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

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 03:41:09 UTC 2016

On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 8:23 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

​> ​
> 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

​I see no way it could ever be proven or disproven that X causes qualia Y,
at least not proven to be true in anyone except for me.

​And even then the proof would only be available to me.​

> ​> ​
> The right hemisphere of your brain knows absolutely what quality your left
> hemisphere represents red with and visa versa
> ​. ​
> Obviously, the corpus Colosseum
> ​ ​
> is doing something that makes this possible between hemispheres,

​Yes and that something it's doing is communicating between the
​In most people the
​ has formed a connection between ​the 2 hemispheres for their entire life.
But if corpus ​callosum​ is severed, as they are in split brain
experiments, it's as if there were 2 individuals in the same body. If you
and I could communicate as well as the
​callosum can then we'd be the same person, and so John Allsop (or Brent
Clark) might know what the others red quale was like, but Brent Allsop and
John Clark still wouldn't.

​> ​
> 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.

​I can't prove it but it seems to me that subjectivity, like experiencing a
red or green quale, would require some minimum amount of complexity, and a
molecule is just too simple for that.   ​

> ​> ​
> Diversity of representations is important for intelligent knowledge.  That
> is why you need a representation of a 1 to be different from a zero.

​Yes, a primate needs to be able to tell red from green because ripe red
berries are good to eat but unripe green berries are not. But if our red
and green qualia were the opposite of the other neither of us would have an
advantage over the other. As long as consistency is maintained one qualia
label is as good as another.

> ​> ​
> 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.

​Being smarter gives you a evolutionary, having a subjective experience
does not. And yet Evolution produced me and I know for a fact I have a
subjective experience, therefore I conclude consciousness must be a
byproduct of intelligence ​just as a spandrel is the byproduct of an arch.

> ​> ​
> The behavior of the neural correlate and it's quality are one and the same.

​I'm not certain what you mean by that. Behavior and qualia are not the
same but if Darwin was right then one is the inevitable consequence of the

> ​> ​
> how would the physical behavior of redness be different than greenness.

​The 2 quales are caused by different physical things (wavelengths of
light)  ​so they form different mental labels (different combinations of
neuron connections).

> ​> ​
> 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.

​The 2 different wavelengths of light must have different mental ​labels,
otherwise you couldn't tell the difference between red light and green

​> ​
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

​Except for behavior nobody can or will ever be able to make a falsifiable
prediction about the subjective experience of other people. If you don't
make it an axiom that intelligent behavior and consciousness are linked
then there is every reason to believe rocks are as conscious as you are.

John K Clark  ​

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20161219/82f79b4e/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list