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Smullyan & brain fingerprinting on "CBS 60 Minutes"

Tomoyuki Tanaka tanaka at web1.calweb.com
Mon Dec 11 05:07:40 EST 2000

 Dear Prof Smullyan,
 I hope this letter finds you in good health.

 I just realized that today using "brain fingerprinting" the
 following exchange (like the one in your "An Epistemological
 Nightmare") is entirely possible where its validity would be
 supported by many respected scientists.

	It is the Year 2000.  Frank is in a laboratory in
	the home of an experimental epistemologist.
	The doctor holds up a photograph of a woman and asks,
	"Do you recognize this person?"

	Frank:  Yes, I do.

	Epistemologist:  Wrong!

	Frank:  What!!?  I'm just saying that she _seems_
		familiar to me.

	Epistemologist:  Again you are wrong.

 i had a few reactions:

 1. advances such as these will chip away at mind-body dualism
 	slowly but surely.
 2. the PBS show (mentioned below) had two similar segments:
	Eldelman uses a huge brain-reading machine, and
	the segment on dectecting false memory.

 3. i thought "brain fingerprinting" is a misnomer, because
 	it works like a lie-detector (polygraph).

	a true "brain fingerprinting" would work by matching
	remnants of brain activity left at the crime scene
	with the suspect's unique brain activity patterns.

	fin-ger-print \-,print\ n (1859)
	1: the impression of a fingertip on any surface; esp:
		an ink impression of the lines upon the
		fingertip taken for purpose of identification
	2: chromatographic, electrophoretic, or spectrographic
		evidence of the presence or identity of a
		substance; esp :the chromatogram or
		electrophoretogram obtained by cleaving a
		protein by enzymatic action and subjecting
		the resulting collection of peptides to
		two-dimensional chromatography or electrophoresis

><Jeffrey Peter>; "M.D." <drkid at my-deja.com> wrote in message
>>   jtnews <jtnews at bellatlantic.net> wrote:
>> > Anyone watch 60 Minutes tonight on Brain Fingerprinting?
>> >
>> > What do you think of the technology?  Is it real science
>> > or quackery?
>> > Should such evidence be used in court?
>> > How can it be abused?
>> > Can you ever get a false positive? False negative? How?
>> I have not seen the 60 minutes episode. However, I have read a little
>> about it. If I am not mistaken, all the technology shows is that the
>> person has a certain memory encoded in his brain.  [...]

 Edelman on consciousness

 i learned about Edelman's work recently from a PBS show hosted
 by Alan Alda.  it seems that a good book came out in March.

URL:   http://www.krasnow.gmu.edu/ascoli/universe.html

   Abstract: This essay is a commentary on Edelman and Tononi's
   A Universe of Consciousness How Matter Becomes Imagination,
   a scientific book on the mind-body relationship. [...]
   In A Universe of Consciousness (Basic Books, NY, 2000),
   Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi face the mind-body problem
   straight up, guiding the readers hand-by-hand through a
   fascinating and exciting journey of 222 intense pages.

;;; TANAKA Tomoyuki
;;; http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/tanaka/GEB/   "GEB" FAQ

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