[ExI] Digital Consciousness

spike spike at rainier66.com
Thu May 2 16:06:11 UTC 2013

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Ben Zaiboc

Spike wrote:
>>>... Damn, I'm slow.  It took me at least a dozen years to figure out what

> this concept is about.

>>...Spike, don't feel bad.  Many people still don't get Phlogiston, or the

>...In my opinion, Qualia, as actual 'things that exist', come under the
category of "not even wrong".  I'm not saying that the word doesn't mean
anything, because obviously it means what each person using it wants it to
mean, but that's part of the problem... Ben Zaiboc


OK let me try an alternate description then.  My idea of the meaning of
qualia may well be different from Brent's, but I think I have extracted from
the discussion something useful, as follows:

You and I, Brent, everyone here, sees a flash of coherent 700 nm light.  The
light is completely quantized, unambiguous, we know the momentum of each
photon exactly, the event is completely mathematically described.  We all
have retinas which react every one differently, each of which cause some
kind of electrochemical reaction to occur on our optical nerves, which carry
the signals to a glob of neurons which somehow causes a chain reaction,
neuronal pathways absolutely different in each person, chaotic branching
dendrites going to synapses every which way along completely different paths
in each person, so we all feel something a little different, and yet we all
say in perfect unison "red."

As I am using (or misusing) the term, I take qualia to be an attempted
description of what happens immediately after those 700 nm photons hit a
retina.  This concept is absolutely necessary to really understanding what
is a thought and what is going on in a connectome, ja?


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