Women Don't Ask PDF Free Download

  1. Wild Women Don't Get The Blues
  2. Women Don't Ask PDF Free Download
  3. Finer Women Don't Haze
  4. Women Don' T Ask Pdf Free Download Windows 7

Women don’t want a nice guy!” Women, on the other hand, are quite clear about their ideas, their expectations, their desires, and their wants, and a quick glance of many of the women writing. Women Don’t Like to Negotiate. In surveys, 2.5 times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating. Men initiate negotiations about four times as often as women. When asked to pick metaphors for the process of negotiating, men picked “winning a ballgame” and a “wrestling match,” while women.

  • Bill Benzon
In the early 1970s I discovered that “Kubla Khan” had a rich, marvelous, and fantastically symmetrical structure. I'd found myself intellectually. I knew what I was doing. I had a specific intellectual mission: to find the mechanisms behind “Kubla Khan.” As defined, that mission failed, and still has not been achieved some 40 odd years later.
It's like this: If you set out to hitch rides from New York City to, say, Los Angeles, and don't make it, well then your hitch-hike adventure is a failure. But if you end up on Mars instead, just what kind of failure is that? Yeah, you’re lost. Really really lost. But you’re lost on Mars! How cool is that!
Of course, it might not actually be Mars. It might just be an abandoned set on a studio back
1,052 Followers327 FollowingTotal Views
  • More
From the book flap: We tend to think of the arts as luxuries rather than necessities, and as inve... more From the book flap: We tend to think of the arts as luxuries rather than necessities, and as inventions of society rather than evolution. Yet the origin of musical ability was a turning point in the evolution of modern humans. Every culture, without exception, has some form of music. Is this really a luxury or does it answer some basic biological need? If so, what? In Beethoven's Anvil, William Benzon takes up the fascinating and unexplored link between music and the brain. Among early humans, he says, there was no distinction between music, dance, ritual and religion—they were all part of the same activity, and this activity used every part of the conscious brain. Language, movement, vision, emotion, hearing, touch and social interaction were all involved. In fact, Benzon argues, music is necessary precisely because it engages so many different parts of the brain. It literally keeps the brain in tune with itself and with the brains of others. The ultimate form of musical experience is that feeling of oneness with a larger entity that we identify as transcendent religious experience. We feel this way because that’s precisely what the brain is doing: becoming one with a larger unit, the human tribe. [Contains final drafts of chapters 2, Musical Coupling, and 3, Fireflies: Dynamics and Brain States, the central theoretical chapters]
PaperRank:
Computer visualization is used to make television commercials, manipulate art images, enhance inf... more Computer visualization is used to make television commercials, manipulate art images, enhance information from satellites and spy planes, let us 'fly over' distant planets, design skyscrapers, see the brain at work, develop mathematical theories, and understand the cosmos. It is revolutionizing the visual and design arts, architecture, engineering, the biological and physical sciences, mathematics, publishing, and entertainment - every field that utilizes images. With more than 200 illustrations, many specially created, and including 136 reproduced in full colour, this book is a resource for learning not only how phenomena are being visualized today, but also how the barrier between man and computer is dissolving - making possible new kinds of thinking in the arts, science, medicine, communications and entertainment.
PaperRank:
Measurement of Cultural Evolution, by David Hays
A review and synthesis of the cross-cultural literature on cultural complexity written by the lat... more A review and synthesis of the cross-cultural literature on cultural complexity written by the late David G. Hays.
PaperRank:
Spreadsheet containing the data for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the N... more Spreadsheet containing the data for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate World.
PaperRank:
A brief read-me file for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate... more A brief read-me file for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate World.
PaperRank:
I’m currently working on a long article in which I review two recent critiques of computational c... more I’m currently working on a long article in which I review two recent critiques of computational criticism (one by Nan Z. Da and the other by Franco Moretti and Oleg Sobchuk). Moretti and Sobchuk introduce cultural evolution into their discussion, but don’t say much about it, and I’m suspect that their audience, and mine, is unfamiliar with current work in the area. Accordingly I’ve decided to prepare a brief appendix to serve as a guide. Since I will be citing my own work in my article, and further developing my views, I do not mention it in this guide.
