[ExI] Quantum consciousness, quantum mysticism, and transhumanist engineering

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 14 05:50:27 UTC 2017

On 14 March 2017 at 14:54, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Stathis,
> On 3/10/2017 2:52 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> I see no evidence that you understand the idea that with any possible
> system, if you swap a part for another part that interacts with its
> neighbours in the same way, the system as a whole will behave in the same
> way. It is irrelevant what the system does or how complex it is. The
> correct way to do the substitution is to make sure that the new part
> interacts with the rest of the system in the same way as the original part
> did, and you don't need to understand anything about what the system does
> in order make this substitution.
> OK, let me attempt, yet again, to convince you that I do fully understand
> the idea that with any possible system, if you swap a part for another
> part, that interacts with it's neighbors in the same way, the system as a
> whole will behave in the same way.  I completely agree with this, but the
> way you do the substitution is erroneous, and you are corrupting the system
> by always insisting you must be able to remove any way to compare one
> quality to another, no matter where you theorized that it might be.  For
> example, let's assume, for a moment, your theory that redness is
> "functional" as you claim.
> I assert that if your theory is true, then there must be some "function"
> that is the redness function, and there must be some other function that
> must be detectably different that is the greenness function.  Additionally,
> since we can be aware of them at the same time, there must be something
> that is binding these two functions enabling this composite qualitative
> experience of redness and greenness, leading to the ability to verbalize
> that they are qualitatively different.
> Now, the error you make, is that you assert that you must always be able
> to replace the redness function, with the greenness function, in a way that
> it will always "behave in the same way" which you corrupting claim must be
> that the now new two greenness qualities (the redness being substituted
> with the greenness) are still different.  In other words, no matter where
> you put the comparison ability, you remove this ability, by asserting they
> must be different, even though they are now the same.
> If you include the ability of the system to behave the same, including
> comparison of redness and greenness (whether they are material or
> functional) so that it preserves the ability to say that redness is
> different than greenness, only then can you consider it to be "behaving the
> same" in a sufficient, non corrupted way, to explain qualitative conscious
> comparison behavior and verbalization of such.

But the comparison of redness and greenness, or anything else whatsoever
that the system does, will necessarily occur provided only that the
substituted part is behaviourally identical. "Behaviourally identical"
means that it interacts with its neighbours in the same way - nothing else.
Glutamate interacts with its neighbours by binding to the glutamate
receptor, so if you replace all the glutamate in the brain with a
quasi-glutamate that is chemically different but binds to glutamate
receptors in the same way (and a few other things, such as diffuses in the
synapse in the same way, is taken up by the presynaptic neuron in the same
way) then the brain will behave in the same way. If the brain behaves in
the same way then it will be able to distinguish red from green - and I can
make this claim without knowing anything about how the brain actually
distinguishes red from green. Now, I think you might be considering that
glutamate may possess some special quality, being its redness function,
that quasi-glutamate might lack, and therefore the brain with the
quasi-glutamate will not be able to distinguish red from green. But the
properties of glutamate we are interested in are the directly observable
effects on neurons; redness is not such a property, since redness does not
affect binding to glutamate receptors. If glutamate is responsible for
redness it must be as a result of its effect on the system as a whole, and
if quasi-glutamate binds to the receptors in the same way, it will also
have this assumed redness-producing quality.

Stathis Papaioannou
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