Re: How would a computer know if it were conscious?

From: Colin Hales <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 16:39:56 +1000 (EST)

Hi Quentin,

> "What is the kind of universe we must live in if the electromagnetic field
> structure of the brain delivers qualia?"
> A. It is NOT the universe depicted by the qualia (atoma, molecules,
> cells...). It is the universe whose innate capacity to deliver qualia is
> taken advantage of when configureed like it appears when we use qualia
> themselves to explore it....cortical brain matter. (NOTE: Please do not
> make the mistake that sensors - peripheral affect - are equivalent to
> qualia.)

I will only react to this...

and I will deposit a large collection of weirdness for you to ponder....

Q. What is cortical brain matter ?
Let us call our first candidate consistent with all the fatcs a monism
made of MON_STUFF. We must give ourselves the latitude to consider various
candidates. For the purposes it does not matter what it is. I will try
and answer your questions by bringing in properties. So.... cortical brain
matter is made of a collection of MON_STUFF. Not atoms. Atoms are
organised MON_STUFF. Quarks are organised MON_STUFF. The MON_STUFF I
choose, that seems to deliver everything I need and is the simplest
possible choice: is 'the fluctuation'.

Q. Does it exists by itself?
No. It is nested MON_STUFF all the way down. It is intrinsically dynamic
and fleeting. Anything made of MON_STUFF is persistent organisational
structure within a massive collection of fleeting change. Exactly like the
shapes in the water coming out of a garden hose. There is a critical
minimum collection of it, from which all subsequent structure is derived.
That minimum is created like collections of turbulent water molecules
breaks off and self-sustains a eddy/vortex once a critical threshold is
reached. Ultimately there is no need to prescribe an ultimate minimum
'atom-ish' minimal size MON_STUFF fluctuation to predict qualia. Someone
else's problem. I don't need to solve that. The fluctuation model
works...that's all I need to progress.

Q. if so, what is it composed of (matter ?) ?
Well it's not, so I don't have to fall into this logical hole.

Q. what is matter ?
Hierarchically organised persistent but intrinsically dynamic (continually
refreshed) structures of MON_STUFF

Q. what is brain?
I think we already did this.

Q why cortical brain matter generates qualia ?
There is one single simple fundamental principle at the heart of it: "At
all scales and all locations, when you 'be' any MON_STUFF the 'view of
the rest of the universe' is delivered innately as 'NOT_ME'". Call it the
COLIN principle of universal subjectivity" I don;t the
fluctuation This is a simple as it gets.

Q why it must be so ?
With the fundamental principle that perspective view at all scales
literally is the source of qualia, the whole reasoning changes from one of
WHY to one of WHERE/WHEN....which is what you ask. It is question of
visability. It is 'like' 'NOT_ELECTRON' to be a collection of MON_STUFF
behaving electronly. That is not 'about' being an electron. It IS an
electron. Not only that, there is a blizzard of the little blighters with
no collective 'story' to tell. Their collective summated scene is ZERO.

Q Is qualia a dependance of cortical brain matter or the inverse ?
If I get you correctly it's 'INVERSE'.

Q. is qualia responsible of what looks like cortical brain matter?
It's not 'responsible' in that it doesn't 'cause brain matter'. Qualia
present a visual scene - a representation. In the scene we see brain

Q or is it cortical brain matter that makes feel
qualia which in turns ask question about cortical brain matter ?
No. Cortical brain material is an appearance of MON_STUFF created by
special MON_STUFF doing the 'appearance dance'. When it does that dance
... (the cortical grey matter membrane dance)... it creates an appearance
of atoms, molcules, cells, tissue.... because these are persistent nested
structures of MON_STUFF doing the atom dance, the molecule dance, the cell
dance. etc..etc.

As weird and hard to assimilate as it sounds....It all comes down to the
two simplest possible basic premises:

1) A universe consisting of a massive number of one generic elemental
process, the fluctuation.

2) A universe in which the perspective view from the point of view of
'being' ME, an elemental fluctuation, is 'NOT ME' (the rest of the

The ecitable cell dance is the only dance that has it's own story
independent of the underlying MON_STUFF organisational layers. That is the
only place where the net exertions of MON_STUFF have nothing to do with
any other dance. That is the organisational level where the visibility
finally manifests to non-zero...why neural soma are fat - it's all about
signal to noise ratio.

weirdness time over. Gotta go.

Colin Hales

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Received on Sun Jun 17 2007 - 02:40:05 PDT

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