I can explain why I like some things but not others.

I don't believe you can. All you can do is point to surface features like 'I like how red the explosions in Star Wars are and the feeling you get when they win at the last moment', all of which is merely description of the parts you like and not what actually you like, and which do not serve to convey the qualia. If someone who just saw flickering lights on the screen asked you why you liked movies and that's what you said, they would not be satisfied any more than you would be satisfied by a music fan going 'the 4/8th time and the timpanni descending into a glissando in the third measure thrill my heart, and that is why I like music'.

If you really want to know what red looks like, you could try getting your hands on a psychedelic; they seems to be heavily linked to musical enjoyment.

Psychedelics are not interchangeable for this purpose, and if it weren't for the war on drugs they could probably be used for some interesting science on auditory processing. Information from TIHKAL on two otherwise not unusual psychedelics with specific auditory effects:

N,N-diisopropyltryptamine specifically messes with pitch perception in such a way as to destroy the perception of harmony. From one of the experience reports: "No effects were noted with respect to clarity of speech, and both comprehension and interpretation were normal. Music was ren... (read more)

1lavalamp7yGenerally, sentences that start out "I (don't) like X because" and don't finish with a description of neuronal states are, with highish probability, confabulation. :)

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments


This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.