The Allen Institute for Brain Science has published the highest-resolution atlas of the human brain to date
There will certainly be some lessons in the influence of ancient structures within the brain on function, but it seems clear that most of the influence on function comes from the fully reconfigurable areas of the neocortex, which is not to deny the many other sources and levels of function, and it is to put them in a context.
They are important, and it seems clear that in the scheme of higher human consciousness they are bit players, important in early development and exponentially less so as one develops discipline and awareness.
[followed by In response to Linda6547]
If our goal is to prolong life then we have to acknowledge that using the scarcity based value measure of markets in a context of the abundance available from fully automated systems is not appropriate.
Human nature contains both cooperative and competitive strategic sets, and which gets expressed depends on the context.
In contexts where there is enough for all, cooperative behaviours always give greater benefits to all than competitive behaviours. (Provided there are adequate sets of attendant strategies to prevent invasion of the cooperative by cheating strategies.)
Markets (and their derivative measure money, and their derivative system of thought economics) are scarcity based, and as such impose a context that incentivises competitive behaviour from individuals. In contexts of actual abundance competitive behaviours always deliver sub optimal outcomes (and in a context which includes the possibility of weapons of mass destruction, such behavioural modalities actually imposed significant existential risk upon everyone).
In the context of full automation, markets are an existential threat – when viewed from a strategic perspective. For me, that is clear beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.
So from the strategic perspective of longevity, it is economics that is the threat.
We don’t have a resource problem, our exponential expansion of knowledge means we can do more with less far faster than our population is expanding. We are not short of either energy or mass. The sun puts out enough energy that every person currently alive could have more than humanity as a whole currently uses. Energy isn’t a problem.
Nor is mass – we live on a huge ball of it, and most people only need a few tens of tons to meet their reasonable needs.
The real issue for those of us committed to longevity is the modes of thought, beliefs, truths – call them what you will, that exist in the population. My experience of being diagnosed terminal cancer 6 years ago, curing myself, then having others come to me to see how I did it, has proven to me very clearly that most people would rather die than do whatever it takes to change their habits and beliefs.
Economics as a system imposes so many drags on creativity, so many incentives to continue using technologies that are proven to be dangerous, but involve sunk capital – that the dimensions of risk are terrifying when you actually start to clearly see them.
But most people seem to be far too invested in money as a concept to even be able to look.