On 24 dec., 00:37, Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to read about my analogy!
Sure, thanks for reading my responses!
On Dec 22, 7:18 am, alexalex<alexmka...@yahoo.com> wrote:
The below text is a philosophical essay on what qualia may represent.
I doubt you'll manage to finish reading it (it's kind of long, and
translated from anoter language), but if you do I'll be happy to hear
your opinion about what it says.
<<<A simpler model of the world with different points of view>>>
It can often get quite amusing watching qualophiles' self-confidence,
mutual assurance and agreement when they talk about something a priori
defined as inherently private and un-accessible to third-party
analysis (i.e. qualia), so they say, but they somehow agree on what
I feel the same way about quantophiles' confidence in theoretical
abstraction and endless capacity to deny the existence of the very
subjectivity that they use to deny it with. Agreement is not a
contradiction to the privacy of qualia because the privacy of qualia
is specific to groups of subjects as well as individuals. Human beings
experience universal levels of qualia (physics, chemistry), organic
levels (biology, zoology, neurology), anthropomorphic levels
(psychology, sociology), and individual levels which are relatively
unique or idiosyncratic. We are both human so we share the broader
levels, but begin to diverge in the biochemical level as we have
different DNA. That divergence grows as the scope of the qualia
narrows and deepens toward individuality.
I don't deny the subjectivity at all, and i think that even hard
materialists like Dennett don't deny it if i understand them corectly.
I don't see what is stoping us from describing subjectivity in a way
that makes possible theories about qualia testable. How are we going
to achieve an explanation if the very quandary we're trying to explain
is forlorn to another realm?
It's not another realm, it's right here, it just the opposite
ontological paradigm. It can be tested and explained, it's just that
the technology is a little problematic. We're probably going to need
volunteers to make their brain into a laboratory so that we can
integrate external appliances into the subjective scope. Only then
will we know what other organisms and ultimately inorganic matter
might experience so that we can begin to map the evolution of
about even though as far as I've been able to
understand they don't display the slightest scant of evidence which
would show that they believe there will ever be a theory that could
bridge the gap between the ineffable what-it-is-likeness (WIIL) of
personal experience and the scientific, objective descriptions of
reality. They don’t even try to brainstorm ideas about such a theory.
My hypothesis tries to do exactly that. Check it out sometime if you
have a chance:http://s33light.org/SEEES
Thanks. It's a work in progress for sure, but hopefully it gets some
of the major points across.
If science will always be limited to third-party analysis, then it
will never be possible for it to address subjectivity, since it is by
definition subjective. Since the nature of subjectivity cannot change,
science must adapt to fit the reality of the universe.
I wonder what on earth you could possibly mean by "subjectivity is by
definition subjective so it cannot be explained by third-party
scientific data" other than a cry for dualism or for the metaphysical?
I just mean that to say third-party is already a distinction from
first person, which is what subjective means. You are saying in effect
"Science will always be only about dehydration, so it's silly to say
that we will never have dehydrated water".
It's not dualism, it's an involuted monism which is multisense at one
end, monosense at the other. Think of how specular reflection works.
You see the sky in a puddle of water from one angle, but from another
you see the water. In one sense the puddle is what is literally real,
in another it's merely a generic reflector to display the sky for you.
That's what the universe is. Not dumb particles that magically become
smart just because there is an especially large quantity of them, but
events which are particulate in one sense and sensorimotive
experiences in another.
It is just like saying: Vitalism contains by its definition "elan
vital" so science must adapt in order to explain this special sauce,
that must, a priori - by your postulates -, be out of this world.
It's not metaphysical, in fact it's so concrete and obvious that we
miss it. It's the 'elephant in every room'. You are reading this by
looking through your eyes, are you not? Where is that happening? Right
here. It's actually the materialist position which banishes
consciousness to a metaphysical never-never land of representation or
computation...some magical dimension in which quintillions of 1s and
0s come to believe that they are loaves of bread and hydrogen bombs.
The 'real world' imagined by computationalism is a completely
different sense of reality than direct subjectivity based on indirect
observations and measurements (of other perceptual inertial frames).
