Big Mood: Peli's theory of vibe

suspended

Well-known member
Peli has dropped the first chapter of his manuscript-in-progress, Big Mood: A Transcendental-Computational Essay on Art


It is a continuation of his ongoing work on vibe. There are some connections here which are relevant to Mvuent's recent thread:


I can't summarize it yet because the argument is sophisticated and weaving itself in my mind, but I will provide some excerpts
 

suspended

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> Poetry, as we’ll have it, was invented when Percy Byshe Shelley couldn’t shake a friend’s half-joking argument about the uselessness of poets in an age of scientists and statesmen. ‘Excited to a sacred rage,’ Shelley proposed a radical new theory about the human animal’s capacity to build sustainable worlds, lives, and meanings: We have, for all the defects of our nature, a good ear for what clicks. The selves, ideas, relationships, cultures, and sciences we build hold by a kind of clicking of mind, language, and nature -- an onto-somethingness, a resonance, a pleasurable hint of an unspeakable coherence. Art, and poetry especially, is partial speech of this unspeakable coherence.
 

suspended

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> Our best and happiest world-making, life-making, meaning-making games are running out of oxygen in the tightening circle of the manifest and scientific images, or turning into dogmatism, occultism, and nostalgia. This crisis can’t and won’t be everyone’s -- a hobby or religion is, after all, the heart of a heartless world. Still, a lot of us don't talk like we’re whiling away the hours in complex social-coordination games around the raw psychology of meaningfulness-feelings. It’s good to ask ourselves why...


> One way to think about the world-image this book calls poetry is as the thesis that, in fact, what lifeworlds need is more like the coherence of a work of art: not Kant’s strange pantomime of metaphysical ascent, but the interconnectedness of Baumgarten’s ‘beautiful thinking.’
 

suspended

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> A poem, or ‘beautiful thinking’, is a network of interconnected images, feelings, and apprehensions that achieves a kind of rational completeness in its density, diversity, and harmony.
 

suspended

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> For Baumgarten, studying poetry demonstrated that anything we can think explicitly -- not just concrete objects but patterns, comparisons, abstractions, expectations, generalizations, values, relations -- we can also think ineffably. Concluding that this calls for a new field of study, Baumgarten coined the term ‘aesthetics’ as a name for the philosophy of sensate (i.e. imagistic, sensory, intuitive, ineffable) cognition... for all that ‘aesthetics’ quickly came to mean the study of beauty or taste after Baumgarten, it’s useful to remember that for Baumgarten good poetry was nothing but good thinking of a special kind, making aesthetics a subfield of logic.

> Baumgarten’s theory of good poetry had a kind of absurd, computer-sciencey brilliance to it: good poetry is simply a large quantity of sensate thought. The trick to this absurd-sounding idea is that to think a lot but all at once we have to think associatively, self-referentially, vividly, temporally, spatially, emotionally, analogically, particularly, generally, recursively -- anything and everything that keeps our thoughts interconnected in a living whole. And these interconnections themselves, as we grasp them, not only maintain the manifold but enter into it as ineffable thoughts of relations, and then as ineffable thoughts of relations of (ineffable thoughts of) relations and so on, until we reach the fullness of ‘beautiful thinking.’ Even our experience of the poem’s beauty, finally, is the ineffable thought of the overall interconnection of the manifold of ineffable thought, completing the beautiful thought with thought of its own beauty. For Baumgarten, thought coming to the thought of its own beauty was a kind of sensate QED: our faculty of (sensate) reason recognizing the completeness of a thought.
 

luka

Well-known member
partly cos it's so long partly cos it's so badly written partly cos it's boring. but having said all that he might be right. i can't say for sure cos i couldn't read it.
 

suspended

Well-known member
partly cos it's so long partly cos it's so badly written partly cos it's boring. but having said all that he might be right. i can't say for sure cos i couldn't read it.
Just read the excerpts it's all explained very clearly in them, I believe in you
So meaning-density is what he argues is the main success metric for poetry?
Something like that, but think more "subjective worlds" and a coherence that goes beyond a scientific or causal image of the world
 

Leo

Well-known member
What's with the recent obsession with Poetix, Gus? You seem to be frequently seeking his validation.
 

suspended

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Well, I'm not denying that I would love to be validated by a scholar as eminent as Poetix, however, this is strictly business. He's pals with Peli and probably has existing thoughts on vibe theory
 

suspended

Well-known member
Cognition is fundamentally compressive, predictive, statistical. We are good regulators of our environment, and this means math. Math math math. Math embodied in our organs, our hormone cycles, the firing of neurons.
 

Clinamenic

The Wild Drunkard
Ultimately I with you here, but I would still assert that math like all other conceptual frameworks are part of the map and not the territory. I think even percepts like visual input are still more map than territory.
 
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