Monday, June 6, 2011

Brain News

Apple's 2011 Worldwide Developer's Conference Announcement

Here's the big pic: iCloud will store all your info and push it down to each device wirelessly as you connect. Everything else Apple will be just another device, your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. This sounds like the next step in computing but it also adds layers of charges for the iCloud and the service where I don't pay the charges now. Also, it releases the data beyond my desktop.

Apple has been describing its iOS5 (available in the fall) at the 2011 WorldWide Developer's Conference and it seems like, if they can make it work without frustrating glitches, they'll have a win - win. First there will be the iCloud storage necessary to make it work (and all the charges necessary to maintain the cloud) but then...I'll be in line to buy an iPad and a new iPhone. Why? The number one reason: THEY WILL OPERATE WITHOUT COMPUTERS! Frankly, they should have done that to begin with but bygones. A reviewer commented, "They're knocking them down today. This is starting to feel like that scene in the Godfather where all old business is taken care of in a single bloodbath. All outstanding feature gripes are being whacked." Ten of the most significant changes iOS5 will offer:

1. Notifications - all on one screen and manageable
2. Newstand - like iBook for periodicals
3. Twitter - with photos integrated to contacts
4. Safari - integrated and tabbed
5. Reminders - can be geotagged so they can pop up when you come or go to a place
6. Camera - w/ digital zoom, auto focus lock and editing
7. Mail - with touch and move capability
8. PC Free - Will open and setup from each device, updates will be small files
9. Game center
10. iMessage - same for all devices, encrypted, w delivery and read receipts

for a transcript of the announcement with comments:

Secrets of the Brain

The committee in my head has been reporting gloom and doom for months now and I am sick of it. Committee, you ask? Yes. I have constantly dueling opinions in my brain regarding my behavior and I AM NOT SCHIZOPHRENIC. Before I decide to do something, my brain sends arguments from all different points of view and I usually end up doing what I wanted to do in the first place, only acting after a tortured thought process instead of on impulse. Prissy used to say, "You sure do make life hard." I thought, is there any other way?

Lately with many from generation Y embracing and openly discussing their whole selves – bless their hearts, they were listening after all - I’ve learned maybe my quirks aren’t as abnormal as I thought. But, now there’s empirical evidence. In his new book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, neuroscientist David Eagleman explains how the subconscious brain is “like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war.” Evidently it is supremely normal to have your brain send conflicting messages before you consciously decide. The fact that this is happening in my brain is just another example of business as usual and, I would be better off acting without thinking, just letting my subconscious take control.

Eagleman proffers that almost everything in our mental lives is not under our conscious control. This is demonstrated when you begin to duck from a snapping tree branch before you are aware it is coming toward you, or when you close your eyes before you consciously think something is about to hit them. Evidently, as I read this book, I will learn how much of my life is determined by behaviors that are hard-wired, unconscious, and beyond my control, how it is possible to get angry at myself, and how free will affects my view of blameworthiness and credit. That's the part that interests me the most right now.

Despite stating a scientific hypothesis, this book is very readable. I recommend it as an easy and enlightening read. This book may prove scientifically that I have fewer chinks in the armor than I thought. All I can say is this man better not be thinking he can tell me I’m totally normal and then fade into the sunset patting himself on the back. What will I do with all my complex defenses and finely crafted excuses? Would this mean I would have to learn to live without any or set about developing new ones? Maybe that’s why I’ve been depressed.

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