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862Re: [biopoet] Koestler on Evolution and Art/Narrative

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  • JT Velikovsky
    Aug 29, 2013
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      Mike,

      Another quote from Koestler (Ghost In The Machine, 1967) for you:

      `The evolution of life is a game played according to fixed rules which limit its possibilities but leave sufficient scope for a limitless number of variations. The rules are inherent in the basic structure of living matter; the variations derive from adaptive strategies. In other words, evolution is neither a free-for-all, nor the execution of a rigidly pre-determined computer programme.

      It should be compared to a musical composition whose possibilities are limited by the rules of harmony and the structure of the diatonic scales – which however permit an inexhaustible number of original creations. Or it could be compared to the game of chess obeying fixed rules but with equally inexhaustible variations. Lastly, the vast number of existing animal species (about one million) and the small number of major classes (about fifty) and of major phyla or divisions (about ten) could be compared with the vast number of works of literature and the small number of basic themes or plots.

      All works of literature are a variation on a limited number of leitmotivs, derived from man’s archetypal experiences and conflicts, but adapted each time to a new environment – the costumes, conventions and language of the period. Not even Shakespeare could invent an original plot. Goethe quoted with approval the Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi (author of Turandot and many other successful works), according to whom there are only thirty-six tragic situations. Goethe himself thought that there were probably even less; but their exact number is a well-kept secret among writers of fiction.

      A work of literature is constructed out of thematic holons – which, like homologue organs, need not even have a common ancestor.’ (Koestler 1989, pp. 148-9)



      Though you also have to remember -- he was writing that in 1967... (ie gotta cut him some slack there.)

      ie - If evolution *isn't* like a computer program, (also - funny how, in 1967 he calls it `programme') then - please explain the existence of this:
      http://alife.fusebox.com/
      (ie - that site is very old now - 1999... but still cool - as it has Dawkins `Biomorphs' on there... from The Blind Watchmaker, etc)

      Cheers

      JT



      On 30/08/2013 4:04 AM, JT Velikovsky wrote:
      Hi Mike

      You are *empirically incorrect* about language being non-algorithmic...

      Read Koestler's (amazing book) `Ghost In the Machine' (1967)

      GENERATING A SENTENCE

      `Psycholinguistics hasshown that the only conceivable model to represent the generation of a sentence does not work `from left to right’, but hierarchically, branching from the top downward. The diagram below is a slightly modified version of Noam Chomsky’s `phrase-structure generating grammar. This is about the simplest schema for generating a sentence.’ (Koestler 1989, p. 30)





      This is why holons and holarchies are so important.
      Everything runs on them: language, films, stories. Biology. Culture. Creativity. Everything.

      ie - This (above) is also - exactly how story (eg - film) ideas are created.

      The film industry is also a holarchy - and, operates due to: thelaws of holarchies.

      Read:

      On Holons and Holarchies

      1. StoryAlity #48 - On Film Holons and Holarchies – and How Holarchies Work
      2. StoryAlity #49 - On Movie Screenplays, Viral Memes, and Cultural Evolution
      And: nobody ever talks about them... (holons)

      ...Koestler spelt it all out for us, in 1967...

      (Yes this is all in my thesis on: Film/Screenwriting/Transmedia)

      Transmedia (ie - telling a story across more than 1 media) also works -- via, the 3 x laws of holarchies:
      http://storyality.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/storyality-64-Why-Transmedia-is-Destiny/


      Cheers

      JT


      On 29/08/2013 8:15 PM, tintner michael wrote:
       
      BB:Well then, don't talk about how you can do all this. Pick an example and actually do it. Go through the film frame-by-frame and see what's there. And figure out how to describe it. That would be far more useful than having abstract arguments over algorithms and such.
      This is absurdly negative. Forums are for exchange and development of ideas, not fully worked out books. You've actually agreed that deeper structural analysis is needed - and you won't be able to fault my start on love stories. So either comment constructively or add your own Fantasia etc ideas, wh. would no doubt be mutually productive. (Please don't tell me/others to read/search your blogs - life is short).
       
      As for algos, they are in fact extremely important. Cognitive science is based on an algo view of life - and esp. of language, wh. is of central interest to you.  Language and the arts are v. demonstrably non-algorithmic, but creative. You can't put three words together algorithmically, because those words will have infinite referents, and infinite combinations in terms of referents. And unbeknownst to  JTV, computer linguistics has utterly failed here. (You certainly can't put a scene, or a series of scenes together algorithmically).  So for you to write about the adaptivity of language as you do, without being prepared to consider its [non-]algorithmicity/formulaicity/compositionality is absurd. *
       
      We are talking about two fundamentally opposed paradigms here. You can't discuss the scientific value of the arts, to which people here are committed, without considering these matters. But I won't press this more. 
       
      P.S. *Arguably, a concept [in language] is a mini-script - as Barsalou might agree.
       
       
       

      -- 
      -----------------------
      
      JT Velikovsky
      Film/Story/Screenplay/Transmedia Analyst
      http://storyality.wordpress.com/
      
      and Transmedia Writer-Director-Producer: 
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      Transmedia Writing Blog: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/
      
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      aka: JT Velikovsky
      Research Student & Filmmaker 
      Doctorate of Creative Arts - Feature Film / Screenwriting
      School of Humanities and Communication Arts
      University of Western Sydney
      
      This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. 
      
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      -- 
      -----------------------
      
      JT Velikovsky
      Film/Story/Screenplay/Transmedia Analyst
      http://storyality.wordpress.com/
      
      and Transmedia Writer-Director-Producer: 
      Movies, Games, TV, Theatre, Books, Comics
      
      Transmedia Writing Blog: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/
      
      Free Screenwriting TextBook: http://www.lulu.com/shop/joe-velikovsky/feature-film-screenwriters-workbook/ebook/product-20376941.html
      
      Transmedia Comic-Fantasy Novel: http://am-so-as.webs.com/
      
      Email: joetv@...
      Also: joetv@...
      Skype: joe.tee.vee
      Twitter: @joeteevee
      
      Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2853350/
      Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Velikovsky
      YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/joeteevee
      
      aka: JT Velikovsky
      Research Student & Filmmaker 
      Doctorate of Creative Arts - Feature Film / Screenwriting
      School of Humanities and Communication Arts
      University of Western Sydney
      
      This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. 
      
      If you have received this email in error please notify joetv@...
      This footnote also confirms that this email message has been checked for known viruses
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