The Blue Brain Project

Jun 4, 2008
This is an image taken from a typical PET acquisition. It is a tomographic view of a brain examination in transaxial view. Red areas show more accumulated radioactivity and blue areas are partions where low to no activity was accumulated. It should illustrate how a typical PET image looks like. It was taken with an ECAT Exact HR+ PET Scanner.

Image via Wikipedia

Came across something interesting a while back, that I thought I should share. Apparently, scientists are in the process of building a brain – or a supercomputer ‘model’ of a brain. The project is called the Blue Brain project, and the intention is to create a biologically accurate model of a brain.

And it seems like they might just succeed. They’ve already accurately simulated one column of a rat’s brain. Yes, it’s only a small part, but that small part is a really huge step. It shows that the project is indeed feasible.

I really admire the group of scientists that are doing this. The painstaking effort required, and the determination to push through despite all the skepticism – and in a project like this, there’s bound to be a lot. But yet, they continued on, they gave it a shot, and even though they’ve only done a small portion, they’ve opened our eyes to the possibilities. There’s a lot to be learned from them.

But what really intrigues me about this project is the questions it raises. Are we really as mysterious as we think? Personally, questions abound about issues such as religion and culture. Will these simulated brains ultimately develop various religions like we have? Will they form various cultures with different beliefs?

There’s a lot that’s really interesting about this project. And I personally will be really interested to see what comes of it. If it succeeds, it could very well show what defines us – what the human consciousness truly is.

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My Best Squidoo Lens So Far

May 31, 2008

I’ve recently started creating lenses on Squidoo. And this lens on Brilliant, Bald Marketers has had the most traffic and generated the best response out of all my lenses so far.

The success of the lens got me thinking. What sets that lens apart from the rest? I think that one lens has generated the best response because of a couple of things.

Firstly, it makes use of all forms of media. It’s (in my opinion), the most engaging of them all – making use of videos, pictures, RSS feeds, Twitter, etc. We all know people don’t like reading just chunks of text.

Secondly, and more importantly, is that it’s human. It’s a serious topic (marketers you should be following), but it takes a lighthearted view of it (bald marketers). In doing so, it makes it more entertaining and fun, in a way.

This is purely what I think, of course. So I might be wrong. And despite it being the best of my lenses, it’s still quite fresh, and in terms of absolute statistics, it’s not that highly ranked.

But I do think that these are two important points that we can learn from. And these two points can be applied to any website or blog or anything you’re developing, of course. Make use of as many forms of media as possible to form an engaging experience, and make it human and fun.

What do you think? What do you think is the strong point of that lens? And how can we learn from that apply it to whatever else we are developing?