[ExI] Molecular Materialism

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Wed Jan 1 12:01:58 UTC 2020

Quoting Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>:

>> Don't back-pedal on me here, Brent. If "redness" is not correlated
>> with red light, then "redness" is a misnomer.
> But who's redness?  Remember there is a good chance that your redness is
> what most people represent green with.  So who's redness would be
> correlated with red light?
Empirically everybody who successfully commutes through a city on a  
daily basis for starters. Whatever way it is like to see red light for  
whomever's freaky brain is redness to that person. The fact that  
traffic-lights at intersections work rather successfully for traffic  
control suggests that for most people redness is correlated with red  
light. So I suppose most people correlate redness with red light. It  
worries me that I have to explain that to you.

>> If glutamate is
>> associated with red strawberries in humans and the ultraviolet
>> signature of flowers burgeoning with nectar in honeybees, then the
>> glutamate molecule cannot be said to have the redness quale as a
>> property.
> This doesn't follow at all.  Why couldn't a bee use my redness to represent
> knowledge of something, different, entirely?

Because it is by your own definition, "your" redness. Brent-redness is  
not bee-redness even if bee-redness were a thing, which it is not. You  
shaped Brent-redness out of the chaos of sensation when you were an  
infant. It is as unique to you as your fingerprints.

>> Instead, the best one could say is that glutamate is a
>> component of some systems that have the redness quale as a property in
>> the context of red light and yet others that have the "yummy flower"
>> quale as property in the context of ultraviolet light. That would mean
>> that qualia are mental constructs instead of physical properties.
> I'm having troubles understanding the way you think about consciousness or
> what you are trying to say here.
> Any "mental construct" must be physical, right?

Mental constructs up to and including mind are physical in the sense  
that energy or information is physical, but not physical in the sense  
of matter composed of particles. Very little of you is composed of  
particles, most of you is composed of information. That being said  
particles are necessary for you to exist. You could think of these  
particles as your boundary, they are necessary but not sufficient for  
you. They are a but a small percentage of you. Most of you is  
intangible energy and information. That information can be represented  
in a  carbon-gel cell-matrix like your body or any sufficiently  
complex medium. Perhaps you could even be run on a gigantic abacus  
operated by the entire population of China as Chalmers suggests.

> You would then be forced to admit you have an abstract soul
>> constructed of math and numbers, poor thing. But, take heart for so do
>> the honeybees, and you have it so much better than they do.
> How does thinking redness is just a colorness property of something like
> glutamate, and that glutamate can be engineered to represent anything
> knowledge lead one to we have a "soul constructed of numbers"?

Because when you have something that is able to represent something  
else entirely, that is where symbolism arises. This is where  
information processing begins and thus mind and soul spring forth. One  
can think of the genetic code that shaped life on Earth through  
evolution by natural selection as a rudimentary mind running an  
algorithm based on symbolism.

>> Bat?s use echolocation instead of light.  Their echolocation can detect
>>> objects in the air.  I'd predict that a bat's brain uses the same
>>> redness/glutamate to highlight whatever echolocated data was is important
>>> to the bat.
>> Yes. Now you get it, glutamate is a symbol whose meaning is purely
>> subjective. Congratulations, you are finally qualia blind. :-)
> The word "red" is an abstract symbol, we can define it any way we want.
> Physical redness is a set of physics which can also be a symbol we can use
> to represent anything we want.

Yeah . . . so?

> We can define redness to represent red light, or green light, or knowledge
> of echolocated bugs flying through the air, just as we can do with the word
> "red"  But there is nothing the word red is like, while redness is physical
> redness.

You are starting to sound like Newspeak from 1984 with your "redness  
is green-light" nonsense. Redness is not physical in the sense that  
you think it is. You need new physics to understand it. Redness is an  
emergent property of neural activity in your brain. Redness exists  
between molecules in your brain not within them.

> This model is the opposite of a qualia blind model, so I don't understand
> what you are trying to say or describe.

I realize that. It will take a book to explain properly. But in a  
nutshell, I have discovered a way to mathematically describe how  
emergent properties arise in complex systems through synergy. It is  
unobserved quantum information being used to perform computation  
giving rise to higher order phenomena.

In other words, any sufficiently complex physical system is a quantum  
computer constantly performing computations all of the time. For  
example, when a bunch of water molecules get together, all of the  
quantum information that you forgo measuring, like the quantum states  
of all the individual water molecules, are thereby qubits available to  
perform a computation the result of which is the wetness property of  
bulk water or the coldness of ice, depending on inputs from the  
environment like temperature.

Your brain is matter that is so complex that it has sufficient surplus  
qubits to compute your mind.

Does that help?

Stuart LaForge

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