It is to interpret ourselves in the eyes of inanimate instruments that
have no capacity to make sense of who and why we are, only what our
bodies are and how they work.
So, here it is: Qualia, one of the last remaining unresolved
quandaries for us to splinter and rise on the pedestals of science,
but we must stop, qualophiles say, because, .... “Because what?”
It's not qualia that must rise to the challenge of science, it is the
other way around.
So science can't explain this special Qualia of yours - and mine. Ok,
game over then. You've got your story right there.
Is science so pathetic and feeble that it cannot stretch and expand
it's intelligence to accommodate ordianry reality? An infant
understands subjectivity, an insect. Subjectivity isn't complicated,
it's just hard to work with because of the problems of ubiquity,
disorientation, etc. (it's in my multisense intro)
I ask. “Because the what-it-is-likeness of qualia” most of them will
respond. And believe me that is the whole argument from which they
sprout all of the other awkward deductions and misconstrued axioms if
we are to succinctly resume their rigorous, inner-gut, “aprioristic
analysis”. I'll try to expose the absurdity of their stance by making
some analogies while telling the story of how architects and designers
build 3D models of reality with the help of 3D modeling software.
The 1s and 0s that make the large variety of 3D design software on the
market today are all we need in order to bring to virtual-reality
whatever model of our real world we desire. Those 1s and 0s, which are
by the way as physical as the neurons in your brain
Yes and no. 1s and 0s are not physical in the way that neurons are.
They have no temperature or specific gravity. They are abstractions we
use to understand how we can manipulate semiconductors to act as
computation devices for us.The only physicality that 1s and 0s have
are as sensotimotive significators in the human mind. In a computer
they are not 1s and 0s, but concrete events experienced by doped
semiconductors of holding and releasing 'charge' (feeling or proto-
feeling or sensorimotive detection-reaction which we consider
Well, the functional architecture of the physical ones and zeros is
all that matters.
What's a physical one or zero? What function do they have?
Their dance, which is as dynamical as the dance of
the ions in your neurons, is as real as the chemistry in your brain.
Nothing is made of 1s or 0s, except maybe an artwork or computer data
viewed through a binary editor. They don't exist any more than A's and
So I don't see your point here. You're maybe saying that you can't
make buildings out of steel and dry wall, but only from masonry and
concrete; I flatly deny it, even though you may reject my analogy.
No I'm saying that you can't make real buildings out of *pictures* of
steel and drywall (or anything else).
The statement that zeros and ones are somehow abstract and
disconnected from physical reality deserves its place on the shrine-of-
fail near concepts like epiphenomenalism and quales. The zeros and
ones that make up our computers are as physical as physical can get:
There *are no* zeros and ones that make up our computers at all. There
are semiconducting microelectronic assemblies which we stimulate with
electromotive power, causing the doped silicon crystals to be
precisely controlled to alternate between states of conductivity and
resistance. You could call them anything, yin and yang, stop and go,
Apollonian and Dionysian, whatever. There is nothing about them that
is literally one or zero. We use binary math to bridge the gap between
our human intellect and the primitive sense of semiconductor
technology, that's all.
there’s in the voltages on your network wire, in the logical gates of
almost all of your computer’s integrated circuits, in you hard-disk
stored as magnetic patterns, on your processor stored in micro-
circuits with the width of only a few tens of atoms.
No 1s or 0s anywhere in there at all. No more than there are dogs and
cats. Not literally. Figuratively, yes, 1s and 0s are an excellent way
for us to make sense of how these technologies work together. We
design them to be that way specifically, going to great lengths to
research and refine materials to behave in this way. Not so easy to
run the internet on a cheeseburger.
If zeros and ones
are real, physical things,
They aren't real in the sense that I assume you mean - that physics
would mean. To be real in that sense they would have to be found on
the periodic table of elements, the electromagnetic spectrum, or in
field equations for quantum physics. They aren't though. They are real
in the sense that color and odor are real but at the opposite end of
the sensorimotive continuum. They are thought-feelings which are
intended to represent 'information' evacuated of feeling.
then in what sense would you use the term
“abstract” when referring to Turing machines?