PaperRank:
Moffett surveys a wide literature on human and non-human society and produces a useful synthesis ... more Moffett surveys a wide literature on human and non-human society and produces a useful synthesis of the literature. While written for general readers, this book will repay academic specialists of various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Moffett is interested in what constitutes society: how do we differentiate between insiders and outsiders? He surveys the animal world and the follows the insider/outsider distinction in the evolution of human societies from hunter-gatherer groups to the current day.
PaperRank:
What economists have identified as stagnation over the last few decades can also be interpreted a... more What economists have identified as stagnation over the last few decades can also be interpreted as the cost of continuing successful engagement with a complex world that is not set up to serve human interests. Two arguments: 1) The core argument holds that elasticity (ß) in the production function for economic growth is best interpreted as a function of the interaction between the economic entity (firm, industry, the economy as a whole) and particular aspects the larger world: physical scale in the case of semi-conductor development, biological organization in the case of drug discovery. 2) A larger argument interprets current stagnation as the shoulder of a growth curve in the evolution of culture through a succession of fundamental stages in underlying cognitive architecture. New stages develop over old through a process of reflective abstraction (Piaget) in which the mechanisms of earlier stages become objects for manipulation and deployment for the emerging stage.
PaperRank:
With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationali... more With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationalization first appeared in ancient Greece, theorization in Renaissance Italy, and model building in twentieth-century Europe. These processes employ the methods of metaphor, metalingual definition, algorithm, and control, respectively. The intellectual and practical achievements of populations guided by the several processes and exploiting the different mechanisms differ so greatly as to warrant separation into cultural ranks. The fourth rank is not completely formed, while regions of the world and parts of every population continue to operate by the processes of earlier ranks.
PaperRank:
This is a brief guide to the various papers and books that William Benzon and David Hays have wri... more This is a brief guide to the various papers and books that William Benzon and David Hays have written about the long-term evolution of culture. Much of the work is descriptive in that it characterizes a variety of cultural phenomena at four different cultural Ranks as characterized by the conceptual mechanisms available to the culture but does not attempt to describe the causal process by which these mechanism have evolved in human history. The ranks have numerical designations that align with widely recognized historical epochs: Rank 1, preliterate; Rank 2, literacy; Rank 3, post-Renaissance West, industrialism; and Rank 4, 20th century. Ranges of phenomena considered: basic cognition and thinking, narrative, music, expressive culture, technology, forms of governance and economic organization. The approach is briefly contrasted with work by Robert Wright, Richard Dawkins, Boyd and Richerson, and others.
PaperRank:
Narratives bring a range of disparate behavioral modes before the conscious self. Preliterate nar... more Narratives bring a range of disparate behavioral modes before the conscious self. Preliterate narratives consist of a loose string of episodes where each episode, or small group of episodes, displays a single mode. With literacy comes the ability to construct long narratives in which the episodes are tightly structured so as to exhibit a character's essential nature. Complex strands of episodes are woven together into a single narrative, with flashbacks being common. The emergence of the novel makes it possible to depict personal growth and change. Intimacy, a private sphere of sociality, emerges as both a mode of experience depicted within novels and as a mode in which people read novels. The novelist constructs a narrator to structure experience for reorganization.
PaperRank:
Sémiotique de la musique / Music and Meaning, 2015
An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it ... more An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it functions to coordinate the activities of musicians who are playing together it can be called a coordinator. It is a complex coordinator in that it is organized on five or six levels, each of which contains coordinators that function in other musical contexts. Musicians do not acquire (that is, learn) such a coordinator through “transfer” from one brain to another. Rather, they learn to construct it from publically available performance materials. This particular entity is derived from George Gershwin’s tune “I Got Rhythm” and is the harmonic trajectory of that tune. But it only attained independent musical status after about two decades of performances. Being a coordinator is thus not intrinsic to the entity itself, but is rather a function of how it comes to be used in the musical system. Recent argument suggests that biological genes are like this as well.
PaperRank:
The two books under review ask us to think about complementary aspects of religion: social group ... more The two books under review ask us to think about complementary aspects of religion: social group and symbolic order. In Darwin’s Cathedral David Sloan Wilson examines religious beliefs as biological adaptations for group living; he writes for an intellectually sophisticated general audience. Writing for specialists—the literature review is a sure sign, James L. Pearson sets out to find the nature of rock art in Shamanism and the Ancient Mind. He considers rock art within a psycho-cultural framework that gives his argument general interest.
