Juxtaposition is the Spice of Life

Let me suggest a new axiom: juxtaposition is the spice of life. Humanity’s biggest talent, unique to us, is juxtaposing, finding and operating novel relationships between things or ideas... Recent ideas on neural activity suggest that the brain operates in a very associative way, with small neuron clusters containing core concepts, rather in the way a battery holds a trickle charge. These core concepts would be irreducibly small fragments of sounds or sights, or any phenomena that you experience. And these clusters are all, in some way, apparently interconnected, set up in microcolumns and macrocolumns, each column made up ofmillions of these lit,tle clusters of neurons. Now, if you consider that the brain passes information by means of synaptic junctions (the bits where one neuron almost touches another) and that there are potentially more of those kinds of connections in the brain than there are atoms in the known universe, you get a feel for the immensity of the network. With this associative system, to retrieve data, you go in, so to speak, anywhere on the network and find the target by association. Given the scale of things, an associative approach might be the only way the whole huge complex could work. Anyway, retrieval by association would be a good survival mechanism, because it would make you very flexible.


The brain can be wired more ways then there are atoms in the Universe, and new combinations create new ideas and innovations.

Folksonomies: innovation neurons plasticity

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Universe (0.958530): dbpedia | freebase
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Brain (0.800763): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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 The Legacy of Science
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Burke, James (1985), The Legacy of Science, Langley Research Center, Washington, DC, Retrieved on 2011-06-19
  • Source Material [history.nasa.gov]
  • Folksonomies: science society progress