c * (positive qualia -negative qualia) + (1-c)* (total complexity of pattern)

From: Metaqualia (metaqualia@mynichi.com)
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 13:29:30 MST

> c * (positive qualia -negative qualia) + (1-c)* (total complexity of
> pattern)

This is exactly where my theory leads in the real world, in which you will
inevitably produce both negative and positive qualia whenever you move a

About pattern complexity: unfortunately there is no way to test the
assumption behind your equation (although intuitively I think it's right),
namely, that more complex beings experience more powerful qualia. Since
qualia are created by the brain, it would be reasonable to believe that more
brains = more qualia. However, it is possible that when we know what
mechanisms do create qualia, we will discover they are present in most or
all animals with a nervous system or that they do not require very complex
cognitive architectures or that they don't scale proportionally with brain
size. Since the strongest qualia are associated with very low-level
low-information responses (cutting off a limb, orgasms, fear) we may just
find that starfish are the most sensitive creatures in the known universe.
On the other hand, if you look at other physical phenomena, most of them are
scalable with the size of the object. Gravity scales well with mass,
magnetic fields etc. all scale well, you don't find many effects in the real
world that are independent of the scale of the cause (of course one could
name some exceptions such as nuclear reactions where obviously stuff is
So while my intuition is that qualia should scale with brain size, I am not
sure of it, and it could very well depend on specific architectures. So the
conservative thing to do for now is look at how a being responds to a
stimulus, and the stronger the response, the more intense the sensation it
is probably experiencing.

Another thorny issue is the positive qualia vs. negative qualia one.
Although they are opposite you can't really trade one for the other. Things
get more complicated when you have more than one individual involved. Is it
right to cut A's finger so that B's arm remains intact?

We need a quick fix until we get enough technology to preserve both the
finger and the arm, and then we'll be problem free.

My quick fix is:

-Prioritize larger brain beings (us) only when a trade off between our
finger/their paw is absolutely necessary (kill the bear before it eats you,
but then you shouldn't have been there in the first place)

-Great amounts of negative qualia inflicted to lower beings for sake of
higher beings' positive qualia are immoral (no more frying of live animals)

-Small amounts of negative qualia inflicted to same or lower beings for sake
of same or higher beings' great amounts of positive qualia are justifiable
(take 1 billion $ away from bill gates and divide it up among the starving
african tribes)

-Moral imperative to create the technology that will make this quick fix

You will notice that "great" and "small" are not objective terms, are they
are not meant to be because this is a quick fix and not the definition of
morality. Possibly, defining "perfect objective morality" is easier than
defining the arrow of morality. Perfect morality is when you have 0 negative
qualia in the universe and a lot of positive qualia.

I still don't know if this can be 100% objective but it satisfies me to at
least 90% and it's a lot better than current moral theories as far as I


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