[ExI] Definition of Consciousness (Was Re: My guesses about GPTs consciousness)

efc at swisscows.email efc at swisscows.email
Tue Apr 18 22:38:28 UTC 2023

Hello Brent,

On Mon, 17 Apr 2023, Brent Allsop via extropy-chat wrote:

> But canonizer is the solution to all the problems you are pointing out, and many more issues, especially polarization, and bubbles...

Well, that's easy to test! Let's wait and see. ;)

> It is the solution to establishment resisting needed revolutions.

I think you overestimate the establishments willingness and capability
to engage rationally, but... I probably underestimate it. ;)

But any and all solutions to this problem should definitely be tested so
I do hope that the canonizer will work out just the way you say! =)

> It's basically the idea that redness is a quality of your subjective knowledge of the strawberry, a quality of something in our
> brain, not a property of the strawberry.

Ahh... that is easier for me to understand. I do not believe redness is
something unique inside the brain, but the result of a process including
the world, and the brains reaction to the signals received through the
eyes, or the memory thereof.

In fact, I could even assent to the statement that qualia and redness in
fact are "red herrings" that will get us nowhere, and should best be
left alone.

What we should focus on is neuroscience, biology, computer science,
simulations etc. just like we have done, which as led us to chatgpt,
ocr, deep blue, etc.

In a distant future (or near) we'll have a machine that will pass the
turing test with flying colors, and then we can probably put a lot of
philosophical questions to rest. "Philosophy is the midwife of science"
as the saying goes. =)

> And this article has just been published: "Physicists don't Understand Color"

Ahhh... that's where all the strawberries comes from. Thank you Brent!
Ah, so I see that the canonizer is part of a bigger program and that you
are a professional.

> Yes, we live in a "post truth" world, due to all the polarization.   No matter where you go on the internet, or even in peer
> reviewed journals, someone will claim that is "fake news."

Fortunately, I left the academic world before wokeness, fake news,
identity politics etc. became a thing. I do not hold the belief that we
live in a post truth world. I do believe that the quality of education
has dramatically decreased the last couple of decades, and that people
are being increasingly infantilized, and that _that_ is the reason why
political discourse today, regardless of ones point of view, is mostly

But I also find it hard to believe that polarization should have found
its way into philosophical debate over such niche problems as qualia.
That's just absurd. You have one opinion, and I another, and that's
that. Should new evidence or arguments appear, I will then, in case I
care deeply about that specific problem, revise my position. It won't
happen over night (by design) but hopefully rigorous scientific and
philosophical training will help to take the ego out of the equation as
much as possible.

> Notice that Dennett's current "Predictive Bayesian Coding Theory" is in a supporting sub camp position to RQT.

Ahh... so I was mistaken. It's more than 2 decades ago since I read his
book, so either I did not remember correctly, or he moved on, or I
revised my position. ;)

> And I've been trying my darndest to get camps for competing theories started, but people seem reluctant, for some reason.
> What is there now is just a concise and quantitative representation of what the 70+ participants currently believe.

If you want consensus in a field, I think you would need to attract far
more people than that. If not, there will be skew. I don't think I would
label it consensus. For me it would be more of an atlas of the field,
the positions, and the people who hold them.

Hmm, isn't there, or weren't there similar programs for compiling some
kind of universal, human ethics? Don't take my word for it, I might
misremember again. ;)

Best regards, 

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