In the sense that a Turing machine is an ideal mechanism that can be
enacted in any physical substance which supports mechanical physics -
i.e. you probably need something that is solid at room temperature,
some source of mechanical energy, etc. You could probably enact a
Turing machine in Coke bottles or foam rubber as well as
microelectronics, but it wouldn't be easy. The machine itself though
is conceptual. The Coke bottles don't know that they are acting like a
Turing machine, and neither does an electronic computer, despite
appearances to the contrary.
I don’t know, but
whatever you mean is bound to failure because between Turing machines
and computer programs, on the one hand, and brains and minds on the
other hand there is absolutely no difference in how their prowess come
to existence, at least we have no reason to believe otherwise if we a
priori consider that their systemic architecture, their functionality
is all that matters; that’s what gives off their talent.
That's not the case at all. The brain and mind absolutely do use
computation, but only in the service of the user. Computer programs
have no user of their own. They have no need for a presentation layer
within their logic. It's actually functionalism that is a dead end
since everything that the consciousness does would be better served by
unconscious processes (like digestion or immune response). There is no
purely functional explanation for the existence of any kind of
experience or awareness. Function matters, but it wouldn't if not for
the more primitive reality of sense making.
For one to
say that there is another story to be told besides the story of how
the bigger parts of the brain are build upon its most bottom parts and
how those sub-modules are integrated to each other is to fail at
Science; why should you possible want to postulate another mystery
that also needs an explanation when you’re trying to explain all there
is to explain about a phenomenon?
Because that story is utterly meaningless if not for the other half of
the story of how owners of the brain use it to make sense of
themselves and the universe and to participate in them significantly.
It needs no explanation. 'I' only need to be what and who I am. What
needs to be explained is why the rest of the universe is not me, which
is relatively straightforward.
My belief is that deniers of the strong AI thesis fail in two regards.
On the one hand their mistake the physical states of 1s and 0s with
the arbitrary tokens of 0 and 1 that we apply to them. The fact that 1
and 0 are what we call numbers this doesn’t mean that what they really
represent is abstract.
What is it that you imagine they represent? I understand exactly what
you are saying that you think AI critics mistake the symbolic
abstractions of 0 and 1 with the referents that those glyphs are
associated with, but I'm not mistaking your meaning at all. I'm
asserting positively that there is nothing about what 0 and 1 point to
that is common to all physical phenomena. By contrast, all phenomena
in the universe is describable in terms of sense.
So, going a bit further, computer programs,
even though they present themselves to thinkers like Searle as being
just randomly-jazzed, non-understandable sets of ones and zeros are in
fact the recipes for the dynamics of the functionalistic architecture
of all the sub-modules that control the movement of electrons inside
the PC that runs the software. The dance of the electrons on the
silica chips that up your personal computer is all dynamical,
physical, complex, functional, and can only be understood if one
adopts the intentional stance.
The key words are 'understandable' and 'recipes'. The ones and zeros
are not the dance of electrons, they are a command and control
language or logos which are powerless to do anything unless they are
articulated through a physical technology (including our own
The second mistake deniers make is to a priori postulate that only
certain kind of physical parts can build up a brain that has what we
would call a mind.
It's not a mistake. No mind has every been observed to exist
independently of a brain, anywhere in the universe. You can't water a
sunflower with acetic acid or build a computer out of live hamsters,
so there is no reason to assume that the feelings of a living human
nervous system can be emulated in another physical environment. It's
possible, but I doubt it could work on silicon. I think you need
living cells to feel what an animal feels.
They somehow excluded from this set of peculiar
physical fragments of reality all the physical implementations of
zeros and ones even though they didn’t provide any reason for it. So,
for some reason, unbeknownst to some of the thinkers that brainstormed
all of these issues in detail, we can apparently have a mind build out
of ion pumps, synapses and axon hillocks but we cannot have one made
out of CMOS gate arrays, emitter-coupled logic (ECL) gate arrays,
index registers, and pad transceiver circuits.
