[ExI] are qualia communicable?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 18:42:03 UTC 2023

Hi Ben,

There is a whole lot of misunderstanding in all that.  But let's start with
what I think is the core of all the misunderstanding which is you asking me

"If you mean something else, please explain (without, please, please,
resorting to your usual indecipherable vocabulary. In case you're
uncertain what I mean, don't use the terms 'computationally bind',
'quality', 'dictionary', 'redness' *(just 'red' will do)*, and
'objective'. "

The problem is, you are asking me to describe qualities, using quality
blind language, which is not possible.  That is the whole point of what we
are attempting to describe.
Perhaps it would help if you'd take this socratic survey asking if you are
quality blind
In review, consider this image of people representing knowledge of the same
strawberry with different qualities.
 [image: 3_functionally_equal_machines_tiny.png]

That strawberry has one set of properties.  The light reflecting off of it
has a different set of properties.
That same light is entering all 3 sets of eyes, and all 3 of the systems
can tell you the strawberry is red.
The first one's knowledge of red has one quality, the second one has a
red/green signal inverter in the retina, so its knowledge of the strawberry
has a different quality, and the 3rd ones' knowledge is abstract.  You
can't know the quality without a dictionary.

In other words, you are saying "it will do" to simply use the same abstract
label 'red' for the strawberry, the light, and all the diverse qualities
and kinds of knowledge being used to represent that strawberry.
The definition of a quality blind language is one that uses one abstract
word to represent all properties that can represent 'red' information.
As long as your language can't model *different *properties representing '
*red*' information, we will fail to understand each other.

In order to not be quality blind, we need to do something like enhance our
terminology, as follows:

   1. “red” The intrinsic property of objects that are the target of our
   observation, the initial cause of the perception process (i.e. when the
   strawberry reflects 650 nm (red) light). A label for Anything that reflects
   or emits ‘red’ light.
   2. “redNESS” The different intrinsic property of our knowledge of red
   things, the final result of our perception of red.

If you use sufficient terminology, to represent the different properties,
and if you adequately define the terminology.

Then we can eff the ineffable or say things to each other like the first
two systems in the image could say to each other:

    "My redness is like your greenness, both of which we call red."

Something that we can't do, if *(just 'red' will do).*

On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 9:51 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 15/04/2023 13:00, Brent Allsop wrote:
> > You can't teach a toddler their colours, with a book that has no
> > colours in it. You point to the red one and say: THAT is red.
> Yes.
> ... (skip some meaningless verbiage)...
> > 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.
> No.
> What you are calling a 'dictionary' doesn't exist, and it's extremely
> unlikely that a single defined function (or neural network) is the only
> one that gives rise to the sensation of 'red', even in one individual,
> and certainly not across different individuals. Have you noticed that
> feeling feverish affects your perception? Or being happy as opposed to
> sad? Or... (any number of mental states). 'Red' can mean many different
> things to a person (even ignoring the fact that there isn't just one
> 'red' but at least hundreds), and the state of mind you're in can affect
> what 'red' feels like.
> Apart from that, what you seem to be proposing would only work if
> everyone's brain was the same, in detail. The kind of detail that would
> mean everyone was essentially the same person. Rendering the whole
> exercise pointless.
> I don't know what you mean by 'computationally bind it into someone's
> subjective experience', but it's possible that it's a terrible way of
> saying "reproduce the same function (or network) in someone else's
> brain". Which, I'm pretty sure, A) is not possible, and B) if it were
> possible, there's no guarantee it would work to produce the same
> subjective sensations in the recipient. It would be like taking the
> engine management software from a BMW racing car and (somehow) making it
> work in a Fiat saloon, and saying THAT's what it's like to be a BMW
> racing car!. Of course it wouldn't be. It would most likely turn the
> Fiat into a useless piece of junk, at least until the offending software
> was removed and replaced with the original (and maybe not even then, if
> it's damaged the engine).
> If you mean something else, please explain (without, please, please,
> resorting to your usual indecipherable vocabulary. In case you're
> uncertain what I mean, don't use the terms 'computationally bind',
> 'quality', 'dictionary', 'redness' (just 'red' wlil do), and
> 'objective'. To be honest, if you want people to understand what you're
> saying, use plain english (or american, even), and try to drop this
> terminology which is only meaningful to you).
> Ben
> PS Strawberries are passé. Didn't you know that Limes are the 'in' fruit
> these days?
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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