Jonathan Lettvin

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Jonathan D. Lettvin

Home page for a 愚公移山

Tracts of neurons and neuropils are my roller coaster. I thrill to every twist and turn.

historical music I like youtubes I like

github repos
Writing Samples
Quora Writings




old material

2016 material
2017 material
2018 material

Bach @34:00 Dbl Violin
Bach Chaconne
Prokofiev Toccata
Rachmaninov Piano C. #2
Beethoven Violin C.
Liszt Mephisto Waltz
Bach Toccata&Fugue
Fauré Elegy master class
Saint Saëns organ
Smetana Moldau
Rachmaninov Rhapsody... Paganini
Liszt Campanella
Stravinsky Petrouchka
Telemann, Werke für Cembalo solo
Scarlatti Harpsichord Sonatas K1 - K19
Ligeti Étude for Piano No. 13

leaping octopod
military curling
on humanity
how to think

Are artificial brains possible?

A robot can have a synthetic brain made of different material than an animal brain. The complexity of that synthetic brain is unbounded. There is nothing to impede that except the lack of knowledge about what makes a brain a brain.

This has been my specific arena of amateur science since 2002, and I have made some progress. Quite a bit can be speculated from available literature. I have my MIT physics degree, electronics training, software skills, experience visualizing scientific data, and substantial experience with studying neurons and reflex systems, so I have a decent set of tools with which to continue.

Having had an epiphany from October/2/2018 lasting until April/20/2019 after which I have been designing a synthetic reflex system to be used in a simple robot. My goal is to endow the robot with reflexes having operations indistinguishable from living systems; no matter how deeply you drill down until you reach the material from which it is comprised. Then, of course, "the brain is the crowning achievement of the reflex system." (Sir Charles Sherrington, Nobel Medicine 1932).

I respect the cleverness of AI, neural nets, neuromorphic engineering, HTM, quantum computing, and all that; but all I see when I review the anatomy, histology, physiology, and in-vivo experiments is a mathematics of reflex and nothing more.

If nothing else, I am having immense fun.

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