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

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 21:44:58 UTC 2023

The real mystery is not if qualia can be communicated or not. We can
communicate everything even qualia (whatever they are). We are talking
about qualia so even if the communication is not perfect we still know what
we are talking about at least to a point. The question I think these posts
are trying to address is if there is a way to communicate the qualia to the
point that is a perfect 1 to 1 function, to the point where the other
person actually sees the same redness as the other.
But communication is not the right word for this because to me
communication is always some kind of model and models are by definition
simpler than what they want to represent because they want to represent the
essential features of what is represented not every detail of it. I wrote
several posts on this point.
It could be an interesting thing to do to recreate a particular sensation a
person has in another person but not sure what it would achieve in terms of
understanding what redness is. The only thing I can imagine is that maybe
it does require some deep understanding of the phenomenon of red perception
if I'm able to re-create it in another person without that person seeing a
visual stimulus that is associated with red.

But for doing that I don't need to know what redness is in a particular
person but to extract the general features of redness. If for example, it
turns out that activating a certain pattern of neurons in the brain should
produce the sensation of red then I want to know not what exact neurons are
activated in Sue and then re-create that pattern in Joe because that is too
specific to work given physiology is very unique. It is better to
generalize and see what is common in 100s or 1000s of subjects when they
experience the color red. This is what a model is, it is a generalization
of the phenomenon that goes to the essence of what the phenomenon is about.
It is basically the opposite of what Brent claims redness is which
according to him is a very specific set of material events that are fixed
in time once and for all for a specific individual. Not sure what to call
this but it is not a model of anything.


On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 12:17 PM efc--- via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 15 Apr 2023, Jason Resch via extropy-chat wrote:
> > We can rewire all of Bob's brain to equal all of Alice's brain. Then we
> can ensure that when they look at the same strawberry under
> > the same light they see the same thing. But short of that there will
> always be doubts, if not an impossibility, that the two can ever
> > experience the same state of subjective awareness. And the requirement
> of rewiring a brain I think is proof that qualia aren't
> > communicable, and why experience is always trapped within and forever
> bound to the experiencer.
> You can even argue that time is a component. Space, time, software and
> hardware, and since the two, regardless of equal hardware and software,
> cannot occupy the same space at the same time it is impossible to ever
> be certain.
> I think I vaguely tried to make this point somewhere "up there" but I
> think I'll have to reside with Jason on this one.
> Best regards,
> Daniel
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