Re: Predictions by Kurzweil

From: Skye (
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 17:30:57 MST

Modify that. Downgraded is not an accurate term.
"changed", perhaps.

--- Brent Allsop <> wrote:
> Skye <> replied:
> > There is no *redness* in the brain,
> No! This is the classic example of the mistake I
> believe most
> of us are making and why our old science, to date,
> is miserably
> failing. Perception is a long cause and effect
> process. At the
> causal end of this process is the "referent" or what
> we are looking
> at. At the opposite end of this complex cause and
> effect process,
> beyond the retina, past the optic nerve...,
> somewhere in the primary
> visual cortex, is the final result of the perceptual
> process or our
> conscious knowledge of what we are looking at. This
> is where real red
> is!
> There is nothing like this outside of our brain or
> beyond our
> senses. As proof of this, how would virtual reality
> worlds, full of
> red and all other colors, be possible? Are you
> saying there is
> "redness" inside of the ram which contains the
> representation of the
> "virtual reality" world that causes the color
> perceptions we perceive
> there? Cirtanly not.
> There is something that occurs out beyond our
> senses, which I
> believe you are referring to. Perhaps we can call
> this "referent red"
> since we use red sensations to abstractly represent
> it. But the two
> are very different, exist at opposite ends of the
> cause and effect
> perceptual process, and in fact color blind people
> sometimes surely
> use different sensations or quale to represent the
> same "referent".
> With todays limited "abstract" science all we
> really know of
> such "referents", or all things beyond our
> representational senses, is
> abstract or behavior knowledge. We simply infere
> that there is
> something out there that can cause light of a
> certain wavelength to
> reflect in a certain way. We know nothing of what
> such "red
> referents" are like other than such abstract
> behavior. Obviously,
> when a surgeon does surgery on a primary visual
> cortex that is
> "perceiving red", there is nothing there anything
> like a "red
> referent" that will behave in such a way as to
> result in a perceptual
> process ending up with a real red sensation in the
> surgeon's
> consciousness. Perhaps this is what you really
> meant?
> John Clark <> also responded:
> > I can't even detect your qualia much less measure
> it.
> Obviously our current sensing process, which
> includes all of
> our scientific instruments which simply add more
> cause and effect
> abstract levels to enhance this abstract process of
> observing only
> behavior of these "referents", alone, can't do this.
> Every level of
> such a long perceptual process simply abstractly
> represents or models
> the original referent in some different physical
> form. Each form is
> very physically different from the previous one, and
> the final result,
> our conscious knowledge, is, again, different from
> them all.
> However, this in no way implies that we "can't even
> detect
> your qualia much less measure it."
> Our brain takes the abstract information from
> various senses.
> This neural firing representation of this
> information is nothing like
> the original referents beyond our senses that
> initiated the perceptual
> process, it simply abstractly "models" it. Our
> brain takes this
> abstract model of the information and produces our
> conscious knowledge
> of the original referent. Our brain then combines
> all of these
> diverse sensations such as color, smell, sound,
> warmth, pain... into
> one unified conscious world ("spirit world" inside
> our brain if you
> will) where we most definitily can compare and
> contrast them.
> Comparing and contrasting is, by definition,
> measuring. We most
> certainly "detect" them. We know of the existence
> of these things
> more than we know of the existents of their distant
> referents which we
> can really only infer that they exist. (Note: refer
> to the "brain in
> a vat argument", virtual reality...)
> > I don't know and will never know if red is complex
> or not but I do
> > know it's indescribable.
> I know what you are trying to say but when you
> really think
> about it, this is completely false. You are saying
> we can't "eff"
> sensations. We can't tell someone what salt tastes
> like. Of course
> simple "abstract" communication alone (what science
> and all our sensing
> has been to date) can't "eff". But there is only
> one simple missing
> piece that will give us true "effing" ability.
> All that is required to sufficiently model color
> qualia is the
> amount of information traveling through or being
> modeled by the neural
> firing in the optic nerve, Just as the taste of salt
> can be modeled by
> the information traveling through the nerves in the
> tongue to the
> brain. The only thing left for us to do is to
> enhance our brain, in
> the same way nature did when it merged the ability
> of our
> consciousness to feel both red and salty at the same
> tame, including
> our ability to compare and contrast them (i.e.
> measure them).
> In order to do this, we've simply got to realize
> that there is
> more to the referent "behavior" of the neurons we
> are observing.
> We've got to know more than simply how they behave,
> we've got to start
> looking for what is it really like for them to
> behave that way. Why
> is it like that for that person when they behave
> that way...
> Instead of simply assuming that *redness* is simply
> the
> behavior of reflecting light, there might be
> something additional to
> such physical behavior of reflecting light. It may
> be more than just
> behaving in a particular way, it may actually be
> phenomenally "like"
> something. Although the behavior of light
> reflecting off of something
> may not, itself, have phenomenal qualities,
> something in our brain
> (I'm betting it is closely related to the chemical
> processes that goes
> on as the synapse fires or something) is
> fundamentally phenomenally
> "like" something.
> We've got to look for more than just abstract
> behavior, we've
> got to discover what and why it is like what it is
> like. Once we
> figure this out, we well then, like nature has done,
> reproduce
> multiple of these sensations within one
> consciousness, so that we can
> experience, compare, contrast, share, or more or
> less
=== message truncated ===
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