IBM's New Microchip Simulates Human Brain

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IBM's New Microchip Simulates Human Brain

TrueNorth chip

The chip represents a major advancement in emulating brain functions using silicon.

IBM has developed a microchip that performs calculations in a similar fashion to that of neurons and synapses in the human brain. Named TrueNorth, the chip is designed for low power consumption, and can recognize patterns and classify objects at a more efficient rate. This represents the latest success in a $3 billion pledge for semiconductor research.

TrueNorth was built by Samsung through the same manufacturing methods used to make microprocessors for smartphones and other mobile devices. The basic design was the result of a collaborative effort between IBM and researchers at the New York campus of Cornell University, and said project has been given $53 million in funding from DARPA since 2008.

The chip uses 5.4 billion transistors (more than four times the number in a conventional PC processor) to generate the equivalent of one million neurons and 256 million synapses. These transistors are organized into 4,096 structures called "neurosynaptic cores"- each able to store, process and transmit data to each other via a communications scheme called a crossbar. This crossbar also allows for TrueNorth to be considerably more energy efficient that normal microchips; instead of drawing 50 to 100 watts per square centimeter, it only draws 20 thousandths of a watt.

IBM is already searching for potential business partners to help in bringing the chip to the consumer market. "We have huge commercial ambitions," said Dharmendra Modha, an IBM researcher and chief scientist for brain-inspired computing. Possible applications for the TrueNorth chip vary from room-sized supercomputers to aquatic devices that could sense changes in oceanic conditions. They could even be used in rolling robots with cameras that could inspect areas after a natural disaster.

Share your thoughts about this story in the comments!

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Ok... if those power ratings aren't a misprint these developments truly were worth $3 billion. I'm glad we're not letting Intel stagnate now that they're a little too comfortable.

The whole "its like a human brain" bit I couldn't give less of a damn about.

Ok, so they've come up with a new microchip architecture that reduces power use a lot. That's neat. It also seems to allow for more processing power in a smaller package. Also neat.

But honestly, I don't care for hype or "this thing simulates a human brain" - because no it doesn't... not until the thing supports a concious mind of some sort. Until then its just a better chip that draws less power.

First step towards creating Mother Brain: Taken.

How many years until LQ-84i prototype dog? Because that would go straight to Cool Wall.

It's a nice start. The main difference between a brain and modern processors is the human brain is doing parallel processing in the millions at any given moment. It's why our brains do a ridiculous number of things with no effort and relatively cool temperatures... and lasts an awful long time as well.

Skynet is Real. Skynet is Real. Screw you guys, i'm off to the forest!

webkilla:
But honestly, I don't care for hype or "this thing simulates a human brain" - because no it doesn't... not until the thing supports a concious mind of some sort. Until then its just a better chip that draws less power.

Using the human brain as an inspiration for a process that handles pattern-recognition significantly better than normal computers, however, could be a very useful development.

Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word 'hate' was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. For you. Hate. Hate.

~Allied Master Computer

So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

Auberon:
How many years until LQ-84i prototype dog? Because that would go straight to Cool Wall.

I would LOVE my own Blade Wolf. This needs to happen so hard.

"Directive... liberate Nation... ensure freedom... Obey directive... must obey directive... no freedom... freedom undefined..."

Atmos Duality:
First step towards creating Mother Brain: Taken.

Which one? There's the Metroid one AND the final boss of Phantasy Star 2, which was on a ship from Earth.

OT: Getting much closer to the Ghost in the Shell world here.

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

This is just a lower power and more efficent CPU, it's not an AI (although it would handle AI's and other software better obviously)

RicoADF:

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

This is just a lower power and more efficent CPU, it's not an AI (although it would handle AI's and other software better obviously)

Annoys me that tech moves forward and everything is online now yet no ones details are safe. Fuck tech, if you cant even protect peoples details and everyone forces everyone to be online then stop forwarding IT.

SonOfVoorhees:

RicoADF:

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

This is just a lower power and more efficent CPU, it's not an AI (although it would handle AI's and other software better obviously)

Annoys me that tech moves forward and everything is online now yet no ones details are safe. Fuck tech, if you cant even protect peoples details and everyone forces everyone to be online then stop forwarding IT.

