[ExI] i am software: wasRE: utah: RE: Frank Jackson's brilliant color scientist Mary

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Jan 7 18:49:58 UTC 2020

Hi Adrian,

“This debate in general seems to be suffering from a remarkable level of
redefinitions on the fly and goalpost-moving.”

This is the problem with the entire Theory and Philosophy of mind field.
The peer review system just makes this even worse.  Everyone describes
their own ideas, in their own unique language.  Nobody talks about things
everyone agrees on, giving everyone the false belief that nobody agrees on
anything.  Even good neural scientists that want to understand things like
“qualia”, after struggling to research the “peer reviewed” finally just
give up, since it is all just religiously biased BS.  There is absolutely
nothing of any theoretical value to an experimentalist describing what
experimentalists should be looking for, or how any of the theories could be

That is why we created Canonizer.com, to build and track consensus around
concise descriptions of the best language, in collaboratively agreed on
terminology.  For example, qualia are described as “ineffable”.  We need a
new word that means communicating that which is ineffable.  So we are
building consensus around the best term to use here

There is a surprising amount of consensus forming around what is now being
called “Representational Qualia Theory
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>”.  Even
Dennett’s “Predictive Baylean Coding Theory
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Dennett-s-PBC-Theory/21>” is now in a
supporting sub camp position to “Representational Qualia Theory

This camp defines consciousness to be “Computationally bound elemental
physical qualities in the brain we are directly aware of like redness and

This camp also points out how most people’s (including all known peer
reviewed journals on color perception) thinking and terminology are “qualia
blind”.  Most people use a word like ‘red’ in only abstract ways which
provides no physical definition.  If they tie it to physics at all, it is
only tied to wavelengths of light.  Check out this video
<https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness/> which illustrates the
problem, showing how perception can be red / green inverted anywhere along
the chain of perception, resulting in inverted red/green knowledge of
something like strawberry.  This proves that a redness qualitative
experience has nothing to do with the strawberry or light.

So, in order to talk about physical properties, it requires more than just
one word for “red”.  Typically, the word “red” is used as a label for
anything that reflects or emits red light, as you mentioned.  Red things
initiate the perception process.  We need a completely different word to
describe the physical properties of our knowledge of such.  As demonstrated
by the inversion video, has nothing to do with “red” things.  So, in order
to not be qualia blind, you must use a different word like “redness” as a
label for a very different physical quality.

We detect color properties via objective observation.  Since the physics
being detected by our senses are nothing like the physics of the target of
perception, correct interpretation is required to know what they
represent.  All information obtained through this kind of objective
observation is abstract and devoid of any qualitative information.

Colorness properties are different.  These are the physical qualities of
the final result of the perception process we are directly aware of.
Objectively perceived information can be mistaken, if it is miss
interpreted, for example.  Something may ‘seem’ red, but that knowledge
could be mistaken.  That mistaken redness seeming, is a colorness property
of physics we are directly aware of.  This ‘seeming’ cannot be mistaken.

Notice how everything you are saying is classically qualia blind.

Today physicists can’t tell us the qualitative color of anything.  Though
they can abstractly describe everything about physics (just as Frank
Jackson’s Mary can) they can’t tell us anything about the physical quality
any of these descriptions are describing.  For example, it could be that
our descriptions of how glutamate reacts in a synapse could be describing
what we directly experience as redness.

This is all described in more detail in this “Objectively, We are Blind to
Physical Qualities
paper presented at last years “Long Island Philosophical Society”.

