[ExI] Digital Consciousness .

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Thu May 2 01:26:53 UTC 2013

Hi James,

This is just amazing.  Let me try putting it yet another way.  Can you 
at least try, for a minute, and think that there may be some other way 
to think about it, than the way you are?  You seem to be unable or 
unwilling to think in any way, other than a redness quality must arise 
from some function, and that it is the function that is prior to the 
quality.  But just for a second, try to imaging that there could be a 
different theoretical possibility, where it is the quale, that is prior, 
and that things are behaving or functioning the way they are, because of 
the phenomenal qualities.  Instead of trying to find some way to impose 
your view on what I'm saying.  Try to find some other way, in what I'm 
saying that has what is fundamental, inverted from the way you are used 
to demanding it must be.  For a moment, have some hope that there could 
be a real solution to the 'hard problem' you are so instantiate exists.

On multiple occasions, you accused me of "assuming [my] conclusion", and 
I understand what you are saying, but all I'm doing is defining (not 
assuming) a theoretical possibility that is making testable predictions 
that could possibly be demonstrated, or falsified by science.  And that 
if science behaves as the theory predicts, it wall falsify the 
definitions, or assumptions you are making, which are required before 
your so called 'proof' that there is a hard problem.

It seems to me, you are assuming, or defining, that it isn't possible 
for anything which has causal properties, to have qualitative properties 
responsible for those qualities, and it can't be behaving the way it is, 
because of these qualities, by definition.  Can you tell me what the 
causal properties of a redness quality are?  And if those causal 
properties of redness, whatever they are, are reflecting white light, 
and you thereby 'interpret' them as if they have a whiteness quality (or 
worse assume the causal properties have nothing to do with the redness 
quality explaining them) are you not just miss interpreting what the 
white light is detecting?

How do you demonstrate that? How do you KNOW that it is not JUST the 
causal properties of glutamate that has the redness quality?

I see a very clear answer to this How question, and this entire 
conversation has been an attempt to answer exactly this.  The fact that 
you are asking this is proving you have no understanding about anything 
I've been saying.

To me, it is you who are assuming your conclusion, and basically saying 
no causal properties can be behaving the way they are, because of a 
redness quality.  You think it isn't possible, because you assume the 
transmigration argument is valid, when it is swapping out the binding 
system and not understanding it's effing capabilities to detect not just 
causal properties, but the qualitative reason for why they are behaving 
the way they do,  and you don't understand what you are giving up, when 
you swap this out for something that is very different.   Again, all 
this is assuming your conclusion, which can be demonstrated to be false, 
if reality behaves differently than you are assuming/predicting.

As I've said many times, when we have something with a redness quality, 
in the right hemisphere of our brain, and something with greenness 
qualities in our left hemisphere, there necessarily is some kind of 
'binding system' that enables us to be aware of the qualitative nature 
responsible for whatever the correlated causal properties of each are.

And when we swap out this binding system, for something inverted like 
white light, reflecting off of whatever it is that is behaving the way 
it is, because of it's redness quality, and then if we thereby assume 
that this thing with a redness quality, is behaving the way it is, 
because of it's whitness qualities, or worse, think of it in a fading 
way (because of some thought experiement that leaves out the very 
mechanism that can compare something and the way it is behaving, because 
of it's phenomenal qualities) and there by insist that those redness 
qualities, can't be behaving the way they are, because of any 
qualitative property - you are just describing a model, and making a 
bunch of predictions that predict there is a 'hard problem' that could 
all be blown out of the water by real effing demonstrably science that 
proves the problem isn't that hard after all.

