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What is Qualia?

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Welcome to the Acqualia blog! I’m going to kick off by explaining what “qualia” actually means because I keep getting asked.

The cool thing about the universe and how we as minds relate to it is that each of us experiences things in the world in a totally unique way.

For instance, both you and I could eat two parts of the same chocolate bar, and yet the experience of tasting the chocolate will be subtlety for both of us.

I can never really know exactly how you feel about chocolate. You could try explaining it to me, but words will never convey the richness of the experience itself.

This is called the “qualia” of the chocolate, I have my own qualia of the chocolate which is completely unique, and will never be exactly the same as your qualia of the chocolate. Everything that we can relate to has a qualia, an early morning sunrise, a piece of jazz music, the smell of baking muffins.

Each of these will be experienced by each of us differently. So what does this have to do with software developing? Not much. I’ll post something on our upcoming application “Picturesque” next time.