Wilson tackles religion head-on, arguing that it provides the bio-cultural cohesive force that binds individual humans into coherent groups that function as a single organism. He is thus updating an old metaphor—society as organism—by explicating it in terms of group selection, arguing that the causal structure of evolution forces us to regard human groups as unitary evolutionary actors.
Pearson’s purview is more limited. He is not concerned about religion in general, nor about human society, nor even about evolution. He is interested in the symbolic and ritual proclivities of the human mind as it is revealed in the activities of a particular kind of religious specialist, the shaman. Still more specifically, he focuses on rock art, arguing that it is derived from shamanic visions which, in turn, follow patterns inherent in the visual nervous system.
PaperRank:
Underwood and Sellers have discovered that over the course of roughly a century (1820-1919) Anglo... more Underwood and Sellers have discovered that over the course of roughly a century (1820-1919) Anglo-American poetry has undergone a consistent change in style in a direction favored by editors and reviewers of elite journals. This directional shift aligns with the one Matthew Jockers found in Anglophone novels during roughly the same period (from the beginning of the 19th century to its end). I argue that this change is characteristic of a cultural evolutionary process and sketch a way to simulate such a process as an interaction between a population of texts and a population of writers. I suggest that such directionality is a sign of autonomy in the aesthetic system, that it is not completely coupled to and subsumed by surrounding historical events.
PaperRank:
Matthew Jockers has analyzed a corpus of 19th century American and British novels (Macroanalysis ... more Matthew Jockers has analyzed a corpus of 19th century American and British novels (Macroanalysis 2013). Using standard techniques from natural language processing (NLP) Jockers created a 600-dimensional design space for a corpus of 3300 novels. There is no temporal information in that space, but when the novels are grouped according to close similarity that grouping generates a diagonal through the space that, upon inspection, is aligned with the direction of time. That implies that the process that created those novels is a directional one. Certain (kinds of) novels are necessarily earlier than others because that is how the causal mechanism (whatever they are) work. This result has implications for our understanding of cultural evolution in general and of the relationship between cultural evolution and biological evolution.
PaperRank:
Culture is implemented in a material and biological substrate but has a distinct ontology and its... more Culture is implemented in a material and biological substrate but has a distinct ontology and its phenomena belong to a distinct order of temporality. The evolution of culture proceeds by random variation among coordinators, the cultural parallel to biological genes, and selective retention of phantasms, the cultural parallel to biological phenotypes. Taken together phantasms and a package or envelope of coordinators constitute a cultural being. In at least the case of 19th century American and British novels, cultural evolution has a direction, as demonstrated by the analytical work of Matthew Jockers (Macroanalysis 2013). While we can think of cultural evolution as a phenomenon that happens in history, it is at the same time a force that influences human life. It is thus a force IN history. This is illustrated by considering the history of the European novel from the 19th century and into the 20th century and in the evolution of popular musical styles in 20th century American music, in which interaction between African American and European American populations has been important. Ultimately, the evolution of culture can be thought of as the evolution of mind.
PaperRank:
An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it ... more An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it functions to coordinate the activities of musicians who are playing together it can be called a coordinator. It is a complex coordinator in that it is organized on five or six levels, each of which contains coordinators that function in other musical contexts. Musicians do not acquire (that is, learn) such a coordinator through “transfer” from one brain to another. Rather, they learn to construct it from publically available performance materials. This particular entity is derived from George Gershwin’s tune “I Got Rhythm” and is the harmonic trajectory of that tune. But it only attained independent musical status after about two decades of performances. Being a coordinator is thus not intrinsic to the entity itself, but is rather a function of how it comes to be used in the musical system. Recent argument suggests that biological genes are like this as well.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 1990
While science has accepted biological evolution through natural selection, there is no generally ... more While science has accepted biological evolution through natural selection, there is no generally agreed explanation for why evolution leads to ever more complex organisms. Evolution yields organismic complexity because the universe is, in its very fabric, inherently complex, as suggested by Ilya Prigogine's work on dissipative structures. Because the universe is complex, increments in organismic complexity yield survival benefits: (1) more efficient extraction of energy and matter, (2) more flexible response to vicissitudes, (3) more effective search. J.J. Gibson's ecological psychology provides a clue to the advantages of sophisticated information processing while the lore of computational theory suggests that a complex computer is needed efficiently to perform complex computations (i.e. sophisticated information processing).
