TED Conversations

Manyika Sakambuki

This conversation is closed.

Mention one scientific theory you think needs adjustment. Why do you think that way?

Our assumptions fashion how we see and make decisions. in the past, astronomy was defined as the study of how heavenly bodies move around the earth because it was believed that the earth was the center of the solar system. that was until a Polish Astronomer- Nicolai Copernicus changed our thinking. same as when the atom was thought to be the smallest particle until electrons, neutrinos, etc. were discovered. bring forth your ideas!


Closing Statement from Manyika Sakambuki

Ok thanks! Turns out that all theories which have no direct application to the physical world wont hang around for long. Most likely, they'll stay as just ideas of the 'geniuses' which have no proof but only serve to quench our thirst for understanding certain things that seem hard to understand e.g. black holes, perpetuity of life, being able to control infinitesimally small stuff(nano techs), death... and we can go on and on. This has been a useful conversation.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 14 2013: The thing we call "sleep" which all animals including us do for a large portion of life is far more important than popular notion and is most likely the home of evolutionary processes. During a critically important phase of sleep which produces "delta waves", natural growth hormone is released. In humans we call it HGH but it happens in all mammals so the first letter of the abbreviation should just be altered. While it has long been assumed that sleep is for "rest" and the release of HGH is for repair or growth, it is also for growth of neurology in the mind which accommodates each individual's intellectual challenges. To make a long story short, I am certain that the day must come when no psychiatric diagnosis wil be considered valid or complete unless and until a person's sleep life is strongly considered. It is known that just two days of sleep deprivation can bring on symptoms of schizophrenia--auditory and visual hallucinations that have something to do with the right hemisphere and left hemisphere becoming out of synch. Dolphins swim with one hemisphere asleep and one awake and then they switch hemisphere. If children are not getting the proper levels of sleep and proper releases of HGH, it is wrong to ignore those factors and try to hammer their symptoms into submission by regimens of expensive medications. This is a billion dollar issue and one of the direction of human development going forward. The truth must be ascertained and medicine as well as public perception adjusted.
    • thumb
      Mar 15 2013: They question is a worthy one. Specialists and experts can have great insights but there is always the risk of missing something important because it is from a different area of expertise.

      The link between sleep deprivation and auditory and visual hallucinations is one that comes to mind.

      Working with digital video and audio processing I find hallucinations after prolonged periods of activity not that surprising, assuming there is some analogy between the way our brains and our devices process these signals.

      At a simple level devices processing digital signals have to recreate audio and video from compressed inputs, and keep the two in synchronization. Every now and then the system fails and, for example, you will get a big blocks rather than picture detail on your screen. They clear quickly, like a blink, as error correction software deals with them. Over longer periods the system may need to store the corrections it has made to keep the signal functioning. This accommodation for cumulative errors has limits. So we sometimes see apparent signal failure or the device freezing and needing to be restarted.

      If this simplified analogy between our vision and digital video is correct it seems logical that our vision systems may need to be shut down to clear cumulative errors. Failure to shut down—sleep—is likely to result in our vision system introducing errors in the regenerated images which form part of our consciousness.

      So sleep deprivation is a case where insights from a different field, digital video processing, might be worth studying.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.