I was just getting into your post and getting behind your argument. Then, seconds later, you totally undercut everything you are trying to say by using one of the most unfortunate “metaphor/analogy/allusions/etc.” ever to to enter the lexicon of neuroscience. The brain is not wired in any way. It has no wires, if it did it would no longer be a fully functioning human brain. As you should very well know being a neuroscientist, it is composed of neurons, not wires. Neurons are only similar to wires in one respect in my view, they transmit signals (sort of in the case of wires, depending on how you look at it). However the signal transduction systems are totally different among a million other differences. Sure they are the same if you drill down to the subatomic level but guess what so are a lot of fuckin things.

I used to think this was no big deal. “Oh well, who cares if people think the brain is like a computer and has wires. What’s the harm.” Then we have AI (the thing which does not currently and may never exist) and its hedge partner term ‘machine learning’, the logically impossible logical contradiction. And the use and abuse of those two terms goes batshit crazy. Next thing you know I am out here trying to tell people this is nuts, wtf are you thinking, listen to what you are saying, etc. The response I get, “it makes sense to me, after all the brain is wired like a computer. so why couldn’t a computer be wired like a brain?” Ugggh…

Please, I beg of you stop using that analogy-like thing (wired) to describe how the brain is structured or worse yet as a way to talk about brain function. While you are at it beg it of all your colleagues for me. Finally, brain imaging studies still suck balls and are mostly bullshit so why do they still make headlines? I think I might blow a gasket the next time I see the headline..Region of brain responsible for X has been identified in brain imaging studies, neuroscientists say. Where X=some vague, category spanning concept with a near infinite number of definitions e.g. criminality or hope. I recognize that in the position description the word scientist comes second but that does not make it less important. No scientist of any stripe, in any field would make such a bold claim about something so ill defined on the basis of evidence that is let’s call it “not 100% rock solid” with a sample size generally in the n=1 to 10 range, to be generous. Yet for some reason neuroscientists spout crap like that all the time. You don’t see the headline Spontaneous Generation is possible, microbiologists say based on that one agar plate I found in the autoclave that I swear went through like ten separate steam sterilization cycles yet clearly has new bacterial growth present. Fine that analogy sucked (still not as bad as wired) but what is the disconnect among the neuroscience community and reality on that one? Is it just for the grant money it brings in or something? You have to know that is total crap, right? I don’t necessarily believe brain imaging studies when they are looking at super well defined single category functional activity because of their major methodological problems but for pete’s sake, criminality, really?

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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