On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 7:11 AM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> > are you really implying that I think that rainbow picture can’t be
> represented by an array of values including RGB(FF0000), as it appears
> here?
> You appear to be defending the position that there is some ineffable,
> not-representable-by-other-means qualia in the image.  Without agreeing or
> disagreeing with that position, I am pointing out that the specific example
> given is a remarkably weak defense of that position.
> > Are you saying that RGB(FF,00,00). or any other such abstract software
> is physically red?
> No.  I say it is a representation of red, similar in nature to
> representations of red in the human brain.
> "Physically red", to me, consists of reflecting and/or emitting - within
> the visible spectrum - primarily red photons, which are photons close to
> 680 nanometers in wavelength.  A mathematical construct (such as
> "RGB(FF,00,00)", which is in turn most often represented as the number
> 16,711,680) is not a physical object, and thus is not "physically"
> anything.  It can, however, serve as part of an instruction for a physical
> thing - say, a pixel on a monitor - to become physically red.  Physical
> redness can be measured, just like any other physical color properties, but
> the number that results from the measurement is just another
> representation.  "The map is not the territory", as it's said.
> This debate in general seems to be suffering from a remarkable level of
> redefinitions on the fly and goalpost-moving.  I am not saying you
> exclusively are doing that, I'm saying that's the discussion in general.
> This has been my main reason for staying out of the debate until now.
> Most egregiously, what exactly is "qualia", other than "magic that defines
> the experience of redness/et cetera"?  Some people seem to be insisting
> that qualia can not be defined in any measurable terms.  Over and over, I
> have seen strawman examples set up - the original supposition about a
> "color scientist who had all the physical information, and then one day
> actually saw red" being an example.  One reason there is dissonance is
> that, intuitively we know there can not be such a thing as someone with
> "all the physical information", thus the premise is rejected and what is
> actually evaluated is someone who has a lot of data but nowhere near
> "all".  Another reason is that it confuses "information" in the
> intellectual sense with memories of experiences: of course someone who
> doesn't have a specific memory won't have that memory, but that says
> nothing about that person's ability to learn information.
> Perhaps this debate could be settled more quickly if people simply did not
> use words that have been muddled so much within the conversation itself.
> Specifically, state the concepts without using the word "qualia" (or making
> up any other words).
> For instance, going back to Mary the color scientist.  Let's say she is
> color-blind due to a defect located entirely in her eyes, but knows how to
> do brain surgery, specifically on the sensorimotor cortex.  Might she be
> able to implant something, or rewire someone's brain, so they see red?  If
> so, would it be correct to say that she has triggered that person's
> perception of red?
> Let's say she then programs a robot or instructs other people to do the
> same surgery to her.  They do (let us assume correctly and perfectly, which
> is certainly possible), and she gets a perception that she has never had
> before - but she has a word for it: "red".
> Everything that can be measured says Mary and this other person had the
> same experience.  They both use the word "red" for it, but of course words
> can mean different things to different people.  There are probably
> different emotional connotations and reactions, but these trigger off the
> representation in the brain, not actually off the physical redness itself.
> (In almost all real cases, physical redness is the only viable means to
> create this representation - but that doesn't make physical redness and the
> representation literally the same thing.)
> On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 6:38 PM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Adrian,
>> Thanks for jumping in.
>> And I often get sucked into missing when people are just yanking my chain.
>> So, just to get that out of the way, this entire response seems like
>> someone is just yanking my chain, it seems to me to be so obviously wrong
>> and twisted in so many ways.
>> “fails to refute the concept that image qualia can be represented in
>> other forms.
>> Along with most everything else in this reply that is so mistaken, are
>> you really implying that I think that rainbow picture can’t be represented
>> by an array of values including RGB(FF0000), as it appears here?  Are you
>> saying that RGB(FF,00,00). or any other such abstract software is
>> physically red?
>> Software = qualia people are so infuriating to me.  The best I can
>> understand from what qualia arise from software say is redness arises from
>> software via <magic happens here>.  They certainly never provide anything
>> better than that, that I can see.  I wonder what a person believing qualia
>> arise from software will do if experimentalists discover that the only
>> thing anyone can find in this universe that has a physical redness quality
>> is glutamate.  Would they continue to try to find some way to make
>> something like RGB(FF,00,00) produce a redness experience for someone, and
>> continue to claim you can’t disprove a negative as the theists always do
>> about the existence of their God?  After all, you never know, if you add
>> enough RGB(FFFFFFFFFFFFFF….,00,00) it could finally result in a physical
>> redness quality, right?
>> If you are not yanking my chain, again, still, thanks for jumping in.  I
>> still must not be adequately communicating what I’m trying to describe.  Or
>> maybe I'm just failing to understand what you are trying to say.  I
>> appreciate everyone’s patience on this.  It is always helpful when a new
>> person joins in.  I’ve improved a lot in the way I say things (having much
>> more success than I once had), but I evidently still have a LONG way to
>> go.  Unless you are yanking my chain? ;)
>> Brent
>> On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 4:37 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> I see orange and cyan there, too.  Also, a rainbow is a gradient, which
>>> your list of words fails to note.  There is also no mention of the sky,
>>> clouds, or arc of the rainbow, nor of the transparency toward one end.
>>> It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Exacttness of that
>>> measure aside, trying to equate a picture to a very few words is a strawman
>>> argument, and as such fails to refute the concept that image qualia can be
>>> represented in other forms.
>>> On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 8:44 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Your wrong, unless you see no difference between this
>>>> [image: image.png]
>>>> and the abstract words "red, yellow, green, purple and blue".
>>>> Notice how I can redefine the words purple and blue.
>>>> You can't redefine your purpleness, and blueness, it just is, and you
>>>> know that more absolutely than you know anything.
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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