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

Ben bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 2 19:56:08 UTC 2015

Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> writes:

 > "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 predicts that this elemental fundamental stuff, in
addition to behaving according to these laws, also has fundamental
qualities, like redness."

Ridiculous.  'Redness' is *absolutely not* a fundamental quality, any 
more than beauty or weirdness or jealousy is.  How many 'fundamental 
qualities' do you think there are?  What about cantankerousness?  
Happiness?  Warmth?  The sensation of shivering? The feel of wool?  
Dread?  Dizziness? The sound of high C played on a violin?  Sweetness?  
That sensation you get when you pick up a mug of coffee that you think 
is full and it's actually empty? Laughing?  The smell of mint?  And on 
and on and on...  If you're going to use the word 'fundamental', it has 
to actually /mean/ fundamental.  You know, as in foundational, sitting 
at the bottom, something that other things are made from.  Everything 
can't be fundamental, which is basically what follows if you claim that 
something like 'redness' is (unless you think that 'redness' is, but the 
smell of mint isn't.  I'd like to hear an explanation for that!).

Far from being fundamental, 'redness' is pretty high-level, a complex 
interaction of a whole bunch of things going on in the brain.  It's not 
a property of the universe, it's an experience manufactured by the mind.

As far as I know, and as far as physics is concerned (to my knowledge) 
there are only five (or three, depending how you look at it) 
*fundamental* things:  Space/Time, Matter/Energy, and Information.  
EVERYTHING is made of these things.  And I really do mean everything, 
including minds and what goes on in them.  That's what 'fundamental' 
means, and things like subjective experience of colour comes nowhere 
near this level.  Talking about colour perception as being fundamental 
is like confusing ocean liners with quarks, or like those old 
science-fiction stories where someone discovers that planetary systems 
and atoms are /exactly the same!!!/.  Quaint, entertaining, but utterly, 
disastrously, wrong.

Ben Zaiboc

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