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unsw199 karma

The catalyst for the collapse was mostly isolated. SVB itself has its own somewhat unique set of problems. These are not exactly replicated at other banks. For eg, SVB’s depositors were mostly startups and VC funds, giving a very concentrated deposit base. But, if SVB went under, it would create a lot of concern elsewhere.

The collapse could have been a broader disaster. It could have triggered more bank runs at small banks. And, it could have prevented companies from paying their own suppliers and employees.

But, because the government has stepped in to ensure depositors are made whole, this will stop the situation from cascading.

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unsw168 karma

Your question has a lot of parts so I’ll answer them each separately:

a) In theory it is potentially possible to take a snapshot of neural activity, but ‘realistic’ I think not. The resolution required to take a snapshot of every molecular neural interaction strains the bounds of physics and is unachievable given our current understanding of science.

b) The less you take of the nervous system, either by reducing the resolution of your snapshot or the extent of areas captured, the less directly similar that snapshot is going to be to the original. The spine doesn’t contain personality directly, but certainly aspects of the peripheral nervous system contribute to your personality (when you’re in minor pain you might be irritable, for example, and while the final feeling is being processed in the brain, the pain signal could come from signals in the spine). How much of that you can lose before you aren’t ‘you’ anymore is a deeply personal and philosophical question without easy answers.

c) Assuming such a process were possible, which it currently definitely is not, there would be no reason why you couldn’t repeat it any number of times. Again, which copy is the real ‘you’ is a philosophical question. I recommend a sci-fi book by Greg Egan called ‘permutation city’ if you are interested in these kinds of questions!


unsw152 karma

This is a pretty complex question! It’s very hard to communicate with or record from the brain non-invasively because we have this big electrically insulative barrier between the brain and the outside world (the skull).

However, this technology does already exist to an extent – EEG (electroencephalography) and tDCs (transcranial direct current stimulation) let us record and stimulate brain activity, respectively, and both are relatively cheap and accessible.

This tech is already useful scientifically, but the spatial resolution (how specific we can target them) is poor, which limits their usefulness generically.

I do know there have already been attempts to use e.g. EEG as a video game controller, but so far nothing too successful. In the longer term, I would expect we will continue to get better at developing technologies like these and they will become more publicly useful – but I couldn’t guess at a timeframe.


unsw123 karma

There are no silly questions =)

SVB’s collapse could have been a broader disaster. Without government intervention, It can have two major follow-on effects: 1: the depositors risk losing a significant amount of money (or losing access to their money). This stops them from paying their suppliers, employees or their other debts. This can create a cascade. 2: confidence in the financial system will be shaken. This would especially be so for smaller banks. And, this could trigger a broader bank run at other smaller regional institutions. This worsens the whole situation.

Currently, the Federal Reserve and the US treasury have stepped in to intervene. They have guaranteed ALL deposits. And have indicated that people will have access to their money on Monday. This helps to reassure people at other financial institutions. It also enables those depositors to pay their own obligations.

Importantly, the government is not bailing out SVB. Shareholders are likely to be wiped out. And, the deposit insurance is coming via what is called the “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation”, which effectively gets funding via imposts on banks.

Outside of the US: the impact is likely relatively limited, especially since deposits have been guaranteed. However, relatively few non-US companies had accounts with SVB. For those companies though, if they could not get their money, it would have be a significant issue. It likely would have required their own investors to step in and support them.


unsw85 karma

I don’t have strong opinions on their progress. This field is prone to a lot of hype. Always wait for the pragmatic/functional outcomes and don’t believe the spin, especially when it comes from a company that may have a vested financial interest.