Thursday, May 31, 2007

Computer Brain

I'm reading a curious little book called "the Computed and the Brain", written by John van Neumann (the godfather of he modern computer ?). It was written right before his death in 1957. Half a century ago the modern computer was just moving from vacuum tube to transistors, but it's funny to read that the basic principles didn't change much and that he anticipated many of the developments that came later.

As a mathematician he has a kind of peculiar way of looking at the brain. He states that the location of memory "organs" has not been pinpointed. He does not take a Cartesion view (like "I remember, therefore I was") but deduces the existence of memory in the brain from the fact that no modern calcuating machine can function without it. Very amusing how he almost seems to take the computer as a measure for the brain in stead of the other way around.

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