#021 - Andres Gomez Emilsson (Consciousness and Qualia Realism)
Andres Gomez Emilsson is a consciousness researcher and data science engineer with a Master's in computational psychology from Stanford University.
He is a member of the Qualia Research Institute and runs the blog Qualia Computing.
My friend James Ormrod joined me to chat with Andres about many different aspects of his work and passion: What qualia are and the goals of Qualia Computing; transhumanist philosophy and why philosophy is important; questions of spirituality, happiness and personal identity; the current state of consciousness research, the hard and important questions in the field and Andres' outlook for the future; theories of time and time perception; why boredom is interesting; psychedelics and inherent geometries found within altered states; Andres' thoughts on Ibogaine, opiates and lesser known psychedelics; non-drug consciousness technologies; the philosophy of David Pearce and why we should eliminate suffering via technology; and a few sneaky tangents as per usual.
" By the way, I realized I screwed up about the "real problem of consciousness". Here is a little correction:
- The ‘real problem‘ of consciousness is whether consciousness has crisp formal structure, or not;
- The ‘important problem‘ of consciousness is what makes some experiences feel better than others.
As you can see, 'important' is the one involving hedonic tone and taking care of ethics. 'Real', instead, is an allusion to the fact that formalizing the solvable problems of consciousness, a science of qualia will redefine our framework to talk about any "hard problem of consciousness". And this is not a way to dismiss the importance of consciousness. Rather, it is for the purpose of having a granular language to discuss it and establish value equivalences across other-wise unintelligible qualia varieties.
Theories of Consciousness @ Science of Consciousness 2018
QC "Burning Man" article which talks about personal identity
Podcast on Buddhism with Daniel Ingram
ELI5 “The Hyperbolic Geometry of DMT Experiences”
David Pearce and the Hedonistic Imperative
Penfield Mood Organ
Andre's Work and Collaborations:
Support Andres and Qualia Computing:
Recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand