[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 20:32:43 UTC 2020

Hi Dylan,
It matters because of the fact that you can invert the perception of red
green anywhere along the perception chain, as illustrated in this video
<https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness/>.  This video is modeling both
the strawberry, and knowledge of a strawberry.  This knowledge can have
either the redness or grenness quality, for the same red, depending on
whether it is inverted or not.
In other words, robot number 2 is purposely designed to have this inversion
from robot number one.  Yet they can still both pick "red" strawberries,
despite having knowledge of the same strawberry that has differing physical

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 1:22 PM Dylan Distasio via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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
> delivered.
> 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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