[ExI] Possible seat of consciousness found

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 03:52:05 UTC 2020

Hi Stuart,
Thanks for the feedback on my terminology.  That really helps.
But, it would help if you could provide more evidence that you understand
why I'm using the terminology I am.
Much of what you are saying is evidence to me you don't yet understand the
model I'm trying to describe and what "qualia blindness" means.

On Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 9:28 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Quoting Brent Allsop:
> > The only
> > thing everyone disagrees about is the nature of qualia.  Communicating
> the
> > high level RQT ideas about what 'qualia blindness' is, and how there is
> not
> > a "hard mind body problem", it's just a color problem is already very
> > difficult to communicate.
> "Qualia blindness" sounds too pejorative to be useful as a term of
> art. You should stop using it especially since you tend to apply it to
> people who disagree with you and you have so much trouble explaining
> what it means. Perhaps "qualia denial" or "qualia denier" would be a
> better and more accurate term, since even Daniel Dennett experiences
> qualia, even though he doesn't believe them to be important.

Saying this kind of stuff is strong evidence that you still don't
understand the model I'm trying to describe.

Notice that even Dennett's "Predictive Bayesian Coding theory
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Dennett-s-PBC-Theory/21>" is in a
supporting sub camp to RQT
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Representational-Qualia/6>.  Supporting sub
camps agree with everything stated in all their parent camps.  Sibling
camps are the ones that disagree, and all the sibling sub camps to RQT are
the ones predicting different things qualia could be.  I don't know of any
"qualia dinier"s (evidence for this is provided by the fact that RQT has
near unanimous expert consensus) as that just would be irrational.
Everyone knows, absolutely, more than they know anything, that they have
qualia, and what their qualia are like.  Both John and Dennett agree that
we have qualia.  John just thinks that we will never be able to objectively
observe them, and Dennett says we should "quine" (means ignore) them.  They
aren't "deniers" as most people mistakenly think, and is falsely portrayed
in Wikipedia <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia>.

"Qualia Blindness" is similar to the "pejorative" term "Naive Realism".
That fact that it is "pejorative" doesn't really matter compared to the
facts it is describing.  In fact, some people think the fact that "Naive
Realism" is factually "Naive" is a good thing
<https://ida.mtholyoke.edu/xmlui/handle/10166/4025>.  I would bet that John
would agree that his view is 'qualia blind' and that he is perfectly OK
with using one word for all things 'red' as he has indicated multiple
times.  And of course, saying you should ignore qualia, as Dennett does, is
the very definition of being qualia blind.  Dennett openly admits that.
Qualia blindness is as qualia blindness does.  If you only have one word,
for all things red, that is, by definition, qualia blindness.  It is simply
a fact that having one word for all things 'red' tells you nothing of the
actual physical qualities of any of the many things it is a label for.
Having a model (and the language of such) of the physical world that
ignores, or does not include qualia, is, by definition, qualia blind.   If
you don't like the term "qualia blind" then every time I use it please
substitute it with: "Have amy model of physical reality that does not
include objectively observable qualia."  Or anyone that claims we should
"quine qualia" and so on.

> > Incidentally, I think you might have been too reductionist in your
> >> search for the material correlates of color. Material redness is not a
> >> molecule, material redness is the L-cone cell in your retina that
> >> fires more strongly in response to red light than green light. M-cone
> >> cells conversely fire more strongly in response to green light than
> >> red.
> >
> >
> > Um, yea.  What you say below (as illustrated in this "Perception Inverted
> > <https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness/?chapter=Perception_Inverted
> >"
> > section of the video) proves what you say above is mistaken, right?
> Not at all. Inverted perception in no way proves that qualia are not
> "phantasms of the mind" to use Newton's terminology. In fact, the
> rewiring I described between the retina and the visual cortex is
> specifically in reference to the signalling pathway model.

More evidence you are not understanding what I'm trying to say.  If you put
a red green signal inverter in the optic nerve
The light and the "L-cone" will be firing 'red', but the knowledge will not
have a redness quality, it will have a greeness quality.  This fact
necessarily proves that neither the L-cone, nore the 'red' light, (as you
are claiming) have anything to do with the physical quality of knowledge
(since it isn't redness, it is greeness when the inverter is in place).

> This camp is the simplest and most importantly, easy to falsify.  If
> > someone experiences redness, with no glutamate, redness = glutamate
> > prediction falsified.  The ease of falsifiability is what is important.
> > For example, I see no possible way to falsify most of the other theories,
> > especially the leading consensus camp which Stathis supports:
> "Functionalism
> > <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Qualia-Emerge-from-Function/18>".  If
> they
> > could provide any easily falsifiable example of what redness could be,
> I'd
> > be happy to use that in place of glutamate, but they never provide
> anything
> > even close to that.
> All these camps seem like little more than philosophical
> hair-splitting to me. What distinguishes functionalism from RQT except
> for the assumed material basis for qualia?

