Congratulation, on the work by everyone, and for the fact that the new Representational Qualia Theory statement was finally accepted by all and went live! All the other camps are also developing in very dramatic ways that is extremely exciting. I'm working on a press announcement to capture some of this and send out to as many places as I can, to point out what we have accomplished so far. I'd appreciate any feedback on any of this.
= Scientific consensus continues to extend its dramatic lead amongst competing theories of consciousness. =
We've been continuing a sometimes slow and laborious survey process for several years now. We've been attending conferences, finding and interviewing experts in this field so that we might 'canonize' their views to measure and build as much consensus as possible around the best theories as part of the Consciousness Survey Project. The current body of "peer reviewed" work, and other surveys, seems to do nothing but confirm everyone's pervasive beliefs that there is no expert consensus in this field whatsoever. As everyone knows everyone regularly mocks the field, and its complete lack of any significant results as mere "philosophies of men". However, the consensus building, amplification of the wisdom of the crowd open survey system at canonizer.com might be about to falsify this pervasive belief that consciousness is so "hard" and that it is only almost approachable via a very few super brains. The dramatic early consensus emerging and extending its lead seems to be indicating there may already be a huge amount of agreement on a great many fairly simple things, in this theoretical field of science, after all.
For the last 6 months, the participating experts in the consensus camp have been collaboratively developing and negotiating a new version of the camp statement concisely describing what most of the experts appear to already agree on. It's not easy getting this much consensus from this many diverse experts, such has never been achieved in the past, but it is now being proved possible if you have the right techniques, such as the ability to push lesser important disagreeable ideas out of the way, into sub camps, instead of exclusively focusing only on them. This new super camp statement, after months of negotiation, finally just recently made it through the unanimous canonization review process. In addition to answering the question of where redness is located (It is not a property of the strawberry, but of our knowledge of it) it includes the description of the "Quale Interpretation Problem" which is a technical description of why ineffable properties are blind to traditional cause and effect observation. It also includes predictions of various possible ways scientists will be able to get around this problem to 'eff' these ineffable properties and finally resolve the many long standing issues such as "the problem of other minds"', "what it is like to be a bat", possibly even falsifying "Idealism", "Solipsism", "Skepticism", and so on. (see the early consensus camp at: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/6 )
The highest top super camp in the main survey topic addresses whether or not consciousness is approachable via science. So far, about 29 of the 35 participants are in this super camp with only a few brave souls willing to put their reputation on the line and support competing camps such as: "Consciousness is of Divine Origin and Unfathomable Apart from God".
At the next level down, very surprisingly, with almost as much consensus, is the recently named "Representational Qualia Theory" camp. When we first started this survey, we thought there would be many significant competitors to this camp such as simple "Computational Functionalism", "we don't have qualia, it just seems like we do", "idealism", "you can't eff the ineffable" and so on. At least, that is what the wikipedia article on qualia (falsely?) leads one to believe. Despite our continued best efforts to recruit experts to support any such competing camps, and make the survey more comprehensive, it is surprising how it seems that so far nobody is willing to stand up and make any effort to support any of them at anywhere near the rate, compared to the many emerging experts which are already so willing to support this new qualophile "Representational Qualia Theory".
The early consensus seems to be indicating there is significant consensus about WHERE redness, and all the other phenomenal properties consciousness is composed of are located. The only remaining yet to be falsified issue, at least for the experts appear to be the WHATs and HOWs of redness. At the sub camp levels below this consensus camp, some dramatic theories are forming about these WHATs and HOWs. The best of them are making obviously falsifiable predictions about just what science is about to discover and how it will validate each theory to the falsification of all competitors.
The clear consensus continues at the next sub level with the Mind-Brain Identity theory camp leading against some significant competitors such as Higher-dimension Theories (including the Smythies Carr Hypothosis) and Panexperientialism.
At the next level down the current consensus is far less clear and far more dramatic. The early and still holding on to its lead camp is the one led by David Chalmers, or "Functional Property Dualism". Its principle doctrine is Chalmers' "Invariance Principle" which holds that the same quale can "arise" in some "hard" way from any equivalent functional isomorph, from silicon to neurons, or anything that can do Turing computation. This theory is basically falsifiably predicting you will be able to reliably know when you are observing redness when you observe the right functionality.
But a rapidly gaining camp appears to be on the verge of overtaking this consensus camp at this sub level. This is the "Material Property Dualism" camp which basically predicts that redness is simply a property of some material in the brain. It predicts that without this right stuff which has these phenomenal properties, you can't have redness. And if you observe the right stuff, in the right neural correlate state, you will reliably know, in an effing way, what the person is experiencing.
This emerging camp further breaks down into the newest to be canonized and obviously very popular sub "Orchestrated Object Reduction" camp lead by Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose. The lesser competitor is "Macro Property Dualism" which predicts phenomenal properties can just as easily be a property of any classical object, possibly some kind of standing wave of neural firing, even possibly a set of classical bouncing 'billiard balls', and that no quantum weirdness or any magic is required to discover or eff the ineffable. All that is required is proper communication, and thinking about it in the right way, to know what where and how to look for it.
Of course, we continue to seek to make the survey more comprehensive in the open survey wiki way. Whether you are an expert (see: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/53/11 ) or not, we seek to measure and compare it all. Even high school students have been making significant contributions to this amplification of the wisdom of the crowd process. Perhaps there is a much better way to organize the existing structure? If so, it can all be accommodated, according to the will of the scientific consensus. So if you feel there is a justified theory that could turn out to be the one validated by science, please help us get such 'canonized' for the benefit of everyone. There are volunteers ready to help integrate, or canonize your ideas into what has already been built. Help us sooner get to what could turn out to be the greatest scientific achievement of all time: The demonstrable discovery and agreement of what, where, and how the conscious mind is.
As always, our goal is to rigorously capture and measure, in real time, when the demonstrable science validates the one theory and falsifies all others. When this revolution does take place, we hope to be able to see it very definitively and undeniably, here, as the experts start to abandon the finally falsified camps. It appears that at least at some level, this could have already started in a revolutionary and dramatic way, likely in a more dramatic way than when we finally switched from a geocentric solar system view.