No worries at all about sounding rude! I was a kid at the time I had those conversations with my mom and overall your reply sounds like it is good-spirited :)
I’m a little confused about what the crux of your point is, and about where, if anywhere, we disagree.
I agree that tuning in to that sort of intuitive thinking would have been appropriate.
I agree that I was pretty obtuse in my not understanding why people enjoy the beach.
I disagree that the issue that Young Adam had was rationalizing (in this case). I think it was moreso that I kinda thought that low-level models were always better.
Okay, now I feel like I understand your main point better.
I think I have just another point of view on the example. My point is that the example itself seems a bit artificial.
The human brain still is not conquered by reductionist modeling. So we don’t know yet if there is a possibility to reduce consciousness (we are talking about the feeling of joy, that means about brain and consciousness) to some systems and parts without losing crucial properties of consciousness. At any level.
Bearing that in mind, the example seems a bit meaningless in both cases:
The case where you reduced consciousness by modeling on an adequate level
The case where you reduced consciousness by modeling too low-level
I think it’s too theoretical to say what you actually did wrong if you don’t know how to do the same thing right (that is if you tried to apply reductionism in the very same conversation but in the right way).
With that said, it looks to me like you could just omit the example from life and all the context as poor evidence, leaving the statement about low-level modeling alone.