may be changing around that topic as well. There have been plausible research that demonstrated that it is possible to create a new neuron in adult mice. If this hypothesis can be applied to humans at some point, then we could imagine having a new body every new cycle when the cellular genesis completes.

It brings into a topic of human memory, and the soul. So, if the body regenerates every few years, let’s just say 7 years for the sake of argument, what happens to our memory and what happens to our soul. The pseudo and metascience say that the soul weighs 21 grams. I don’t believe this. It’s easy to explain the 21 grams. Humans are electrical power plants — have you not seen the movie Matrix! Joking aside, turning off the electricity also turns off the electromagnetism. Supposedly that accounts for 21 grams.

These are interesting questions, only after I have a couple of drinks. I am going to answer this with another Dune reference (last time I am going to reference Dune). In the world of Rakis, Duncan Idaho has been regenerated, including his memory and personality, from his original preserved cells. Interesting concepts of cellular memory that can store the memory of a whole person. Okay, this is enough for Saturday evening brain-twisting.

It was fun. Now back to reality.




Chief Architect, Global CTO, CIO, Senior. Global Vice President. Founder, COO/President, Investor, and Advisor. Started as a thirsty software engineer.

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John Lee

John Lee

Chief Architect, Global CTO, CIO, Senior. Global Vice President. Founder, COO/President, Investor, and Advisor. Started as a thirsty software engineer.

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