Thursday, September 17, 2009

Routing the signal: Nature, Nurture, and the Fed.

A remarkable similarity between the way neurons in the brain work (a nature's invention) and the way devices (a human invention) control transfer of energy, e.g. signal, in electronic devices. In the first case, signal propagation is mediated by releasing chemicals into neural environment. In the second, energy propagation is mediated by releasing electromagnetic radiation into electronic environment.

From Second Nature, by G.M.Edelman (1972 Nobel Prize in Medicine):

Each of these value systems releases a type of neurotransmitter or neuromodulator under particular circumstances. ... On receipt of salient startle signal, say a loud noise, these neurons release a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline into the surrounding space, as if from a leaky garden hose. The result can lower the threshold of synaptic responses of multiple neurons, leading to more firing as well as to changes in the synaptic strength among these neurons. p 31.

US Patent 7,587,107. Claim 1 (obfuscating terms removed):

A method of controlling energy propagation, comprising: guiding energy...; blocking the ... energy ... by electromagnetically saturating ... the guiding structure along the ... path... with electromagnetic radiation.

To control the economy, the Federal Reserve acts in a very similar way. It lowers or raises background interest rates, which either facilitates or inhibits transfer of money between economic agents.

In system terms, the Control affects certain properties of the Route(s) to change delivery of a particular Payload.

:: payload, control, distribution, problem, pattern, transfer, example

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