[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Apr 9 21:40:01 UTC 2023

Of course, a single pixel which can change from redness to greenness can't
be at the brain module level or higher, as we have thousands of voxel
element qualities in our visual knowledge.

The Quantum people
predict redness and such is below the Atomic level.  Not really sure how
far below they are predicting it'd be, we could ask them.  I just think you
don't need to go down to that level, to reproduce a pixel of redness
experience, in a way that you can change that one pixel to greenness.  It
could certainly be at the "Molecular Biology" level, or the "Protein Level".
And I'd predict that the computational binding of whatever has a redness
quality, to all the other voxels of qualities, is  somewhere arround
the "Intracellular
Level".  But yea, any and all possible levels are viable.  Even new physics
is a possibility, but I doubt that.

To me, the more important thing is just that there is something, at some
level.  And our description of however it behaves, is a description of
redness.  Or it behaves the way it does, because of its redness quality
which can can subjectively directly apprehend as a pixel of visual
knowledge.  I pretty much selected glutamate because it is easy to say
things like: "If someone experiences redness, when there is no glutamate
present, it falsified the glutamate=redness theory.  So you move on to
something else, at any other level, till you can objectively observe
whatever is responsible for a pixel of redness experience.  Then you will
have the required dictionary to not only know if something is conscious,
but know what it is like.  The fact that making these kinds of predictions
about what consciousness is like is the big deal.  You must be able to
demonstrate and falsify the predictions, in a way the bridges the
"explanatory gap" and enables one to "eff the ineffable" and so on.

We live in a colorful world.  It'd be nice to know what it is, in that
brain, whatever level it is, which has all those colorness qualities.  I
want to know more than just what color things in the world seem to be.

Jason, have you, or anyone else, seen our Consciousness: Not a Hard
Problem, Just a Color Problem
<https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness> videos?
I'd be interested in your thoughts.

On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 8:24 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Brent has proposed that something physical in the brain is responsible for
> redness, and he has proposed the molecular/protein level as a candidate,
> giving the example of the neurotransmitter glutamate. But there are a great
> number of different levels operating concurrently in the brain, and I
> wonder: why choose any particular level as more important than any other to
> associate with redness? We see for example, at a quick glance:
> Level Examples of things operating at this level
> Whole Brain Human Brain, Dolphin Brain
> Brain Hemispheres Left Brain Hemisphere, Right Brain Hemisphere
> Brain regions Frontal lobe, Occipital lobe, Corpus callosum
> Brain modules Broca's Area, Hippocampus, Visual Cortex
> Higher Level Networks Subunits of visual cortex, Subunits of visual cortex
> Neocortical Columns Pattern Recognizers, Classifiers, Discriminators
> Neural Connections Connections, Inhibitory and Excitatory Signals, Firing
> Neuronal Level Neurons, Dendrites, Axons
> Cellular Level Stem Cells, Blood Cells, Nerve Cells
> Intracellular Level Organelles, ATP, Mitochondria
> Protein Level Genes, Ribosomes, Proteins
> Molecular Biology Amino Acids, Peptides, Base Pairs
> Molecular Level Molecules, Covalent Bonds, Ionic Bonds
> Atomic Level Chemicals, Ions, Electron Orbitals
> Nuclear Physics Atomic Nuclei, Chemical Elements, Isotopes
> Baryon Level Quarks and Gluons, Protons, Neutrons
> Subatomic Particles Quarks, Electrons, Photons
> Quantum Fields force fields, matter fields, Higgs field
> When every level above could be called a "physical" level, why should we
> limit the investigation to the protein level of neurotransmitters?
> If molecules/proteins, are in the end, just patterns of activity of
> quantum fields, why can't the patterns of activity of higher-complexity
> (still quantum fields) such as the processing done by the visual cortex,
> count as a pattern of activity open to investigation?
> If lower order patterns of activity (quarks, atoms, molecules, proteins)
> etc. are possible candidates to explain "redness", why can't these higher
> order patterns of activity be candidates for redness? (Or do you consider
> them to be viable candidates?)
> An extra question, consider this quote from the physicist John Wheeler:
> "Now I am in the grip of a new vision, that Everything is Information. The
> more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability to
> comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible fundamental
> roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical theory."
> -- John Archibald Wheeler
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler> in “*Geons*, *Black
> Holes*, and *Quantum Foam*
> <https://www.google.com/books/edition/Geons_Black_Holes_and_Quantum_Foam_A_Lif/zGFkK2tTXPsC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=The%20more%20I%20have%20pondered%20the%20mystery%20of%20the%20quantum%20and%20our%20strange%20ability%20to%20comprehend%20this%20world%20in%20which%20we%20live%2C%20the%20more%20I%20see%20possible%20fundamental%20roles%20for%20logic%20and%20information%20as%20the%20bedrock%20of%20physical%20theory.&pg=PA64&printsec=frontcover&bsq=The%20more%20I%20have%20pondered%20the%20mystery%20of%20the%20quantum%20and%20our%20strange%20ability%20to%20comprehend%20this%20world%20in%20which%20we%20live%2C%20the%20more%20I%20see%20possible%20fundamental%20roles%20for%20logic%20and%20information%20as%20the%20bedrock%20of%20physical%20theory.>”
> (1998)
> If Wheeler's speculation is right, then there exists another level below
> quantum fields, one of essentially pure information. What would that imply
> about the patterns of activity necessary for redness? Would that not imply
> that redness is, at some level (even if it is only associated with
> glutamate) in the end, nothing but a particular pattern of information
> processing?
> Jason
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