Brent Allsop

On 5/1/2013 4:13 PM, James Carroll wrote:
> On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Brent Allsop 
> <brent.allsop at canonizer.com <mailto:brent.allsop at canonizer.com>> wrote:
>     I tried to point out that it was likely much more than just one
>     neuron, but this seemed to be completely missed, so how about we
>     call it a "binding system", instead of "binding neuron"?
> Fine, but it makes no difference whatsoever. So long as the 
> "interpretation" layer is placed between those neurons that are 
> simulated, and those that are not, you can work your way across these 
> many neurons of the binding system, and you have the same problem. In 
> fact, things are worse for your case if there are more than one neuron 
> in the binding layer, because now I can slowly FADE my way across 
> these many neurons. And any qualia that actually fades is 
> epiphenomenal. Since MPD predicts that something will fade, MPD 
> predicts epiphenomenal qualia, even though you swear that it does not.
> QED. It's that simple Brent. You are making it harder than it needs to 
> be, and missing this rather obvious conclusion.
>     So let's just limit this binding systems mechanistic functionality
>     to be indicating whether the reference knowledge is qualitatively
>     the same as the sample knowledge.  An additional requirement is
>     that it make this determination only when the knowledge being
>     compared both have qualitative properties AND that the qualitative
>     properties (or causal or informational properties of the
>     qualities) are the same.
> What do you mean by "have qualitative properties"? Do you mean "have 
> phenomenal properties", and if so, how do you detect that, since ALL 
> you can detect are the causal properties.
>     I fully admit, and agree with you, that once the entire binding
>     system is replaced with an abstracted version that it can be
>     thought of as acting like the "1" is real glutamate, and the
>     redness quality.  But the conclusion you are drawing from this is
>     entirely missing the point of what I'm talking about.
> is it, or are YOU entirely missing the point of what I am talking 
> about Brent?
>     By definition, a "1", and a "0", do not have qualities (Why I
>     didn't color them red and green like you did).
> You are assuming your conclusion here. That is the very question that 
> is in dispute here. I don't think that an isolated 1 or a 0 has 
> phenomenal qualities either, but they do when they are embedded within 
> a functional pattern that produces behavior... as illustrated by this 
> thought experiment. You can't just assume your conclusion in order to 
> make your point. Part of the problem here is that you appear to think 
> that phenomenal qualities happen in individual neurons, interacting 
> with certain chemicals, in some magical way. While I think that 
> phenomenal qualities happen over larger systems of interacting 
> functional patterns. So, naturally, when I use your few neurons 
> example, I end up with something mind numbingly simply, like a 1 or a 
> 0. But that is a function of your messed up initial setup of a 
> reference neuron, and a sample neuron, and a single binding 
> system/neuron. But if you expand the binding system to multiple 
> neurons, you end up with a complex and large functional pattern of 1's 
> and 0's floating around in the binding system. That would be closer to 
> how I think that qualia happen.
>     By definition, they are not glutamate, nor are they any kind of
>     "functional isomorphs" or any other theoretical thing that anyone
>     may propose could theoretically have the quality we are trying to
>     test for.
> True, but we take one side of the causal chain, convert it to a 1 or a 
> 0 that represents whether or not glutamate was detected in the 
> synapse, and then we have a simulation of the binding neuron that does 
> the right complex thing with this 1 or 0, namely, a simulation of what 
> the binding neuron (or system) would do if it were to come in contact 
> with real glutamate, thus INTERPRETING the 1 or 0 as glutamate, as 
> part of its simulation.
>     So, by definition, the virtualized replacement of the binding
>     system, is not doing what we want it to do,
> Again, you are assuming your conclusion here. I think that it IS doing 
> what we want it to do, as evidenced by the fact that it produces the 
> right BEHAVIOR (the system claims to have real qualia), and if any 
> qualia faded during our replacement with the simulation, those qualia 
> that faded MUST be epiphenomenal.
>     and is only being thought of as doing it.
> No, it is not just being THOUGHT of as doing it... it is DOING it, as 
> evidenced by the behavior of the system when it claims to have real 
> qualia. Any abstraction in the information inside of it, is 
> interpreted by the translation layers that rap around the inputs and 
> the outputs of the system.
>     All it is, is some configuration of some arbitrary matter, which,
>     by design, doesn't matter if it has qualities or not, but is only
>     being thought of, whatever arbitrary thing it is, as being a
>     comparator of a "1" and "0", which by definition do not have a
>     redness or greenness quality.
> Only by YOUR definition. Again, you are assuming your conclusion to 
> prove your conclusion. Because *I* think that it DOES have a redness 
> or a greenness quality, and that is the HEART of our disagreement!
>     You could invert or replace the abstract machinery, in an
>     infinitely many different ways that can be thought of as behaving
>     the same way, which were all very different, and regardless of
