[ExI] Do digital computers feel was Re: Is the wave function real?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 02:48:23 UTC 2016

Hi John,

I think I see how to make progress here with what you are saying.  I'm 
going to explain how I hear what you are saying, and you can let me know 
what I'm still missing.  Let me restate my position more concisely and 
point out the falsifiable predictions being made by my theory, and then 
see if I can concisely state what your not quite falsifiable position is 
and how it differs?

I believe there is an emerging consensus around the idea that there is a 
consistent neural correlate to a redness quality and a consistently 
observably different neural correlate for a greenness quality.  This 
theory could be proven, if we find these, and with that can reliably 
predict (i.e. demonstrably never fails or is never falsified) at 
observing such differing correlates in other's brains, letting us 
reliably know whether any brain is using redness or greenness to 
represent an abstracted word like red. The only problem is, currently, 
when we observe something in the brain, our senses give us abstracted 
information, like the word "red" to describe what we are detecting, and 
this information does not have any quality to it - and is only meant to 
represent such, given the correct interpretation.  At best, we interpret 
the words like red as if it was representing the quality of the surface 
of the strawberry, or the initial source of the perception process (why 
we think it is the same for all people, even if what we observe in the 
brain is different and needs to be "corrected"). Worst case, we are 
interpreting the abstracted information we are detecting about what is 
in the brain as if it had no quality at all.  For an example of both of 
these types of errors, see this current article "The color of 
consciousness" recently published in "The New York Review of Books" 
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/12/08/color-of-consciousness/ . They 
say both that the physical brain is just "grey matter" and also that it 
has no color at all and just think there is a "hard" problem or a 
conundrum because of these miss interpretations.

So, I'm making the demonstrable prediction that the neural correlate of 
redness is more than just the "neural correlate" it is what actually has 
the redness quality we experience and that this consistent relationship, 
once found, will never fail at predicting when someone is experiencing 
redness or greenness.  I'm describing week, stronger and strongest 
methods for achieving this knowledge (see my video: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHuqZKxtOf4)  You seem to be unwilling 
to say that is possible as you claim that even if something in the brain 
is the neural correlate of redness, the actual mindful experience is 
separated from this physical reality, and you seem to be claiming that a 
mindful redness quality has no demonstrably reliable relationship to 
physical reality and isn't approachable via science.  You seem to say 
that with: "there is no way they could know if my subjective experience 
of those colors was inverted from their own."

So, at best you seem to be leaning towards Cartesian dualism, where 
there is a neither "spirit" world which is not approachable via science 
and that this unknowable neither world is the realm of your mindful 
experiences.  It's just that instead of admitting that your view is 
Descartes dualism, you are simply claiming it is in the mind.  Even 
though you say that "the mind is what the brain does" this seems to 
contradict your assertion that "there is no way they could know...", 
implying there might be (as in never say never fails) a complete lack of 
relationship between physical detectable reality and what is in any "mind"?

Brent Allsop

On 12/15/2016 12:56 PM, John Clark wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 1:35 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com 
> <mailto:brent.allsop at gmail.com>> wrote:
>         ​>> ​
>         ​I would agree that red is a subjective experience and "red"
>         is just an ASCII sequence. ​
>     ​> ​
>     So you agree that there is a significant qualitative difference
>     between your experience of redness and any abstracted
>     representation of red like an ASCII sequence.  In other words,
>     would you agree that it could be that my brain interprets the word
>     "red" as being your greenness experience or something. (i.e. I
>     could have red green inverted qualia from you.)
> ​Certainly I agree.​
>     ​> ​
>     Do you believe that something in your brain has your redness quality,
> ​It
> would be more accurate to say
> ​ ​
> something in
> ​my​
> ​mind​
>  has
> ​my​
>  redness quality
> ​. Mind is what ​the brain does and sometimes my brain does red.
>     ​> ​
>     and could anyone else besides you detect this stuff that has your
>     redness quality while you are experiencing it, with any advanced
>     detection system, and could they, using these same detection
>     systems, do things like distinguish this quality from whatever it
>     is that has your greenness quality when you experience that,
>     instead...?
>     ​ ​
>     In other words, by making such observations on others, and on
>     themselves, they could tell if someone else has red green inverted
>     qualia from themselves?
> ​No. They could theoretically tell that I am experiencing the color ​I 
> associate with tomatoes and stoplights and not the color I associate 
> with spinach and golights, but there is no way they could know if my 
> subjective experience of those colors was inverted from their own. I 
> don't know what it would feel like to be a bat and I never will; the 
> only way would be for me to become a bat but then I still wouldn't 
> know because I wouldn't be I anymore, I'd be a bat.
> John K Clark
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