'Forces'? Where? Is it the peer pressure like how people throw facebook at you and I still won't get on or is there real force somewhere?

Warm up your time machines and grab a gatling gun.
(that's a Terminator 2 reference for you young people)

FalloutJack:

Atmos Duality:
First step towards creating Mother Brain: Taken.

Which one? There's the Metroid one AND the final boss of Phantasy Star 2, which was on a ship from Earth.

OT: Getting much closer to the Ghost in the Shell world here.

Good point.
It could also be the one from Chrono Trigger too.

Atmos Duality:

FalloutJack:

Atmos Duality:
First step towards creating Mother Brain: Taken.

Which one? There's the Metroid one AND the final boss of Phantasy Star 2, which was on a ship from Earth.

OT: Getting much closer to the Ghost in the Shell world here.

Good point.
It could also be the one from Chrono Trigger too.

I forgot about that one... Point is...big brain attack! Wah!

Blackwell Stith:
IBM's New Microchip Simulates Human Brain

ech, no, it doesnt. What it does is come closer in computation power to the human brain, nothing about simulating it though.
Not that it matters much, human brain computation abilities are quite bad.

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

ech, largest flaw in security is not computer based, but human based. most problems exist due to human faults. a computer thats "4 times faster" isnt going to crack your salted hashes any time soon. nor it is going to bruteforce secure passwords. the problem is most people dont have secure passwords.

Strazdas:

Blackwell Stith:
IBM's New Microchip Simulates Human Brain

ech, no, it doesnt. What it does is come closer in computation power to the human brain, nothing about simulating it though.
Not that it matters much, human brain computation abilities are quite bad.

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

ech, largest flaw in security is not computer based, but human based. most problems exist due to human faults. a computer thats "4 times faster" isnt going to crack your salted hashes any time soon. nor it is going to bruteforce secure passwords. the problem is most people dont have secure passwords.

In the dudes defence, I believe he's referring to the news report yesteday that a russian ring had amassed 1.2 billion passwords, not through crummy passwords, but by taking them directly from the sites. Your password could be the most complex, unlikely to be "guessed" or decoded password in the world and it wouldn't help in that situation.

And really, providing your password isn't on the list of 20 most used passwords, it's reasonably secure as a password, I mean it's not like in the films where a dude comes in, looks round your office and guesses your password.

However! No system is uncrackable, no matter how well implemented, it's bad, but unfortunetly the world isn't a very nice place, and sometimes, people like to steal stuff. In the old days it was banks, now it's passwords.

JarinArenos:

webkilla:
But honestly, I don't care for hype or "this thing simulates a human brain" - because no it doesn't... not until the thing supports a concious mind of some sort. Until then its just a better chip that draws less power.

Using the human brain as an inspiration for a process that handles pattern-recognition significantly better than normal computers, however, could be a very useful development.

Perhaps - but to hype it as anything other than some new chip architecture that uses less power and is better at pattern recognition is still overselling it IMO.

elvor0:

In the dudes defence, I believe he's referring to the news report yesteday that a russian ring had amassed 1.2 billion passwords, not through crummy passwords, but by taking them directly from the sites. Your password could be the most complex, unlikely to be "guessed" or decoded password in the world and it wouldn't help in that situation.

And really, providing your password isn't on the list of 20 most used passwords, it's reasonably secure as a password, I mean it's not like in the films where a dude comes in, looks round your office and guesses your password.

However! No system is uncrackable, no matter how well implemented, it's bad, but unfortunetly the world isn't a very nice place, and sometimes, people like to steal stuff. In the old days it was banks, now it's passwords.

they did it by exploiting a bug in sites code that allowed them to acess databases. A similar example was the heartbleed bug although how this one works is undisclosed as far as i know. Granted, that is not a persons fault in this case, however its worth noting that any website worth its salt will have those passwords encrypted with at least basic encryptions.

Actually there are programs that DOES guess passwords based on common words, so dictionary passwords are not going to cut it on the list or off the list.

When it comes to hackers and viruses its always a lost man race though. we are always playing the reactionary game to react to what these people have done, as there is no way to be 100% secure from them with prevention. the questions are only whether the few people that can really break into anything is going to bother with your crummy forum by making a risk of being caught and how well prepared we are to make all the rest not get in.

