[ExI] are qualia communicable? Was Why stop at glutamate?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 14:30:45 UTC 2023

On Sat, Apr 15, 2023, 8:01 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Hi Jason,
> On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 4:25 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 14, 2023, 10:50 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> Hi Jason,
>>> On Fri, Apr 14, 2023 at 8:39 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> An elemental quality of everything Jason is describing is a standalone
>>>>> pixel of a redness quality.
>>>> I don't believe in such things. A pixel of redness only exists by
>>>> virtue of it's relations to all the rest of a vastly complex brain. You
>>>> can't pluck it out of the brain and treat it as an independent elemental
>>>> entity.
>>> Yes, we are simply making different falsifiable predictions, here.  It
>>> is now up to the experimentalist to falsify at least one of our competing
>>> predictions.
>>> I don't think we have a camp on canonizer, yet based on anything like
>>> your competing idea:  "A pixel of redness only exists by virtue of it's
>>> relations to all the rest of a vastly complex brain."  I'd sure love to get
>>> this canonized, somewhere, to see if anyone else would support it.  I'm
>>> very doubtful, but that belief could be falsified.
>> I wouldn't really call that idea a camp, I consider it more a corollary
>> of functionalism, or any emergentist account of mind/qualia.
> You believe that way of thinking has utility, and will lead to a better
> understanding of what consciousness is.   I believe experimental
> demonstration will prove that way of thinking is what has caused all the
> "hard problems" and "explanatory gaps", and that if we change directions
> (as in consciousness isn't a hard problem it's a color problem)  then we
> will finally resolve all the so called "hard problems" and finally bridge
> the "explanatory gaps'', and only THEN will we be able to start
> engineering, amplifying and uploading consciousness.
> If you don't want to call that kind of lack of scientific consensus a
> 'camp' then what should I call it?  Because no matter what you call it, it
> is still the same thing.
>> only the elemental qualities does.
>>>> This pixel of elemental redness, and the resulting change from redness
>>>>> to greenness, must identity match up with some objective description of the
>>>>> same.
>>>>> It is simply discovering what this identity is, and figuring out how
>>>>> elemental redness can be computationally bound with all the other stuff
>>>>> that would be different, in different brains.
>>>>> My prediction is that we will discover which of all our descriptions
>>>>> of stuff in the brain is a description of redness, We finally know which
>>>>> camp is THE ONE, we finally know the true color properties of things, hard
>>>>> problem solved, we can eff the ineffable, since our terms and properties of
>>>>> our subjective experiences would then be objectively grounded.
>>>> I don't see how you can identify the common element between two
>>>> individuals' red experience when there's no way (that I see) to determine
>>>> whether or when two individuals even have the same red experience. Can you
>>>> explain this process to me?
>>> You identify whatever P1, glutamate, or whatever it is that is the
>>> objective description of a subjective pixel with a redness quality.
>> But how do we objectively determine a subjective quality? That's the part
>> I don't understand.
> First off, let me make sure we agree on some (platonic or mathematical?)
> logical facts.
> You can't teach a toddler their colors, with a book that has no colors in
> it.                               You point to the red one and say: THAT is
> red. (Note: Your are really pointing to the property of the toddlers
> subjective knowledge of that)
> You can't tell someone which colors different wavelengths of
> light represent, without colors.  You add a red color near the 700nm
> section, and say 700nm light is THAT color.
> If we agree on those facts, then:
> Once we have the required dictionary (after exhaustive trial and error,
> and you discover that is P1, and only P1 that has a redness quality), you
> take P1, computationally bind it into someone's subjective experience, and
> say: THAT is redness.
> At which point the person may say:  "Wow, THAT is my grenness, I must be
> engineered to be different than everyone else."

This is good. I think we are having some real communication on these issues

Let me add names for clarity for your above description:

When Bob says; "Wow, THAT is Alice's redness!" How does Bob know what
redness is for Alice?

Another possibility to consider is: after we put some new processing
ability into Bob and he doesn't feel anything, not at first. It may take
several weeks for his brain to rewire itself to adapt to this new signal,
as it did for the monkeys given full color vision. Is there any promise
that Bob's resulting brain changes and rewiring after given a new signal
will preserve the same relational role for P1 as it had within Alice's

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