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Dumb Bodies

If we only use 10% of our brain
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All this talk of command line interfaces has got me thinking. As I recall with Unix, the computer you are using need not actually be the one doing any processing. The term, I think, was "Dumb Terminal".

So I was thinking, If 90% of my brain is unused, does that mean I could have 9 other bodies on the go?

I think you could have a body shop where you could buy various different bodies to run remotely. I think I would take the following set up:

My original body A five a side football team (people would marvel at our empathy) A small child (so I could watch cartoons, read comics etc without being a social outcast) A woman's beach volleyball team A spare slot so I could fix myself up with the latest rental.

imagooAJ, Oct 19 2000

one brain or two http://faculty.wash.../chudler/split.html
one [prometheus, Oct 19 2000, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       problem is you could have body fashions, and it could get really confusing when everyone went around looking the same...
imagooAJ, Oct 19 2000

       I remember reading (but can't remember where- I bet the Halfbakery sees a lot of annotations like this) that we only use x% of our brains _at any given time_. Medical science has a dim idea what most of the brain is for, but not every address register undergoes frequent access.   

       (F'r'instance, sensory input and analysis is processing-intensive, but think how often in your life you're not looking at a unicorn, eating an apple, or getting an itch in the small of your back. Each activity requires some totally unique data that doesn't get much use otherwise.)
Uncle Nutsy, Oct 19 2000

       Evolution seems to quickly weed out species that try things as inefficient as growing 90% un-used brain capacity. Of course, the human appendix is still hanging around with nothing to do, but given the pattern of nature, I think it's much more reasonable to assume that "if it's there, and has been there for many generations, it's functional."   

       I also think jutta's #6 and #7 would be good basic education.   

       Hey, PeterSealy, if you're only using 1% of your brain, can I use the other 9%?
beauxeault, Oct 19 2000

       No point in evolution cramming one's head full of grey jello if it doesn't do anything.   

       Read one proposal that said what one sees of a human is actually a seperate animal, that the brain is a parasite that is totally integrated. Obviously goofy, but amusing...
StarChaser, Oct 19 2000

       Oh, and another idea why restrict ourselves to human bodies, I think being a cat would be nice....
imagooAJ, Oct 20 2000

       Yes, it is.   

       StarChaser Tyger. <grin>
StarChaser, Oct 21 2000

       If you measure "usage" of paper by the amount of it obscured by black ink, most books only "use" a small portion of the paper on which they're printed. On the other hand, I'd rather have a book in which less than 10% of the paper is black, but the black parts form letters that in term form meaningful content, than a book in which all the pages were solid black.
supercat, Oct 22 2000

       Saw an idea like this in "A Seccond Chance at Eden" by Peter F Hamilton. Someone uses a psycic link to controll their body through an artificial processor brain.
Gimp, Feb 02 2001

       The "we only use x% of our brain" ignores the facts that we probably use 100% of it but only a small percentage at any given time, and also that the brain is not some kind of homogenous general-purpose neural net but actually consists of highly specialised components which cannot be used for motor control, for example, if specialised in language processing.
hippo, Feb 02 2001

       Imagine what the "black hat" hackers could do with this. Bust a password protocol here, overrun a buffer there and suddenly you're in control of someone else's body. And if it was a body that had been set the task of hoovering the house, or something equally tedious then you'd have a good chance that the usual inhabitant(?) wouldn't check back on it for a couple of hours - plenty of time to perform some sort of ungrammatical hacker style stunts, or worse.   

       "Look, body #5, isn't that body #2 over there?" "Yes, body #9. I believe it is. But what is it doing coming out of the bank wearing an eyemask and carrying a large bag marked 'swag'? I thought we'd asked it to mow the lawn!" "Well, it must just be taking a break - the mower's parked just there, right outside the bank, and the engine's still running."   

       Still, good market for Cisco / Bay / etc to expand into - Psychic firewalls.
mark_t, Feb 02 2001

       There are too many bodies already. And as for only using 10% of our brains, that doesn't apply to me. I'm going flat out all the time just to make it through the day.
mrthingy, Mar 01 2001

       reminds me of the time calvin (Calvin & Hobbes) cloned himself. then the clone cloned itself 5 times. very funny. but, it i had other bodies, i'd get pissed when my other self scores with the girl i was after. so then, if i killed one of my alternate bodies, would it be considered a murder or a suicide? very interesting though.....
mr shrum, Mar 23 2001

       I'm not only using 100% of my brain, I'm using 17% of my appendix.
melanerpes, Apr 15 2001

       Why bother changing bodies when you can change your mind with a "mind changing" substance right now.   

