[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 00:49:57 UTC 2023

Hi Jason,
Great, qualities are "encoded in the patterns of neural activity" could be
a theory that is not yet experimentally falsified.
I know there are many others that have made similar claims, I just haven't
been able to get anyone to canonize that theory, so people like you could
just join that camp.  I suspect it might be kind of like I can't get any of
the many people that bleat and tweet things like  "in defense of
naive realism" to canonizer the theory that predicts redness is a property
of the strawberry.

Can I ask you another question?  You say qualities are "encoded."  To me, a
"code" is something that is not what it represents, like the word "red"
merely represents its grounding referent.  Or a physical hole in a paper
may be a physical property that isn't a redness property and only
represents another property (requiring a transducing dictionary to tell you
the meaning of the code).

How would you decode, what is "encoding" those qualities?  Please don't
tell me you'd use light. ;)

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 5:47 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023, 7:08 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 11:11 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 5:20 PM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> If this doesn't destroy completely anybody illusion that the a brain
>>>> made of meat (and particular stuff like glutamate) I don't know what else
>>>> it could. These people will always believe that meat brains are necessary
>>>> because God made them so. No amound of science would convince them.
>>> 2) You can train an AI to recognize activation patterns in the brain and
>>>> associate them with particular stimuli. This has been tried with words and
>>>> even images both in wake and dreaming state. Here an example that should
>>>> blow everybody minds:
>>>> https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf
>>>> Again, from this study we can see that it doesn't matter how the
>>>> pattern is generated, but that there is a pattern of activation. These
>>>> patterns are unique for each individual but statistically they are similar
>>>> enough that after training over many subjects you can give a statistical
>>>> estimate that the person is seeing or even thinking about something in
>>>> particular. Again, IT WORKS people !
>>> I consider this a knock-down argument against the functional role of
>>> glutamate (or other molecules) in the sensation of red. These tests use
>>> only blood flow data, which is a proxy for neural activity. They are not
>>> measuring ratios of specific neurotransmitters or molecules, or
>>> introspecting the activity within the cell, the fMRI looks only at which
>>> neurons are more vs. less active. And yet, from this data we can extract
>>> images and colors. This proves that neural activity embodies this
>>> information.
>> I guess I've failed to communicate something important about why we use
>> glutamate.  The primary reason we use glutamate is precisely because of
>> its ease of falsifiability.  I fully expect redness to be falsified
>> (someone will experience redness with no glutamate present) and something
>> different from glutamate will then be tried, and eventually something will
>> be found to be experimentally proven to be redness.  Easy and obvious
>> falsifiability is what everyone is missing, so THAT is what I'm most
>> attempting to communicate with the glutamate example.
>> If you guys think there are knock down arguments for why a redness
>> quality is simply due to recursive network configurations (I am not yet
>> convinced, and am still predicting otherwise (see below), and it's much
>> easier to say glutamate than whatever stuff you guys are talking about,
>> which nobody is concisely stating, and I have problems understanding), then
>> please, every time I say 'glutamate', do a substitution for anything you
>> like such as  'Recursive network model A', or any other yet to be falsified
>> theory.  And let's leave it up to the experimentalists to prove who is
>> right, like good, humble, theoretical scientists should.
>> P.S.
>> At least that paper
>> <https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf> you
>> referenced has pictures (composed of real qualities), not just abstract
>> text (tells you nothing about qualities), as text only would be completely
>> meaningless, right?
>> But why don't you guys ask the publishers of that paper, how they came up
>> with the qualities displayed on the images depicting what they are
>> detecting?
>> Here is a link to Jack Galant's work
>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsH7RK1S2E&t=1s>, done over a decade
>> ago, to which all these modern examples are just derivative works, easily
>> done with modern AI tools.
>> When I saw Jack Galant's work
>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsH7RK1S2E&t=1s> back then, I knew he
>> had a problem determining what qualities to display on his screens,
>> depicting what he was detecting.  The fMRI only providing abstract
>> qualityless data which is meaningless without a quality grounded dictionary.
>> So I called him and asked him how he knew what qualities to display.  He
>> immediately admitted they "false-colored" them (Jack Gallant's words).
>> They used the original color codes in the digital images they were showing
>> to their subjects, to determine what color to display.  In other words,
>> they were grounding their colors to physical light, which is nothing like
>> either the properties of a strawberry, which the light merely represents,
>> or the very different properties of conscious knowledge they are detecting
>> and describing with qualityless abstract text.  As Giovanni admits, they
>> are correcting for any changes in physical properties or qualities they are
>> detecting so they can falsely map all those diverse sets of properties they
>> are detecting back to the same false colored light, blinding them to any
>> possible inverted qualities they may be detecting in all that diversity.
>> By the way, I added this Japanese paper
>> <https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf> to
>> the list of yet another example of quality blind papers, including Jack
>> Galant's work that only uses one falsely grounded abstract word for all
>> things representing 'red' here
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/603-Color-Exprnc-Observation-Issue/1-Agreement>
>> .
>> If anyone finds a peer reviewed paper that is not quality blind. (other
>> than mine
>> <https://www.dropbox.com/s/k9x4uh83yex4ecw/Physicists%20Don%27t%20Understand%20Color.docx?dl=0>,
>> which is about to be published) will you please let me know about one?  As
>> I will trust someone that believes and understands that qualities are
>> necessarily real properties of real hallucinations in our brain.  I predict
>> they are just the physical properties they are detecting but only
>> abstractly describing and then false coloring.
> Brent,
> I appreciate that added detail and correction. If the colors in the
> reconstructed images are false colors or inferred by the AI from the
> reconstructed image then I retract my statement of it being a knockdown
> argument against the molecular basis of color qualia. I still suspect color
> information is encoded in the patterns of neural activity, but it may be at
> a low enough level that the fMRI lacks the spatial resolution to detect it.
> Jason
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