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In a message dated 3/19/00 6:37:05 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
clmanges@worldnet.att.net writes:

>  > Ok, but I will just use a joy stick and throttle sensors from my analog
>  > computer. As the human brain is one of the best and biggest analog 
> computers
>  > around (especially mine ;=)), I will take 20 other brains from
>  > starship-design list or clone of mine with me for redundancy. :=)

If forced to make clones of myself for the crew. A XY gene alteration of 1/2 
the embroys could provide for multiplication required for colony expansion. 
Cosmic particle collisions would then be desirable to provide genetic mutaion 
to widen the gene pool for multiplication and suvivability. 

>  Just an aside, but the human (as well as other animal) brain is not an 
> analog
>  processor, it is digital. 

Hi Curtis,
Well, I find my self in a position to defend my words without the credential 
or source material of a medical degree, but will try any way certified in 
both digital and analog computer fields.

The brain processes data from the 5 senses of sight, touch, taste, sound, 
This is like an autopilot analog computer that takes the input from sensors 
measuring yaw, pitch, roll, rate and acceleration. The amplitude (not digital 
pulse) data is processed in real time and the output delivered by chemical 
means to the spinal nerve system to the control mechanisms (muscles). The 
real time processor differs from a digital processor in that the speed is 
determined by the speed of the messages sent through the neuron pathways. 
Digital processors take time to analyze the input data by analysis through an 
instruction set which takes processor time so the output would not be 
delivered in real time (Now-when it inputs) but later at some future time 
after digital processing. 

I know of no evidence that the signals of the brain go to a central 
processing unit (digital processor) as you suggest. I kind of like the brain 
map made in ancient times where the brain surface convolutions form different 
(though size distorted) parts of the body. This better explains phantom pain 
so that when a limb is removed, the patient still senses its presence, In 
fact I witnessed a one arm man strike with his missing arm at another man and 
watched the man flinch anticipating the blow. Reflex actions are real time 
processed and not digitally processed.

>A neuron either fires or it doesn't. The 
> difference is
>  that organic brains are asynchronous; they don't require a clock signal, 
> don't
>  ask me how they sort out signals without one. My guess is that they work 
> more
>  of a parallel processing scheme. I am a fan of analog, myself, just for the
>  record, but it just ain't the way things really get done.

Fuzzy logic would be my quess :=).

>  I agree, though, on the capability of the human brain, PROVIDED it is 
> properly
>  fed, rested, exercised, and entertained, and not distracted by god-knows-
> what, say
>  an urge to sneeze. The list of distractions is endless, and you really 
> should have
>  at least 20 on any really critical job. 

That is what I thought. Anthological studies say 50 is required for village 
size. No supporting data was given and some counter data suggests that the 
earth may have been populated by starting with only two. So I made the 
decision to use twenty with each having multiple and redundant skills. This 
decision was made more to start with something to get concrete mass and item 
data for engine design specifications that could by then multiplied by any 
factor should another crew number be found better suited for a star journey 
without having to redo the research. 

> Miscalculating a vector angle by the
>  tiniest fraction can put you ludicrously far off target over interstellar
>  distances, just to cite an obvious example.

Dead reckoning navigation (see star and go that way) is the method I intend 
to use and so do not have much use for trigonometric limitations
or getting lost in space  ;+)>

> I'd really rather trust such 
> stuff to
>  machines, and we've already got them in use today. Check out the Hubble 
> telescope
>  as an example of this.

Poor example there supporting your point :=)

Have you checked out my 3-d telescope abaord the payload deck below linked.
I did have a link to an observatory that would let you point and look through 
their telescope free on your PC monitor by sending them the star or object 
and time coordinates but I lost the link to the England (I think) observatory

 <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/tjac780754/index.htm#TRANSPORT">CyberSpace 
Star Ship</A> 

>  Also, I like the idea of the triple redundancy computer arrangement. It's 
> the old
>  "I tell you three times" concept, which showed up in some Robert Heinlein 
> novel,
>  way back when.

I liked his books also. Little did I know reading of his star ship cadets 
that someday I would be a real starship commander. Another SCI-faction author 
you might like is Poul Anderson's "Tau Ceti" He uses Einstein's time dilation 
consequence in a fictionalized account near light speed relativistically to 
transverse galaxies in short periods of the astronauts life span.
>  Keep looking up,

I am up there now looking down ;)


>  Curtis