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Volume 2, Number 2
2013
ISSN 2166-9732

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Table of Contents

    Front Cover              0

    How the Brain-Mind Works: A Two-Page Introduction to a Theory banner             1 - 3
    by Juyang Weng
    Abstract: Neuroscience has made impressive advances, but there is a lack of an overall computational brain theory. I would like to present a simplified computational theory in an intuitive language about how the brain wires itself as a multiinterchange bridge that bi-directionally connects many islands where each island is a sensor or effector. The wiring process of the brain is highly self-supervised while a baby manipulates an object, e.g., sucking a milk bottle. I also explain how the self wired basic circuits become motivated through four additional neural transmitters beyond glutamate and GABA — serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine. A layman or a researcher in another discipline can get a gist of the theory for the brain-mind by reading this two-page short introduction.
    Index terms: Brain, mind, neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, philosophy, vision, motivation, intelligence

    The EU Human Brain Project Is Unlikely to Create an Artificial Whole-Brain in a Decade banner             4 - 6
    by Fan-ji Gu
    Abstract: The European Union (EU) Human Brain Project (HBP) has a core target --- simulation of the human brain in a decade. I argue in this paper that this target is unlikely to be realized in a decade, at least in terms of major known brain functions because the EU HBP researchers lack an overall brain theory. Simulating a kludge is a fatal underestimation of the overall principles of the biological human brain.
    Index terms: Human brain project, Blue Brain Project, whole-brain model, artificial brain

    AAUP Addresses Academic Freedom and Due Process Concerns at MSU banner             7 - 7
    by Gregory F. Scholtz
    Abstract: On September 5, 2013, the administration of Michigan State University (MSU) removed Professor William Penn from his teaching responsibilities after a portion of his lecture was surreptitiously recorded and posted on a conservative website. In response to an inquiry about this action from the editors of Brain-Mind Magazine, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) wrote to express concerns about possible departures from widely adopted AAUP-supported principles and standards of academic freedom and due process. The letter cited the relevant AAUP documents whose links are provided.
    Index terms: Checks and balances of power, academic freedom, freedom of speech, due process

    Trial by YouTube banner             8 - 10
    by Mae Kuykendall and Debra Nails
    Abstract: Media campaigns against professors exercising their academic freedom to teach are being addressed in eerily similar ways. At Michigan State University in the first week of September 2013, and at the University of Kansas two weeks later, tenured professors were suspended from their teaching duties by administrative action without due process. Although suspension has long been regarded as a disciplinary measure short of dismissal, in the new atmosphere of social media blitzkrieg, the action is represented as a rescue operation to protect the teaching professor from cameras, clamor, and death threats. At the same time, some administrators suggest that the professors who have offended the sensibilities of some of their students may have poisoned the learning environment. The authors review and defend academic freedom in the new climate.
    Index terms: Academic freedom, social media, due process

    How MSU Lacks Due Process: A Bylaw Perspective banner             11 - 12
    by Christopher S. Masfis
    Abstract: Michigan State University (MSU) removed Professor William Penn from a course that he taught because of what he said in the course. MSU possibly also applied other punishments which, if there are any, are confidential per MSU regulations. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) raised its concerns over the lack of due process at MSU. The discussion of the MSU regulations here indicates that Professor Penn case was due to deeper problems. I use the AAUP recommended procedure standards and the corresponding bylaws and regulations at an MSU's sister university --- University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (UofM) --- as comparative references.
    Index terms: Science of governing, checks and balances of power, due process, freedom of speech

    The 4th Open Letter to the U.S. President Obama: Safeguard U.S. against Instinct Bursts banner             13 - 15
    by Juyang Weng
    Abstract: The U.S. luckily skipped a military strike on Syria, but its government is now partially shutdown. Due to a lack of experience and knowledge, every individual brain is prone to bursts of instinctive passions. In the governments, such bursts resulted in international wars and domestic sufferings. In the short run, every legislator, including Mr. Obama, should resume budget negotiations without any precondition because the founding fathers of this nation expected all in the government to talk and compromise. In the long run, the U.S. government should systematically adopt brain-like computational developmental mechanisms into laws to safeguard the U.S. from gradual buildup of tensions that inevitably will lead to downfalls, from wars to sequestrations, triggered by small events like an armed clash or the failure of a last-minute deal.
    Index terms: Science of brain and mind, U.S. interest, foreign policies, domestic policies

    Building Civilized Societies with Better Cultures banner             16 - 17
    by Ming Xie
    Abstract: In this paper, I put forward the concept of culture space, and highlight its three principal axes for referencing values which are the ultimate causes behind all social and individual activities as well as behaviors. And, these three references for gauging values are: people-centric reference for values, family-centric reference for values, and customer-centric reference for values. The culture space is the domain in which all minds evolve and develop. All the differences of behaviors among people, populations and countries are reflected by the paths or trajectories of their minds in the culture space.
    Index terms: Mind, culture, behavior, value, creation, destruction

    Brain Stories 4: Government Terrors banner             18 - 20
    by Brian N. Huang
    Abstract: Every brain, from a layman to a national hero, is badly limited by the knowledge it can learn through its lifetime. The poorer his living conditions, the less likely he receives necessary education to act more intelligently. When such an individual has unchecked power in the government, the government inevitably results in widespread terrors in the name of the people or the nation. Here I tell a personal true story about how I was hopelessly part of the terrors created by a government whose unchecked paramount leader was not necessarily fully aware that he was indeed badly cheating the poor class and the nation that he claimed to represent.
    Index terms: Government power, checks and balances, the Cultural Revolution

    Back cover              21


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