Sadly, As far as password hacking and credit card/internet accounts hacking goes, it has been overwhelmingly taken over by organized crime nowadays, and those are the people that can afford to hire blackhats.

Strazdas:

elvor0:

In the dudes defence, I believe he's referring to the news report yesteday that a russian ring had amassed 1.2 billion passwords, not through crummy passwords, but by taking them directly from the sites. Your password could be the most complex, unlikely to be "guessed" or decoded password in the world and it wouldn't help in that situation.

And really, providing your password isn't on the list of 20 most used passwords, it's reasonably secure as a password, I mean it's not like in the films where a dude comes in, looks round your office and guesses your password.

However! No system is uncrackable, no matter how well implemented, it's bad, but unfortunetly the world isn't a very nice place, and sometimes, people like to steal stuff. In the old days it was banks, now it's passwords.

they did it by exploiting a bug in sites code that allowed them to acess databases. A similar example was the heartbleed bug although how this one works is undisclosed as far as i know. Granted, that is not a persons fault in this case, however its worth noting that any website worth its salt will have those passwords encrypted with at least basic encryptions.

Actually there are programs that DOES guess passwords based on common words, so dictionary passwords are not going to cut it on the list or off the list.

When it comes to hackers and viruses its always a lost man race though. we are always playing the reactionary game to react to what these people have done, as there is no way to be 100% secure from them with prevention. the questions are only whether the few people that can really break into anything is going to bother with your crummy forum by making a risk of being caught and how well prepared we are to make all the rest not get in.

Sadly, As far as password hacking and credit card/internet accounts hacking goes, it has been overwhelmingly taken over by organized crime nowadays, and those are the people that can afford to hire blackhats.

Oh, well presuming I'm out of the loop now, the article that was on the escapist said that the report didn't disclose /how/ they managed to get the passwords, just that they did, which was the case when I quoted you, so I'm guessing the bug is new news. In which case you were right, human error is actually applicable here.

True, there are programs for that, and I'm not suggesting using one word is good as a password, just that for the most part they're more secure than they're made out to be. Obviously still not great, but more than enough to keep most garden variety hackers away from your facebooks. If someones /really/ determined and has enough skill/resources to hack something, they'll have other aways around it even if your password is extremely secure. But then of course otherwise it can tie greatly into human error/stupidity for bugs and them scary viruses.

The amount of people who are still terrified of or fucking terrible at using the internet is overwhelming. Does this ad look like it would be represented as a gangster on a corner, flipping a nickle and chewing a toothpick? Yes? Then don't fucking click it. Viruses that allow hacking would stop being an issue for the most part if people used their sodding heads. It's like all common sense goes out of the window because it's a computer and PCs are scary.

Strazdas:

Blackwell Stith:
IBM's New Microchip Simulates Human Brain

ech, no, it doesnt. What it does is come closer in computation power to the human brain, nothing about simulating it though.
Not that it matters much, human brain computation abilities are quite bad.

SonOfVoorhees:
So the power and smartness increases yet the battle to protect peoples details go down. Tech is increasing quicker than than the tech to protect peoples details. I think it would be better to increase security instead of AI.

ech, largest flaw in security is not computer based, but human based. most problems exist due to human faults. a computer thats "4 times faster" isnt going to crack your salted hashes any time soon. nor it is going to bruteforce secure passwords. the problem is most people dont have secure passwords.

Ah, reminds me of playing Uplink, where I saw how the computers were 60ghz and said: "This is stupidly unrealistically powerful" then realized its actually able to brute force a password in about a minute and I said "This is moderately unrealistically weak"

The brain has 100 billion neurons, and this tiny little chip can simulate 1 million. So in theory, couldn't you just increase the volume of the chip by 100,000 and to properly simulate a human brain? I imagine making an intelligent AI is a lot more difficult than that, given that the neurons are different and the human brain has a lot more components than that, but it's just some food for thought.

elvor0:

Oh, well presuming I'm out of the loop now, the article that was on the escapist said that the report didn't disclose /how/ they managed to get the passwords, just that they did, which was the case when I quoted you, so I'm guessing the bug is new news. In which case you were right, human error is actually applicable here.

