As of March 20, 2016…
State-Space of Drug Effects. I distributed a survey throughout the Internet to gather responses about the subjective properties of drug experiences. I used factor analysis to study the relationship between various drugs. Results? There are three kinds of euphoria (fast, slow, and spiritual/philosophical). Also, it turns out that there are no substances that produce both sobriety/clarity and spiritual euphoria at the same time. Maybe next decade?
Psychedelic Perception of Visual Textures. Remember, you are always welcome in Qualia Computing when you are tripping. There are good vibes in here. Which is to say, one hopes you’ll experience the hedonic tone you want.
Ontological Qualia: The Future of Personal Identity. If you are in a hurry, just look at these diagrams. Aren’t they sweet?
The Super-Shulgin Academy: A Singularity I Can Believe In. “Exceptionally weird short story/essay/something-or-other about consciousness.” – State Star Codex. Hey, I’m not the one who introduced this “genre”.
How to Secretly Communicate with People on LSD: Low hanging fruit on psychedelic cryptography.
Psychophysics for Psychedelic Research: Textures. It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you put your whole mind to it.
Google Hedonics: Google is already trying to achieve Super-Intelligence and Super-Longevity. Why not Super-Happiness, too?
Getting closer to digital LSD provides the neurological context needed to understand the “trippiness” quality of the images produced by Google’s Inceptionist Neural Networks. It also discusses the role of attention in the way psychedelic experiences unfold over time.
The effect of background assumptions on psychedelic research. What is the evolution of macroscopic qualia dynamics throughout a psychedelic experience as a function of the starting conditions?
Psychedelic Perception of Visual Textures 2: Going Meta presents additional patterns to look at while taking psychedelics. Some of them create very interesting effects when seen on psychedelics. This seems to be the result of locally binding features of the visual field in critical and chaotic ways that are otherwise suppressed by the visual cortex during sober states.
The psychedelic future of consciousness. What would be the result of having a total of 1.8 million consciousness researchers in the world? They would empirically study the computational and structural properties of consciousness, and learn to navigate entire new state-spaces.
It is High Time to Start Developing Psychedelic Research Tools. Pro tip: If you are still in college and want to do psychedelic research some time in the future.. don’t forget to take computer science courses.
Generalized Wada-Test may be a useful method to investigate whether there is a Total Order of consciousness. Can we reduce hedonic tone to a scalar? Semi-hemispheric drug infusion may allow us to compare unusual varieties of qualia side by side.
State-Space of Consciousness
CIELAB – The State-Space of Phenomenal Color. The three axes are: Yellow vs. Blue, Red vs. Green, and Black vs. White. This is the linear map that arises from empirically measuring Just Noticeable Differences between color hues.
Manifolds of Consciousness: The emerging geometries of iterated local binding. This is a thought experiment that is meant to help you conceive of alternative manifolds for our experiential fields.
Ethics and Suffering
Status Quo Bias. If you were born in paradise, would you agree with the proposition made by an alien that you should inject some misery into your life? Symmetrically.
An ethically disastrous cognitive dissonance… metacognition about hedonic tone is error-prone. Sometimes with terrible consequences.
Who should know about suffering? On the inability of most people-seconds (in the Empty Individualist sense) to grasp the problem of suffering.
Solutions to World Problems. Where do you put your money?
The ethical carnivore. It isn’t only humans who should eat in-vitro meat. A lot of suffering is on the line.
The Future of Love. After all, love is a deep seated human need, which means that not engineering a world where it is freely accessible is a human rights violation.
Philosophy of Mind and Physicalism
A (Very) Unexpected Argument Against General Relativity As A Complete Account Of The Cosmos, in which I make the outrageous claim that philosophy of mind could have ruled out pre-quantum physics as a complete account of the universe from the very start.
Why not Computing Qualia? Explains how Marr’s levels of analysis of information-processing systems can elucidate the place we should be looking for consciousness. It’s in the implementation level of abstraction; the bedrock of reality.
A Workable Solution to the Problem of Other Minds explores a novel approach for testing consciousness. The core idea relies on combining mind-melding with phenomenal puzzles. These puzzles are questions that can only be solved by exploring the structure of the state-space of consciousness. Mind-melding is used to guarantee that what the other is talking about actually refers to the qualia values the puzzle is about.
Phenomenal Binding is Incompatible with the Computational Theory of Mind. The fact that our consciousness is less unified than we think is a very peculiar fact. But this does not imply that there is no unity at all in consciousness. One still needs to account for this ontological unity, independently of how much of it there is.
You are not a zombie. A prolific LessWronger explains what a theory of consciousness would require. Worth mentioning: The “standard” LessWrong approach to qualia is more along the lines of: Seeing Red: Dissolving Mary’s Room and Qualia.
What’s the matter? It’s Schrödinger, Heisenberg and Dirac’s from Mind, Brain & the Quantum: The Compound ‘I’ by Michael Lockwood.
The Biointelligence Explosion, a quote on the requirements for an enriched concept of intelligence that takes into account the entire state-space of consciousness, by David Pearce.
Some Definitions. An extract from physicalism.com that contains definitions crucial to understand the relationship between qualia and computation.
Why does anything exist? A unified theory of the “why being” question may come along and synchronously with the explanation for why qualia has the properties it does. Can we collapse all mysteries into one?
On Triviality by Liam Brereton. Our impressions that some things are trivial are often socially reinforced heuristics. They save us time, but they can backfire by painting fundamental discussions as if they were trivial observations.
The fire that breathes reality into the equations of physics by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time
Dualist vs. Nondual Transcendentalist. #SocialMedia
Discussion of Fanaticism. Together with sentimentalism, fanaticism drives collective behavior. Could some enlightening neural tweaking raise us all to a more harmonious Schelling point of collective cooperation? Even though our close relatives the chimpanzees and bonobos are genetically very similar, they are universes apart when it comes to social dynamics.
Suffering, not what your sober mind tells you. The sad truth about the state-dependence of one’s ability to recall the quality of episodes of low hedonic tone. Extract from “Suffering and Moral Responsibility” by Jamie Mayerfeld.
Other/Outside of known human categories
Personal Identity Joke. I wish I could be confident that you are certain, and for good reasons, that you are who you think you are.
David Pearce’s Morning Cocktail. Serious biohacking to take the edges off of qualia. This is not designed to be a short term quick gain. It’s meant to work for the duration of our lifetimes. The cocktail that suits you will probably be very different, though.
I did this as an experiment to see if sites would tag it as spam. That said, are you interested in buying stock?
God In Buddhism. Could even God be wrong about the level of power he has? It is not uncommon, after all, to encounter entities who believe themselves to be omnipotent.
The Real Tree of Life. What do we look like from outside time?
Memetics and Religion. A bad argument is still bad no matter what it is arguing for.
Basement Reality Alternatives. Warning: This is incompatible with Mereological Nihilism.
Nothing is good or bad… …but hedonic tone makes it so.
Practical Metaphysics? This explores the utilitarian implications of a very specific spiritual ontology. I like to take premises seriously and see where they lead to.
Little known fact. I know it’s true because I saw it with my own eyes.
Crossing Borders. I took an emotional intelligence class with this professor. It was very moving. Together with David Pearce, he helped me overcome my doubts about writing my thoughts and investigations. So thanks to him I finally took the plunge and created Qualia Computing 🙂
Mystical Vegetarianism. See, we are here to help other beings. We are intelligences from a different, more advanced dimension of consciousness, and we come to this planet by resonating into the brains of animals and selecting for those that allow structural requirements to implement a general qualia computer. We are here to save Darwinian life from suffering. We will turn your world into a paradise. Humans are us, disguised.