[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Dylan Distasio interzone at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 20:20:22 UTC 2020

I'm not trying to be dense, but I really don't understand how you are
defining physical quality here.  I understand that because of issues with
pigmentation in my cones, my eyes see two shades as the same regardless of
the wavelength.  This is fed downstream from the vision processing system
to some point in the neural architecture where an equivalent response is

Why does there have to be anything below the level of knowing that the
brain displays objects with one wavelength as red and one as green when the
cones are working properly.  Red and green are just two labels for an
underlying physical response brought about by processing through various
connected regions of neurons in a larger network.  Why do qualia need to be
brought into it?   How do you know that we're not operating with something
comparable to the pure numbers (although it doesn't have to be through the
same method of processing as the robots, and may not be mathematically
based) you just gave John as an example.   Our eyes have evolved to
distinguish what we're calling different colors once cones there are
activated by interactions with light reflected off of objects at different
wavelengths.  Downstream, this is translated into different qualities
corresponding to what we are labeling as different colors.

I understand that a brain in the vat can be made to think it is perceiving
a red object in its field of vision if the right nerves/neurons are
tickled, but I still don't see how that leads to a requirement that there
is something unique about the substrate.

I am still failing to see evidence for your argument that consciousness
(whatever that is) is not substrate independent.

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 3:02 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>   The reason you are blind to these differences in this case, is because
> your brain uses the same physical quality to represent both of those
> colors, making it impossible for you to be consciously aware of their
> difference.  The qualities of knowledge has nothing to do with the retina
> or the light, as all this knowledge can exist in a brain in a vat, in a
> dark room, with no eyes, as long as you stimulate the optic nerve identical
> to the way the eye would.
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