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

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 01:23:06 UTC 2016

On 12/18/2016 8:36 AM, John Clark wrote:

> if you don't need "X is certainly true" and "X is probably true" is 
> good enough then you don't need to worry about Godel.

Yes, I think we are in a large part in agreement.  We can't prove the 
sun will come up tomorrow, we just know it has, every day, for the past 
6+ billion years.  And the falsifiable prediction is that we will be 
able to find a similarly reliable relationship between a redness quality 
to it's neural correlate and greenness quality to it's, and reliably 
predict one with the other.  I refer to what this would give us as the 
weak form of effing the ineffable because of these and other weaknesses.

> On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com 
> <mailto:brent.allsop at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >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
> ​Yes, I could determine that whatever color qualia you associate with 
> strawberries you also associate with stoplights, if of course I make 
> the unproven assumption that you experience any qualia at all.  But 
> for all I know your red could be the same as my green, or your red 
> could be like nothing I've ever experienced or ever could experience. 
> Or it could be about the same as mine. I don't know and will never know.

Maybe not, for sure, via the "week" form of effing the ineffable that 
we've been talking about.  But there is a much stronger form of efffing 
the ineffable.  The right hemisphere of your brain knows absolutely what 
quality your left hemisphere represents red with and visa versa - since 
you experience the knowledge of both the left (in the right hemisphere) 
and right (in the left hemisphere) field of your vision at the same 
time.  Similarly, there are cases of conjoined twins that share brain 
parts that can do the same - be aware of the knowledge and it's 
qualities in the other's brain (what the other is seeing out the other 
eyes).  Obviously, the corpus Collosum is doing something that makes 
this possible between hemispheres, possibly neurons firing in 
synchronized standing waves as Steven Lehar predicts, the implication 
being that we will some day be able to do the same, between brains - 
enabling you to experience, first hand the quality of another's 
knowledge.  I refer to this as the strongest form of effing the 
ineffable, since you are directly experiencing the qualities of the same 
knowledge in the other's brain, along with your own.

>     ​>
>     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
> ​You seem to feel that there is something physical in the brain like a 
> "red circuit" that does nothing but generate the subjective qualia 
> red, but random mutation and Natural Selection could never have 
> produced the red circuit if it did nothing but produce the quilia red, 
> but I know with absolute certainty that at least one human being DOES 
> experience the red qualia. Therefore I must conclude that the red 
> circuit must produce something else that Evolution can see, like 
> behavior, and qualia is just a byproduct of that in the same way that 
> a spandrel is the byproduct of an arch.

The redness neural correlate being a "circuit" of some kind is 
definitely a theoretical possibility.  I think it is more likely and I 
predict that something just physically has each of the elemental 
qualities we can experience, like glutamate, reacting in a synapse 
having a redness quality and glycene having a greenness quality. 
Diversity of representations is important for intelligent knowledge.  
That is why you need a representation of a 1 to be different from a 
zero.  The more diversity the smarter.  Evolution simply harnessed these 
natural phenomenal qualitative diversities, so we could survive better 
by more easily differentiating and picking out our knowledge of the red 
strawberry from amongst the green leaves.

>     ​>
>     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
> ​Yes, we both agree that red is the color of both strawberries and 
> stop lights but we don't know if my subjective red is your subjective 
> green or not. There is nothing mystical in this it's just a result of 
> the fact that if X is not Y then X is not Y.
> Thomas Nagel might someday know what it would be like if Thomas Nagel 
> were a bat, but Thomas Nagel will never know what it's like for a bat 
> to be a bat because then Thomas Nagel wouldn't be Thomas Nagel 
> anymore, he'd be a bat. A bat can know what it's like to be a bat but 
> nothing else can.

At the composite qualia level, for sure.  But I'm not talking about 
effing composite qualia, just elemental qualia from which composite 
qualia are constructed.  When you have conjoined twins, they may know 
and directly experience what each other's elemental redness is like, but 
they may have different memories or feelings compositely bound with any 
particular elemental quality.  And they for sure each have unique sets 
of knowledge of different selves looking out of different eyes, while 
being aware of each other's knowledge.

>     ​>​
>     - and is only meant to represent such, given the correct
>     interpretation. 
> ​That red neural correlate does not exist in isolation but is embedded 
> in and generates qualia as it relates to the entire brain. ​My red 
> circuit is interpreted by the rest of my brain that is not part of the 
> red circuit, and the non-red circuit part of my brain is different 
> from the non-red circuit part of your brain, if it were not we'd be 
> the same person. So even if the red circuit is identical for both of 
> us our interpretation of it, that is to say the subjective experience 
> we get out of it, could be different.

I guess that is a theoretical possibility.  But I predict something 
different - that there are elemental qualities of matter or at least 
states of matter that are just as consistent as all other qualities of 
matter or in fact glutamate consistently behaves the way it does, 
because of it's consistent physical redness quality.  The behavior of 
the neural correlate and it's quality are one and the same.  I'd like to 
see you give at least one similar falsifiable specific example of what 
physical combinations of matter, or states of matter could produce your 
redness.  And how would the physical behavior of redness be different 
than greenness.  Any theoretical possibility using any set of matter, in 
any state, in any kind of a "circuit" (even if it is some kind of unique 
composite redness that needs to be "interpreted" [please explain what 
you mean by this with specific physical examples] in some special way) 
would satisfy me.  At least you threw out the real sandrel of an arch.  
But you need to give a similar physical example of what could be 
responsible for your redness, and how this behavior could be different 
than greenness. Until you start providing some specific falsifiable 
examples in your predictions, it's hard to know that you are talking 
about anything other than just hand waving because we don't know how we 
might test for such - even if only to prove there is no consistent 
relationship between the dual physical neural correlate and your 
unknowable mind.

Brent Allsop

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