You can't build a human mind out of orange peels and catalytic
converters either. We don't even know how to reconnect a severed
spinal cord to itself much make a motherboard feel romantic. Your
reasoning is sound, but your assumptions are exactly antithetical to
concrete reality. They are perfectly suited to developing technology
and information theory, but they take us in exactly the wrong
direction to understanding subjectivity and qualia.
Of course I don’t
believe that at all because there is no reason to. Again, as I’ve said
above, why should you possible want to presuppose, for no scientific
reason at all, that the micro-parts that make the meat of your brain
have some extra stuff (mindality perhaps?)
They don't need any extra stuff. Human consciousness is just orders of
magnitude more elaborate than the sense that inorganic molecules make,
but it's essentially the same thing. What you don't realize is that if
you say that the mind is nothing but ones and zeros, then ones and
zeros *must* inherently have the potential to develop feeling and
thinking, in which case calling them ones and zeros would be
that will also need an
explanation if we are to follow the rules of science, whereas the
chunks of silicon, silver, plastics, etc that make up your computer
don’t posses it, when all you’ve got as an argument is your intuition
about the specialness of subjectivity?
It's not subjectivity that is special, it's human subjectivity that is
special to humans (and maybe on some more objective scale). The
silicon, silver, plastics, etc all have subjectivity, just it's
presumably very primitive - like a trillion times more primitive. We
don't know how it is though. Maybe all silver is a single subjective
entity or something, who knows. If anything other than human DNA could
make a human mind though, it seems like we would see some indication
of that. Surely some pattern of melting snowflakes would have begun to
self-replicate by now if it could. The recipe for DNA is quite
specific, as is the recipe for human consciousness. I wouldn't count
on it being possible to export to something much different than our
native hardware. I'm not ruling it out, but it's the height of naivety
to toss out a billion years of biological evolution because we are
impressed with the specialness of our own computer programs designed
to simulate our own human logic.
though not of the
same assortment (see below), are further arranged into sub-modules
that are further integrated into other different parts and subsystems
of the computer onto which the software they are part of is running
on, so their arrangement is obviously far from aleatory. One needs to
adopt the intentional stance in order to understand the intricacies,
details and roles that these specific particular modules play in this
large and complex computer programs.
If you had the desire you could bring to virtual reality any city of
the world you want. Let's for example take the city of Rome. Every
monument, restaurant, hospital, park, mall and police department can
be accounted for in a detailed, virtual replica which we can model
using one of these 3D modeling programs. Every car, plane and boat,
even the people and their biomechanics are so well represented that we
could easily mistake the computer model for the real thing.
We modern humans could mistake the model for the real thing, but
nothing else in the universe would. Try to grow some real grapes in a
virtual Rome and it won't work. 3D models are an aid for human
visualization. They have no coherence independent of our usage of
them. Rome is a city made of tons of concrete, wood, ceramic, etc.
It's located in Italy and filled with living people who are constantly
changing the city, etc. A 3D model is an image in our eyes and mind
produced by a computer and a graphic display.
Ok fine, take some grapes and model them as the ones from your real
world and you get your story right there.
Obviously, but then your 3D model has to model biology and agriculture
as well as physics. Even then it's still only a silhouette of grapes.
Nothing more than a cartoon with an encyclopedia plugged into it.
Do you deny that there could
ever be a computer simulated program that simulated grapes from the
real world almost exactly?
I deny that simulation exists. It's a subjective interpretation. Is a
plastic plant almost exactly a real plant? To who? Aphids? No. Your
sense of smell or taste? No. For a computer program to simulate grapes
almost exactly, I would have to be able to drink their juice and
recognize it as grape juice. Real yeast would have to be able to turn
it into real wine. A computer simulation is just a cartoon. It has no
universal realism, only human visual-cognitive pseudo-realism.
If you knew everything about the world
(objective data) you could know everything about grapes from your
Objective data is not a real thing. Grapes have no objective data.
