Jenna- it looks to me as if we probably agree on most issues, it is just a matter of the language we use to describe them. It is amazing how often language is taken for granted. I can not tell you how many times I have had arguments come out of discussions because of the subtle differences in the meaning of a single key word.
As for the ADD I am an Adderall XR man myself. I am not happy having to take a drug in order to focus, but I would never trade for a non-ADD brain. I think it has made me the unique thinker I am. Although I wish I would have known about it when I was in high school. I would have already had my PhD. and doing some meaningful research instead of just working towards my BS.
“Brains can do massive parallel processing in terms of systems, subsystems, systems of subsystems, etc.... at microscopic levels.”
Even if you had fast computers running in parallel the brain would still be faster, because of the manner in which the brain stores and retrieves the information (memories). It is the interconnectedness of the neurons that is able to run down the data more efficiently. Computers even running in parallel still have to run whole processes before the next one is started, and each computer is only working a single part of the problem. I am not a big computer person so I probably did not state that part of it in a very clear manner, but I am sure you get the idea.
Ed- I would love to debate Dennett sometime, although I have never debated in a format like this before. I will have you know though when I debate I willingly concede to a position if I feel it’s reasoning is better than mine. All I care about is learning, so I do not know how fun it will be. I do not debate in the manner of a contest or game, but I believe my opinions are well thought out.
Bridget perhaps in the axons themselves but in an overall system computer circuitry is much faster. Unless you have some information that I do not have (which is very possible) I would love to see the source.
Peter- “If you enjoy being generous as an expression of good will, at no sacrifice to yourself, Objectivism would have no objection.”
Perhaps I need to understand something about your statement first. What do you mean by no sacrifice to yourself? Something always sacrificed, it is just a matter of the value placed on one vs. the other. Like do I use my time to study (better grades) or do I volunteer my time being a big brother and helping a kid (makes me feel good).