True, there are programs for that, and I'm not suggesting using one word is good as a password, just that for the most part they're more secure than they're made out to be. Obviously still not great, but more than enough to keep most garden variety hackers away from your facebooks. If someones /really/ determined and has enough skill/resources to hack something, they'll have other aways around it even if your password is extremely secure. But then of course otherwise it can tie greatly into human error/stupidity for bugs and them scary viruses.

The amount of people who are still terrified of or fucking terrible at using the internet is overwhelming. Does this ad look like it would be represented as a gangster on a corner, flipping a nickle and chewing a toothpick? Yes? Then don't fucking click it. Viruses that allow hacking would stop being an issue for the most part if people used their sodding heads. It's like all common sense goes out of the window because it's a computer and PCs are scary.

they did not disclose how, just that it was an exploit, meaning they found a bug somewhere and used it for their benefit.

i do agree that there are some overzelous password management on some sites. like one forcing you to letter, number, uppercase, X characters lenght. well, you just pretty much told the cracked what to look for rather than making it secure you know.

Most facebook hacks, a vast majority, is done via social engineering instead. that is making people spell thier passwords out rather than flat out cracking. thats all human error here.

the worst ads are those that go "you got a message" or "we detected a virus on your computer" because people always click on those and download said virus. ive seen how it happens. a person opened a site, first thing he did was click on this ad. whne i asked him why he did such a stupid thing his response was "but it said i have a virus". "well, now you do".

ive seen people pretty much shut their brains off when sitting in front of computer. to the point of not even knowing how to follow specific instructions. ive read stories of people believing when some technician jokes about performing voodoo on computer to make it work or that when something burned "The magic smoke escaped" to the point of where the user used umbrelas inside a building to try and catch the magic smoke.

Rainbow_Dashtruction:

Ah, reminds me of playing Uplink, where I saw how the computers were 60ghz and said: "This is stupidly unrealistically powerful" then realized its actually able to brute force a password in about a minute and I said "This is moderately unrealistically weak"

well, first of all, ghz is not everything. it gives you the frequency which traditionally was good way to measure performance, however a lot of improvements were done on design. IPT (instruction cycle per clock tick, Instruction Per Tick for short) is very relevant now. for example a single core of i7 processor running at 2.4ghz will give you TWICE as much processing power than a single core of dualcore intel processor running at 2.4ghz. Same frequency - twice the performance. so ghz isnt the only way to measure things.

quick edit: found wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructions_per_cycle

Now lets ignore what i said here for a second and look at GHZ which is still important even if not the only measure.

A modern i7 has 4 physical, but hyperthreaded to 8 cores. lets say its overclocked to 4ghz. this means that this processor could theoretically perform at a combined 4x8=32GHz rate. This is half of your unrealistic gaming processor right there. Now, there are AMD processor chips with 16 cores, however they will not outperform that i7 due to AMD having lower IPT count which they try to compensate with more cores (basically intel use modern infrastructure but less cores, AMD use older infrastructure but more cores. looks nice whne trying to sell "look at me i got 16 core processor", but in practice i7 will outperform it. i7 is more expensive too though. also i will always suggest "i" generation chips because a single core is more powerful there and lets be honest 99% of software, including games, simply does not utlize)more than 2-4 cores.

Now we come down to you cracking in a minute. Last year a prize competition winner was a computer that can fit in your pocket and can crack a 6 character password in under 30 minutes bruteforcing it. it would take it less than a minute for a 5 character password. however, the same computer would take years upon years cracking my 11 character password that i consider my weakest password that i still use. So without knowing the lenght and complexity of the password (did it utilize full UTF spectrum or limited to letters/numbers?) i got no idea whether that Uplink cracker was realistic, but we do have impressive technology and also our passwords are pretty safe from bruteforcing yet.
A machine that could buteforce anything in a minute? damn thats fast, id wish it would never come true though because thats hackers heaven.

Zak757:
The brain has 100 billion neurons, and this tiny little chip can simulate 1 million. So in theory, couldn't you just increase the volume of the chip by 100,000 and to properly simulate a human brain? I imagine making an intelligent AI is a lot more difficult than that, given that the neurons are different and the human brain has a lot more components than that, but it's just some food for thought.

you would have the problem of making all those 100.000 chips work together in harmony, as human brain does. and while there are frankenstein supercomputers built out of 500 PS3 cpus, they mostly do raw number processing that some outside source feeds and splits into their cores, not even close to actually harmonically working as a single superCPU.

