Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Odds and Ends, Bits and Bobs

All kinds of things have been trickling through, and I've had no time, no time.

Firstly, let me announce to you that another member of the Blackheart Gang has been interviewed, and you can read said excellent interview, as well as see new/old footage, over at Siouxwire. Many thanks, Siouxfire, for the heads-up.

Another thing: I have discovered there is indeed a pre-existing theory that minds do work holographically, not only in the way they use interference patterns to store memories and images, but in the way that the brain can continue to function almost fully when only a portion of itself is intact. Karl H. Pribram came up with the theory in 1969 when holography was recently (re)discovered; holographics seemed to address many of the issues he was working with at the time. His book, Languages of the brain: Experimental paradoxes and principles in neuropsychology (Prentice-Hall, 1971), was a big deal. A lot of his ideas continue to have influence to this day, though my friend and former roommate informs me that brain theory has moved on to a more evolution-based structure (pathways and emergent behavior) nowadays. It seems, though, that in the artificial intelligence arena there are still people looking at the holographic model as a possible framework for intelligence building.

For an excellent discussion of Pribram's ideas, check out this description of Pribram's Holonomic Theory of Memory. Or, if you want a sample (with bibliography) of Pribram's more recent thinking, try this article: An Instantiation of Eccles Brain/Mind Dualism and Beyond, which is a curious blend of neuroscience jargon and raconteur-ish anecdote, and might be hard to wade through. Interesting, though.

I also wanted to show you a picture or two of the Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen, on display in Budapest (and brought out once a year to great fanfare, according to D). D describes the relic as wonderful:

Curiously, I had also come across another picture of a hand-relic (St. Basil's), but I decided to save that for another post about incorruptibles, which will be coming soon. Keep reminding me.

By the way, if you want to buy your own relic, here is a place I found where you can buy such things as these, among a very few other things:

Unfortunately the site seems to be perpetually in transition, and I'm not sure if you could contact the person even if you wanted to. Still, you can drool...And, of course, here is a somewhat interesting article from the Washington Post about people who are trying to stop the sale of these kinds of things on the Internet.

Lastly, a little taste of the promised Martyrs of Nature reliquaries (the others must be taken from storage to be photographed, and may take a little while):

Mouse relics

In any case, with the holidays I'm sliding backward. More soon - I promise.

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