(Assignment of qualities is now called MAPPING of qualities between
symbols and referents.

      In our discussions about symbols and referents we have learned a
number of very important things.

      The first is that symbols and referents are two different objects,
the symbol is used to refer to the referent.

      (Usually the symbol is a different object that the referent but
they can be the same object, a referent can be used to symbolize

      Because both symbol and referent are objects they have quality sets
which describe them, and because they are two different objects, each
one has a unique quality set different from the other.

      They may have some qualities in common, but they *DEFINITELY* have
some different qualities between them.

      The first quality therefore that usually describes both the symbol
and the referent is that the symbol is not the referent and the referent
is not the symbol.  They can be the same object, but usually they are

      Sometimes the symbol has qualities that encode the various
qualities of the referent, and thus we say the symbol contains data
about the referent.

      For example the word 'cow' doesn't contain any data at all about
what a cow really is, but a picture of a cow surely does.

      Thus symbols like the word cow are said to have low data content,
and symbols like pictures are said to have high data content.

      Also sometimes the qualities of the symbol that contain data about
the referent are very similar to the qualities of the referent itself,
so for example the picture of a cow not only encodes data about the real
cow, it also looks a lot like it.

      We call this similarity between the qualities of the symbol and the
referent geometric congruency.

      Strictly speaking congruency means the symbol and referent would be
identical in qualities to each other, so we are really talking about
geometric similarity, but we call it congruency anyhow.

      Thus a picture of a cube is also clearly cubic, even though it is
only a 2D projection of a cube.  The same relation holds between the
picture of a cow and a real cow, they look much the same plus or minus

      As we have discussed the conscious unit consists of a looker and
his looked-ats.

      The looker is the conscious agent I, and the looked-ats are his
conscious experiences that surround him, color, sound, taste, smell,
feeling, and agency (causitiveness).  Perception of agency is included
as is anything else the conscious unit can be conscious of.

      Looked ats are the conscious experiences of the looker, and for
short we call them color forms, even though they are not limited to the
visual range.  Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, emotions, are all 'color
forms', different colors or forms of consciousness.

      Now visual colors presently come in red, green, blue, yellow, cyan,
magenta and all the colors in between.

      There is also this sensation of space between the looker and his
color forms, which gives us the impression of a 3 dimensional world 'out
there'.  We call this the looked through.

      In general the looker can see color forms under 3 conditions.

      First, color forms are apparent when the looker is creating them
out of direct imagination.  He considers a red apple on a table, there
it is, he sees it.

      Imagination can be forced in which case we call it hallucination.

      Second, color forms are apparent when the looker is dreaming at
night during sleep, he has a dream and in the dream he sees a red apple
on a table, there it is, he sees it.

      Lastly, color forms are apparent when the looker is causally
connected to the alleged physical sense pathways of his body, which when
awake, are in impingement contact with the external physical universe.

      There is an apple on a table out there in the alleged physical
universe, photons from the sun bounce off the apple, hit his eye, then
the retina, then the optic nerve, then the visual cortex, then get
displayed in his conscious display screen.

      They are called impingement contacts because he only sees the color
form when his body is impinged upon by a physical causal messenger wave
like a photon, force in transit towards him.

      What the looked-at LOOKS LIKE is not affected by which of the 3
possible conditions the being is seeing them under.  All three look just
exactly like an apple on a table.

      A symbol is a symbol is a symbol, whether it is connected to a
referent or not doesn't change the fact that it is a symbol.

      The being USES his conscious color forms as symbols referring
to alleged physical universe referents.  He considers that because
he sees space (conscious color form), that there IS space in the
phyiscal universe.  Same for time and other material forms.

      The physical referents are made of physical universe stuff like
wood, glass, aluminum, iron etc.

      The conscious symbols which he actually sees (color forms)
are all made of the same stuff, conscious stuff.

      Conscious stuff can LOOK like its made of aluminum, but never is.

      The conscious unit while in a body in contact with the physical
universe, is very much like a guy in an army tank looking at the world
through a TV set in the tank connected to a video camera outside the
tank.  At no time is the guy in the tank in direct contact with the
outside world, only the images conveyed to him on the TV set.