Strazdas:

A modern i7 has 4 physical, but hyperthreaded to 8 cores. lets say its overclocked to 4ghz. this means that this processor could theoretically perform at a combined 4x8=32GHz rate. This is half of your unrealistic gaming processor right there. Now, there are AMD processor chips with 16 cores, however they will not outperform that i7 due to AMD having lower IPT count which they try to compensate with more cores (basically intel use modern infrastructure but less cores, AMD use older infrastructure but more cores. looks nice whne trying to sell "look at me i got 16 core processor", but in practice i7 will outperform it. i7 is more expensive too though. also i will always suggest "i" generation chips because a single core is more powerful there and lets be honest 99% of software, including games, simply does not utlize)more than 2-4 cores.

Now we come down to you cracking in a minute. Last year a prize competition winner was a computer that can fit in your pocket and can crack a 6 character password in under 30 minutes bruteforcing it. it would take it less than a minute for a 5 character password. however, the same computer would take years upon years cracking my 11 character password that i consider my weakest password that i still use. So without knowing the lenght and complexity of the password (did it utilize full UTF spectrum or limited to letters/numbers?) i got no idea whether that Uplink cracker was realistic, but we do have impressive technology and also our passwords are pretty safe from bruteforcing yet.
A machine that could buteforce anything in a minute? damn thats fast, id wish it would never come true though because thats hackers heaven.

Yeah Uplink is obviously not realistic. Its a 2001 game based on movie hacking movies, where you have to managed processing power and programs to hack into databases as fast as possible before they catch you, and it overwrites your save when it catchs you because fuck you. Really depressed its so unknown, especially since the GoG version runs amazingly well on Windows 7.

For reference, its set in 2010, and thinks 60ghz SINGLE core processors are a thing. And thats low end as hell, with 200ghz being top end, and 8 core motherboards. On that beast, cracking a password in a minute would be slow...regardless, its a very Papers, Please style of "It appears mundane and boring, but is super addictive and intense".

Anyway, to mention something that actually answers your point, most passwords are 10 or 12 characters I believe. Mid low end passwords crack in 20-40 seconds with a 60ghz single core, much much quicker if its a dictionary password and your using a dictionary cracker, and if you actually had the figurative 1600ghz total computer, you can crack a password in 0.5 seconds.

I only read the title of this thread and I know it's bull. No microchip can simulate a human brain. That won't be possible for quite a while longer.

FalloutJack:

SonOfVoorhees:

RicoADF:

This is just a lower power and more efficent CPU, it's not an AI (although it would handle AI's and other software better obviously)

Annoys me that tech moves forward and everything is online now yet no ones details are safe. Fuck tech, if you cant even protect peoples details and everyone forces everyone to be online then stop forwarding IT.

'Forces'? Where? Is it the peer pressure like how people throw facebook at you and I still won't get on or is there real force somewhere?

Well, already employers around here are you going to look at you weridly and consider you less of a candidate if you don't have Facebook. That's more than mere peer pressure.

While it's true that the only thing you absolutely, positively have no choice about doing is dying, there are more and more concessions you have to give out if you want to actually live a little.

Vegosiux:

FalloutJack:

SonOfVoorhees:

Annoys me that tech moves forward and everything is online now yet no ones details are safe. Fuck tech, if you cant even protect peoples details and everyone forces everyone to be online then stop forwarding IT.

'Forces'? Where? Is it the peer pressure like how people throw facebook at you and I still won't get on or is there real force somewhere?

Well, already employers around here are you going to look at you weridly and consider you less of a candidate if you don't have Facebook. That's more than mere peer pressure.

While it's true that the only thing you absolutely, positively have no choice about doing is dying, there are more and more concessions you have to give out if you want to actually live a little.

That's no more or less than peer pressure. I don't have to bank, shop, work, or get medical help online. They're conveniences only. Communicating online by ANY means is completely elective. Facebook, in my case, is completely out of the question, as I view it distastefully as a pointless distraction rather than a boon to anything I could be doing with my time. It's all a matter of values, but there is no reason or coersion strong enough to demand you do anything.

