[ExI] Fwd: Paper on "Detecting Qualia" presentation at 2015 MTA conference

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Sat Jan 31 22:28:36 UTC 2015

Hi John,

On 1/31/2015 2:03 PM, John Clark wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 31, 2015  Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com 
> <mailto:brent.allsop at canonizer.com>> wrote:
>     > Oh Great!  He believes the idea of a redness quality is
>     reasonable, and now he is going to tell me what he believes
>     redness to be.
> REDNESS is a qualia just like every sensation, it is a label that 
> gains it's subjective  meaning only from it's association with other 
> things that have the same label.

When you talk this way, you are not thinking about things rigorously and 
distinctly.  Sure, if your knowledge has a redness quality, you can 
think of this redness quality as a lable, a label that all of our 
knowledge of things that reflect 650 NM light has.  You are talking 
about what this labeled knowledge represents.  I am talking about the 
qualitative nature, of the label itself, which has nothing to do with 
the fact that this quality can be  thought of as a label on our 
knowledge to tell us the nature of things it represents.

>     > the focus about what is reasonable to believe about REDNESS,
>     suddenly switching to the causal, and zombie red?
> It's still not clear to me what "zombie red" means.

You know what the qualitative nature of the taste of salt is, right?  
And would you agree that the word salt, does not have this quality?  And 
would you agree that unless you know how to properly interpret the word 
"salt", you can't know the intended qualitative meaning.  In other 
words, since salt, by definition, does not have a salty quality, and can 
only be thought of as if it did.  The word 'salt' is zombie information 
about the qualitative nature of the taste of salt.

>     > What happens if this [qualia]  switch is inverted, and it turns
>     greenness on?
> The short answer is I don't think anything would happen, not 
> subjectively and not objectively.

This is only because in your simplistic theoretical world this isn't 
possible.  But you can re engineer yourself as follows, which must force 
you to expand your theoretical world a bit.  For the rest of your life, 
you wear red green color inverting glasses.  When you first do this, it 
is difficult, because you know your knowledge of things that reflect 650 
NM light are represented with knowledge that has or is tagged with a 
redness quality, and things that represent things that reflect 700 nm 
light are reprsented with greenness.  And now this is backwards, making 
it difficult at first.

Eventually, after a long period of time you will learn to associate and 
bind the redness quality, with all the things before that were green, 
and visa verse.  It will become easy to say it is red (even though you 
now know your knowledge is qualitatively made of or tagged with 
greenness).  And you will even start to associate the warmth of redness 
with greenness, and so on.  It will eventually become very natural for 
you to be just as normal as it was, before, but you will know that your 
knowledge is very qualitatively different than before you put on those 

Now, let's imagine that a scientist had you, and a clone of yourself, 
before you went through this qualitative inversion.  The prediction is, 
that the scientist would be able to read your mind, using the Galant 
methods (only properly interpreted) and the clones mind, and tell which 
of you had red green inverted elemental qualia. And, the prediction is, 
that there are lots of people out there, with very diverse qualitative 
representations of visible light, and you will in this way know much 
more about the qualitative nature of others  conscious knowledge of 
visible light.

The only way you will ever be able to understand the qualitative nature 
of physics, is if you expand your theoretical models, to include this 
kind of diversity of quality, and how to detect such. Ultimately, if you 
want to bridge the qualitative knowledge gap, and know what other minds 
are like, how might you eff and detect such diverse ineffable qualities?


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20150131/cb2accd7/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list