PaperRank:
With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationali... more With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationalization first appeared in ancient Greece, theorization in Renaissance Italy, and model building in twentieth-century Europe. These processes employ the methods of metaphor, metalingual definition, algorithm, and control, respectively. The intellectual and practical achievements of populations guided by the several processes and exploiting the different mechanisms differ so greatly as to warrant separation into cultural ranks. The fourth rank is not completely formed, while regions of the world and parts of every population continue to operate by the processes of earlier ranks. It is the continued emergence of fourth rank and even fifth rank cognition that constitutes the coming singularity, not the emergence of “superintelligent” computers, whatever they may be.
PaperRank:
These notes are in preparation for a post I will make on 5 July 2010 at the Forum on the website ... more These notes are in preparation for a post I will make on 5 July 2010 at the Forum on the website the National Humanities Center. I have been posting them on my blog, New Savanna (see URL below). My Forum post will, of course, be an independent and free-standing document; but it will be based largely on ideas in these posts and in the three further posts I am planning to do in the “workshop” phase of this project. It is possible, of course, that my ideas will change when writing the Forum post, but I do not anticipate drastic changes.
Note: I have added a new post on memes to version 2: RESET: Where Are Memes? It modifies the position I elaborated in CE 3, 4, 5, and 8.
PaperRank:
From the book flap: We tend to think of the arts as luxuries rather than necessities, and as inve... more From the book flap: We tend to think of the arts as luxuries rather than necessities, and as inventions of society rather than evolution. Yet the origin of musical ability was a turning point in the evolution of modern humans. Every culture, without exception, has some form of music. Is this really a luxury or does it answer some basic biological need? If so, what? In Beethoven's Anvil, William Benzon takes up the fascinating and unexplored link between music and the brain. Among early humans, he says, there was no distinction between music, dance, ritual and religion—they were all part of the same activity, and this activity used every part of the conscious brain. Language, movement, vision, emotion, hearing, touch and social interaction were all involved. In fact, Benzon argues, music is necessary precisely because it engages so many different parts of the brain. It literally keeps the brain in tune with itself and with the brains of others. The ultimate form of musical experience is that feeling of oneness with a larger entity that we identify as transcendent religious experience. We feel this way because that’s precisely what the brain is doing: becoming one with a larger unit, the human tribe. [Contains final drafts of chapters 2, Musical Coupling, and 3, Fireflies: Dynamics and Brain States, the central theoretical chapters]
PaperRank:
Computer visualization is used to make television commercials, manipulate art images, enhance inf... more Computer visualization is used to make television commercials, manipulate art images, enhance information from satellites and spy planes, let us 'fly over' distant planets, design skyscrapers, see the brain at work, develop mathematical theories, and understand the cosmos. It is revolutionizing the visual and design arts, architecture, engineering, the biological and physical sciences, mathematics, publishing, and entertainment - every field that utilizes images. With more than 200 illustrations, many specially created, and including 136 reproduced in full colour, this book is a resource for learning not only how phenomena are being visualized today, but also how the barrier between man and computer is dissolving - making possible new kinds of thinking in the arts, science, medicine, communications and entertainment.
PaperRank:
A review and synthesis of the cross-cultural literature on cultural complexity written by the lat... more A review and synthesis of the cross-cultural literature on cultural complexity written by the late David G. Hays.
PaperRank:
Spreadsheet containing the data for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the N... more Spreadsheet containing the data for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate World.
PaperRank:
A brief read-me file for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate... more A brief read-me file for David G. Hays, The Measurement of Cultural Evolution in the Non-Literate World.
PaperRank:
I’m currently working on a long article in which I review two recent critiques of computational c... more I’m currently working on a long article in which I review two recent critiques of computational criticism (one by Nan Z. Da and the other by Franco Moretti and Oleg Sobchuk). Moretti and Sobchuk introduce cultural evolution into their discussion, but don’t say much about it, and I’m suspect that their audience, and mine, is unfamiliar with current work in the area. Accordingly I’ve decided to prepare a brief appendix to serve as a guide. Since I will be citing my own work in my article, and further developing my views, I do not mention it in this guide.
