[ExI] Redness comes from Context?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Mon May 6 14:41:37 UTC 2013

Hi Ben,

This is all about Shannon’s information theory.  You can’t store a megabyte
of information in some physical device that is only capable of holding one
byte.  If you know something, there must be something physical which you
can point to, which is representing that information.  If something ‘seems’
some way, there must be something that is this seeming.  You talked about a
‘vortex’, which is a good example.  In that case, if a vortex exists, there
is a real liquid, in a real ‘vortex’ state, which can be described.  The
physical stuff, along with the state description, are the necessary and
sufficient set of causal properties that are the real ‘vortex’.  If
something /feels/ some way, the same thing is true, there must be something
physically real, and some physical state, which is responsible for that
feeling.  There must be some necessary and sufficient set of causal
properties that are the redness experience.  Obviously, something that
/feels/ like redness is very different than something that /feels/ like
greenness.  The qualitative natures of these, and their differences, and
whatever is responsible for it, is what I’m talking about, nothing more.

Also, as far as ‘elemental redness’ goes.  We both agree that when we
experience redness, we usually have bound to that our knowledge of the word
‘red’, our knowledge of us perceiving redness, a sensation that redness is
a ‘warm’ color and a bunch of stuff like that.  While it is true that all
of these things can be bound together in one person’s brain, would you also
agree that it is possible to reduce these things down, and isolate them all.
So that it is possible for a brain to have just a qualitative redness
experience, with none of the other cognitive information bound up with it?

Brent Allsop

On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 5:44 AM, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:
> >Ben,
> >
> >You're clearly still missing much.  First off, you said:
> >
> >     "I know it /feels/ like there is, but that's no guide."
> >>
> >Surely you must believe that if you know ANYTHING, whether mistaken or
> >not, there must be something that is that knowledge or that is the
> >seeming /feels/.  If you don't agree with that, then you're not talking
> >about any kind of intelligence with knowledge that is physically real.
> Sorry, not with you here.  What is "knowledge that is physically real"?
>  Is there "knowledge that is not physically real"?  Afaik, there is just
> knowledge.  Adding "physically real" on to the end makes as much sense to
> me as saying "inquisitiveness that  is spherical".
> Anyway, you seem to be saying that feelings are things that have an
> existence independent of the system that has them.  Like a vortex having an
> existence independent of any fluid, or a wave having an existence
> independent of a hand.
> The 'something' that is a feeling is a /process/ generated by a system, is
> what I'm saying.  It has no existence outside that system.
> >
> >You also said:
> >
> >"Forget 'a simple elemental redness quality', there is no such thing."
> >
> >for which there is lots and lots of scientific evidence that falsifies
> >this, so don't expect me to believe such completely violates known
> >science assertions.  For example, when people take certain psychedelic
> >drugs, all these bound together pieces of information "disassociate" and
> >become consciously clearly separated - having nothing to do with each
> >other.  If you're interested, I can point you to a book where Steven
> >Lehar scientifically documents having such experiences.
> I think you're confusing reported experiences with scientific evidence.
>  Reported experience *on drugs*.  Drugs that disrupt the normal processes
> of cognition.
> Here's a question:  Let's suppose for a second that there was such a thing
> as an 'elemental redness quality', what kind of thing could it be?  I know
> that the world is made up of five fundamental things: Space/Time,
> Matter/Energy and Information. There is nothing else.  Everything we know
> to be real is composed of some combination of those five things.  Some
> configuration of matter and energy, organised in space and time according
> to some information.  I know of nothing that doesn't conform to this
> recipe.  The relative amounts of the ingredients may vary (empty space in
> an cosmic void probably doesn't have much information, a quark doesn't have
> much space, etc.), but the recipe is always there.
> This applies to our mental states just as much as it does to a volcano.
>  We have a couple of pounds of neurons that are specialised for dealing
> with information, lots of it.  They throw energy and matter around in
> complex, changing patterns.  We call many of these information patterns our
> 'thoughts', or 'mental states'.
> So:  What is this fundamental redness quality?  What's it made of?  I see
> no room for any such thing.  All I see is that it must be one of those
> 'thoughts', in other words, a pattern of information created in a brain.
>  Not 'fundamental' at all, but an information process.
> If you don't like this conclusion, if it feels wrong, there's not much I
> can do except point out that this feeling of 'wrongness' is just another
> information pattern in your brain, likely a result of our evolved
> psychology from long ago.  Thinking about these things is not what we're
> good at, philosophers tend to get eaten or starve in the kind of
> environment we're adapted for.  Our instincts on these matters are likely
> to be wrong, so we need help.  We have to use logic, ruthlessly question
> our assumptions, and apply the scientific method no matter how 'wrong' it
> feels, otherwise we're just cavemen worshipping the thunder god.
> Ben Zaiboc
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