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entirelyuseless comments on Zombies Redacted - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 July 2016 08:16PM

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Comment author: entirelyuseless 18 July 2016 01:30:47PM -1 points [-]

Please stop commenting. Now try to present your argument.

But more importantly, VAuroch defined clear definition as describing how experience would be different. Experience cannot be tabooed if that is what clear definition means.

Comment author: dxu 18 July 2016 03:57:05PM 1 point [-]

As my username might imply, I am not VAuroch.

But more importantly, the point of Taboo is to describe the thing you're talking about in lower level terms, terms that don't generate the same confusion that the original concept does. It is in this manner that confusions are dissolved. If you can't do this with a certain topic, that's evidence you don't fully understand the topic yet--and as far as I'm aware, no one can do this with consciousness/qualia, which is what I was trying to get at.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 19 July 2016 04:53:16AM -1 points [-]

There is no need to link to Eliezer's posts; I have read all of them, and the ones I disagree with, I will continue to disagree with even after reading them again.

My point about "please stop commenting" is that if something is not a lower level thing, then you cannot describe it lower level terms. That is not because of confusion, but because of what you are talking about.

Comment author: dxu 19 July 2016 06:59:05PM *  1 point [-]

There is no need to link to Eliezer's posts; I have read all of them, and the ones I disagree with, I will continue to disagree with even after reading them again.

The links are for the benefit of others who may be reading my comments. That being said, what exactly do you disagree with about dissolving the question?

if something is not a lower level thing

Assuming this "something" you're talking about is consciousness, I disagree. Strongly.

That is not because of confusion, but because of what you are talking about.

If you're claiming that you're not confused about consciousness and that you know what you're talking about, then you should be able to transmit that understanding to others through words. If you can't, I submit that you are in fact confused.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 20 July 2016 04:50:26AM -2 points [-]

I can transmit it through words. We both know what we're talking about here.

Comment author: VAuroch 30 July 2016 12:53:40AM 0 points [-]

I, also, still do not know what you're talking about. I expect to have experiences in the future. I do not really expect them to contain qualia, but I'm not sure what that would mean in your terms. Please describe the difference I should expect in terms of things I can verify or falsify internally.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 30 July 2016 01:46:19PM *  0 points [-]

"I will have experiences but do not expect them to contain qualia," as I understand it, means "I will have experiences but do not expect to experience things in any particular way." This is because qualia are just the ways that things are experienced.

I do not know what it would mean to expect that to happen. Asking how you can verify it is like asking, "How do I verify whether or not 2 + 2 seems to be 4 but is not?"

Comment author: gjm 31 July 2016 09:16:20PM -1 points [-]

It seems like you and VAuroch have a disagreement about how to use the word "qualia".

Your usage seems very modest, in the sense of not committing you to anything much. Are you sure that the way you actually use the word is consistently that modest? If having qualia just means experiencing things in some way, then you aren't entitled to assume

  • that there are actually such things as qualia
  • anything about the "structure" of experiences -- e.g., perhaps experiences are kinda indivisible and there's no such thing as a "quale of red" that's separable from the qualia of all the vast numbers of experiences that involve red things
  • anything about the relationships between qualia and (other?) physical phenomena like electrochemical activity in the brain

without some further argument that explores the nature of qualia in more detail.

(I suspect that VAuroch may have in mind some more-specific meaning of "qualia" that does entail particular positions on some questions like those. Or perhaps he merely doubts that there is any really satisfactory way to define "qualia" and is pushing you for more detail in the expectation that doing so will reveal problems?)

Comment author: entirelyuseless 31 July 2016 11:47:37PM 0 points [-]

I am not sure what you mean by "things" when you say that I can't assume there are such things as qualia. I say that there are ways we experience things, and those are qualia. They are not things in the way that apples and dogs are things, but in another way. There is nothing strange about that, because there are many kinds of things that exist in many kinds of ways.

I don't make any assumption about the structure of experiences, but try to figure it out by looking at my experiences.

I personally assume there is a direct relationship between our experiences and physical phenomena in the brain. I have no reason to think I disagree with VAuroch in that respect. I disagree that it follows that "qualia do not exist," is a reasonable description of the resulting situation.

Comment author: dxu 20 July 2016 06:06:53PM *  0 points [-]

Sorry, but I don't know what we're talking about (i.e. I don't know how to define consciousness). Could you transmit your understanding to me through words? Thanks in advance.