PaperRank:
Moffett surveys a wide literature on human and non-human society and produces a useful synthesis ... more Moffett surveys a wide literature on human and non-human society and produces a useful synthesis of the literature. While written for general readers, this book will repay academic specialists of various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Moffett is interested in what constitutes society: how do we differentiate between insiders and outsiders? He surveys the animal world and the follows the insider/outsider distinction in the evolution of human societies from hunter-gatherer groups to the current day.
PaperRank:
What economists have identified as stagnation over the last few decades can also be interpreted a... more What economists have identified as stagnation over the last few decades can also be interpreted as the cost of continuing successful engagement with a complex world that is not set up to serve human interests. Two arguments: 1) The core argument holds that elasticity (ß) in the production function for economic growth is best interpreted as a function of the interaction between the economic entity (firm, industry, the economy as a whole) and particular aspects the larger world: physical scale in the case of semi-conductor development, biological organization in the case of drug discovery. 2) A larger argument interprets current stagnation as the shoulder of a growth curve in the evolution of culture through a succession of fundamental stages in underlying cognitive architecture. New stages develop over old through a process of reflective abstraction (Piaget) in which the mechanisms of earlier stages become objects for manipulation and deployment for the emerging stage.
PaperRank:
With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationali... more With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationalization first appeared in ancient Greece, theorization in Renaissance Italy, and model building in twentieth-century Europe. These processes employ the methods of metaphor, metalingual definition, algorithm, and control, respectively. The intellectual and practical achievements of populations guided by the several processes and exploiting the different mechanisms differ so greatly as to warrant separation into cultural ranks. The fourth rank is not completely formed, while regions of the world and parts of every population continue to operate by the processes of earlier ranks.
PaperRank:
This is a brief guide to the various papers and books that William Benzon and David Hays have wri... more This is a brief guide to the various papers and books that William Benzon and David Hays have written about the long-term evolution of culture. Much of the work is descriptive in that it characterizes a variety of cultural phenomena at four different cultural Ranks as characterized by the conceptual mechanisms available to the culture but does not attempt to describe the causal process by which these mechanism have evolved in human history. The ranks have numerical designations that align with widely recognized historical epochs: Rank 1, preliterate; Rank 2, literacy; Rank 3, post-Renaissance West, industrialism; and Rank 4, 20th century. Ranges of phenomena considered: basic cognition and thinking, narrative, music, expressive culture, technology, forms of governance and economic organization. The approach is briefly contrasted with work by Robert Wright, Richard Dawkins, Boyd and Richerson, and others.
PaperRank:
Narratives bring a range of disparate behavioral modes before the conscious self. Preliterate nar... more Narratives bring a range of disparate behavioral modes before the conscious self. Preliterate narratives consist of a loose string of episodes where each episode, or small group of episodes, displays a single mode. With literacy comes the ability to construct long narratives in which the episodes are tightly structured so as to exhibit a character's essential nature. Complex strands of episodes are woven together into a single narrative, with flashbacks being common. The emergence of the novel makes it possible to depict personal growth and change. Intimacy, a private sphere of sociality, emerges as both a mode of experience depicted within novels and as a mode in which people read novels. The novelist constructs a narrator to structure experience for reorganization.
PaperRank:
Sémiotique de la musique / Music and Meaning, 2015
An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it ... more An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it functions to coordinate the activities of musicians who are playing together it can be called a coordinator. It is a complex coordinator in that it is organized on five or six levels, each of which contains coordinators that function in other musical contexts. Musicians do not acquire (that is, learn) such a coordinator through “transfer” from one brain to another. Rather, they learn to construct it from publically available performance materials. This particular entity is derived from George Gershwin’s tune “I Got Rhythm” and is the harmonic trajectory of that tune. But it only attained independent musical status after about two decades of performances. Being a coordinator is thus not intrinsic to the entity itself, but is rather a function of how it comes to be used in the musical system. Recent argument suggests that biological genes are like this as well.
