[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Tue Feb 18 19:46:58 UTC 2020

All this talking about words takes things out of the ideal realm imo.  Once
you introduce words all bets are off.

Red is a human word that I use to refer to the quale generated (by some
mystery process) when 700nm light enters the human eye and interacts with
the human brain.  As such is is a fairly limited description.  It just just
a guess as to whether you share my qualia when responding to the same
signals, but I assume this because of various credible assumptions, and
because the visible light spectrum seems 'well-ordered' and parsimonious to
me as if there is some underlying reason to it.

You're the one that is mincing words about red and redness.  In my opinion,
referring to a strawberry as 'red' is more of a heuristic definition--it
simply means that strawberries have a physical quality that leads to a
redness quale being generated in my mind when I view them with my eyes.
The strawberries themselves are not 'red'--just ask a blind person who
cannot experience 'red'.  They may tell you that strawberries are 'soft',
or 'sweet', or 'fragrant', but they will never get 'red' from a strawberry,
so they may as well not be red, unless they have been given this knowledge
by someone else, which is a sort of Mary the Color Scientist problem.

Individual things cannot possess qualia, as an argument by contradiction is
extremely easy to make for all cases--simply remove all entities which can
sense the quale in question.  If there were no eyes in the entire universe,
there is no more 'red'.  Even if there are still strawberries.

On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 2:23 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Hi Ben,
> It all has to do with the color of things.  What is it hat has a redness
> quality?  It can't be the strawberry that has the redness quality, because
> you could invert the red/green signal anywhere in the chain of events that
> is perception as illustrated here
> <https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness/index.html?chapter=perception_inverted>
> .
> Using one word for all things 'red' tells you nothing of what color
> anything is.   If you only use one word for all things red, that is qualia
> blind.  In order to account for the color of things, you need two words:
> red, for anything that reflects or emits red light, and a different word
> redNESS, to account for the quality of you knowledge of such.  If you can't
> model simple concepts in your thinking and in your language like: "My
> redness is like your grenness, both of which we refer to as red".  That
> language/thinking is qualia blind.
> On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 11:35 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Brent, I reckon the reason you're not getting through to anyone here (and
>> let's face it, you're not. I've yet to hear a single person say "ah, yes, I
>> see what you mean") is that you keep saying things like "You represent red
>> things with knowledge that has your redness quality", and "What is robot
>> number 3’s knowledge qualitatively like?", but (I think I'm right in
>> saying) *nobody has a clue what these phrases actually mean*. I
>> certainly don't (your language reminds me of things produced by the
>> Post-Modernist Essay Generator), and you show no willingness to try to
>> explain, which is why I've given up on participating in these pointless
>> discussions. It's not even amusing anymore.
>> Constantly telling people they're wrong, 'qualia-blind', beside the
>> point, or misinterpreting what you say, doesn't actually help. You seem to
>> be persisting in 'doing what you always did', and you know what that leads
>> to: 'getting what you always got'. Blank incomprehension, in this case. I
>> still don't know, after literally years of reading your posts, on and off,
>> if that's completely justified, and the correct response, or not.
>> --
>> Ben Zaiboc
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