This is a continuation of the post WWW with Metabolism . That post, in a nutshell, propose to endow the internet connectome with a chemical connectome, by using an artificial chemistry for this artificial network, namely the graphic form of the lambda calculus formalism of the chemical concrete machine (please go read the mentioned post for details).
I’m going to do a weird, but maybe instructive thing and pretend that it already happened. Why? Because I intend to argue that the internet with a chemical connectome might be a good laboratory for testing ideas about real brains.
The name “chemical connectome” is taken from the article The BRAIN Initiative: Toward a Chemical Connectome. It means the global chemical reaction network associated with the “connectome”, which is the physical neurons-and-synapses network. Quoting from the article:
Focusing solely on neuronal electrical activity is shortsighted if the goal is to understand information processing in brains. Brain function integrally entails complex synaptic chemistries. […] New tools fuel fundamentally new conceptualizations. By and large, today’s approaches for sensing neurotransmitters are not able to approach chemical neurotransmission at the scales that will ultimately be important for uncovering emergent properties. Likewise, most methods are not highly multiplexed suchthat the interplay of multiple chemical transmitters can be unraveled. In addition to measuring electrical activity at hundreds or thousands of neurons simultaneously, we need to advocate for a large-scale multidisciplinary effort aimed at in vivo nanoscale chemical sensing.
Imagine then we already succeeded with implementing a (logical, artificial, human made) chemical connectome over the internet, by using CS tools and exploiting the relative simplicity of ingredients of the internet (connected Von Neumann machines which exchange data through known formats and programming languages). We could explore this chemical connectome and we could play with it (because we defined it), even if, like in the case of the brain connectome, we can’t possibly know the www network in all details. So, we should be in a situation which is extremely complex, like a brain is, but however allows for very powerful experimentation, because is still human made, according to human rules.