      The conscious unit is in an identical relationship with his body,
only in this case instead of a video camera outside the tank looking at
the world, the body has eyes outside the body looking at the world.

      And instead of looking at a TV set rendition of the data coming
from the video camera, he is looking at his conscious display rendition
of the data coming in through his body's eyes.  His conscious display is
his panoply of conscious looked-ats (color forms).

      If the video camera breaks, the guy in the tank becomes blind to
the outside world but not blind to his TV set which he can still see
inside his tank, although it shows him nothing of the outside world
while the camera is broken or off.

      If the body's eyes break, the conscious unit also becomes blind to
the outside world and for the exact same reason, but not blind to his
conscious display which he can still see although it shows him nothing
of the outside world while his body's eyes remain broken or closed.

      The guy in the tank is using the image on the TV set to represent
the physical world to him which is outside of the tank.  The TV image is
the symbol, the physical world outside the tank is the referent.

      The conscious unit is doing the exact same thing, he is using his
conscious looked-ats to represent the alleged physical world to him
which is outside of his body.  The conscious display is the symbol and
the physical world outside his body is the referent.

      So in either case the being is seeing the external physical
universe with a via, with a symbol of that world, rather than looking at
that world directly.

      The guy in the tank can't look at the world directly because he is
stuck in his tank, and the conscious unit can't look at the world
directly because he too is stuck in his conscious unit.

      A looker has never seen anything but his conscious looked-ats.

      He CAN'T see anything but his conscious looked-ats.

      A conscious looked-at is all a conscious unit can look at!

      Although in theory the guy can get out of his tank, a conscious
looker can never get out of his conscious unit.

      Now it is highly convenient of the TV set in the tank that it
displays a symbol of the physical world that is highly geometrically
congruent to that same physical world.  Square things in the outside
world look like square things on the TV set, round things look like
round things, perspective is maintained so things far away look smaller

      In fact if the circuitry of the video camera and the TV set in the
tank are very good, the guy in the tank can *PRETEND* that the TV set is
an open window to the world, with nothing intervening.  He can *PRETEND*
there is no via in his perception of the outside world.

      The conscious unit experiences the same advantage, the transfer of
data from his eyes to his conscious display is good enough that he can
pretend he is seeing the world directly and not through the complex vias
of eyes, nerves, brain and consciousness.

      However the fact that the symbol looks in many ways like the
referent (but not all) does not in any way lessen the fact that the
symbol is not the referent.

      Worse, even though the shape of the symbol may match the shape of
the referent closely, the symbol has many other qualities some of which
have nothing at all to do with the referent, and others which the
referent doesn't have, but which are used to encode various qualities of
the referent that the symbol doesn't have.

      Let's say that again.

      Both the symbol and referent have distinct quality sets.

      The symbol may have some qualities that closely resemble or are
identical to qualities in the referent, both are 'square'.

      The symbol may have qualities that the referent doesn't have at
all, a picture of a cow is made of paper, the cow isn't.  Paper has
nothing to do AT ALL with a cow.

      The symbol may have qualities that the referent also doesn't have,
but which are used to refer to qualities in the referent that the
referent does have.  Redness in conscious experience is used to refer to
frequency of photons bouncing off the referent.  Photons do not have
redness, and consciousness does not have photonic frequency, but there
they are being used to refer to each other.

      Let's do that last one again.

      For example external world objects are lit by photons which have
energy and frequency.

      When these qualities are translated into the conscious display,
they are translated into intensity of experience and color.

      For example when a photon of 600 THz (Terra hertz) hits the retina,
it eventually (many milliseconds later) gets displayed in the conscious
display as red.  If the frequency of the photon is higher it will be
displayed as yellow, green, then blue and finally violet.

      If one replaces the visual spectrum chip in the brain with an X-ray
spectrum chip, then X-rays will display as red and gamma rays will
display as violet and visible light won't register at all!

      Thus the mapping between physical frequency to conscious color is

      Even amongst humans who apparently all have the same visable
spectrum chip, there is no way to prove that the primary conscious
colors are arranged in the same order across the spectrum.  What he sees
as red, you might see as green.  We both call it red because we have
been taught to call it red, but who know what we actually see, except in

      Redness is not a quality of photons, and frequency is not a quality
of conscious experiences.

