Hi Roger,

I'm not sure your notion of quale is the one commonly held, for
instance see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quale.

Arguing and otherwise communicating about this stuff is hard enough
even when everyone is using the same definition. It's impossible if
words can mean what we want them to.

Terren

On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 5:59 AM, Roger Clough <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:
> Hi Terren Suydam
>
> IMHO a quale is the stuff of an unperceived-as-of-yet input sensory signal.
> It is unprocessed Firstness, so not sure of its status. My less than certain
> opinion is that being unprocessed, it is not yet an experience.
>
> IMHO nobody knows much about how that Firstness is turned into experience
> in any detail, although Kant and Hume and Locke had some philosophical
> remarks. Kant perhaps the most, as he added that the raw
> signal is categorized. That might be Secondness.
>
> However, Penrose theorized that neurons maintain a coherent
> quantum field and in a process he calls OR or orchestrated
> reduction, in which, as I understand it, the quantum field
> collapses to produce a unit of conscious experience.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orch-OR
>
> Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
> 10/19/2012
> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>
>
> ----- Receiving the following content -----
> From: Terren Suydam
> Receiver: everything-list
> Time: 2012-10-18, 15:28:22
> Subject: Re: Re: The objective world of autopoesis
>
>
> Hi Roger,
>
> A quale as I understand it is simply a "unit" of subjective
> experience. It's a bit of an abstraction since experience does not
> reduce to constituent units, but as a convention for talking about
> subjective experience, I suppose it is sometimes useful to be able to
> refer to a singular 'quale' rather than the plural qualia. Personally
> I think we could do away with the word and not suffer much for it.
>
> To go further and refer to qualia as "raw unprocessed input signals"
> presupposes a theory, namely that it is possible to experience qualia
> without any processing, or even that they correspond with "input
> signals". It is not necessary to imbue "qualia" with the baggage of a
> particular theory to make it a useful construct for discussion. In the
> present conversation, it would hinder our ability to understand one
> another, as the autopoietic model cannot make sense of a phrase like
> "raw unprocessed input signals".
>
> I would say that the autopoietic model I am considering would posit
> that human subjective experience as we know it is the *result* of the
> processing of the output signals produced by various neuroreceptors,
> as they are perturbed (or not) by the environment outside the body.
> IOW in this model it is not helpful to identify quales with the inputs
> to the receptors, as we don't have access to whatever is perturbing
> the receptors, due to the autopoietic closure. This is the same as
> saying that our brains don't know the difference between heat and
> capsaicin.
>
> One might instead identify qualia with the outputs or signals coming
> from the receptors to the brain, but that leads to an absurdity since
> at the physical level, there is nothing to distinguish the signals
> themselves among different receptor types. IOW, if all you had was an
> oscilloscope that traced the relative voltages of spike trains as they
> traveled through nerves of various types (optic, auditory, pain), you
> would not be able to distinguish what the source of receptor was.
> Therefore it seems logical that the brain distinguishes the stimuli on
> the basis of where the nerves plug into the cognitive architecture.
> This implies then that it is the brain's architecture and relevant
> processing which makes one data source (auditory, visual, etc) feel
> different from one another.
>
> Terren
>
> On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM, Roger Clough wrote:
>> TERREN: Hi Roger,
>>
>> Autopoeisis says there is a boundary between the environment and the
>> system through which no information crosses (structural closure)...
>>
>> ROGER: OK, it is alive.
>>
>> TERREN: if we apply that model to our nervous system, we can say that the
>> reality
>> we experience is a construction, a virtual reality dynamically
>> generated by the brain as it organizes the signals coming from our
>> sense neurons.
>>
>> ROGER: OK, the world we see is phenomenal.
>>
>> TERREN: We see this in the nervous system in the sense that
>> nerves are "line-labelled". It doesn't matter how the photoreceptors
>> are stimulated - whether by light or pressure, the result is a visual
>> quale (as when you rub your eyes hard). Likewise, thermoreceptors
>> stimulated by heat or by capsaisin both result in the quale of
>> 'hotness'.
>>
>> ROGER: You know more about this than I do. Sounds reasonable,
>> except my concept of quale is that they are the raw unprocessed input
>> signals.
>>
>> TERREN: So to your point that autopoeitic structure only applies to 3p
>> models,
>> I agree, but if we accept that consciousness arises from, or is the
>> inside-view of, certain 3p structures, then theorizing about those 3p
>> structures can yield testable claims about consciousness.
>>
>> ROGER: That is the main thrust of the discussion here.
>> In my view, there is the subjective experience (which I am
>> trying to understand), and then there is the description of that
>> experience, I think we call 3p, which I think is what most people
>> (and autopoesis (?)) use. I know there are loose ends in my
>> thought, I'm still trying to clarify it.
>>
>> Terren
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 8:25 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
>>> Hi Terren Suydam
>>>
>>> IMHO autopoesis, like all of AI, is a tool for the public, objective
>>> world
>>> (Thirdness)
>>> That is fine, but the real nitty-gritty (such as mind or consciousness)
>>> dwells in subjective experiences (quale) (Firstness). So I don't find
>>> autopoesis that useful or profound.
>>>
>>> er Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
>>> 10/17/2012
>>> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Receiving the following content -----
>>> From: Terren Suydam
>>> Receiver: everything-list
>>> Time: 2012-10-16, 11:37:05
>>> Subject: Re: Re: Re: autopoesis
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi Russell,
>>>
