[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Fri Feb 21 22:10:43 UTC 2020

Hi Stathis,

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 2:32 PM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 22 Feb 2020 at 07:20, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Hi Stathis,
>> OK, so we have
>>     "Qualia = subjective experiences = an aspect of phenomenal
>> consciousness".
>> And we have
>>     " Behaviour = that which an external observer can see"
>> and we have
>>     “*As long as the 'behavior' remains the same the subjectivity must
>> also remain the same.*”
>> which connects the two in a consistent and factual way.
>> Would you also agree with the converse of the above statement?:
>>     “*As long as the 'subjectivity' (quale) remains the same the
>> behavior must also remain the same.*”
> Yes. If we consider a behaviour such as speech, the subject will not say
> that their qualia have changed unless they think that they have changed.
> Or at least if there is a set of behavior for a particular 'subjectivity'
>> redness, and a set of behavior for a different subjectivity 'greenness,'
>> if the subjectivity is different the corresponding sets of behaviors for
>> each of those different 'subjectivity' (quale), must be disjoint.  In other
>> words any particular set of behavior can't have two different
>> 'subjectivity' (quale).
> Yes, but there is a potential problem here. If we speculate that the
> subject’s qualia have changed from redness to greenness, but their
> behaviour does not change because they do not notice a change, then in what
> sense is it meaningful to say that the qualia have changed?

Wait, what?  We're not talking about the substrate independent layer, were
talking about what consciousness is made of: qualia.  That which we know
(i.e. that which we can notice) is what consciousness is, and this
noticeable knowledge is composed of diverse colored qualia.
We are only talking about qualia being sufficiently different (i.e. redness
and greenness) that we can notice such differences.  If you can't notice
the difference, then that qualia is defined to be in the set that is
considered to be that singe quale.  It is only a different quale if you can
notice that it is different.

To me, what you are saying is like saying:  Despite *ALL* of our objective
measurements and experiences being consistent with the earth being round,
and *NONE *of our objective measurements and experiences being consistent
with it being flat, it still could be flat.

We know the world is round, because of what astronauts in orbit experience
and ALL of our objective measurements are consistent with.  Then a flat
earther replying: But despite EVERYTHING being consistent with the earth
being round, it still could be flat.  We just can't know that it is not
flat, despite ALL observations being consistent with it being round and no
observation consistent with it being flat.

And, for you, these behaviors which are factually related to particular
>> subjectivity (qualia) are independent of any particular set of physics
>> (only because of the substitution argument).
>> In other words, we have a dependent subjective layer like redness and
>> greenness (and corresponding disjoint sets of behavior) out of which
>> consciousness is constructed, that rides on top of any physical layer in a
>> way that can be considered physical substrate independent.
>> The terminology I think we should use is the former is consciousness is
>> substrate dependent (where that substrate is subjectivity or quala) the
>> behavior of which is independent of any particular set of physics.
>> But I'm imagining you won't like even this kind of qualia being any kind
>> of substrate, so I was trying to come up with another term qualia strate to
>> make you happy.
> You’re right, I don’t think it is good to use the word “substrate”
> referring to qualia because “substrate” specifically refers to a physical
> substance. But I am confused as to why you would say consciousness is
> dependent on qualia, since consciousness and qualia are essentially the
> same thing.

My recollection is that you often respond to what I've said, above,
claiming something like: "We can never know for sure."

Here is the all important part relevant to this:

> The only difference is that consciousness is usually used to mean multiple
> qualia taken together

If we are aware of redness and greenness, at the same time, as a composite
experience that is our knowledge of the strawberry, there must be something
that is "binding" all this together, otherwise, it would be like the
physics that is subconscious, and we wouldn't be aware of it with the
redness and greenness that is our knowledge of the strawberry.

We know, as surely as we know "I think therefore I am" what redness is
qualitatively like, and we necessarily know how this is different than
greenness.  And when we experience them together (computationally bound) we
can necessary notice that they are qualitatively different.
If you computationally bind conscious knowledge in 4 hemispheres together,
you will directly experience the qualia behavior in another's brain, in
addition to both hemispheres of your own brain, and if the other two
hemispheres are red green inverted from your qualia, you will necessarily
notice it is different.
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