By Eric Charles Steinhart (auth.)
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Extra resources for Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death
25. The immune system computes Your immune system defends your body against infection. It contains about 1012 cells, distributed in diffuse networks throughout the ﬂesh. The defensive work of the immune system involves an enormous amount of intelligence. An overview of this immunological intelligence is given here. For a detailed and technical account, see Steinhart (2001: sec. 4). The immune system contains sensory networks which perceive the entry of infectious agents (antigens) into the body.
Since points in the future receive energy only from their past neighbors, the energy levels of all the points at one moment determine the energy levels of all the points at the next moment. The game of life is deterministic. From moment to moment, the energy ﬁeld changes. Vortexes and whirlpools can form in the energy as it ﬂows through the pipes. 6 illustrates how the game of life program acts on a horizontal bar of three energized points. The horizontal bar changes into a vertical bar, which then changes back into a horizontal bar.
But the nervous system is not the only intelligent part of your body. Your mental life is richer than the mental life of your nervous system. The mind of the body is bigger than the mind of the nervous system. 25. The immune system computes Your immune system defends your body against infection. It contains about 1012 cells, distributed in diffuse networks throughout the ﬂesh. The defensive work of the immune system involves an enormous amount of intelligence. An overview of this immunological intelligence is given here.