[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 17:29:20 UTC 2020

Hi, Ben,
I've been improving my method of communicating this information for many
years.  I'm able to communicate these ideas now much better than five and
especially 10 years ago. But obviously I still have a long way to go so I
appreciate your help.

One of the important fundamentals is that knowledge of reality is different
than reality. Knowledge of reality is simplified and optimized so we can
survive more efficiently. It only focuses on and models what is important
to us.  Qualia blindness is simply having a model of reality that does not
include qualia. If there is only one word being used for all things red,
that is qualia blind language.

People don't stop to think that to know what a word like red means you need
to point to a specific set of physics. And even if qualia blind thinking
does do this it is only connected to light.  But of course that does not
account for the fact that perception can be inverted anywhere in the chain
of perception.  In order for a language to not be qualia blind you need at
least two words for two very different physical properties.  Like red for
the physical properties of the target of perception and the different word
redness for the physical properties of our knowledge of that.  In the
models and language you must be able to comprehend and communicate effing
of the ineffable ideas like "my redness could be like your greenness both
of which we call red."

Does that help?


On Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 2:55 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Brent Allsop wrote:
> Hi Ben,
> Thanks for your extra work in our efforts to communicate.  We are
> obviously failing miserably.
> Well, I would suggest that your model example using glutamate, combined
> with your terminology ('elemental') could almost be designed to mislead
> people about what you actually mean, so it's no wonder there's
> miscommunication.
> My 'availability' argument was a response to what you seemed to be
> claiming (and you agreed to what I asked about it. That question wasn't
> aimed at a simplified imaginary world, it was about the real world), and it
> doesn't just falsify the idea that glutamate = redness, but falsifies the
> whole concept of any molecule representing any quale, but perhaps you
> accept that, and perhaps it is missing the point anyway, which just
> reinforces what I'm saying here.
> I still don't understand what you mean by 'qualia blindness', and your
> simple-world examples do nothing towards helping me (or anyone else, that I
> can see) to understand it.
> As the saying goes "If you do what you always did, you'll get what you
> always got". Perhaps it's time to try a different tack? The more different
> ways you can explain something, the better chance there is of people
> understanding it. When I have difficulty understanding a thing, I try to
> find a variety of sources with different ways of explaining it, then
> there's a better chance of finding something that makes sense to me. Any
> idea worth its salt can be explained in a number of different ways, or
> looked at from different angles. Unfortunately, you seem to be the only
> source of this idea, whatever it is, so it's up to you to come up with the
> different ways of explaining it that might help people to understand it.
> I suggest you add more ways of looking at this to your vocabulary, make
> new models, using different viewpoints, to try to convey what 'qualia
> blindness' is. Without this, I for one, wiil certainly continue to have no
> clue what it can mean. The only thing the term suggests to me is a lack of
> ability to experience qualia, just as ordinary blindness is a lack of
> ability to see. You clearly don't mean that, as it's an absurd thing to say.
> I know that you've probably invested a lot of time and thought in coming
> up with your model and terminology, and presumably it makes perfect sense
> to you, but if I'm any indication, it doesn't necessarily make sense to
> many other people. Time to think of other ways to explain it (and I don't
> just mean 'yellowness' instead of 'redness', and serotonin instead of
> glutamate!!). Preferably several different ways, if you want people to
> latch on to what you mean.
> I don't know, but perhaps drop the 'simplified world' and try using the
> real world? Or create a less simplified imaginary world? Or better still,
> translate into a completely different system that has nothing to do with
> brains, colours and neurotransmitters, but embodies the same concept? (I
> remember, long long ago, having difficulty understanding multiplication, it
> was all very abstract and mysterious, until someone drew a 2 x 3 grid on a
> piece of paper in front of me, and said "There, *that's* what
> multiiplication is!". I was all OOOOHHH!!! Suddenly it made complete sense.
> It just hadn't been explained to me like that before (for some daft
> reason)).
> By the way, if anyone can come up with a similar way of explaining what
> complex numbers are, I'd be very grateful! I know the usual description,
> but that just doesn't make any sense to me.
> (Yes, I know, it's extremely unlikely).
> And you're *still* CCing my private email address, despite repeated
> requests that you don't. That doesn't improve my mood (I won't repeat what
> escapes my lips every time I see this. Use your imagination). Please stop
> it, permanently.
> --
> Ben Zaiboc
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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