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Edelman - Second Nature Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007
This is a quick and fast summary of Gerald Edelman's perspective on the nature of consciousness as understood from the perspective of his neural darwinism approach.


Second Nature

Brain Science and Human knowledge

Gerald Edelman

Yale University Press
203 pages
ISBN 0-300-12039-7


This is a small, very readable account of an approach to epistemology as grounded in the structure of neural tissue. Edelman calls it a brain-based epistemology.

Edelman argues for taking new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge based on the improved understanding of brain operation coming from recent neuroscience. At the end, the book focuses on the possibility of exploring the weird phenomenon of consciousness - the very second nature of humans.

He also addresses the issue raised by Snow and others of the divorce between science and the humanities and their respective views of the mental world. Edelman previews differences getting dissolved -much in the line of Wilson's consilience- by considering their grounding in brain operation.

He also summarily describes their research on brain-based devices that may -somehow- become conscious if properly based on the right, non-computational, organisation.

Value for time: 9

Main value: Personal point of view

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 November 2007 )
Goldacre - Bad Science Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007
Goldacre is a doctor -a medic- worried about the bad practices used in the selling of products around the world of health.

To talk about the book let's use the words of The Independent:

'From an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy, Ben Goldacre talking the reader through some notable cases and shows how to you don't need a science degree to spot "bad science" yourself.'

This book was selected as Book of the Year by this newspaper.


Bad Science

Ben Goldacre

Fourth Estate Ltd
352 pages
ISBN 000728487X


A book written by a real doctor involved in the public health system offers a solid argumentarium in favor of an increase in scientific rigour in all aspects of health. From miracle cures, to nutrition supplements and vaccine scaring to the concerns about quality in the public communication of science by the media, Goldacre offers rock-solid data, being a champion of evidence-based practices.

For aditional information visit Goldacre web site on the topic: BadScience.net

Value for time: 9

Main value: Get informed about what's real bad

Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 November 2009 )
Self-awareness in Real-time Cognition Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Self-awareness in Real-time Cognitive Control Architectures

by Ricardo Sanz, Ignacio Lopez and Carlos Hernandez is our Contribution to the AAAI Fall Symposium 2007 Workshop on AI and Consciousness.

In this paper we describe the approach taken in the UPM Autonomous Systems Laboratory for the development of technology of full, bounded autonomy. This effort is taking us into the study of the phenomenology of consciousness especially in relation with the construction of mechanisms for system self-awareness.

The progress of this work can be tracked in our ASys and SOUL projects webpages. The ASys Project is a long-term project that deals with the development of an engineering process and a collection of assets for the implementation of autonomous systems . The SOUL Project develops a generic architecture for self-aware autonomous systems.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 September 2007 )
The Question of Religion Print E-mail
Monday, 12 February 2007

Many may think that the issue at stake is God vs. Science but it is not. The real issue is just religion vs. us.

Because religion and related derivatives as new age "science", god, morals or intelligent design are opossed to the very nature of humans: i.e. evidence-based thinking systems.

Just consider the enormous possibilities that real science opens to us with its analytic and predictive capabilities. There's no real need of gods but for those that are unable to understand the vast ammount of knowledge that science is constinuosly producing.

It is not necessary to understand Einstein's Field Equations to be aware of the impact that general relativity may play in our understanding of the universe and -may be- in our re-shaping of it, or the many possibilities that stem cell research may open to health and well living.

The rationale of getting comfort from religion is the same rationale of getting comfort from alcohol. Beware, it seems to work but kills your neurons.

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 February 2009 )
Design patterns for distributed control applications Print E-mail
Monday, 27 November 2006

Arndt Lüder and Jörn Peschke, Otto-von-Guericke University,
Ricardo Sanz, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Within industrial automation the architectural trend goes in the direction of distributed control systems with distributed decision making based on distributed intelligence. Several approaches have been made in that direction resulting in a set of different applicable structures and architectures. Within the different levels of control the different structures will provide the possibility to investigate similar structures and to deduce general design pattern for distributed control systems on the different levels. For the level of field control systems this deduction is made in this article.

Keywords: Distributed control applications / Design patterns / IEC 61499 / Distributed field control systems / Reusability of control software

Automation Technology in Practice, Vol. 3, 2006

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 November 2006 )
ICT embraces control Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Information and communication technology embraces control.
A Status report prepared by the IFAC Coordinating Committee on
Computers, Cognition and Communication

Wolfgang A. Halang, Ricardo Sanz , Robert Babuska & Hubert Roth

A new approach in control engineering (‘‘Information Processing for Action’’) is presented, in which control, computers, communication and cognition play equal roˆ les in addressing real-life problems from very small-scale devices to very large-scale industrial processes and non-technical applications. Thus, the C2 paradigm of ‘‘Computers for Control’’ is shifting towards the C4 paradigm of ‘‘Computers, Communication and Cognition for Control’’ providing an integrated perspective on the roˆ le computers play in control systems and control plays in computer systems. This change is mainly due to new developments in computers and knowledge management, and the rapidly emerging field of telecommunications providing a number of possible applications in control. Control engineers will have to master computer and software technologies to be able to build the systems of the future, and software engineers need to use control concepts to master the ever-increasing complexity of computing systems.

Annual Reviews in Control, volume 30 (2006), pages 31–40

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2006 )
WONTO 2006 Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 June 2006

A Survey on Ontologies for Agents

Julia Bermejo, Ricardo Sanz and Ignacio López

Submitted to WONTO 2006, 2nd Workshop on Ontologies and their Applications.


Ontologies and agents are two research areas that have become intertwined in recent years. Ontologies have started to be developed aiming at agent–based ap- plications. Agents have benefited by the use of ontologies in heavily information– based processes.

From the theory of ontology and agenthood to its application in practice, we have reviewed the available literature. Based on our research, we summarize the state–of–the–art in ontology–based agent applications.

Get the file.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 June 2006 )
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