>>> I think if autopoeisis has failed to achieve some practical measure,
>>> it is a reflection of how under-developed our collective toolbox is
>>> for working with complexity and holistic systems in general. Imaginary
>>> numbers are a good example of an idea whose practical measure didn't
>>> emerge until well after its conception.
>>>
>>> Thanks for the link to Barry McMullin... interesting stuff.
>>>
>>> Terren
>>>
>>> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 5:13 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
>>>> Whilst I agree with Terren that autopoesis is an important part of
>>>> what it is to be alive, it is not a very practical thing to measure. I
>>>> wouldn't know if my artificial life simulations were autopoetic or
>>>> not, except where the concept has been explicitly designed in (eg see
>>>> Barry McMullin's aritificial chemistry work).
>>>>
>>>> Actually, its a refreshing change to have some (a-)life topics being
>>>> discussed on this list.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 11:45:47AM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
>>>>> Hi Terren Suydam
>>>>>
>>>>> You needn't agree with me. I respect that.
>>>>>
>>>>> It wasn't really a thought process, I
>>>>> just couldn't find anything to hold on to,
>>>>> something that works, and I am a pragmatist.
>>>>> Hence my use of the term "mind-boggling".
>>>>>
>>>>> Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
>>>>> 10/15/2012
>>>>> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Receiving the following content -----
>>>>> From: Terren Suydam
>>>>> Receiver: everything-list
>>>>> Time: 2012-10-15, 11:23:43
>>>>> Subject: Re: Re: autopoesis
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Roger,
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm interested in the thought process that led you to reject
>>>>> autopoeisis. I was intrigued by your recent post about life that
>>>>> defined it as the process of creation, rather than the object of it.
>>>>>
>>>>> Personally I think autopoeisis is an important concept, one of the
>>>>> best yet put forward towards the goal of defining life. I think there
>>>>> is a lot of potential in the idea in terms of applying it beyond the
>>>>> biological domain. As it only deals with relations among a network of
>>>>> processes, it does not assume the physical.
>>>>>
>>>>> At the very least is is indispensable as a framework for understanding
>>>>> autonomy.
>>>>>
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Terren
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
>>>>> > Hi Platonist Guitar Cowboy
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I agree.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > I was wrong about autopoesis. It is
>>>>> > a mind-boggling definition of life,
>>>>> > maybe not even that.
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
>>>>> > 10/15/2012
>>>>> > "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > ----- Receiving the following content -----
>>>>> > From: Platonist Guitar Cowboy
>>>>> > Receiver: everything-list
>>>>> > Time: 2012-10-14, 09:26:19
>>>>> > Subject: Re: autopoesis
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Hi Roger,
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM, Roger Clough wrote:
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Autopoesis is a useful definition for life.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopoiesis
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Autopoiesis (from Greek a?to- (auto-), meaning "self", and p???s??
>>>>> > (poiesis), meaning "creation, production") literally means
>>>>> > "self-creation"
>>>>> > and expresses a fundamental dialectic among structure, mechanism and
>>>>> > function. The term was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists
>>>>> > Humberto
>>>>> > Maturana and Francisco Varela:
>>>>> >
>>>>> > An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as
>>>>> > a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction)
>>>>> > of
>>>>> > components
>>>>> > which:
>>>>> >
>>>>> > (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously
>>>>> > regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that
>>>>> > produced
>>>>> > them; and
>>>>> >
>>>>> > (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in
>>>>> > which
>>>>> > they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of
>>>>> > its
>>>>> > realization as such a network.[1]
>>>>> >
>>>>> > [...] the space defined by an autopoietic system is self-contained
>>>>> > and
>>>>> > cannot be described by using dimensions that define another space.
>>>>> > When we refer to our interactions with a concrete autopoietic system,
>>>>> > however, we project this system on the space of our manipulations and
>>>>> > make a
>>>>> > description of this projection.[2]
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> >
>>>>> > This seems to me more a description for machines/hallucinations that
>>>>> > lack flexibility; such as how media, politics, and market are framed
>>>>> > in
>>>>> > public discourse. Like Luhmann said "they tend to be operationally
>>>>> > closed".
>>>>> >
>>>>> > The statement? above "continuously regenerate and realize the network
>>>>> > of processes (relations) that produced them" stands counter to
>>>>> > "transformations" which would indeed change "(ii) constitute it (the
>>>>> > machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components)
>>>>> > exist
>>>>> > by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a
>>>>> > network.[1]", specifically the "concreteness" of the unity and the
>>>>> > discreetness of its domain is undermined by "transformation".
>>>>> >
>>>>> > The original Greek definition, does ring a bell for creative
>>>>> > processes
>>>>> > and dreaming however, but in an "operationally less bounded" sense.
>>>>> >
>>>>> > m
>>>>> > ?
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
>>>>> > 10/14/2012
>>>>> > "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>>>>> >
>>>>> > --
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>>>>> >
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>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Prof Russell Standish Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
>>>> Principal, High Performance Coders
>>>> Visiting Professor of Mathematics hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
>>>> University of New South Wales http://www.hpcoders.com.au
>>>>
>>>>
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