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

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 03:31:02 UTC 2017

Brent Allsop wrote:

On 30 March 2017 at 09:37, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:

> Given the above scenario, do you agree that all the neurons will fire in
>> the same sequence? If you disagree, what is triggering them to fire
>> differently that the scientist has failed to observe? Don't say "redness"
>> or "the binding system" - what specific thing was the glutamate molecule
>> doing that G3 is not doing, which the scientist missed?
>> I keep answering these same question over and over again.  Yes, I agree,
> given what you describe all the neurons will fire in the same sequence and
> all behavior will be the same.  But, despite me clearly answering this
> question, you always seem to assume that I disagree.  And you say: “Don't
> say "redness" or "the binding system".  But I’m not saying “redness” or
> the “binding system” in the case you are describing, where I agree with
> you, that everything will fire the same.
> The problem is, we each keep talking about something completely different.
> “redness” or the “binding system” has nothing to do with the incomplete
> scenario you are describing.  You seem to think that because I’m trying
> to talk about “redness” and the “binding system” that I disagree with you
> that everything will fire the same, in your case.  I’m not doing this.  I’m
> just saying that “redness” and the “binding system” (which we know
> consciousness has) has nothing to do with the simplistic scenario you are
> describing.
> Perhaps it will make things easier if we just focus on an objective view
> of things, and ignore “redness” all together.  The system we want to
> “neuro substitute” is a glutamate detector.  We artificially design a
> special detection system that can compare a reference item (i.e. glutamate)
> with a second input item being tested.  It is a perfect system, in that
> if you present real glutamate, it will always fire with a “this is the same
> as the reference” signal.  Anything, that is not glutamate, will prevent
> the system from firing, indicating they are not the same, or that it isn’t
> glutamate.
> Now, this kind of detection system is what we want to neuro substitute.  The
> system you describe, always fires the same, so the system you are
> neurosubstituting may not be performing the necessary reliable detection of
> glutamate.  You seem to make the claim, that your system that always
> fires the same, will be able to do things like do qualitative comparisons
> or detect real glutamate.  I agree with you, that if everything behaves
> the same, that it will still be able to do qualitative comparison, or
> detection of real glutamate.  So, I’m describing a bit more detail, about
> the system you are talking about, so that it can perform the detection of
> real glutamate.  But, no matter how I do this, you always insist, that
> the system will not detect glutamate, as it will fire the same, indicating
> it is glutamate, even when it is not glutamate.  After the neuro
> substitution, in order for it to function the same, it must still be able
> to reliably perform its necessary function of detect real glutamate.
> All I’m trying to say is, I agree with you, that if what you describe is
> true, it will always function the same.  All I’m doing, is enhancing the
> description of the system, so that it can reliably detect real glutamate.
> If you do this, and if the system can reliably detect real glutamate, both
> before and after the substitutuion, you won’t have hard problems, such as
> an overly simplistic substitution seeming to prove there is no such thing
> as reliably detectable real material glutamate.

If the system is designed to detect real glutamate, and you change it so
that it is not detecting real glutamate, then of course it will fail in its
job to detect real glutamate. But that is the wrong question to ask. We are
discussing qualia. Your theory is that glutamate is directly and uniquely
responsible for red qualia, and therefore if the glutamate goes, the red
qualia will go. What I am trying to show is that the glutamate can go but
the red qualia will remain. Therefore, the glutamate cannot be directly and
uniquely responsible for the red qualia.

Stathis Papaioannou
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