>     what you were using, and regardless of how inverted the
>     fundamental stuff was, as long as you thought of its current
>     particular arbitrary configuration, as a comparator between a "1"
>     and a "0", that is all it would be, is something you are thinking
>     of as if it were something qualitatively, very different from what
>     it really is.
> Any internal inversion in the simulated section would have to be met 
> by an equivalent inversion in the translation layer that would undo 
> the inversion in order for the system to maintain the same behavior, 
> and thus, in order to maintain the same functional pattern. In fact, 
> what you are claiming here is EXACTLY what those of us who believe in 
> functional equivalence believe, namely, that you can change HOW you do 
> the calculation all you want, and, so long as it produces the same 
> results, it has the same qualia.
> All your internal changing of how it works, all your inversions, is 
> met with an equivalent change in the translation layer, providing the 
> same behavior, and THUS, the same qualia. Otherwise you believe in 
> dancing qualia, where your qualia change from red to green, but you 
> still say "I see red" the entire time... aka. if you don't believe 
> this, you believe in a property of qualia that leads to qualia being 
> epiphenomenal.
>     In other words, the fallacy in the substitution argument is, when
>     you, in one single step, replace the very thing that is dong the
>     detection, binding, and comparison of the phenomenal qualities;
>     (i.e. the binding system) with something that by definition and
>     design has nothing to do with qualities,
> You assumed the conclusion again. I think that it DOES have to do with 
> qualities, when properly interpreted by the translation layer.
>     even though you can think of the resulting abstracted behavior as
>     the behavior you want, you are completely bypassing and ignoring
>     what is important.
> IF there is something "important" in there that I am ignoring, I can 
> PROVE that this "important" thing is epiphenomenal, by the fading and 
> dancing qualia thought experiment.
>     Also, as you've pointed out, it might be possible for some
>     religious person to theorize about the state of things, once you
>     are way passed any of the fading/dancing quale partially replaced
>     states, and the entire binding system has been replaced with
>     something that has none of that and is only being thought of as
>     having it.  It might then be possible to theorize that a
>     qualitative experience is still occurring.  The problem is, as you
>     correctly point out, this could never be validated, or proven,
>     since there is, by definition, no causal evidence for any such
>     'epiphenomena'.  Your conclusion is true, but only about this kind
>     of non causal epiphenomena, and has nothing to do with what this
>     theory is predicting.
> True. But, as I already pointed out, your theory is predicting 
> non-epiphenomenal qualia together with some beliefs that REQUIRE 
> epiphenomenal qualia, as can be shown with the fading and dancing 
> qualia thought experiments. Thus, your theory contains an internal 
> contradiction.
>     This theory is predicting that real glutamate (or some real
>     functionally active pattern, or whatever) which, if it is
>     demonstrated to be what has a redness quality,
> How do you demonstrate that? How do you KNOW that it is not JUST the 
> causal properties of glutamate that has the redness quality? Because 
> if it is JUST the causal properties of glutamate, then I can simulate 
> those properties, and my simulation will have qualia without the real 
> glutamate. Furthermore, I can show that if there is anything ELSE in 
> there, that this extra thing is epiphenomenal.... which you don't 
> believe in... therefore, you need to accept the principle of 
> functional equivalence. It is the only way to escape believing in 
> epiphenomenal qualia.
> James
>     On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 12:29 PM, James Carroll
>     <jlcarroll at gmail.com <mailto:jlcarroll at gmail.com>>wrote:
>         On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Brent Allsop
>         <brent.allsop at canonizer.com
>         <mailto:brent.allsop at canonizer.com>> wrote:
>             But Stathis and James are still providing no evidence that
>             they are getting it at all.
>         Obviously, I think that it is clearly you who aren't getting
>         it at all.
>             ...For you guys that still aren’t getting it, let’s make
>             this so elementary it is impossible to miss.Let’s make an
>             even more simplified theoretical model, and hand hold you
>             through every single step of the transmigration process,
>             including a final resulting simulated system that can
>             behave the same.
>         Which is funny, since you clearly didn't get it, even in this
>         simplified handheld case.
>             All of these millions of voxel neurons are sending their
>             color neurotransmitters to the single large ‘binding’
>             neuron.This single large binding neuron is a very
>             complicated system, as it enables all these isolated color
>             voxel elements to be bound together into one unified
>             phenomenal experience.In other words, it is doing lots
>             more than just sending the signal that this red thing is
>             the one we want.It is also aware
>         HOW is it "aware" of anything. It is just one neuron. How does
>         it "represent" this awareness internally? Yes it GETs one
