On 18 Sep 2012, at 18:05, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 11:02:21 AM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
My hypothesis is that human qualia is an iconic capitulation of sub-
personal and super-personal qualia - meta qualia which
synergistically recovers richer qualities of experience from the
Okay. But it will remain only a hypothesis until you (or someone
else) shows how it explains new things or gathers some evidence for
Sure, yeah it's only a hypothesis. I don't know what I'm supposed to
do with it. What it explains is old things: consciousness, the hard
I though you were assuming consciousness. I don't think that a theory
which assumes consciousness can solve the "hard problem".
explanatory gap, maybe some important things about physics (how
quantum mechanics actually makes sense empirically). It's a way to
interpret in a realistic way what we have until now accepted
unrealistic interpretations of.
There isn't a mechanism because qualia are not objects. They are
sensitivities to other experiences.
It is a circular to say qualia (sensations / experiences) are
sensitivities (sensations) of experiences.
It isn't in the case of qualia. If I'm right, sensation is always a
capitulation and a diffraction of itself. It is the a-mereological
and trans-rational nature of the ground of being from which the
mereological and logical antithesis is foregrounded.
James Hutton, considered a father of Geology, was largely unread
because his prose was so difficult to parse. He had many great
ideas, he even beat Charles Darwin regarding the idea of natural
selection ( http://www.strangescience.net/hutton.htm ). Yet, his
style of writing was so impenetrable that most of his ideas were
ignored in his life time. After he died one of his friends took up
re-writing his books and it became a huge success.
It would be great to collaborate with someone who can write about it
in a more accessible way. Sign me up.
They are presentations through which we access significant
experiences. They are generated as much on our own anthropological
level as they are on sub-personal physiological levels and super-
personal evolutionary levels.
Where do you get this stuff?
From the future?
, the only difference that
makes a difference are the firings patterns of neurons.
Patterns make no difference to anything without pattern recognition.
There are no 'patterns' in and of themselves. The color of X-Rays,
for instance, is just as patterned as the color green.
The firing patterns of neurons is noticed by other neurons and
groups of neurons.
Because they host entities which can recognize each others patterns.
If we look at neuron patterns, they are meaningless to us unless we
can correlate them to something familiar.
If you look at some MRI scan of them, they are meaningless, but not
if you *are* them. Then they do the correlation for you.
No, they're still meaningless. Just as an mp3 file that you look at
visually is not the song that you think the file represents aurally.
The file is just a form. You need perception to in-form your
experience of the form (which itself is only a perception of a lower
level of more physical-tangible qualia).
This is the only time information that makes a difference to other
neurons is communicated. At each moment, all the differences, all the
information a neuron has received is boiled down to one bit: to fire
or not to fire.
Pure speculation. Neurons fire, but single cell organisms respond to
their environment without nervous systems.
Neurons might respond to their environment independently, but
neighboring neurons don't care what their neighbors might be
thinking, what matters is whether their neighbors are firing.
It's the same as saying that cars in traffic don't care what their
neighbors might be thinking as long as they follow the flow of
traffic and show normative judgment and awareness of driving laws.
The point is that the purpose of the communication between neurons
is only the tip of the iceberg. Their common purpose is to
facilitate human perception and participation in a human scale
world. There is firing, but those are only the semaphores and
gestures which correlate with experiences but are only the vehicle
through which the sharing of experience is modulated.
So in your theory the firing plays is only a minor role in the
operation and function of the brain?
It's the same role that traffic signals, airports, and harbors play
in the operation and function of all of the cities on Earth. Minor
in the sense that they aren't the purpose or the content of the
cities, but not minor in the sense that malfunctions will be
catastrophic. Our brains are civilizations of sub-persons. They do
things together but they also experience things, which we experience
as well but in this iconicized presentation. Our personal experience
comes through our sub-personal experience, not through sub-personal
functions. On the personal level, we perform functions because we
are motivated to do so by the sense we make of ourselves and our
environment. I am saying that dynamic goes all the way down, even if
the sub-sub-personal motivations being experienced by molecules
might be unfamiliar to us. Is it really any more unfamiliar than
imagining what we already believe is there, in terms of millions of
molecules making up every compound eye of every fly...each one in
constant electromagnetic flux, changing states in response to
temperature, velocity, other molecules, etc. All I suggest is that
there is experience there too. How could there realistically not be
if we have experience and are made of nothing more special than they
The only other option is that experience spontaneously appears for
no reason at some level of description - which seems like a crutch
to me. If we truly can get a sense of the depth of our own naive
realism, and how we have even extended and exaggerated it to some
degree by using instruments which favor tactile and optical sense,
then there is no reason to hold on to human exceptionalism, and no
reason to assume infocentric universality either. When we understand
the totality of how sense shapes our experience of even fundamentals
like time, space, pattern, and logic, then we should not be
surprised at how truly bottomless cognitive bias is and how
absolutely relativistic the cosmos can be. Sanity is not the only
game the universe knows how to play.
You are conflating the physiology associated with human experience
with the ontology of subjective experience in general. Information
and bits are not real, they are analytical abstractions that are not
capable of any causes or effects.
According to you, only experiences are real. If this is where you
stand then you should admit that this idea gives up any hope of
explaining anything about experience.
Not at all. Admitting that experience is the ground of being is the
necessary starting point to explain anything about experience. There
is a whole new universe to explore.
Using information theory, and known limitations if information
representation in physics, It could be shown that a biological brain
has only some certain and finite information available to it. This
places an upper bound on the things it knows and can talk about. An
equivalent artificial brain could be engineered to contain the same
information and the same knowledge. There would be nothing the
biological brain could know that the artificial brain does not: they
were created to have identical information content. If one knows 2+2
is 4, they both do, if one knows what red is like, they both do.
Information feels nothing and knows nothing, and it never will.
I didn't say information feels or knows, only that the brains,
(biological or artificial), in the above hypothetical, have the same
limited information and therefore neither is wiser or more
knowledgeable than the other.
They don't have the same information, since in-formation is a
subjective in-terpretation of objectively meaningless forms. Even
though a picture of a person might look like a living person on TV,
they are actually not living people. An artificial brain may look
like we think a brain looks, and act like we think a brain acts, but
its just a puppet running on recorded instructions to operate in
exactly the way that best fools us into imagining it is alive.
Information content can be objectively measured. There is a whole
field of information theory based on this.
Objectively measured by what? Human minds using solid objects to
interact in carefully controlled ways? Haha, totally objective. It's
not a surprise that using this approach we find no trace of anything
that has ever been important to the inner life of human beings.
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