[ExI] are qualia communicable?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 00:07:34 UTC 2023

The entire scientific world assumes "(just 'red' will do)".  All of our
scientific literature uses one abstract word to represent all the diverse
properties that may represent 'red' information.
That is except what is on Canonizer and  the about to be published
paper: "Physicists Don't
Understand Color

We are predicting that this ambiguous assumption is why people don't
understand consciousness, This is why they can't answer questions like:
"What is it like to be a bat" and so on.
This is the only reason why people Like Gordon, and so many others think:
(there is something beyond science behind consciousness and that science is
not adequate to understand it.)
The only thing that can't model consciousness, and what it is like, is
science that assumes "(just 'red' will do.)"
What we are saying is that as long as people think  "(just 'red' will do)"
understanding consciousness, and what it is like, will remain impossibly
If you only use one abstract word 'red', then you can't say simple, well
defined, effing of the ineffable statements like:

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

Once we give up this assumption, and start using different words for
different properties that can represent red, everything becomes simple,
easily understandable and effable.
As long as people assume "(just 'red' will do)" consciousness will remain
impossibly hard.  Once you give up that assumption, it just becomes an easy
color problem, and all we need to do is experimentally connect the
objective, with the subjective, (grounding our abstract terms) then we will
know the true color qualities of things, not just the false colors things
seem to be.

On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 4:10 PM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Brent,
> I think the usefulness of what we are doing here is exactly to learn how
> to communicate without using our own private language. I know we are all
> guilty of this up to a point. But there are instances where this happens
> more than other times and it is really frustrating. I'm glad Ben gave you
> precise instructions on how you can improve communication. I felt exactly
> the same the first time I read your discussion of this business of redness.
> I could not understand at all your made-up terms like "quality blind". It
> doesn't matter how many times you explain it to me, if you just write the
> same dozen-line explanation with this obscure vocabulary is basically
> impossible to follow. You should really try to re-write it without using
> them and see how it looks like. Maybe ask GPT-4 to rewrite it for you. I
> will try myself and see what I got but I think it is important for you to
> do that exercise if you want people to even try to follow you.
> Giovanni
> On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 2:18 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Ben,
>> What you are saying is exactly what I would say if I was good with words
>> as you are.
>> What strikes me is that is what everybody else that is scientifically
>> trained is saying the same things, even if in slightly different words.
>> The explanations are coherent and based on what we know about how reality
>> works. But notwithstanding all this, the other side is repeating more or
>> less the same mantras about the redness of red, the grounding problem, and
>> stuff like that without really adding layers of understanding to the
>> discussion. Not sure if this impasse can be resolved at all.
>> Maybe in the future when we know more about brains and minds of all types
>> these misconceptions will disappear as they did with the concept of "life
>> spirit" that people were using to justify why life is magical and a divine
>> creation beyond the understanding of science.
>> I'm not sure what is going on with Brent because I think he has
>> supposedly a more scientific motivation but what he says doesn't sound
>> scientific at all. But I know Gordon, for his own admission, thinks there
>> is something beyond science behind consciousness and that science is not
>> adequate to understand it. This is more of a religious position than a
>> scientific one so not sure there is much point in discussing further.
>> Giovanni
>> On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 8:52 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?
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