By Marvin Minsky

Marvin Minsky -- one of many fathers of machine technology and cofounder of the synthetic Intelligence Laboratory at MIT -- provides a progressive solution to the age-old query: "How does the brain work?"
Minsky brilliantly portrays the brain as a "society" of tiny elements which are themselves senseless. Mirroring his thought, Minsky boldly casts The Society of Mind as an highbrow puzzle whose items are assembled alongside the best way. every one bankruptcy -- on a self-contained web page -- corresponds to a bit within the puzzle. because the pages flip, a unified idea of the brain emerges, like a mosaic. inventive, fun, and simple to learn, The Society of Mind is an experience in mind's eye.

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Sample text

It is becauseour minds did not evolveto serveas instruments for scienceo, pirilorophy,but to solvepracticalproblemsof nutrition, defense,procreation, and the like. We tend [o ihink of knowledgeasgoodin itself,but knowledgeis usefulonly when we can exploitit to help us reachour goals. |ust look : Each casualglanceemploysa billion brain cellsto represr y rize its differencesfrom recordsof other experiences. It only seemssimple happening. You use little bits of theoriesabouthow you think, then testthem u that thought-experiments don't often leadto the sortsof cler Ask yourselfwhat happenswhen you try to imaginea rou h"ppy and sadat the sametime.

To understandwhat we call the Sell we first must seewhat Selvesare for. Each personmust makesomelong-rangeplans againstattemptsto do everythingat once. If we changedour minds too recklessly,we could neverknow what we might want next. We'd neverget much donebecausewe could neverdependon ourselves. Those ordinaryviewsare wrong that hold that Selvesare magic,self-indulgentluxuriesthat enable our minds to break the bonds of natural causeand law. Instead, those Selvesare practicalnecessities. The mythsthat saythat Selvesembodyspecialkindsof liberty are merely Part of their function is to hide from us the natureof our self-ideals-thechains masquerades.

And I askbackwhethersoulscan learn. " And that's exactlywhat we get with inborn souls that irade all change fJr changelessness. the iame asdeath,an endingin a permanenceincapableof any change cannot gro*, "'d"rtiny and, hence,devoidof intellect. Why try to frame the value of a Self in such a singularlyfrozen form? The art of a great tricksfor placingall thosepigment paintingii not in any one idea,nor in a multitudeof separate parts. What counts scattered aimless, as asvalueless makeour mindsire by themselves is what we makeof them.

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