Difference between revisions of "1588: Hardware Reductionism"

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==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
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{{incomplete|Very quick and brief first attempt, may not have the right point, and probably needs links as well as expansion.}}
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There is a fad to describe people as "Left Brain" and "Right Brain" types, or as variously capable of using their "logical" and "creative" halves of the brain, to one degree or another.
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In reality, the brain is a complex system in which subsystems 'identified' as relating to activities such as maintaining mental maps interelated in many more ways than merely farming out tasks purely to one small region, even if medical imaging techniques indicate that a particular area 'lights up' when a face is being recognised, etc.  And, some varieties of brain damage, from injuries from trauma or strokes, can often be overcome by 'learning' to use undamaged areas.
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The number of CPU 'cores' in an electronic device indicates how much parallelism of a calculation can be undertaken (for suitably-written/compiled code, such as image processing) but in reality only affects the speed of processing and not how well a photo can be 'taken' of a scene of multiple objects.  (Even if there is a face-detection routine, the cores only increase the speed of identifying all regions that match an eigenface, not the total number of regions that can be found.)
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A dedicated GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) with hardwiring/firmware designed especially for image processing (and other matrix-heavy tasks) ''could'' make for more processing power for suitable tasks, alongside a single CPU core, compared with dual core CPU alone.  But it would not itself affect the number of interesting and 'likeable' points of interest in any picture taken.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==

Revision as of 13:04, 9 October 2015

Hardware Reductionism
My MRI research shows a clear correlation between the size of the parietal lobe--the part of the brain that handles spatial reasoning--and enjoyment of 3D Doritos®.
Title text: My MRI research shows a clear correlation between the size of the parietal lobe--the part of the brain that handles spatial reasoning--and enjoyment of 3D Doritos®.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Very quick and brief first attempt, may not have the right point, and probably needs links as well as expansion.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

There is a fad to describe people as "Left Brain" and "Right Brain" types, or as variously capable of using their "logical" and "creative" halves of the brain, to one degree or another.

In reality, the brain is a complex system in which subsystems 'identified' as relating to activities such as maintaining mental maps interelated in many more ways than merely farming out tasks purely to one small region, even if medical imaging techniques indicate that a particular area 'lights up' when a face is being recognised, etc. And, some varieties of brain damage, from injuries from trauma or strokes, can often be overcome by 'learning' to use undamaged areas.

The number of CPU 'cores' in an electronic device indicates how much parallelism of a calculation can be undertaken (for suitably-written/compiled code, such as image processing) but in reality only affects the speed of processing and not how well a photo can be 'taken' of a scene of multiple objects. (Even if there is a face-detection routine, the cores only increase the speed of identifying all regions that match an eigenface, not the total number of regions that can be found.)

A dedicated GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) with hardwiring/firmware designed especially for image processing (and other matrix-heavy tasks) could make for more processing power for suitable tasks, alongside a single CPU core, compared with dual core CPU alone. But it would not itself affect the number of interesting and 'likeable' points of interest in any picture taken.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

Figure A: Your photos from the triathlon got so many more likes than mine.

Figure B: Yeah - My phone is quad-core. Research shows that iPhones like yours have just two cores, so they have a hard time capturing scenes with three different events in them.

Caption: If we talked about phone hardware the way we talk about brain hardware

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Is "TRIATHOLON" just a typo, or does it have a special comic value? 141.101.106.77 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

At this moment of creation it exists in a limbo in which it is both a typo and a joke, but now that it is has been released for viewers to take measures, the function will soon collapse into just one of the possible states. 162.158.34.197 13:03, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
It's clearly a spelling mistake (not a typo). See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Triathalon, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/athelete. 173.245.50.149 13:19, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm going with the theory it's a joke around the philosophical Holon. Elvenivle (talk) 17:53, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think this is just parodying left-brain right-brain myths. Rather, it's parodying neural reductionism of all kinds—the currently widespread myth that our selves are determined genetically by brain structure alone, minimizing the role of culture and the way experience rewires the brain. In particular, the part about "phones like yours" makes me think of "women are from venus"–style myths (where, say, a slight correlation is found between gender and size of spacial processing module, etc, and pop-sci media reports it as WOMEN ARE INHERENTLY BAD AT SPATIAL REASONING). Leoboiko (talk) 13:25, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Seems plausible. Care to add? 108.162.216.104 13:39, 9 October 2015 (UTC

This is a real good, thorough and solid explanation. I'm impressed, well done! Flekkie (talk) 01:35, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Or it could be a riff on the current "Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow" model, which considers the brain as having two distinct (Type 1 and Type 2) types of thinking, often described as two separate actors in the brain, in spite of the fact that they probably overlap a lot in the sections of the brain used. Blackbearnh (talk) 14:16, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

How about the typo of "coment" in the comment about the typo in the comic... 173.245.54.91 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"Coment" may be a typo (error when typing) or a misspelling (when you don't know the correct spelling). "Triatholon" can only be a misspelling, because the comic is not typed. 173.245.50.149 18:12, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
“ "Triatholon" can only be a misspelling, because the comic is not typed.”
You can make a mistake when handwriting. It's not a typo, but neither is it a misspelling.
173.245.49.78 21:55, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm 100% sure Randall doesn't know the spelling of "triathlon". You simply don't add an extra letter when writing by hand "by mistake". BTW, it is corrected right now. 173.245.50.149 20:52, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Might the two cores' difficulty handling three events be meant as a parallel to the functional brain study result showing humans multitask only two things, with one frontal lobe handling each task (and the introduction of a third task results in timesharing rather than parallel processing of all three)? 173.245.50.139 22:15, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

It could, but the three events in a triathlon don't involve multitasking - the events run in serial, not in parallel. I'm thinking about noting this in the text somewhere, but haven't though what to say about it yet - it seems peripheral. 108.162.250.161 00:25, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
In that case, you should put it in an extremely offset side-bar. Like, you know, in everyone's peripheral vision.... (...I'll get my coat.) 141.101.98.188 08:43, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually believed the phone explanation. It sounds more plausible that several marketing claims. -- Hkmaly (talk) 18:29, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

How about the idea that people overgeneralize the function of objects (cores, regions of the brain) based on their names. If a dual-core phone can only process 2 things at a time then it can't process a triathlon as well as a quad-core phone. If a brain region is dedicated to 3D objects then there must be some connection to enjoying (processing) 3D doritos.173.245.54.14 13:10, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

Shouldn't the image here be changed to reflect the current version on the website, with the corrected spelling? 108.162.246.203 10:25, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

I just realized that the "three events" thing is a pun based off the three events (biking, swimming, running) of a triathlon. Amazing stuff! 162.158.255.142 23:54, 10 December 2017 (UTC)