[ExI] Molecular Materialism

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 01:52:03 UTC 2020

Hi Stuart,

OK, yea, that explains a lot.  Thanks for going into detail on this.  I
completely agree that it is now up to the experimentalists, which theory of
qualia is correct, now that us theoreticians are describing the falsifying
experiments.  The current leading consensus is functionalism
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function/18>, as in
qualia emerge from software functioning correctly.  “Synergic Systems
Theory” certainly agrees with the “emergent” part of this theory.  They
predict that consciousness is “substrate independent”.  Is Synergic Systems
Theory like that?  Or maybe it is simply emergent from physics in a
substrate dependent way (like emerging wetness depends on the right
concentrations of H2O?)

If it’s the former, we simply need to add an (AKA “Synergic Systems Theory”
and add some of your great insights).  If it is the latter, then we create
a super camp around “emergent” and push the competing substrate dependent
and independent doctrines down to supporting sub camps or something?

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 4:58 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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
> assumption.
> > 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
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