[ExI] Molecular Materialism

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Thu Jan 2 23:15:55 UTC 2020

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

> No, that doesn’t seem to help.  It just shows me that some people have very
> different ways of thinking about qualia.  There are both composite redness
> and elemental redness.  Composite redness is made up of lots of different
> physical things all computationally bound together.
> For example, the name
> “red”, your knowledge of you being a subjective observer and aware of
> redness, that redness is a warm color, knowledge that strawberries of that
> color are ripe, blood…..  For every single piece of information, there must
> be something physical that is that particular piece of information.

Here is where my new physics that I call Synergic Systems Theory comes  
in: As the number of components of a system increases, more of the  
information about the system is embodied by the relationships between  
components than by the components themselves. Those relationships  
readily change in complex systems thereby providing a plethora of  
microstates that can, and are, used for computation.

> And
> for every relationship, there must be some computational binding machinery
> that is that relationship knowledge.

The relationship itself holds information and therefore knowledge, no  
additional machinery is necessary.

> Elemental redness is just one of
> these elemental pieces that is computationally bound into everything else
> that makes up the composite redness experience.  You can tell by the way
> many people talk, that they think a redness quale is everything but the
> elemental redness quality.  (they think red is only a property of the
> strawberry).  I see evidence from what you are saying here that you are
> thinking of qualia in a very different way than what all the
> supporters of “Representational
> Qualia Theory <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>”
> think elemental redness is.

The problem appears to be that you think I am talking about a  
philosophical argument regarding qualia and consciousness. Synergic  
systems theory is not a theory about qualia or consciousness. It is a  
physical theory that explains emergent properties in complex systems.  
It just so happens to explain qualia and consciousness as readily as  
it explains all other emergent phenomena like biological life,  
intelligence, culture, the bulk properties of matter, etc. My theory  
explains why water is wet, why a living cell is different than a dead  
cell, and why you can think about stuff. It is a far more general a  
theory than anything on the Canonizer, and I don't have time to figure  
out how to shoe-horn it in somewhere for your benefit.

You seem to have no problem with the existence of composite-redness.  
All I am trying to convince you of is that if composite redness  
exists, then elemental redness is superfluous and unnecessary. Redness  
is simply the one property that all red things have in common. The  
mathematical center of a cluster in color space.  I have already given  
you an experimental method to support or refute your idea of elemental  
redness. Either put your money where your mouth is and do the  
experiment or admit that representational qualia rests on an untested  

> In my experience this isn’t a good sign.  In my experience, people that
> think they need to write huge books to explain their ideas are just lost
> down some rat holes and confusion.  For example Dennett’s huge book
> “Consciousness Explained” can be summed up in one sentence. “We don’t have
> qualia, it just seems like we do.”

If that really is the crux of Dennett's argument then it is indeed  
self-contradictory nonsense. If you seem to be experiencing something,  
you are in fact experiencing something, even if what you are  
experiencing is not real. I do not doubt that a schizophrenic  
experiences the imaginary voices that he talks to.

> “Your brain is matter that is so complex that it has sufficient surplus
> qubits to compute your mind.”
> How can any neuro experimentalist do anything with this?  Does anything you
> are saying provide any way to bridge the explanatory gap or eff the
> ineffable nature of qualia?  (The only real hard problem).  How might any
> of this be falsified or objectively observable?  How might one reproduce,
> engineer, or expand this kind of "compute your mind"?

I doubt Synergic Systems Theory will be of any help in effing the  
ineffable, but I think it does admirably address the explanatory gap  
as to how inanimate molecules give rise thinking feeling organisms  
with minds.

Stuart LaForge

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list