Monday, 22 April 2013

How is the human mind similar to a relational database?

As amazing as the human brain is, we can draw parallels between the brain and the workings of a relational database. Both store data, both have subsections, divisions and partitions and both link relational inter-dependent data together to form logical conclusions and outputs. These outputs manifest themselves as our actions, our thoughts, our opinions, our words and in fact, our relationship with everything that we interact with. Here is a more detailed explanation:

Anything that we do or say that is expressed in any way can be considered as an output of the relational aspect of our brain making connections between different forms of information. This is the basis of learning, of art, of science and more or less of everything that we do. Also, if you really think about it, taking the example of art, what is art anyway? It is simply a manifestation, a realization or materialization into reality of how the artist’s mind has connected different information and related it together just like a database would if it were allowed to do so by the programmer.

Yet, some connections made by the mind may not seem logical as in the paintings of Salvadore Dali, but that is only because everyone does not see logic in the same way. Nevertheless, we admire and respect the work of such great thinkers because we admire the unique way their minds make relational connections between what they perceive and what they produce from such perception.

But what about someone we consider to be completely logical such as an engineer or doctor. Could such people be considered artists? Why so? Because if an engineer creates a new design or a doctor creates a new cure, then surely their minds too will have had to make relational connections between disparate data or information to come to an output which is manifested as the new design or the new medical cure. So what makes the doctor or engineer, both also involved in the process of creating any different from the artist, other than the fact that they are simply working in different fields? (Here I am assuming a doctor involved in independent research or an engineer with the freedom to design new products).  

Therefore, if we look at the human mind as a relational database, we can start to understand how the structure of logic is formed at its very fundamental level and how information that we take in using our five senses, although totally unconnected at the point of inception, eventually becomes connected within the neural network of the mind. The brain is therefore able to intricately analyze and connect disparate and abstract data to form coherent logic structures, which being infinitely different in their permutations, enable us to make sense of the World around us also in infinitely different, yet equally logical ways. This is somewhat of a paradox right? But somehow, it all works like clockwork

The brain does this automatically non-stop every day for the duration of our lifetimes. Yet we still ask the question, what makes our mind different from the workings of a very complex relational database, which just like the mind, can connect huge amounts of different data in different ways to produce either the same output every time or different outputs every time? The only difference I believe is who makes the rules about how the connections are made - think about it :-)

Here is a video providing a more detailed explanation of my ideas on art:

Here is a link on the how Sigmund Freud's ideas influenced the work of some famous abstract artists:

Enjoy and remember...............................

Be Extraordinary, Because it's Bloody Boring Being Ordinary!

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