# [ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 07:57:34 UTC 2023

```Brent,
Let's talk physics. I know more about physics than neuroscience. I worked
in neuroscience professionally (and still do) but my PhD is in Physics.
Do you know what is the standard model of physics?
Where your idea of quality fits in?
In the standard model, we have things like 4 forces that are manifested as
energy fields and then we have matter fields. There are properties like
electrical charge, lepton charge, spin and so on. By itself a charge means
nothing. It becomes something we can talk about when it interacts with
other things. It is all in the interactions. And these are measured
mathematically. Is a charge a quality? I prefer to call it a property.
Where quality fits in? Give me an example in the world of physics of what
quality would be. Charge, mass?
Notice how charge is defined for example in Wiki:
*Electric charge* is the physical property
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_property> of matter
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter> that causes matter to experience a
force <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force> when placed in an electromagnetic
field <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_field>.
It is a property but it what it does that is essential, if you have a
charge it allows the particle that possesses that property to experience a
force an EM field. There is not intrinsic quality but just relations. This
is how modern physics thinks about the entire universe.
There are no qualities per se.

On Tue, Apr 11, 2023 at 12:48 AM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>
wrote:

>
> *You guys are just pulling my leg right?  You really understand these
> simple (what is the code, and what is the referent) ideas and are just
> giving me a hard time?*No, that is actually what modern physics that is
> the foundation of all the other sciences including neuroscience says. It is
> all in relationships. This is why this idea of the referent is bullshit.
> There are no referents. It is not how modern scientists think about stuff.
> Actually, there is more and more work towards thinking that all there is
> just symmetries of multi-dimensional spaces. What referents?
>
> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 9:05 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>
>>
>> You guys are just pulling my leg right?  You really understand these
>> simple (what is the code, and what is the referent) ideas and are just
>> giving me a hard time?
>>
>> Either way, you failed to answer the all important question: How do you
>> decode what is encoded?
>> What is the referent?  You guys are talking about the code, that isn't
>> like anything, so it needs a dictionary to know what it means, I am talking
>> about the referent that is what you get when you decode the word 'red'.
>> Where is the grounding in any of what you are talking about?  Where is the
>> meaning?  Where is the quality, which the code word red is a label for?
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 9:13 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023, 8:51 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>
>>>> 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,
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> What theory is it? I could see materialists, mind brain identity
>>> theorists, neural correlationists, and functionalists all potentially
>>> agreeing with that statement.
>>>
>>> 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.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Does anyone believe that? People have, for at least 2300 years,
>>> recognized that color exists in us, not in the world. Democritus, Galileo,
>>> Newtown, Shrodinger, have all said that.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> 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. ;)
>>>>
>>>
>>> Other parts of the brain decode the meaning of the signals they receive.
>>>
>>
>> They decode it to WHAT?  Decoding from one code, to another code, none of
>> which is like anything nor are they grounded is not yet grounding
>> anything.  It is still just a code with no grounded referent so you can't
>> truly decode them in any meaningful way.
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>
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