       Want to feel like being a cat? Soon you'll be able to pop a cat pill.   

       Or "be" whatever you want to be, for a planned time, with no bad personal after effects, as research races ahead.   

       The designer-drug revolution is well under way and there'll be no stopping it, societal after-effects and all - good, bad and indifferent.
rayfo, May 06 2001

       We know we only use 10% of our brains, but as someone famous, who's name escapes me, has pointed out, 90% of everything is useless anyway, so why bother trying to improve?
Hans, Aug 28 2001

       The "someone" is SF author Theodore Sturgeon.
bookworm, Aug 28 2001

       I read somewhere that Einstein used 13% of his brain. Dunno if it's true, of course...   

       About the idea of controlling the other bodies-- how would you know which body was the main one? Also, the concept of one mind controlling other bodies sounds like the Hive Queen from the Ender's Game series (great books, read them).
Galileo, Oct 11 2001

       The thing where you use ~100% of your brain is known as an epileptic seizure. The 10% number comes from rough estimates of what percentage of your neurons are firing at any given moment, but as supercat said, its the silence between the notes. If you want to increase your neural firing rate, crank up some 120db white noise, and set yourself on fire while staring at the sun. Or maybe crack your skull & hook up jumper cables or something. What /you/ want to do is sever your corpus callosum. People w/ cc. damage have independent right & left brain activity - actually like two people operating with half a brain - the right brain makes the left hand set down a book that your left brain is reading (through the right halves of both eyes) b/c the right brain doesn't know how to read & is bored looking at the blob, etc.
prometheus, Oct 12 2001

       is that true - the right side of the brain cannot read? can the left side draw?
po, Oct 12 2001

       Wernicke's and Broca's areas light up in language tasks, and they're only in the left hemisphere in almost everyone. The motor & premotor cortex are on both sides, so both can draw (with the opposite hand).   

       from link: "So, say a "typical" (language in the LEFT hemisphere) split-brain patient is sitting down, looking straight ahead and is focusing on a dot in the middle of a screen. Then a picture of a spoon is flashed to the right of the dot. The visual information about the spoon crosses in the optic chiasm and ends up in the LEFT HEMISPHERE. When the person is asked what the picture was, the person has no problem identifying the spoon and says "Spoon." However, if the spoon had been flashed to the left of the dot (see the picture), then the visual information would have traveled to the RIGHT HEMISPHERE. Now if the person is asked what the picture was, the person will say that nothing was seen!! But, when this same person is asked to pick out an object using only the LEFT hand, this person will correctly pick out the spoon. This is because touch information from the left hand crosses over to the right hemisphere - the side that "saw" the spoon. However, if the person is again asked what the object is, even when it is in the person's hand, the person will NOT be able to say what it is because the right hemisphere cannot "talk." So, the right hemisphere is not stupid, it just has little ability for language - it is "non-verbal.""   

       If you've ever taken a psych course & been entertained by some of the cracked out experiements people do, neuroscience has it beat by a long shot.
prometheus, Oct 12 2001

       remove 90%, custom line the cavity, Now whatever you used to put into your pockets or your bag, you keep it > up here < .
peter2, Nov 11 2001

       An article I read about a year ago made the point that the chemical bath in which the brain floats is in fact one of the mediums used to pass along information. The point was that the neurons don't just transmit electrical impulses but chemical ones too. The idea that we only use 10% of the brain is, I suspect, based on the -electrical- impulses, ignoring the strictly chemical ones.
CrumbsDM, Oct 03 2002

       why not just cut up peoples brains and see when they die, then we can see what parts we use and what parts we dont.
Gulherme, Oct 03 2002

       You cant tell what has been used by looking at a cut-up brain. Possibly PET scans could look at metabolic activity and correlate that to thinking. The problem with that 90% is a lot of it is for things we no longer need - for example there is a big area in the base of the brain devoted to tongue control - important if you are a frog, less so if you are a human. The key would be not to use those area to control bodies, but to put them to use doing things they might be good at. I envision a sort of SETI project, similar to the deal where they make us of underused computer power to accomplish various tasks.
bungston, Nov 25 2002

       This reminds me of "Kiln People" - only that the brain is all in you, not in the individual 'persudo bodies'.
my-nep, Oct 18 2003


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