      So which frequency of photon is assigned which color in
consciousness is an arbitrary hook together designed around usefulness
rather than necessity.

      There is nothing 'red' about any photon at all.

      Redness could just as easily have been hooked to X-rays, or even
radio waves, had we the physical senses to pick them up.

      In any case its easy enough to prove that the 600 THz photon
doesn't make it through the brain to any part of the visual cortex, so
whatever redness is, it is an arbitrary hook together in consciousness
for the purposes of rendering in consciousness a symbol of the physical

      That symbol may have very high geometric congruency with its
referent in the physical universe, but in no way and at no time is
seeing the symbol the same thing as seeing the physical universe
referent.  The physical universe is in fact never seen at all, but
merely theorized from the seeing of the symbol.

      So say the guy is looking with his body's eyes at a red ball on a

      The ball on the table is in fact spherical and is reflecting light
in the 600 THz range.  In his consciousness he sees a red ball.

      Now the roundness of the physical ball matches very closely the
roundness of the image he sees in his consciousness, he doesn't see a
square or a triangle for example, and so we have a close agreement on
geometric congruency between his symbol in consciousness and the actual
physical referent on the table.

      So the shape of the symbol is used to encode data about and
represent the shape of the referent and there is a very close match.

      But notice that when it comes to color, the color of the symbol red
has no counterpart in the referent.  The referent, the physical universe
ball, does not have color!  What it does have is the ability to reflect
light of a certain frequency, and so color in the conscious symbol is
then hooked with the frequency of the physical reflection, and we say
the ball is red.

      The physical ball is not red, the conscious experience of the ball
is red, the physical ball is not anything, but a reflector of photons of
600 Thz.

      The conscious display of the ball is certainly red, but the
physical referent is decidedly not red at all.

      Thus 'the ball is red' is correct when talking about the conscious
symbol, but is false when talking about the alleged physical referent.

      Redness does not apply to physical objects, only conscious objects.

      What we have been discussing here is called ASSIGNMENT OF QUALITY.

      The being sees various qualities in the symbol and then assigns
them either colloquially or literally to the referent.

      Now we all know what we mean by 'a red ball', and most of us are
smart enough to know that a red ball really isn't red but is a reflector
of 600 THz light.  And most of the time we get away with collapsing the
qualities of the symbol into the qualities of the referent.

      Redness is a quality of being of the conscious symbol.

      Reflection of 600 THz light is a quality of causal relation between
the alleged physical ball and the alleged physical photon, two different
objects interacting.

      But this collapsing between symbol and referent can be carried too
far to a point of insanity, particularly when the being is no longer
able to recognize that he is looking at a symbol in the first place but
thinks instead that the symbol he sees is actually the referent.

      Beings can get so far gone they no longer realize that the symbol
is not the referent, and they no longer realize that the TRUE qualities
of the referent are different than the TRUE qualities of the symbol.

      They take the qualities of the symbol AS the qualities of the

      For example Dufus and Goober are two guys in the tank and they are
fighting a war with other tanks.  Dufus puts his finger on the TV screen
and says 'Hey look at that tank, let's shoot it!' and Goober says "Uh,
that's not a tank, thats a picture of a tank on a TV screen, you are
confusing symbol and referent!"

      Dufus says in return 'You idiot I know very well that's a TV
screen, but it's representing real tanks out in the world which we have
to shoot before they shoot us, so shoot it already!"

      You see that's sanity, Dufus is collapsing symbol and referent for
the purpose of game play, he knows he is doing it, it is the way games
are played.

      But then later after the battle, they are still in the tank toking
up preparing to rest for the night, and Goober puts on a video tape of
an old war movie through the same TV set.  Now Dufus sees the tanks in
the war movie and thinks they are actual tanks and starts to shoot

      That's not sanity.

      Sanity is knowing what referent your symbols are causally connected
to, or if they are connected to any referent at all.


      So let's take a fighter pilot whose helmet shows him a display of
the space around him projected by a laser on the inside of the helmet
visor.  These are called heads up displays and are more and more common
in modern airplanes.

      The helmet display is connected to circuitry which is connected to
cameras and advanced radar sensors on the surface of the plane.  It can
sense an enemy plane miles away, and even tell what kind of plane it is,
how fast it is flying, in what direction, how many missles it has,
whether they are armed, and whether they are aimed at him.

