Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Windows XP of brains

I find interesting our ability to predict people using empathy. It's not so useful with inanimate objects. With animate ones, if you put yourself in their head you can tell what they're going to with a fair degree of success. You stop reacting to their actions and start preventing their intended actions. Like being CovOps in Enemy Territory.

The most remarkable thing about this is that humans operate on a regular rhythm. We're unable to perform actions outside of this rhythm, based on the heartbeat. The most obvious example is how you can't walk out of rhythm when a car goes by with blaring music.

This is also why it's impossible to catch a chipmunk. Their hearts beat maybe 6 times faster than ours. As such they can make 6 decisions, perform 6 actions and move in 6 different directions in the time it takes our 'sophisticated' brain to react to the first.

We are the Windows XP of brains: feature-heavy, more advanced than before, but a bit slow, clunky, with many bits we don't need or use.