They are nothing but quantum entanglements or ephemeral specks of
fruiting vine processes on a tiny planet. To a colony of yeast they
are a world to conquer. To a grape vine they may be an embodiment of
botanical destiny, self-actualization. A five year old child knows
more about grapes than any computer simulation ever could.
are looking at the monitor screen from our God-like-point-of-view. All
the points, lines, 2D-planes and 3D objects in this digital
presentation have their properties and behavior ruled by simulated
laws of physics which are identical to the laws encountered in our
Not at all. If you throw a virtual stone at your virtual Colosseum, it
makes no sound. A picture of a city is not a city. The map is not the
territory, even a really good map.
Consider my city of Rome a complete, exact, 3d model of all the
objects and their physics, chemistry ,etc. You deny that there ever
could be such a simulation?
No I just deny that it's anything more than expensive puppetry. It's a
nice map, nothing more.
These objects and the laws that govern them are 100%
traceable to the 1s and 0s, that is, to the voltages and transistors
on the silica chips that make up the computer onto which the software
is runs on. We have a 100% description of the city of Rome in our
computer in the sense that there is no object in that model that we
can't say all there is to say about it and the movement of the points,
lines and planes which compose it because they're all accounted for in
the 0s and 1s saved on the hard-drive and then loaded into the RAM and
video-RAM of our state of the art video graphics card.
A city isn't made of just points, lines, and planes. That's just one
aspect of a human visual representation. It is to say that an
accounting spreadsheet is 100% traceable to a factory and it's
Ok, imagine a complete model. Anyway , the point that my argumentation
tried to make din't need a perfect simulation, exact representation of
the real world. I was trying to prove something else. Merely, that
subjectivity can be derived from 3rd-party data. I don't see where i
Because if we found a human brain without having our own subjective
experience to correlate it with, we could not in a trillion years
guess that there was a such thing as subjectivity. Everything that can
be derived from 3rd party data relates only to other 3rd part function
and gives no hint whatsoever of any significant experience going on.
Therefore, any model derived purely from 3rd party data would be
catastrophic to subjectivity - a complete amputation of qualia and
Let's call that
perspective, the perspective of knowing all there is to know about the
3D-model, the third-person perspective (the perspective described by
using only third-party objective data). What's interesting is that all
of these 3D design programs have the option to add cameras to whatever
world model you are currently developing. Cameras present a scene from
a particular point-of-view (POV – or point of reference, call it how
you will). Camera objects simulate still-image, motion picture, or
video cameras in the real world and have the same usage here. The
benefit of cameras is that you can position them anywhere within a
scene to offer a custom view. You can imagine that camera not only as
a point of view but also as an area point of view (all the light
reflected from the objects in your particular world model enter the
lens of the camera), but for our particular mental exercise this
doesn't matter. What you need to know is that our virtual cameras can
perfectly simulate real world cameras and all the optical science of
the lens is integrated in the program making the simulated models
similar to the ones that are found real life. We’ll use POVs and CPOVs
interchangeably from now on; they mean the same thing in the logic of
The point-of-view (POV) of the camera is obviously completely
traceable and mathematically deducible from the third-person
perspective of the current model we are simulating and from the
physical characteristics of the virtual lens built into the camera
through which the light reflected of the objects in the model is
projected (Bare in mind that the physical properties and optics of the
lens are also simulated by the computer model). Of course, the
software does all that calculation and drawing for you. But if you had
the ambition you could practically do all that work for yourself by
taking the 3D-model’s mathematical and geometric data from the saved
computer file containing your particular model description and
calculate on sheets of paper how objects from it would look and behave
from a particular CPOV, and more to that, you could literally draw
those objects yourself by using the widely known techniques of
descriptive geometry (the same as the ones used by the 3D modeling
software). But what point would that make when we already have
computers that achieve this arduous task for us? Maybe living in a
period of time without computers would make this easily relentless
task one worth considering.
So, we can basically take a virtual trip to whatever part of Rome we
want by just jumping inside a CPOV provided to us by the software. We
can see, experience what it is like to be in Rome by adopting whatever
CPOV which will be calculated and drawn to us by this complex but 100%
describable and understandable computer program. The software would be
no mystery to us if we were sufficiently trained programmers,
architects and mathematicians. The WIIL of experiencing Rome will
never be a mystery to us also if we’ll let the 3D design software do
the job of calculating and drawing the CPOV for us.
