[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 17:14:16 UTC 2020

Things are NOT colors.  A strawberry has nothing to do with the red quale,
it simply reflects 680 nm light.

680 nm light is NOT a color.  It is interpreted as a red quale when it
interfaces with the eyes and brain.

Some entities can't sense that light.  Some might see something different.
Some might be moving very fast and experience a doppler effect and not even
see the light as 680 nm.  Not only is everything relative, but everything
is VERY relative because qualia are not standalone, they only happen when
information enters a system.  They depend on both.

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 10:12 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 9:31 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> *> you guys are all completely qualia blind.*
> You have 2 possibilities to consider:
> 1) Solipsism is true, we are zombies and so we really are qualia blind and
> you are the only conscious being in the universe.
> 2) You are qualia delusional, that is to say your philosophical ideas are
> self contradictory.
> > *Not only do you not know the physical color anything, you don't care.*
> I am unable to care much until you explain exactly (or at least
> approximately) what you mean by "physical color". And if it doesn't involve
> the subjective ability to notice a change in the wavelength of
> electromagnetic radiation and the ability to objectively act on that
> differentiation then whatever you mean by it just isn't very interesting. I
> mean... if it doesn't effect anything objectively and it doesn't effect
> anything subjectively either then I just can't work up much enthusiasm
> about studying it.
> > *Having this dictionary will tell us what color things are,*
> You keep trying to find the nature of things at the most fundamental level
> and yet for some strange reason you keep talking about dictionaries. A
> dictionary is a list of definitions of words. Every definition is itself
> made of words, every one of those words has its own definition also made of
> words, and the infinite loop continues. You're not going to obtain
> philosophical insight by reading a dictionary. And if there isn't an
> infinite chain of "why" questions and there really is one correct answer to
> the consciousness question at the most fundamental level then at some point
> in the chain of questions you are going to say "I see a termination because
> a miracle occurs here" or if you prefer "a brute fact occurs here". After
> all, an effect without a cause does not violate any law of logic.
> Fortunately with data processing the miracle is as small as possible
> because changes don't get simpler than changing on to off.
>> > *where we connect our brains with 3 millions neurons, so we can
>> directly experience the actual physical colors in other's brains, the same
>> way the physical knowledge in our left hemisphere is directly
>> computationally bound to the physical knowledge in our right. *
> We know with experiments with people that when those 3 million neurons
> connecting the brain's hemispheres  are cut the individual who received the
> surgery starts acting in ways that are different from the way he acted
> before the surgery.  And both hemispheres are capable of acting
> independently of the other, and that behavior is different from each other,
> and neither matches the behavior of the pre-surgery individual. And it can
> be shown that one hemisphere can know things that the other does not. And
> so I would maintain neither hemisphere knows what it's like to be the
> other, and neither hemisphere knows what it's like to have 2 working
> hemispheres connected by 3 million information carrying cables, and the
> pre-surgery individual doesn't know what it will be like to have a split
> brain in his head.
> *> we aren't jsut some kind of brain in a vat.*
> I don't know why you keep saying that as if it's something of fundamental
> importance, skulls and vats are just slightly different types of containers
> for brains.
> > *And it's up to the experimentalists. *
> Exactly, and just like Evolution itself experimentalists can see
> intelligent behavior but they can't see qualia or consciousness.
> Nevertheless Evolution managed to produce consciousness at least once (in
> me) and probably many billions of times, so I conclude consciousness must
> be a byproduct of something that Evolution can see, something like
> intelligent behavior. And experimentalists can form some conclusions about
> qualia and consciousness, but only if they make some assumptions that,
> although my hunch is are largely correct, they can't prove and will never
> be able to prove.
> *> the current popular consensus that "The supervening qualities are the
>> result of the ones and zeroes"*
> Ones and zeroes are pure abstractions but information is physical and so
> is the difference between a electrical circuit that is open and a
> electrical circuit that is closed. So I guess i believe in half of what you
> call the "popular consensus" (although in my experience it's not all that
> popular).  Supervenience is just a two dollar word for "depends on" and I
> think that both intelligent behavior and consciousness is the result of not
> ones and zeros but of open/closed or on/off; you can represent one and zero
> with on and off if you want but you don't have to, if you're working in
> Boolean logic and not arithmetic you can have them represent true or false
> or any other binary quality you like.
> *> I'll bet any amount of money, at any odds, that functionalists camps
>> will be the first to be experimentally falsified, once experimentalists
>> stop being qualia blind. Anyone care to put any money, where their mouth
>> is? *
> I've been known to make small bets on scientific matters before (and to be
> honest I usually ended up losing money) but I refuse to make a bet if I
> don't understand exactly, or even approximately, what the bet actually is.
>  John K Clark
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