[ExI] Fwd: Paper on "Detecting Qualia" presentation at 2015 MTA conference

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 01:47:36 UTC 2015

On Sun, Feb 1, 2015  PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:

>> But at the end of the day the really important question isn't the nature
>> of REDNESS or GREENNESS  it's the question I asked in my last post that you
>> didn't answer, do you believe as I do that consciousness is fundamental?
> > I think there is elemental fundamental stuff in nature, and that this
> behaves in fundamental ways.  We call this the laws of nature. For example,
> we know that mass, because of gravity, attracts other mass.  We don't know
> why it does, just that it does.  And this knowledge enables us to dance in
> the heavens. This theory also [...]

If it's a theory then it's not fundamental, in theories we hypothesize that
abstract things like mass, gravity and light have something to do with the
only thing we know with absolute certainty, concrete direct experience.

And I still don't think you answered my question about consciousness being
fundamental. Do you think the series of all "why" continue for infinity or
do some of them eventually hit a brute fact?  I think data processed
intelligently producing intelligently is just such a brute fact.

> In the 3 color world, the scientists don't know why glutamate has a
> redness quality, just that it does.

Something as simple as a chemical can't have anything to do with redness or
any qualia, redness is a label, a label that under certain circumstances
can be pleasant to apprehend and in other circumstances horrifying, a label
made from a astronomically large number of memory associations and nested

>> I don't think there would be any difference subjectively or objectively
>> between somebody who saw everything in black and white and somebody who saw
>> everything in black and red.
>  >Oh, this is great.  I think, then, we completely agree on everything.
> Obviously, there is some difference between this white and red, otherwise
> this would be a meaningless sentence to you and I.

The difference between red and white is meaningful to us because our eye
can register spots of light in 2 dimensions, intensity and wavelength, but
to those who can only do so in one dimension, like both the black-white and
black-red people, the difference would be meaningless.

> Everything behaves the same, at least until you ask them: "What is red
> like for you".

And one of them would say "red is what gives black contrast, without it
vision would be useless", and the other one would say "I understand
completely, in my language we call that white".

  John K Clark

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