[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 13:44:31 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 11, 2023, 9:20 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 11, 2023 at 3:21 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 11, 2023, 12:05 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> 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
>> You are now theorizing that there is nothing it is like to be the process
>> that decodes a signal and reaches some state of having determined which
>> from a broad array of possibilities, that signal represents. That is what
>> qualia are: discriminations within a high dimensionality space.
>> 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.
>> What does it mean to ground something? Explain how you see grounding
>> achieved (in detail)?
> It is all about what is required (experimentally) to get someone to
> experience stand alone, no grounding dictionary required, "old guys
> redness".  (the requirement for grounding as in: "oh THAT is what old guys
> redness is like.")

You need to be the conscious of old guy's brain to ever know that.

> Here is what I mean by "old guys redness" , let's say some guy is
> engineered to gradually swap his yellowness and redness properties, as he
> ages.
> When he is young, he grounds the code word red with old
> guy's yellowness(glycine).  In middle age, he grounds the code word red
> with old guys orangeness(ascorbate).
> And of course, when he is old, he grounds the code word red with the true
> old guys redness(glutamate).
> I can see how thinking of things in substrate independent ways is very
> powerful, for certain tasks.  (the only kinds of tasks some of you care
> about?)

No it's necessary I think to talk about the higher levels, as those are the
only ones that can direct our thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

If someone says "I see a red strawberry right now", that statement emerges
from activity of their high level language center of their brain. Its the
behavior of neurons, which are in principle wholly independent of their
material substrate. Substitute artificial neurons and all the causal
relationships and properties are preserved, and the person will still say
"I see a red strawberry right now" and won't notice or report seeing it any

The reason we think about things digitally (as 1s, and 0s), is so we don't
> need to care about whether those 1s and 0s are represented with redness and
> greenness properties, vs holes and absences of holes in paper properties,
> vs any other distinguishable properties we'd care to represent 1s and 0s
> with.  (you guys just ignore the additional cost and inefficiencies
> required to maintain all those extra dictionaries, so things can be simpler
> at the higher substrate independent level. You'd prefer to compute on
> virtual machines, than directly on naked hardware)

Any computable relationship, e.g. a multiplication relationship, a less
than or equals relationship, an add 5 relationship, a distance
relationship, etc. can be formed from anything, at least anything that can
be formed into a general purpose computer. String enough relationship
together of the right kind and you get a redness experience. The "ground"
then, if there can be said to be one, rests in this bottom most level of
pure mathematical relationships.

> I guess some of us care about the difference between these 3 (and we want
> to know the true colors of things), and others just worry about being able
> to tell us the strawberry is red, and don't care about the nature of true
> elemental properties, and what is required to experimentally
> demonstrate them to others.  (as required to unambiguously eff the
> ineffable natures of properties.)

It's impossible to eff the ineffable. One can only experience what its like
to be a particular mind by being that particular mind. There's no way to
serialize and share that experience with others, because even if you
captured everything there is to know about your brain, other brains can
only process that information in their own way they process information,
not in the way your brain does, unless they choose to modify their own
brain to be like yours, but then they forget what it was like to be
themselves, and there is never a basis of comparison.

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