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

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 04:55:58 UTC 2015

On Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 8:47 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

### Indeed, and this 2d processing matrix is actually essential to
generating the perception of color. I don't know if anybody else mentioned
it in this thread, but we know that color is not a property of the cones in
the retina - in fact it is a construct produced predominantly in the
lingual and fusiform gyri, and applied to the 2d and 3d renderings
generated mainly in the dorsal stream (dorsal occipital and parietal
cortical areas). One only needs to look at some of the color illusion
images to realize that - color is not a property of light, but rather it's
a complex quality computed from images in order to encode reflectances of
various materials under different lighting conditions, from dawn to dusk.
Reflectance is a property of materials and it provides information about
the various important chemical properties of some of these materials (e.g.
degree of ripeness of fruit, skin perfusion levels in a child or
prospective mate - knowing them may have dramatic impact on your survival),
and we evolved to have very sophisticated hardware dedicated to computing
it. Shining a monochromatic light beam in your eye also produces a
perception of color but this is just a side-effect of an information
processing event that evolved to do something else than sitting in
high-school physics experiments.

As David Deutsch might say, everything we see is theory-laden, even a

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