[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sat Feb 15 16:27:52 UTC 2020

SR, very interesting story about your grandfather.

I first realized it was important to distinguish between reality and
knowledge of reality in an AI class as an undergraduate.  We were trying to
program a vision system for a robot that could manipulate blocks on a table.

They were instructing us how to build 3D models of the blocks from 2D
camera data.  I was thinking this had to be the wrong way to do things,
since I was naively thinking we didn't need to do all that extra work since
we were just "directly aware of the blocks on the table.'. Does that sound
in any way similar to thinking things don't have colors?  Then it suddenly
hit me like a ton of bricks.  This was one of the most profound life
changing (conversion from a "Naive realist" to a "Reprisentationalist")
religious experiences of my life.

Before that I had no knowledge of "weird" things like the color brown,
phantom limb pain, synesthesia, blind sight (both real and hysterical) out
of body experiences, and lots of other things most people have a hard time
understanding, correctly.  At that one instant I knew all such was a real
possibility.  As I learned of each of them, they were all confirmation of
the predictions made by representationalism.

As Representational Qualia theory defines: "Consiosness as computationally
bound elemental subjective qualities like redness and greenness."

John, this predicts there are two types of seeing.  The kind that is done
by robots, our subconscious, and blind sight, where there is no conscios
computational binding, and the conscious kind where there is binding.
Again, I knew all these were possible, before I knew they existed.

On Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 7:07 AM SR Ballard via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> My grandfather has “hysterical blindness” from a near death accident where
> his head was trapped in the blades of a peanut thrasher for three days
> before he was found. The blade of the machine stopped about an inch from
> his eye, while another part had stopped the machine because it couldn’t
> crush his skull.
> Afterwards, he was in a coma 1-2 weeks, and doctors wrote him off. His mom
> drip fed his sugar water because he was her “baby”.
> After this point, he has reported total blindness in this eye. However, he
> was recently diagnosed with, basically, a 100% cataract in his other eye.
> He cannot read with his “blind” eye, but it keeps him from running into
> walls and other similar things. He doesn’t seem to be able to see the TV,
> but does recognize objects and people (as much as you can expect from a 92
> yo man).
> There is not actual blindness in the eye, but the brain, in a
> post-traumatic response, blocks conscious knowledge of what is seen.
> SR Ballard
> On Feb 15, 2020, at 7:37 AM, John Clark via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 12:36 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> >*people suffering from "blind sight" can catch a ball, even though there
>> is no visual conscious awareness of that ball.*
> People with that condition display contradictory behavior. Catching the
> ball indicates the ball has been seen. Making a noise with the mouth that
> sounds like "I don't see the ball" indicates something *might* not have
> seen the ball. You can lie about what you say but not what you do, you've
> either caught the ball or you haven't. So clearly something must have seen
> the ball, although not necessarily the same thing that controls the vocal
> cords.
>  John K Clark
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