[ExI] Redness comes from Context? Was Re: Digital Consciousness

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Sun May 5 02:46:39 UTC 2013

Hi Ben,

I apologize for being like Sheldon, and so sarcastically challenged with 
this.  But thanks for clearing this up, so I can understand what you 
were saying.  And I also now understand what you meant by which cog 
knows what time it is.

In my opinion, you are using a mistaken analogy with the cog knows what 
time it is, at least as far as understanding one possible theory, and 
it's predictions.  But let me come back to that latter.  First  I think 
I have a realization that has significantly helped me to understand how 
You, James, Mike Perry, and so many others think.  So let me see if I 
can describe this, and hopefully you guys can let me know if I have it 
about right, from your POV yet, or not.

Make Perry (I CC:ed him to pull him into this conversation) indicated 
qualities have a "context".  In other words, he indicate a set of bits 
fully describing the brain, while it was experiencing 'redness' was 
written down in a book, from our perspective, reading the static book, 
would not have a redness quality.  But, from the perspective of the 
world described, in the book, or from this different 'context', it would 
have a redness quality.

Also, James has described what I came to think of as a "Functionally 
Active Pattern", which has a redness quality.  I at least got him to 
admit that an abstracted single binary bit, representing a "1", could 
fully represent a redness quality, but not without knowing how to map 
the "1", back to the "Functionally Active Pattern" that did have the 
redness quality.  In other words, he agreed that there was no redness 
quality to the abstracted data.

But in this conversation, in my opinion, he backtracked on this idea 
when I hand held everyone through what MPD is predicting will happen 
when you attempt transmigration.  From what I understood, he was saying 
that an abstracted one could have a redness quality to it, from the 
context, which seems to me to be the same thing Mike Perry is saying.  
In other words, it seems to me that you guys all think that a redness 
quality is all about context.  If something, no matter what it is, is in 
the right context, it then has, or at least a redness quality will 
emerge from it.

Stathis, I haven't seen you say anything that leads me to think you 
think this way, but do you?  Would you think that any old abstracted 
"1", no matter what media was representing it, in the right context, a 
redness quality could emerge?

So, if I have all that right, let me walk through a certain perception 
scenario, and tell me if I'm still on the right track. Let's say we want 
to perceive 2 'red' objects.  A strawberry, and a pool ball, painted 
with lead based 'red' paint.  Now, for experimental purposes, we can't 
see the light reflected off these guys, directly.  We have to camera/TV 
systems that invert red and green signals.  The first one, can see the 
two object, and produces "green objects" on it's screen, converting the 
650 NM light int 700 NM light.  Then a second system can 'see' this 
inverted image on that first screen, and re invert the red green signal, 
producing a properly colored image of a strawberry, and a pool ball, 
reflecting 650 or red light.  It is our eyes that see this second 
correctly colored screen.  Resulting in our brain producing something 
with a redness quality, as it's knowledge of the two 'red' items - the 
final result of the entire perception process.

So, it seems to me that, from the 'context', both the strawberry, and 
the pool ball are 'red'.  Also the 650NM light reflecting off both of 
them also, from the context, is 'red'.  And also, the inverted green or 
700NM light, after the first inverter, because of the context, is also 
now 'red', and the same is true for every representation all the way to 
the final knowledge of such, produced in our brain.

So, finally, do you guys see the terrible mistake I think you guys are 
making by thinking qualia can 'arise' from anything, as long as it has 
the right 'context'?  Other than the final result of the perception 
process, the only thing that really has any redness quality, is our 
knowledge.  And all of the other red and green light, only is 'red' 
because we think of them as having such a quality.  Obviously, the red 
light, the green light, nor does anything else have a redness quality to it.

In other words, you guys are just trying to hide where you think the 
redness is located, in some complex hard to think about place that 
doesn't really have it.

Now, back to what Ben was talking about.  It seems to me that Ben is 
pulling a similar trick, claiming qualitative properties come from 
complexities.  But if this is the case, then you should be able to tell 
me the nature of these complexities, and what or how is it that a simple 
elemental redness quality can come from such. And if you did see such, 
in someone's brain, how would you know that it had an elemental redness 
quality, and not an elemental greenness quality, and so on.

Ben, I think you were right when you started saying we need more 
clarification on the type of 'quale' we are talking about.  I am 
certainly failing to comunicate what I mean by the word, so from know on 
I'm going to use the term 'elemental quale'.  Because most people, when 
they experience 'redness' bind a huge amount of memories, emotions, us 
perceiving it, and other stuff in with 'redness'.  And I agree with your 
assertion about what this kind of combined with everything else quale 
is.  But this isn't what I'm talking about, when I talk about an 
'elemental quale'.  I'm predicting there are elemental qualities, like 
redness, that our brain can use to bind or 'paint' 'complex qualeties' 
that we experience.  These elemental qualities are what I'm talking 
about.  And there must be something that has these elemental qualities, 
whether there is any context or not.  And that it is these real 
qualities, when we can then use to think about lots of things, in our 
eyes, and causally upstream from there, as having the same quality, due 
to it's context.

So, did I get what you guys are thinking right?  Or am I still missing 
something?  James, do you are any of you still think that something can 
have a redness quality, or a redness quality can 'arise' from something, 
no matter what it is, if it has the correct 'context'?

Brent Allsop

On 5/2/2013 8:41 AM, Ben Zaiboc wrote:
> Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:
>>>> In this idealized theoretical world, it is glutamate that
>>>> has a redness quality.  And this glutamate behaves
>>>> the way it does, because of this redness quality.  ...
>>>> That?s at least how I think about it.  Does this help
>>>> you guys at all?
>>> Yes, it helps enormously.
>> (Ben, thanks for this.  I literally feel to my knees, and cried, when I
> read this.)
> Oh, dear, I think you rather missed the point.
> What was important was what I wrote directly underneath that.  I'm trying to point out that saying something like "glutamate has a redness quality" /makes no sense at all/ (you don't actually think that a particular cog in a clock is the one that knows the time, do you?).
> "Redness" is not a quality that a thing possesses, it's a conceptual category that our minds create after many experiences involving visual inputs.  You could say that it's something we invent.  Just like we invent other useful categories to group together the Oxford English Dictionary, Ringworld Engineers, The God Delusion, The Collected Works of Shakespeare, German for Dummies, Freakonomics, Mind Children, etc., or Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Ostrich, Venison, and so on.  We make up huge numbers of these categories throughout our lives, and the interesting question is not "does my 'bus' category feel the same as yours, when we both see a bus?", but: "How do we do it?".  Once we know that, we can build other systems that do it too, and they will then create their own categories, and thereby know what books are.  And what red is.
>>> .Thankfully, it looks like lots of people are starting to get it.  Spike is
> clearly getting it.
> 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 Aether.
> 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.  It can't be properly defined, so it means far too many things.  What it means to me is worlds away from what it appears to mean to Brent, for example.  When trying to figure out how minds work, they are simply Not Useful.
> Ben Zaiboc
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