>         transmitter or another as input, but how does it INTERNALLY
>         represent all these things that you claim that this one neuron
>         is "aware" of?
>             of the qualitative nature of this knowledge and all of
>             their differences and qualitative diversity, and enables
>             the system to talk about and think about all this
>             phenomenal diversity.
>         How does it experience phenomenal anything, when its internal
>         state is ONLY impacted by the CAUSAL properties of glutamate
>         or dopamine?
>             So, the first neuron we want to transmigrate is of course
>             the sample pixel neuron.Obviously, since the binding
>             neuron is like a high fidelity *glutamate*detector,
>             nothing but real *glutamate*will make it say, “yes that is
>             qualitatively the same as the reference pixel”, because of
>             the fact that it has the causal properties of redness.
>         With you so far....
>             The dancing quale case is quite simple, because we want to
>             replace a pixel neuron firing with *glutamate*, with one
>             that is firing with *dopamine*. Or, if you are a
>             functionalist, you will be replacing the “functional
>             isomorph” or “functionally active patter” that has the
>             causal properties of redness with a “functional isomorph”
>             that has the causal properties of a greenness quality.
>             The transmigration process describes providing a
>             transducer, which when it detects something with a
>             greenness property, sends real *glutamate* to the binding
>             neuron, so the binding neuron can say: yes that has a
>             redness quality.
>         Yes. Again, with you so far. You now have a neuron with
>         dopamine, that causes your binding neuron to think it is
>         seeing glutamate, through a translation (intperpretation)
>         layer, that replaces the dopamine with glutamate for the
>         binding neuron... excellent.
>         But where you fail to take the leap, is when you replace the
>         proposed binding neuron itself. Then, the middleware
>         translation layer can disappear, and you can invert the
>         outputs of the binding neuron itself instead. That is where
>         your example falls down. You don't think carefully enough
>         about what happens when you replace your theoretical "binding"
>         neuron itself with a simulation, or with an inverted system.
>         If you do that, then you have a binding neuron, that is
>         experiencing dopamine, but that causes you to ACT as if the
>         original binding neuron had seen glutamate.
>              In the fading quale case, we are going to use a binary
>             “1” to represent *glutamate*, and a “0” to represent
>             *dopamine*.Functionalists tend to miss a particular fact
>             that they must pay close attention to here.You must be
>             very clear about the fact that this “1” which is
>             representing something that is a “functional isomorph” by
>             definition does not have the same quality the “functional
>             isomorh” has.The “1” is only something being interpreted
>             as abstracted information, which in turn can be
>             interpreted as representing the *glutamate*, or the
>             functionally isomorphic pattern or whatever it is that
>             actually has the redness quality.Obviously, the
>             transduction layer in this case, must be something for
>             which no matter what it is that is representing the one as
>             input, when it sees this “1” it produces real glutamate,
>             so the binding neuron will give the signal: “yes that has
>             a redness quality”.
>         Again, correct when you simulate (and appropriately translate)
>         the behavior of the sample neuron. You do this part right.
>             OK, so now that the sample neuron has been replaced, and
>             we can switch back and forth between them with no change,
>             we can now move on to the binding neuron.But keep in mind
>             that this one sample neuron could be expanded to include
>             millions of 3D voxel elements.All of them are firing with
>             diverse sets of neurotransmitters which can be mapped to
>             every possible color we can experience.And keep in mind
>             the big job this binding neuron has to do, to bind all
>             this, so it call all be experienced, qualitatively, at the
>             same time.
>             In the dancing quale case, we now have to provide the
>             transduction between the reference neuron, which is still
>             firing with *glutamate*, with something that converts this
>             to *dopamine*.So, when the system sees *dopamine* on both
>             sample, and the reference, it is going to finally say:
>             “Yes, these are qualitatively the same” and it should
>             finally be blatantly obvious to everyone, how different
>             this system is when we switch them back and forth, and
>             even though some naive person may be tempted to believe
>             both of the “yes they are the same”, before and after the
>             switch, are talking about ‘red’ knowledge.
>         No Brent, it's not obvious at all, and this is where you make
>         your most obvious mistake.
>         Let me see if I can break this down for you. Here are the
>         neurons you have:
>         Sample
>         Reference
>         Binding
