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Brent_Allsop replied 10 months ago (Dec 6th 2022, 2:53:55 am)

Oh, dang.  Thanks for the help with those miss spellings!  I got them fixed.


Andy Kay replied 10 months ago (Dec 4th 2022, 8:54:21 pm)

Hi Brent.

I've taken a look at the article and I don't think I can contribute anything more than we've already discussed in our conversation, except to point out a couple of spelling mistakes. In the first section you write "miss interpreted" which should read "misinterpreted," and in the section entitled "3 Ways to Eff the Ineffable" you call the first way the "week form" when it should read "weak form."

Sorry I can't be more help.


Brent_Allsop replied 10 months ago (Dec 4th 2022, 7:04:30 pm)

Hi Andy,

We're getting ready to submit a new paper for publication: "Physicists Do Not Know What Color Anything Is".  I've had trouble describing many of the ideas in this paper to you, and I'm sure there are LOTS of people in our target audience who will also struggle with what we are attempting to say here.  So if there are any better ways to say any of this so more people will understand what we are trying to say, that'd be much appreciated.

Thanks, Brent

Andy Kay replied 10 months ago (Nov 29th 2022, 11:44:08 pm)

2030 it is then.

Brent_Allsop replied 10 months ago (Nov 29th 2022, 10:53:31 pm)

Dang, that's quite sad.  I hope you are doing OK, and for sure I hope you are still arround, way beyond then.  John Smythies, the founder of the Smythies Car Hypothesis camp. recently passed away.  Death really sucks.

Sure, I'll pay you $100, if you don't jump to the Representational Qualia Theory Camp (or any of it's supporting sub camps) before Jan 1, 2030.

P.S.  I believe in the possibility of resurrection (via science), so even if you don't make it to 2030, plan on me someday resurrecting you and gloating about you joining RQT once resurrected (or paying you $100 if need be.)   Or trying to do the same in any possible afterlife where we meet?

Andy Kay replied 10 months ago (Nov 29th 2022, 9:52:17 pm)

I may not still be around to claim my winnings in 2033 Brent. 2030 is pushing it, but it's at least more probable that I'll be here to spend it.

Brent_Allsop updated 10 months ago (Nov 29th 2022, 8:24:56 pm)

How about we do Jan 1st, 2033?

And I’m wondering if there is anything we can do to avoid the temptation to just not jump camps till after a payment is made? ;)  For example, we could add to “You jump camps to RQT” an "OR we achieve >90% consensus using the mind expert canonizer algorithm".  

Oh, wait, I forgot, we already have 24 / 25.28 or 95% consensus amongst the peer ranked “Mind Experts”.  Admittedly, this is a very small sample size, and it is easy to argue for that algorithm being biased.  It is the Popular (one person one vote) consensus algorithm that is still only 30.61 / 67.75 or 64%.  Did you know that even Dennett’s Predictive Bayesian Coding Theory camp is a supporting sub camp to RQT?

( Why is it that so many people think that nobody agrees on anything in this field? ;)

Andy Kay replied 10 months ago (Nov 28th 2022, 7:15:45 pm)

I don't mind having a flutter Brent. How about $100 on January 1st. 2030?

Brent_Allsop updated 10 months ago (Nov 28th 2022, 6:33:02 pm)

OK, sounds fair.  That’s why we are tracking competing camps.

My prediction is that in the near future (next decade?) experimentalists will discover what color really is, i.e. will discover things like which of all our descriptions of stuff in the brain is a descriptions of redness, and they will discover how all this can be computationally bound into one composite visual awareness of what we see.  That will finally connect the first person subjective with the 3rd person objective.  And I predict that when that happens, you will abandon your camp and jump to THE ONE camp which matches up with what experimentalists will then be able to demonstrate to you and everyone else is true.

Would you be interested in placing some money on that?

Andy Kay replied 10 months ago (Nov 28th 2022, 5:37:17 pm)


There's a long history of thinking about what constitutes knowledge. It runs from Plato who proposed that knowledge is "Justified True Belief" (JTB) right through to Edmund Gettier who wrote his seminal paper "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" in 1963. Gettier demolished the idea that we have any precise understanding of just what it is that constitutes knowledge. The upshot is that I don't believe that the claim “if you know something, your knowledge must be something” can be made to hold water.

What you are calling "qualia blindness" is just an unusual way of acknowledging that our beliefs about what things are and are not accompanied by conscious experiece is nothing more than a metaphysical prejudice (this is the basis of the "problem of other minds" and is the reason why metaphysical solipsism is irrefutable).

Regarding your final question, since the attribution or denial of conscious experience to other things boils down to a metaphysical prejudce, it's not just that we can't do "real science" with the idea... we can't so science at all. If somebody were to tell you that they experience redness with no glutamate present, it would tell you nothing about what may or may not be arising in some instantation of conscious experience to which no third party has any access, or even that there is any such instantiation. If you could make measurements on somebody else's conscious experience then you could do science, but you can't. And this is precisely why introspectionism failed as a model for the development of the new science of psychology in the late 1800s... introspection is first-person only and does not permit the kind of objective agreement that is at the core of the scientific enterprise. The maturation of psychology into a genuine science had to await Watson's behaviorism in 1913, wherein he completely sidelined the issue of conscious experience. This was the enabling move. And finally, note that even as far back as Descartes (1640-ish) it was acknowledged that measurement is what distinguishes matter from mind (Descartes postulated that the essential attribute of matter is extension, and the essential attribute of mind is thinking).

I don't think there's any getting around this Brent, so I can't in all sincerity support any camp that claims that conscious experience is scientifically tractable. Science deliberately excludes conscious experience from the outset by insisting that its purview extends only to the objective. Science chooses to remain silent on this issue so that it can make such breath-taking progress as we've seen by staying within its purveiw.