I’m reading Ray Kurzweil’s “How To Create a Mind“.
Back in medical college, I spent an incredible amount of time reading Snell’s ‘Neuroanatomy’ to understand the structure and function of the human brain.
It’s a myriad of nerve connections, with different bits being hooked up to others, some nearby, others almost halfway across the brain. What’s more, there are redundancies galore. And keeping track of what links to what, through diagrams that showed sweeps of colored arrows pointing both ways, was mind boggling.
I read all of this, not because it’s so fascinating, but because we had an exam to pass at the end of a semester. About the lateral geniculate nucleus, or the caudate nucleus, or the red nucleus. And the insula, colliculi or corpus callosum. Without quite understanding how relevant, useful or practical it would all be.
It wasn’t. At all.
For the next twenty five years, I have never once had to use ANY of that information in my medical practice!
So, was it all a waste?