>         Downsream (where downstream refers to the neurons that the
>         binding neuron talks to, and tells about its experiences).
>         The connections between these neurons are as follows:
>         S:B sample to binding
>         R:B reference to binding
>         B:D binding to downstream...
>         Ok, so, you started inverting things, and you inverted the
>         sample. You had to then translate between S:B, obviously, so
>         that B still got glutamate instead of dopamine. The pattern
>         here, is that you must translate between every inverted
>         neuron, and every neuron it talks to.
>         Next, you propose inverting the binding neuron. But what you
>         seem to have missed is that when you do that, you have to
>         translate between the inverted parts, and the non inverted parts.
>         Sample (inverted)
>         Reference (inverted)
>         Binding
>         Downsream (where downstream refers to the neurons that the
>         binding neuron talks to, and tells about its experiences).
>         S:B sample to binding (must be translated)
>         R:B reference to binding (can be left alone)
>         B:D binding to downstream... (must be translated)
>         NOW, it's not at ALL obvious that the individual actually
>         experiences anything different, after all, because of the
>         translation between the binding neuron and the downstream
>         neurons, the person SAYS that their experiences haven't
>         changed at all. But you are proposing that their experiences
>         really HAVE changed... thus, you are proposing a theory that
>         results in epiphenomenal qualia, whether you know it or not.
>             The fading quale case is similar.There is a “1” present on
>             both the sample and now on the reference, thanks to a new
>             transduction layer between the pixel producing real
>             glutamate, which enables the virtual neuron to send a
>             signal that can be thought of as “these are qualitatively
>             the same” even though everyone should be clear that this
>             is just a lie, or at best an incorrect interpretation of
>             what the signal really qualitatively means.
>         Ummm, no... let's let blue = natural, and black =
>         simulated/translated.
>         Step 1, no simulation:
>         Sample
>         Reference
>         Binding
>         Downsream
>         S:B sample to binding
>         R:B reference to binding
>         B:D binding to downstream...
>         Step 2, simulate sample neuron:
>         Sample (simulated)
>         Reference
>         Binding
>         Downsream
>         S:B (translated)
>         R:B
>         B:D
>         The translation at this point is simple, when the S sends a 1,
>         the translation sends glutamate to B, when S sends a 0, the
>         translation layer sends dopamine to B. So far so good, right?
>         B behaves JUST as it did before, because it is unaware of the
>         simulation happening downstream, so it sends all the same
>         signals upstream... with me so far?
>         Ok, so,now, let's simulate S and B, ok?
>         Step 3, simulate Sample and Binding Neurons.
>         Sample (simulated)
>         Reference
>         Binding
>         Downsream
>         S:B (un translated, but simulated)
>         R:B (translated)
>         B:D (translated)
>         Now, notice, that the S:B link is no longer translated, it is
>         just simulated such that the simulation of B does the right
>         thing depending on what S was. But the R:B link must be
>         translated. This translation goes much like the S:B link did
>         when we simulated S. But now the natural neuron is on the
>         other side of the translation, so it simply goes the other
>         direction. When the R neuron sends glutamate to B, a detector
>         detects the glutamate, and sends a 1 to the simulated B, which
>         then behaves (in simulation) just as it would if it had seen
>         real glutamate. When the R neuron tries to send dopamine to B,
>         a detector picks up the dopamine, and sends a 0 to the
>         simulated B, which then behaves (in simulation) exactly like
>         the natural B would have if it had seen real dopamine coming
>         from R. All that is left is to describe the B:D simulation
>         layer, which is hard to do since you didn't describe how B
>         talks downstream, but however it does it, you simulate what it
>         does, and then translate, so all the downstream neurons see
>         the same real neurotransmitters that they saw before.
>         Now, if you simulated R too, you end up with a system with no
>         glutamate or dopamine in this part of the system, but that
>         CLAIMS to still be experiencing qualia, and why? Because the
>         downstream neurons all behave exactly as they did before the
>         swap.
>         Now, if we assume MPD is true, then we have a problem, because
>         this new system should have no real qualia, but it CLAIMS that
>         it is experiencing real qualia the entire time, as its neurons
>         were slowly replaced with simulations. And the result is a
>         theory where the qualia is epiphenomenal.
>         Thus, MPD is dead.
>             So, please return and report, and let me know if I can
>             fall to my knees and weep yet?
>         I sincerely hope so. I hope that you have finally got it.
>         James
>         -- 
>         Web: http://james.jlcarroll.net
> -- 
> Web: http://james.jlcarroll.net

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