Evidence that you don't understand RQT, nor the structure of camps in
RQT makes no predictions about what qualia are.  It only says that we have
qualia, and that conscious knowledge is qualitative.  It is all the many
supporting sibling sub camps making different predictions about what qualia
are.  It is only the minority sub camp "Molecular Materialism
<https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Molecular-Materialism/36>" (NOT RQT) that
is predicting that our description of how redness behaves in a synapse
could be the objective description of what we subjectively know to be

"The rays [of light], to speak properly, are not coloured. In them
> there is nothing else than a certain power to stir up a sensation of
> this or that colour . . . to determine by what modes or actions light
> produceth in our minds the phantasm of colour is not so easie."
> In fact, Chalmers explicitly reframed Newton's "color problem" as the
> hard problem so all you have done is undo Chalmers' contribution to
> the field.

Yes, both Chalmers, Stathis, and the popular majority under RQT are
functionalists.  We all agree on RQT, Functionalists are just predicting
that qualia are independent to any physical substrate.  And Stathis agrees
with "Chalmers" and all other functionalists that there is a "hard mind
body problem".  The primary reason so many people are "functionalists" is
because of the Neural Substitution Argument
<https://canonizer.com/topic/79-Neural-Substitn-Argument/1>.  Reclassifying
the color problem as a* hard problem* is what has made Chalmers so famous.

I'm in a different camp
<https://canonizer.com/topic/79-Neural-Substtn-Fallacy/2>.  Functionalist
are the only ones with a "hard problem" which they have no idea how to
address, let alone having any way of verifying what they think must be.
While my prediction is that they will first falsify "glutamate" as being
the same as "redness" and then experimentalists will substitute glutamate
with something else physical.  Your "signalling pathway model" is a great
model.  It's about the only prediction of what qualia are that nobody has
created a camp for yet.  Experimental results could certainly verify it is
a "readiness pathway" that we experience as redness right?  Would you be
willing to help us create a "signalling pathway model" camp, so
experimentalists have another way to test for this qualia possibility?  But
if experimentalists found a particular "pathway" that always resulted in
subjective redness, then this same "pathway" would always produce the same
redness no matter what brain it was in, right?  In other words, we would
replace "glutamate" with whatever was the "redness pathway".  Then we would
have a qualitative definition of what the abstract description of what
"pathway redness" was describing, right?  And we would have an objective
way to observe redness, whenever we saw "pathway redness."  But if this was
the case, a "signalling pathway model" couldn't be a functionalist model,
because functionalism predicts qualia must be independent of anything
physical, including any physical "pathway" right, Stathis?

If an experimentalists discovers which of all our abstract descriptions of
physical stuff in the brain is a description of subjective redness, that
will falsify functionalism.  In other words no matter what a functionalists
attempts, they will never be able to produce redness.  The only way to
produce redness will be to produce whatever physics it is that can be
directly experienced as redness.  If someone discovers what it is that has
a redness quality, this will falsify all but THE ONE competing sub camp to
RQT which can't be falsified.  If experimentalists prove what redness is,
this will confirm how the substitution argument is a fallacy
<https://canonizer.com/topic/79-Neural-Substtn-Fallacy/2> and that
Chalmers, Stathes, and all the other functionalists just lead us down a
mistaken rat hole, taking us away from a solution to what is not a 'hard
problem' but is only an easy color problem.  They will be judged by our
children to have set the field of consciousness way back, and they will
have stood in the way of what should have been resolved, many years ago, as
a simple color problem.  They will clearly understand how worrying about
the substitution argument just took us away from understand consciousness.

So, now, it's up to the experimentalists to prove which of the many sub
camps of RQT, making competing predictions about the nature of qualia, is
the one that can't be falsified.

Reframing the "the hard mind-body problem" as the "color problem" does
> not help in the slightest because the "color problem" has remained
> unsolved for over 300 years and was first voiced by Isaac Newton in
> the 17th century:

Exactly, and the only reason is, is because everyone has been, to date,
qualia blind.  Non of the sub camps of RQT can be falsified as long as all
experimentalists are qualia blind.  To me, most of the theories and all the
religious stuff, are what I think of as 'crap in the gap'.  (similar to the
idea of the God of the Gaps in evolutionary theory)  As long as we can't
falsify things, people can believe any crap they want to believe.  Qualia
blind people "correct" for any physical differences observed in the brain,
labeling it all with the single word 'red'.  Again, doing this makes one
blind to any different physical qualities they may be detecting.  As long
as experimentalists continue to do this, they can't falsify any of the sub
camps to RQT.  The prediction is that once experimentalists stop doing
this, once they start using more than one word for all things red, and once
they stop ignoring differences, and start tracking physical differences in
our conscious physical knowledge, we will then have the tools required to
discover what it is that does have a redness quality.  This will give us
the required dictionary to connect our abstract descriptions, like
glutamate or 'redness channel" or whatever it turns out to be, to
subjective redness.  Discovering what it is that has a redness quality will
finally falsify all but the one sub camp to RQT making the correct
predictions about the nature of qualia.  This will close the last remaining
gap in our understanding of consciousness, and finally eliminate all the
crap in this remaining wide open gap in our scientific understanding caused
by "Naive Realism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFve_realism>" in
general and more specifically, qualia blindness

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