I have been using the term 'aesthetic' a lot lately in specifying the 
qualitative aspects of consciousness, and I feel like it clarifies one of 
the core issues. The Hard Problem of Consciousness is confusing to people 
whose mindset is innately compelled to define consciousness as a collection 
of functions in the first place. It therefore comes out nonsensical when 
philosophers like David Chalmers talk about questioning why there is such a 
thing as 'what it is like' to have an experience, since for the 
functionalist, 'what it is like' to perform a function is simply the 
self-same set of events which comprise the function.

Maybe it helps to define 'what it is like' in more specific terms, which I 
think would be scientifically described as *private sensory-motive 
participation* but informally can be understood as aesthetic phenomena. The 
key is to notice the asymmetric relation between aesthetics and function in 
that function can improve aesthetics, but aesthetics can *never* improve 
function. The Hard Problem then becomes a problem of how to explain 
aesthetics (aka qualia) in a universe of functions which can neither 
benefit by them nor physically generate them as far as we can tell (unless 
there is a miniature kitchen near our olfactory bulbs baking microscopic 
apple pies whenever we remember the smell of apple pie).

The fact that aesthetics are not possible to explain in terms of a 
function, but that functions can be conceived of aesthetically is 
unfamiliar and those who have that innately functional mindset will balk at 
the notion of aesthetic supremacy, but this is the future of science - 
letting go of the familiar, or in this case, rediscovering the literally 
familiar (ordinary consciousness) in an unfamiliar way (as the fabric of 

When we talk about consciousness then, what we really mean is the aesthetic 
experience of being and doing, of perceiving and participating. This 
experience is extended publicly as spatio-temporal form-functions (STFF), 
but those phenomena are not capable of appreciating themselves. Just as a 
puppet can be made to seem to walk and talk like a person, forms can be 
made to interact by hijacking their natural low-level aesthetics to 
represent our high-level expectations. The letters on this screen are just 
such an example. I am using a lot of technology to generate contrasting 
pixels on your video screen, which you will experience as letters, words, 
and sentences. 

Each level of description - as typeface, spellings, grammars, evoke 
aesthetic micro-experiences. The closer these descriptions get to your 
native scale - the personal scale, the more that your personal experience, 
feelings, and understanding influences the aesthetics of all of the 
sub-personal experiences within reading the language. What you see of the 
letters is because of your experience of learning to read English, not 
because of any special power that these words have to project meaning. By 
themselves, these words and letters do nothing to each other. They are 
figures for use in human communication - they have no functional aspect, 
i.e. they are *only* aesthetic. This is why a computer has no use for human 
languages, or even programming languages. Computation requires no figures 
or forms of any kind, nor can it produce any forms or figures without 
borrowing some kind of STFF (with u in the middle, heh) from the 'real 
world'. Otherwise there is a only the anesthetic concept of pure function - 
which is the exact opposite of representation by form, image, or quality, 
but is non-presentation through quantity. 
Computation, or 'Information Processing' is the unconscious number 
crunching of automated, logical functionality. Information lacks aesthetic 
presence by definition - it is a purely conceptual understanding of 
instructed variables in motion. If there is a capacity for aesthetic 
appreciation to begin with, then computation can extend it and improve it. 
If there is no such capacity, then there is certainly no justification for 
adding it into computation, as automatic function cannot benefit in any way 
by appreciation of its own activity.

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