      Now in his heads up display he doesn't see a picture of a MIG
coming at him, but he does see a little red dot, with various data about
it printed in close proximity that tells him what he needs to know about
the nature and level of the threat.

      So the image he sees in his helmet is a symbol for the real event
happening in the outside world which he can not see, because it's too
far away.

      Now let's say one day he's flying around and suddenly the red dot
indicating a MIG turns on, and shows that it is aimed right at him and
has fired its missle already.  He takes evasive action and fires back.

      After it is all over, his high commander starts yelling at him
asking what the hell happened.  He realizes there was no MIG, he was
never in danger and the missle he fired hit a mountain side full of some
poor guy's goats.

      So was the pilot hallucinating?  Well more accurately, in this
case, his equipment was hallucinating, it was presenting to him a symbol
for a referent that did not in fact exist.

      The symbol was actual, but the fact that it was associated with a
referent was an illusion, and the pilot operated under the delusion that
the symbol was not an illusion, ie was in fact connected causally to its
proper referent.

      That is the definition of a hallucination, a symbol without a

      Hallucination is complete (and dangerous), when illusion is
compounded by the delusion that there is no illusion.  The delusion is
that the symbol is causally connected to a referent when it isn't.

      Now notice the *SYMBOL* is not an illusion, its there and actual
but the implied referent isn't there at all, the existence of the
referent is an illusion brought about by the insistence of the symbol.

      But what about when the pilot puts his plane into test mode to
verify that all the alarms work properly.  There is that red dot
indicating the MIG again, but there is no MIG as this is just a test.

      Is that a hallucination?  It LOOKS the same whether testing, in
real combat or during mal function doesn't it?

      There is no way to tell from looking at the symbol alone whether
the symbol is a hallucination or not.

      The same thing is true of the conscious unit looking at a looked

      He can be imagining it intentionally, he can be dreaming it during
sleep, or he can be seeing it because his consciousness is connected to
his body's senses which are connected to their circuitry properly.

      How does he know which is which?

      Well the point is he can't know merely by looking at the looked-at,
he has to look at the context surrounding the looked-at to tell if it is
an imagining, dream, hallucination or causal physical contact.

      The point is that whether or not the referent exists, the symbol
definitely exists.  So the 'hallucination' (the symbol), if it is one,
is ITSELF never a hallucination.

      The symbol, if seen, is always actual.

      So if a guy says he is seeing things that don't exist,
he means he is seeing symbols (conscious color forms), that
are SUPPOSED to refer to referents but which in this case are not

      He has a deep philosophical problem, all he can EVER see is the
symbol, so how does he know the referent is not there?

      Hallucination is not a thing, it is neither symbol nor referent, a
hallucination is a relationship between the looker at a symbol and his
consideration that the symbol implies a referent when the referent is

      If a conscious unit sees some thing, he sees it, no question about
it.  Whether there is a referent on the other side of the circuitry is a
whole different matter.

      So when a conscious unit says he sees a red apple, and someone asks
him 'how do you know you aren't hallucinating', the answer is 'I am not
talking about some possible referent, I am talking about the symbol, the
perceived red apple, which is WITHOUT QUESTION actual and visible to me
in my conscious display screen.'

      If he says he is seeing a red apple, he should be talking about his
conscious color form and not the physical referent, because physical
apples ARE NOT RED.

      The question of how a conscious unit knows that any symbol he
experiences has a referent causing it, is a difficult question to
answer, and may not in fact be answerable.

      In any case, what is certain is that: the conscious symbol we are
certain of, the alleged referent forever remains a theory.

      That's because one can not tell if a referent exists just
because the symbol exists and is known.

      YOu can't prove the existence of A by looking at B,
and you can't prove the existence of the referent by looking
at a symbol for the referent.

      Just notice that the whole idea that the referent EXISTS comes from
the certainty that the conscious symbol EXISTS, whbich it does, and the
person is then assigning the quality of existence to the referent
because of the directly perceived existence of the symbol.

      That is like assuming a cow is made of paper because the picture of
the cow is made of paper.


02/14/07 Wednesday 02:13am EST
Mon Apr  6 15:43:47 EDT 2015