[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Feb 23 18:22:08 UTC 2020

I should have said:
"What you say below proves the above is not the constructs you are looking

On Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at 11:14 AM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

> Hi Stuart,
> Thanks for jumping in with so much great thinking.  I think you are really
> understanding, mostly.
> I must really be failing at communication.  Both you, John, and others
> often appear to disagree, but then what you talk about as if it was a
> different view than what I was saying, it is exactly the point I was trying
> to make.
> On Sat, Feb 22, 2020 at 11:58 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Quoting Brent Allsop:
>> > Our eyes, and everything else need to do lots of tricks (such as the 60
>> HZ
>> > saccades your are describing) so that we can have accurate and
>> > consistent knowledge.
>> But we don't have accurate and consistent knowledge due to those
>> tricks. We have a hastily constructed Umvelt of convenience that is
>> biased, self-serving, and sometimes even in direct conflict with the
>> actual underlying physical reality. Without specialized
>> instrumentation, we can perceive maybe 1% of reality. Without our
>> technology, we really are looking at shadows in Plato's cave.
>> For example the ongoing continuity of the present moment that you
>> sense is a construct of your brain. Everything that you see happening
>> around you has already happened several microseconds in the past. Your
>> sight and hearing are bounded from both below and above by the minimum
>> and maximum frequencies that you can sense. And you are prone to
>> zoning out on the occasional sexual fantasy. Half the cells in your
>> body are a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms that you are for the
>> most part blissfully unaware of until they wander into the wrong areas
>> cause you to feel ill.
> Yes, all this is all exactly what I've been trying to say.
>> > If our conscious knowledge of such, fades, because we are overriding the
>> > tricks our eyes are attempting to do, this change or fading in our
>> > awareness of what we are seeing is what we are talking about, which you
>> > seem to be completely ignoring.
>> I am not sure what your point is here. Qualia fade when you stop
>> tickling the sensory apparatus that activates them. Or are you talking
>> about attenuation or the Ganzfield effect? The Ganzfield effect is
>> such that you stare at uniform color field like red with no detail of
>> distinguishing feature, for example, after a few minutes you will stop
>> seeing red and your vision will just go black.
> Right, what you are saying is the red quale changes to a black quale,
> right?  Again, that is what I've been attempting to say when things 'fade'
> or 'just go black'.
> These are the conscious changes I'm talking about.  If you know something,
> whether it is red or black, or fading or whatever, there must be something
> that is that changing conscious awareness.
> > You just continue to map everything I say into  a world where this
>> changing
>> > conscious awareness isn't real or something.
>> Your changing conscious awareness is real, it is still however a
>> mental construct, just as thoughts are real but nonetheless mental
>> constructs. Your constructed awareness is meant to model those aspects
>> of the world important to your genes and to a lesser extent you
>> yourself. The problem is not that your conscious awareness is not
>> real; the problem is that without compensatory technology, it is very
>> limited and rather inaccurate.
> Exactly what I've been attempting to say.
> For what it's worth, I checked out your video and some of your more
>> recent content on your site, and I noticed that you didn't mention
>> glutamate or reference material qualia at all and it actually made
>> your argument much more credible. Good job. The animation and graphics
>> are pretty slick as well.
> Thanks!  Yay, at least I"m making some progress.  Yes, the main ideas are
> what everyone agrees on: that we have qualia, and as you say qualia are "a
> mental construct" that is our conscious knowledge.  This is the only
> doctrine contained in the general super "Representational Qualia Theory
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>."  The only
> thing everyone disagrees about is the nature of qualia.  Communicating the
> high level RQT ideas about what 'qualia blindness' is, and how there is not
> a "hard mind body problem", it's just a color problem is already very
> difficult to communicate.  It requires some major surgery to people's naive
> epistemology of color.  So we simplify everything as much as possible.
> (only talk about red and green - no other colors or more subtle qualia).
> Glutamate being redness is only in the small low level minority camp "Molecular
> Materialism <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Molecular-Materialism/36>".
> This camp is the simplest and most importantly, easy to falsify.  If
> someone experiences redness, with no glutamate, redness = glutamate
> prediction falsified.  The ease of falsifiability is what is important.
> For example, I see no possible way to falsify most of the other theories,
> especially the leading consensus camp which Stathis supports: "
> Functionalism
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function/18>".  If
> they could provide any easily falsifiable example of what redness could be,
> I'd be happy to use that in place of glutamate, but they never provide
> anything even close to that.  It's all just sloppy hand waving with the
> small required "a miracle happens here" step they always ignore.    Of
> course, it is my conjecture that if they did provide something that could
> be redness, it couldn't be that for the same reason it can't be glutamate,
> proving the absurdity of their substitution argument.
> So, we don't use glutamate because it is likely true, we use it because it
> is the easiest to falsify and easiest to understand.  The general idea is
> just that whatever redness is, it is objectively observable (giving us only
> an abstract description of such.)  I often describe an overly simplified
> physical world with only red and only green, and only in that simple world
> is it glutamate that has redness and glycine that has greenness.  If you
> can understand how experimentalists in such a simple world could fully
> describe the behavior of glutamate, reacting in a synapse, without knowing
> this was redness, then you can apply that same non qualia blind thinking to
> all more capable theories.  You've got to understand qualia blindness,
> first, in the simplest possible world.  Then you can start to observe the
> complex brain in a non qualia blind way (use more than one word for all
> things red) so we can discover what it is that does have a redness quality
> - finally giving us the required factual dictionary between the abstract
> objective and the qualitative subjective.  Until we do this we will
> continue to have no idea what color anything is.  In other words, you just
> start with glutamate and redness are abstract labels for the same thing.
> Once you falsify glutamate, then substitute glutamate for your next working
> hypothesis (starting with the easy to falsify one's first) until it can't
> be falsified.  Then you will finally have the required dictionary
> definition for which abstract description of something in our brain is a
> description of what we can directly/subjectively experience as redness.
> Incidentally, I think you might have been too reductionist in your
>> search for the material correlates of color. Material redness is not a
>> molecule, material redness is the L-cone cell in your retina that
>> fires more strongly in response to red light than green light. M-cone
>> cells conversely fire more strongly in response to green light than
>> red.
> Um, yea.  What you say below (as illustrated in this "Perception Inverted
> <https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness/?chapter=Perception_Inverted>"
> section of the video) proves what you say above is mistaken, right?  You
> can have redness, in a brain, in a vat, with no light, and no retina.  so
> we're not talking about the retina.  Redness is the final result of
> perception, far downstream from even the optic nerve, let alone anything in
> the retina.  You just need to stimulate the optic nerve the same as the
> retina would and due to this input, the brain creates knowledge or a
> construct made out of something that has a redness quality we can
> directly/subjectively experience.
>> if you could somehow switch the wiring of the two types of one
>> cells between the retina and the visual cortex, you might be able to
>> achieve your inverted qualia or whatever you call it.
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