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

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 16:47:43 UTC 2017

On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 5:08 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

> ​> ​
> It seems evident from what you say here, that you haven't seen the video
> on detecting qualia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHuqZKxtOf4 .  I
> think this will answer most of the questions or issues you are pointing out
> here.  Also, you use the word "red" in ambiguous ways.

You talk as if I was confused about the difference between objective and
 but I assure you I am crystal clear on that point
as it is to every sane person. In your video you mention a brilliant
scientist who lived her entire life in a black and white world and then one
day opens a door and for the first time sees a red rose. What has changed
subjectively and objectively? I can't speak for the woman scientists but if
it were me I'd be very surprised and delighted at seeing something new that
I hadn't even imagined before.

Objectively if I knew enough
​about her ​
I'd say that previously her brain only needed one dimension to represent
the texture of objects but now 2 numbers are needed. Previously a scalar
was sufficient but now a vector is needed. And even if I didn't know enough
neurology to do that I'd still know there is something entirely new here
because she would make a noise with her mouth that she had never made
before that sounds like "*there is something entirely new here*
​ ​
If instead she saw a white rose her brain would still only need
​one ​
number to classify the texture of
​an ​
​just as she always had ​
so the noise made by her mouth would sound like "*I see nothing new here*"
Suppose there were twin sisters, one lived her entire life in a black and
red world and the other lived her entire life in a black and
​ ​
​ ​
 what difference in biology could you
outside observer detect between the two? There would be only one
difference, in one the red cone cells in the retina showed more wear and
while in the other the green cone cell in the retina
. So when one sister opened that door and saw the red rose the red cone
cell was stimulated and sent the same signal to the brain it had done
billions of time before and her brain had no difficulty classifying the
texture of the flower with only one
​ so her brain would send signals to her mouth causing it to make a noise
like "*I see nothing new about that flower*".
But with the other sister the red cone cell fired for the first time in her
life and sent a novel signal to her brain unlike any she received before, a
signal in which one number was no longer sufficient to classify
​ a texture, ​
so her brain would send signals to her mouth causing it to make a noise
like "
*​Wow, ​*
*I see *
* new about that flower*

As far as subjectivity is concerned, although I will never be able to prove
or disprove it my strong hunch is that living in a black and red world
would be subjectively identical to living in a black and green world. ​I
can say that without fear because even if I'm wrong you will never be able
to provide evidence that I'm wrong.

> ​> ​
> You like to think of a redness quale as particular patterns of firing
> neurons,

​If the ​
particular pattern of neurons
​ firing in my brain changes then my redness quale changes, and if my
redness quale changes ​then
the ​
particular pattern of neurons
​ firing in my brain changes; so the only thing a logical man can conclude
from that is that my redness quale is caused but the pattern of neurons
firing in my brain. And I like to think I am a logical man.

Since my brain works that way it is a reasonable hypothesis that your brain
does too, but I'm not able to prove that and never will be able to.

> ​> ​
> John thinks of them as ineffable, or not sharable, or not approachable via
> objective science.  Stathis thinks that redness is something functional,
> independent of any particular hardware.  All these are still
> theoretically possible, or not yet falsified.
> ​Absolutely nothing about consciousness is falsifiable or provable except
for my own consciousness, and even then the evidence is available only to
me. That's why consciousness theories are so easy to dream up and that's
why consciousness theories are a waste of time and that's why intelligence
theories are not.

 John K Clark

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