Of course I can’t oversee all consequences of a better
understanding of the functioning of the human (animal) brain.
But some benefits can be foreseen.
Judged by the almost endless stream of books, journals and congresses on management I have monitored the last 40 years, no satisfactory answer has been found to the questions:
- “Can I lead people?” - put by individuals, and
- “Will that person be able to lead people?” - put by organisations.
One does not need to have an education in diagnosing and curing mental diseases to know that somebody’s feeling of having no objective in life can be an important aspect of the mental health of that person.
Somebody’s observations on that what occurs in his own head can be “objective” or “subjective”.
sticking to the facts; not influenced by own feelings or prejudices;
belonging to one individual subject; relating to, departing from,
belonging to the contemplating “I” only.
Relentless striving for objectivity, while:
- building a theory
- scrutinizing that theory, and
- testing that what that theory predicts via measurements......
was the key to the spectacular achievements of physicists during the last centuries.
In an almost pathological urge to reap similar achievements, neuroscientists:
- banned the idea that somebody’s observations on that what occurs in his own head can be objective, and
- adopted the idea that objective information on that what happens in the head of a person can only be achieved via measurements..... with “machines”.
Somebody’s observations on that what happens in his own head can be objective however.
Seeing these facts, it is most likely that:
- very many observations on the functioning of the human brain have been made over the course of the last decades, and
- that the results of these observations have not reached (or been acknowledged by) the community of neuroscientists.
This might explain why no theory seems to exist about what happens in the brain of a human being.
Garry Kasparov writes in his book “Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins” (p. 75):
The basic suppositions behind Alan Turing’s dreams of artificial intelligence were that the human brain is itself a kind of computer and that the goal was to create a machine that successfully imitates human behaviour.
This concept has been dominant for generations of computer scientists. It’s a tempting analogy – neurons as switches, cortexes as memory banks, etc. But there is a shortage of biological evidence for this parallel beyond the metaphorical and it is a distraction from what makes human thinking different from machine thinking.
The terms which I (Garry Kasparov) prefer to highlight these differences, are: “understanding” and “purpose”.
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson:
Computers and robots can - despite their intelligence - understand little of the human condition, of the unique human perception of the world.
My (Hans Damen) description of
- the Phenomenon Objective and
- of the role the Phenomenon Objective plays in the functioning of the human (animal) brain
describes the essence of the mental part of the human condition.
An answer to the question “What is understanding ?” might be derived from my answer to the question “What is language?”