Imagine how absurd that would sound to someone who is blind and lives
in Rome. Do they have no WIIL of experiencing Rome?
Again, this does not refute what i was trying to prove.
I'm just pointing out how narrow it is to conceive of 3D computer
graphics as a viable thought experiment for virtualizing subjectivity.
No need to squander
energy contriving not-worth-considering meanings because of this
relatedness. The WIIL is the intentional interpretation of the
mathematical description of the physical objects' properties and
relationships to each other which the POV describes; it is the
richness and detail of the description of the POV taken as a whole by
whatever is on the other side of the lens. On the other hand the POV
can be accounted for by its mathematical and geometrical description;
it’s all data, 0s and 1s.
Then why do you need a lens? Why is there a 'side'? If it's all data,
at what point do 0s and 1s start to feel like they are on a side of
which intentionally interprets rather than one which performs generic
a-signifying data manipulations?
Well, the virtual machine of the brain interprets all those zeros and
Why would it do a pointless and non-functional thing like that? Even
if there were a point, how could that be possible mechanically? We use
a GUI and computer languages for human convenience, but a computer
doesn't need a monitor to do it's computing.
The mental-lens that separates your qualia - presented to you by
your joycean virtual machine - is the analogue of the lens in my 3d
But what would be the point of any lens? Why and how would ones and
zeros ever seem to be anything other than exactly what they are? What
The WIIL and the POV represent the same
thing but each are different interpretations of a specific slice of
the 3D model: one is a reducible, mathematical and geometric
description of a set of objects and how their would appear from a
certain vantage point (i.e. the POV), the other one is the non-
reducible, intentional, apparently immediate interpretation of all
that data contained in the POV taken as a whole.
Yes! They are two different (symmetrically opposite to be exact)
presentations of the same underlying ontology. The problem is that
your view arbitrarily privileges one view as real and the other as
'illusion' or 'metaphysical'. Both are real is some sense, unreal in
another, both real and unreal in another, and neither real nor unreal
in another. The underlying ontology is in fact the gap which separates
and the sense which infers the wholeness underneath the gap.
I don't deny subjectivity. I just say it can be arrived at using third-
Like how? An equation which will make a blind person see green when
they hear it spoken aloud?
The WIIL is all
accounted for, we know all about it: how it comes to existence, how it
Oh? Like what? What do we know about green that we can explain to a
blind person to give them a precise accounting of green?
In the same way in which you can explain to that blind person the
concept of the triangle, but of course for colors it would take a hell
of a lot more time.
Haha, like eternity? It's a category error. Color is a visual
experience which is either experienced directly or not at all. It
cannot be described in any other terms no matter how long you take to
try to conceptualize it.
The question "And then what
happens?" has no meaning here because nothing happens next. As I've
said above you can think of POVs as reducible in the sense that they
can be accounted for mathematically by knowing each coordinate of
every point belonging to every object in its description, and you can
think at WIIL as a non-reducible, intentional representation of the
objects described by that POV taken as a whole by the observer sitting
on the other side of the lens. The sole act of acknowledging the
mathematical and geometric descriptive richness of a piece of the
world through the lens of the camera-point-of-view (CPOV) by whatever
remains on the other side of the lens is the WIIL and nothing more is
there to be said; the story is complete.
The story has not even begun. There is no such thing as mathematical
and geometric descriptive richness, only precision and resolution.
There is no world-making quality of perception oozing out of abstract
coordinates and points.
Well, if that were true then there wouldn't be a what-it-is-likeness
of experiencing triangles either.
The difference is that you can feel a triangular shape with your skin,
so you could conceive of a triangle if you can feel it that way. You
can't feel color that way though.
I don't see the difference with
colors - other than the one consisting in how they achieve their
Colors have no functionalites. Blindsignt proves that visual qualia is
not necessary for visual function.
Here's where I de-bunk Dennett's views if you're interested:
I'm not familiar with RoboMarry, but I'll debunk that for you if you
like another time. Dennett's worldview is obsolete. Mine is superior.
Thanks for the link! I'll check!
Cool. Have a good night.