[ExI] consciousness and perception

John K Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Thu Jan 29 17:56:20 UTC 2009

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: brent.allsop at comcast.net 
  To: ExI chat list 
  Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:35 PM
  Subject: Re: [ExI] consciousness and perception


  This is getting very tiring.  If you are so sure you are not just making lots of obvious stupid mistakes, talking about things that don't matter, ignoring lots of what is being said, with all your assertions and religious name calling, I wish you would just canonize what your beliefs are, so everyone else can see your obvious silly mistakes.  So we can end all this very exhausting yes it is no it isn’t.

  First off, it is still tentative, but there is a significant and growing amount of ‘scientific consensuses’ for this particular theory.  There are some great minds already explicitly in this camp.  Namely Steve Lehar, John Smythies, Steve Harison and others and more are joining (google for these people to find out how impressive they are.)  Also, this is not my theory.  John Smythies, the director of the Neural Cehmistry division of the Brain and Cognition center at UCSD was publishing papers arguing for this before I was even born, and he wasn't really the first either.  Many of these ideas, in various forms, go back to Descartes and before.

  It is our belief that no other theory of qualia (or lack thereof) that will be able to match the scientific consensus that is now rigorously forming around this particular theory.

  Also, see this camp for why we believe so many people are uneducated about this particular theory which we argue has a scientific consensus supporting it:


  Next, this theory predicts that it is most definitely scientific, demonstrable, objective and sharable.  That is what the scientific ‘effing’ the ineffable is all about, as described in the camp statement:


  Obviously you don’t understand what is being said about this at all.

  There is most definitely something that has a ‘red’ phenomenal property in a scientifically reproducible way, and it is not the surface of a strawberry reflecting 700 nm light.

  This theory predicts that once you reproduce whatever it is that has this phenomenal property, in another mind, the other mind will absolutely, scientifically, always experience the same phenomenal experience.

  If this is my taste of salt, the person experiencing it for the first time will finally know what my taste of salt is phenomenally like.  If this persons uses something else to represent sodium chloride, he will say something like: (that is different than my taste of salt.)  If his brain uses the same neural conscious correlate to represent the taste of salt, he will say it is the same.  And you will be able to do all of this, reliably, scientifically, and objectively, even if there is no salt anywhere in the room where all this is being done.

  The theory predicts that we will come up with a type of elemental table map of all the things in our brains that have phenomenal properties – and what qualia each of those reliably has when in the right state.  In other words, it will be something like material A, in state 1, always has a red phenomenal property.  Material B, in state 2, always has a green phenomenal property.

  If none of this is possible, after we fully understand the brain, this theory will obviously be falsified.  And if this predicted effing scientific proof makes you eat your words, this theory will be demonstrably, scientifically, proved to be THE ONE theory about the greatest and most world changing scientific achievement of all time.

  Brent Allsop

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "John K Clark" <jonkc at bellsouth.net>
  To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
  Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:35:47 AM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
  Subject: Re: [ExI] consciousness and perception

  "Brent Allsop" <brent.allsop at comcast.net>

  > This theory predicts that John lock, and Descartes before him, had
  > everything they needed to understand the difference between phenomenal
  > and behavioral properties.

  Locke thought movement and temperature belonged in different conceptual
  categories and now we know he was dead wrong; Locke didn't know the first
  thing about temperature except that if you touch something very hot it
  hurts. Locke thought movement and rest were attributes of an object itself
  and we know he was dead wrong about that too. The idea that Locke's ideas
  about matter would be helpful to someone wanting to make an AI is wacky.

  > Tomorrow, someone could revolutionize fundamental physics, explain quantum
  > theory in a very different way than our current understanding or anything,
  > and that would still not change the fundamental difference between the
  > fact that all of that only deals with the way matter behaves in cause and
  > effect ways .

  Yes it only concerns cause and effect stuff, it only deals with that silly
  new idea called the scientific method, it only deals with things that
  actually DO something, things that cause something to happen.
  It does NOT deal with thinly disguised religious mumbo jumbo.

  The trouble with conscious theories and all this "phenomenal properties"
  crap is that they are too easy, any theory will do because there are no
  facts it needs to explain. Contrast that with intelligence theories which
  are devilishly hard to come up with because there are so many things
  they must explain.

  Given that you admit your ideas have no observable consequences I find it
  difficult to believe you really were surprised to find the scientific
  community was not interested in them. And I don't see why you would even
  care. It wouldn't matter even if they were fascinated because it can't be
  tested by the scientific method so there is no way even lovers of your
  theory could advance it one inch in a thousand years. It's as big a
  dead end as religion, and that's pretty damn big.

    John K Clark

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