[ExI] are qualia communicable?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 00:27:35 UTC 2023

I take that back, it now has been published in the "Ahead of Print (AoP)
Physicists don't understand color

On Sat, Apr 15, 2023 at 6:07 PM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> <https://www.dropbox.com/s/k9x4uh83yex4ecw/Physicists%20Don%27t%20Understand%20Color.docx?dl=0>."
> 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
> hard.
> 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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