[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Jan 19 15:51:48 UTC 2020

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 6:39 PM Stathis Papaioannou via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, 19 Jan 2020 at 11:57, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>  whatever consciousness is, it would be reproduced if the function (the
>> observable behaviour) of anything that has it is reproduced.   stathis
>> I keep reading this and keep thinking that I understand it, and then I
>> think I don't.  Are you saying that if we can get something to act like a
>> human brain it will therefore have all the functions thereof?
> Neurons have observable behaviour: for example, when stimulated by other
> neurons they may “fire”, propagating an action potential along their axon,
> and in turn stimulate neurons to which they connect. Billions of neurons in
> your visual cortex interact in this way and as a result you can identify
> objects in front of your eyes. These neurons, via a relay of multiple
> intermediate neurons, connect to the motor neurons controlling speech and
> you say “I see a strawberry”. If the neurons in your visual cortex were
> destroyed their output would not get through to your vocal cords and you
> would not say “I see a strawberry”, because you would be blind. But if the
> neurons were replaced by an artificial device that produced the same output
> given the same input, your vocal cords would receive the same input as
> before and you would say “I see a strawberry”.

This is all qualia blind.  There is only red things in all this.  You must
also include the physically different redness that we experience as
knowledge of red things.  Also, everything you are saying here are
objective descriptions of behavior in the brain.  There are two ways for us
to be aware of the same physical facts.  One is by objective observation,
which is qualia blind.  The second way is subjective.  The only way to know
the physical quality, all this stuff Stathis is saying is describing, is to
experience those physical facts being described, directly.

> The above is a purely behavioural account.
As is everything stathis is describing, It's all only behavior descriptions
of physical qualities, i.e it is qualia blind.

> As external observers, we can’t be sure if you have visual experiences or
> not.
We can objectively know if people are having visual experiences or not, via
both the week and strongest forms of effing the ineffable.  In order to do
the week form, you just need a dictionary that tells you what phenomenal
color descriptions of stuff in the brain are describing.  If you
objectively see a word like 'red' representing red knowledge, you know that
isn't physically red.  If you see a person representing green things with
knowledge composed of glycine, you know that person is red / green inverted
from you.  With a neural ponytail (does what the corpus callosum does),
where you can directly experience the physical colorness properties in
another's consciousness, you will be aware of all your physical knowledge,
and the same time you are aware of your partners physical knowledge.  You
will know, absolutely, that your partners is red / green inverted from

> However, we can be sure that if you had them before the neural
> replacement, you have them afterwards as well.The alternative is that you
> become blind but don’t notice, and still say “I see a strawberry”. This is
> absurd: what meaning could the word “blind” have if you cannot notice that
> you are blind and behave as if you have normal vision?
Again, this is qualia blind.  Consciousness is computationally bound
elemental physical qualities like redness and grenness.  In order to not be
qualia blind, you need to include the physical redness functionality (must
be objectively different than grenness functionality), and a
computationally binding mechanism that enables you to be aware of both of
them at the same time.  The neural substitution mind experiment you propose
can lead people astray in many ways.  For example, if you have a single
binding neuron, that is performing the binding functionally, so you can be
aware of thousands of pixels neurons, each potentially firing with either
glutamate and glycine (or whatever it is that has the redness and grenness
physical qualities)  When you do the neural substitution of the binging
neuron in that case, it is just a slight of hand when you are switching
between glutamate(redness)/glycine(grenness) the 1s(red)/0s(green).   With
that one neuron switching, you are removing any computationally bound
information that was actual computationally bound awareness of redness, and
replacing all of it with 1.

Also, a required functionality is the ability to computationally bind, via
a neural ponytail the two systems both before and after the neural
substitution.  With this required functionality, you must be able to know,
directly, whether the neural substituted system now has redness swapped
with grenness, or 1s.  If you do not provide the ability to do that in your
thought experiment, your thought experiment is qualia blind.  If you
thought experiment is not qualia blind, everything makes sense, there are
no conundrums or absurd things like fading/dancing qualia.  If your thought
experiment is not qualia blind, and if you know the phenomenal physical
quality of stuff (or functionality, if you must) everything is knowable
both objectively and subjectively.  In qualia blind views like this, there
are impossibly hard mind body problems.  If your thought experiment is not
qualia blind, the only problem is an easy color problem.

The conclusion is that an artificial device that correctly replicated
> neural behaviour will also replicate any associated consciousness.

This conclusion can only true in a qualia blind thought experiment that
does not include a necessary redness functionality that necessarily can be
computationally bound with grenness.

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