Would A Neurological Zombie Dream About Qualia?:Part 4

Would A Neurological Zombie Dream About Qualia?:Part 4

Memories, Time and Qualia that Returned



When I came to be a human again from being a zombie at midnight in the residential area, I managed to come back to my house without having to meet anyone.
When I opened the door to the living room, so to calm myself down, I heard someone say:
“I’ve been waiting for you, sir”.
When I looked up, I saw an old guy I’d never seen before sitting on the sofa.
“You finally came back”.

“What. Who is this, sir?”
“No no, who are you!”

“Hahaha, you were being lured” said the old guy, grinning.
“You don’t remember me, sir?”

“I recognize the voice. Are you that old zombie guy who bit me out of nowhere yesterday?”

I remembered now.
Everything started out with this old zombie guy.

Wait, remember?
I remember zombies cannot have qualia; but can they memorize things?
Can they remember things?

In the last post, I explained about the difference in perception between humans and zombies(animals)when seen things.
Zombies and animals identify the real world directly and respond to it.
A frog, the moment it identifies a fly, extends its tongue and catches it.
It only responds to the real world.

The real world is ever-changing.
What zombies identify is a moment of “now”.
They cannot keep “now”.
It can be said that zombies live in eternal present.

Humans, on the other hand, rebuild a virtual world and identify it.
Not the real world that is constantly changing, but a virtual world that has been exactly replicated from the world itself.
We identify the changing real world by keeping it for a moment and identify it.
That’s how we store the world perceived as it is.
This is memory.

It is when one returns a memory stored back to the virtual world and consciousness identifies it.

This is remembering.
With qualia, we can memorize and remember things.


As explained in the last post, anyone can learn without qualia.
Even if rigor mortis has set in, one will learn to do the zombie walk properly.
But if one is learning, one should be memorizing something.
What is the difference between memories with qualia and those without qualia?

In a case without qualia, there is only the stream of action.
Learning in the stream of action leads adjusting of actions to the real world.
To make sure that a frog which missed catching flies can catch one in the next time, it will adjust the timing of identifying a fly to extending the tongue shorter.
It can be said as adjusting of parameters.
What one remembers is the ways in which one’s body responds to the real world.
How to walk and how to ride a bike, such as things that can be memorized in one’s body, or things that can be memorized without qualia.

Humans, on the other hand, memorize the perceived world itself.
We can also memorize what happens in the real world.
We can memorize events such as a memory of a school trip and a graduation ceremony.
This is also called episodic memory.
Thanks to the ability of memorization, humans became able to understand the concept of time.


Then, what does it mean to understand space or time?

Human consciousness identifies a virtual world which is a replica of the real world.
A virtual world has a three-dimensional platform.
A three-dimensional platform is where one can place 3D objects.
To be able to place such 3D objects and control them properly, is to understand the three-dimensional world.
3D objects refer to qualia of “a desk” or “a chair”.
One can move “a desk” and “a chair” on a three-dimensional platform.
One cannot place qualia of “pain” a three-dimensional platform, because “pain” is not a object to be place on a space.
This is what I mean by, to understand the concept of a three-dimensional space.


Likewise, concepts of the present, the past, and the future are placed on a timeline platform.
On this platform, the same objects change alongside the time line leading up from the past, the present to the future.

Humans are born, grow into adults, and age.
A glass cup that fell from the desk crashes on the floor and scatters.
This is how time flows.
Objects placed on a timeline platform change according to the timeline.
It will feel strange to go backwards.
It will feel strange to have the scattered remnants of the glass change into a cup.
It will feel strange to have a desk turn into a chair when the time passes.
This is how you know you understand the concept of time.


When one loses qualia, one will lose the sense that one lives in the three-dimensional world.
One will live in eternal present in which one only responds to the real world.
One will lose the concept of time, too.
No remembering of the past, or no imagining of the future.
This is the kind of world that zombies live in.


I see, without qualia, one cannot memorize nor can one have the sense of time anymore.
That’s why I couldn’t remember the time I was a zombie when I had come back to being a human.
Speaking of, I can’t even recall the past slowly even though I came back to being a human.
It probably means I’m losing qualia.
Perhaps the next time I become a zombie, I won’t be able to come back to being a human again.

Well, I learned a lot about qualia this time.
It was very fruitful…
Wait, what am I saying now?

“Hey, old man. Do something about my body!”

“Muhahaha, I knew you’re gonna say that!”
“That’s why I came here today” said the man and brought out a bin from his pocket.
“Drink this and you can go back to being a human.”

“What. I didn’t know such drug existed.” I thought and snatched the bin.
When I looked at the label on it, I slowly started to see the desk and sofa disappearing.
It seemed as if qualia is slowly disappearing.
I was about to turn into a zombie again.
I can’t ever be a human again if I turn into a zombie once more.

I couldn’t tell where I was or what time it was anymore.
No, I didn’t have the concept of “where” or “when” anymore.
I couldn’t tell which way was up or down.
I couldn’t feel the boundary between myself and the world.
Time and space and everything started to melt; only the lips of the grinning old guy remained  like that of the Cheshire Cat, on the edge of the world.
At the last minute I managed to say “I will take this” and drank the drug in one sip.

When I came to, the figure of the old guy was beginning to form little by little.
Myself and the world was falling apart.
Time began to flow again.
It seemed like qualia has returned to my world again.




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