[ExI] Digital Consciousness

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 29 19:01:31 UTC 2013

Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:

> can I ask you a question, within your current working
> hyupothoses, 
> does a redness quaqle have any causal properties in
> realty?

I don't know what that means.  
Not being snarky, I just honestly don't know what it means.

> Or in other 
> words, what might the necessary and sufficient neural
> correlates be, 
> such that if you abstractly observe such, you can reliably
> know that 
> someone is experiencing your elemental redness quale? 

Nor that.

I've never even been able to make sense of the phrase 'neural correlates'.
And I don't know what 'to abstractly observe' means.  Obviously something different to 'to observe', or you wouldn't have written it, but I don't know how to observe abstractly, and have never heard the phrase before.

I /think/ what you're asking is:  "How do you know if someone else is experiencing the same thing as you when you both see a red object?"

If that is the question, my answer is:  I don't.  But I severely doubt that any two individuals ever feel exactly the same thing on seeing the same object.  There are too many combinations of memories and associations involved for it to be remotely likely.  So from theoretical considerations, I'd say that no two people will experience the same thing on seeing, say, a red plastic spoon.  Or the word "red".

I do think, though, that when you say "an elemental redness/greenness/etc. quale", you're going in the wrong direction.  'Redness' is not an elemental thing, it's a high-level category.  You have to see many red things to be able to abstract the concept of 'red', and apply it to other things.  Like 'dog', or 'car' or 'furniture'.  How many children mistake cows for dogs?  It's probably just as common for small children to mistake red for blue, until they learn the colour categories.  If there were an 'elemental quale' for 'red', surely there would also have to be one for 'eating utensil', and 'civic building', and 'meteorological phenomenon', 'mathematics', etc., etc.?

Our experiences are far from 'elemental', and I seriously doubt that we're even capable of being able to experience the actual basic elements that contribute to our conscious experiences.  I can live in a house made of bricks, but I can't live in a brick.

Ben Zaiboc

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