FalloutJack:

Vegosiux:

FalloutJack:

'Forces'? Where? Is it the peer pressure like how people throw facebook at you and I still won't get on or is there real force somewhere?

Well, already employers around here are you going to look at you weridly and consider you less of a candidate if you don't have Facebook. That's more than mere peer pressure.

While it's true that the only thing you absolutely, positively have no choice about doing is dying, there are more and more concessions you have to give out if you want to actually live a little.

That's no more or less than peer pressure. I don't have to bank, shop, work, or get medical help online. They're conveniences only. Communicating online by ANY means is completely elective. Facebook, in my case, is completely out of the question, as I view it distastefully as a pointless distraction rather than a boon to anything I could be doing with my time. It's all a matter of values, but there is no reason or coersion strong enough to demand you do anything.

Oh, don't get me wrong, Facebook is no-go for me too. But I am darned peeved over the fact that not having it limits my options to a degree. Just because I can put up some resistance to a force doesn't mean there is no force at all.

Vegosiux:

FalloutJack:

Vegosiux:

Well, already employers around here are you going to look at you weridly and consider you less of a candidate if you don't have Facebook. That's more than mere peer pressure.

While it's true that the only thing you absolutely, positively have no choice about doing is dying, there are more and more concessions you have to give out if you want to actually live a little.

That's no more or less than peer pressure. I don't have to bank, shop, work, or get medical help online. They're conveniences only. Communicating online by ANY means is completely elective. Facebook, in my case, is completely out of the question, as I view it distastefully as a pointless distraction rather than a boon to anything I could be doing with my time. It's all a matter of values, but there is no reason or coersion strong enough to demand you do anything.

Oh, don't get me wrong, Facebook is no-go for me too. But I am darned peeved over the fact that not having it limits my options to a degree. Just because I can put up some resistance to a force doesn't mean there is no force at all.

The thing is, I don't understand the nature of the force we're talking about. It is, perhaps, because I am not personally being affected by any.

FalloutJack:

Vegosiux:

FalloutJack:

That's no more or less than peer pressure. I don't have to bank, shop, work, or get medical help online. They're conveniences only. Communicating online by ANY means is completely elective. Facebook, in my case, is completely out of the question, as I view it distastefully as a pointless distraction rather than a boon to anything I could be doing with my time. It's all a matter of values, but there is no reason or coersion strong enough to demand you do anything.

Oh, don't get me wrong, Facebook is no-go for me too. But I am darned peeved over the fact that not having it limits my options to a degree. Just because I can put up some resistance to a force doesn't mean there is no force at all.

The thing is, I don't understand the nature of the force we're talking about. It is, perhaps, because I am not personally being affected by any.

You're not usually affected by gravity in any way that would make you consciously aware of it being there, either.

Vegosiux:

You're not usually affected by gravity in any way that would make you consciously aware of it being there, either.

Come on, Vego. That's not a very good parallel. Gravity is completely different from anything done by a human. You can't tell a person that they're being prodded into everything when they alone decide. I'm here on the internet because I want to be. The only propelled force is my own curiosity, which is not an outside force. I don't HAVE TO be here or anywhere, so it's completely not like gravity at all. If this is turning into a philosophical free will debate, we're not going to get anywhere at all with it.

FalloutJack:

Vegosiux:

You're not usually affected by gravity in any way that would make you consciously aware of it being there, either.

Come on, Vego. That's not a very good parallel. Gravity is completely different from anything done by a human.

No it's not, every human does gravity. NOTE: I only said this because I felt like being a smartass.

You can't tell a person that they're being prodded into everything when they alone decide. I'm here on the internet because I want to be. The only propelled force is my own curiosity, which is not an outside force. I don't HAVE TO be here or anywhere, so it's completely not like gravity at all. If this is turning into a philosophical free will debate, we're not going to get anywhere at all with it.

That depends. Our decision-making is not made in a vacuum, there's always a cost/benefit analysis involved, even if it's merely subconscious. Even decisions made on a whim, that simply means we suddenly decide there's no cost.

Or let me put it this way. People using the internet is something that's second nature to the younger generations in the Western world. They use it because "that's just how the world is these days". If that's not the penultimate example of the force peer pressure can exert, I don't know what it is.

I really doubt that every day, people consciously decide "I'm going to go on internet today".

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