PaperRank:
The two books under review ask us to think about complementary aspects of religion: social group ... more The two books under review ask us to think about complementary aspects of religion: social group and symbolic order. In Darwin’s Cathedral David Sloan Wilson examines religious beliefs as biological adaptations for group living; he writes for an intellectually sophisticated general audience. Writing for specialists—the literature review is a sure sign, James L. Pearson sets out to find the nature of rock art in Shamanism and the Ancient Mind. He considers rock art within a psycho-cultural framework that gives his argument general interest.
Wilson tackles religion head-on, arguing that it provides the bio-cultural cohesive force that binds individual humans into coherent groups that function as a single organism. He is thus updating an old metaphor—society as organism—by explicating it in terms of group selection, arguing that the causal structure of evolution forces us to regard human groups as unitary evolutionary actors.
Pearson’s purview is more limited. He is not concerned about religion in general, nor about human society, nor even about evolution. He is interested in the symbolic and ritual proclivities of the human mind as it is revealed in the activities of a particular kind of religious specialist, the shaman. Still more specifically, he focuses on rock art, arguing that it is derived from shamanic visions which, in turn, follow patterns inherent in the visual nervous system.
PaperRank:
Underwood and Sellers have discovered that over the course of roughly a century (1820-1919) Anglo... more Underwood and Sellers have discovered that over the course of roughly a century (1820-1919) Anglo-American poetry has undergone a consistent change in style in a direction favored by editors and reviewers of elite journals. This directional shift aligns with the one Matthew Jockers found in Anglophone novels during roughly the same period (from the beginning of the 19th century to its end). I argue that this change is characteristic of a cultural evolutionary process and sketch a way to simulate such a process as an interaction between a population of texts and a population of writers. I suggest that such directionality is a sign of autonomy in the aesthetic system, that it is not completely coupled to and subsumed by surrounding historical events.
PaperRank:
Matthew Jockers has analyzed a corpus of 19th century American and British novels (Macroanalysis ... more Matthew Jockers has analyzed a corpus of 19th century American and British novels (Macroanalysis 2013). Using standard techniques from natural language processing (NLP) Jockers created a 600-dimensional design space for a corpus of 3300 novels. There is no temporal information in that space, but when the novels are grouped according to close similarity that grouping generates a diagonal through the space that, upon inspection, is aligned with the direction of time. That implies that the process that created those novels is a directional one. Certain (kinds of) novels are necessarily earlier than others because that is how the causal mechanism (whatever they are) work. This result has implications for our understanding of cultural evolution in general and of the relationship between cultural evolution and biological evolution.
PaperRank:
Culture is implemented in a material and biological substrate but has a distinct ontology and its... more Culture is implemented in a material and biological substrate but has a distinct ontology and its phenomena belong to a distinct order of temporality. The evolution of culture proceeds by random variation among coordinators, the cultural parallel to biological genes, and selective retention of phantasms, the cultural parallel to biological phenotypes. Taken together phantasms and a package or envelope of coordinators constitute a cultural being. In at least the case of 19th century American and British novels, cultural evolution has a direction, as demonstrated by the analytical work of Matthew Jockers (Macroanalysis 2013). While we can think of cultural evolution as a phenomenon that happens in history, it is at the same time a force that influences human life. It is thus a force IN history. This is illustrated by considering the history of the European novel from the 19th century and into the 20th century and in the evolution of popular musical styles in 20th century American music, in which interaction between African American and European American populations has been important. Ultimately, the evolution of culture can be thought of as the evolution of mind.
PaperRank:
An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it ... more An entity known as Rhythm Changes is analyzed as a genetic entity in musical culture. Because it functions to coordinate the activities of musicians who are playing together it can be called a coordinator. It is a complex coordinator in that it is organized on five or six levels, each of which contains coordinators that function in other musical contexts. Musicians do not acquire (that is, learn) such a coordinator through “transfer” from one brain to another. Rather, they learn to construct it from publically available performance materials. This particular entity is derived from George Gershwin’s tune “I Got Rhythm” and is the harmonic trajectory of that tune. But it only attained independent musical status after about two decades of performances. Being a coordinator is thus not intrinsic to the entity itself, but is rather a function of how it comes to be used in the musical system. Recent argument suggests that biological genes are like this as well.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 1990
While science has accepted biological evolution through natural selection, there is no generally ... more While science has accepted biological evolution through natural selection, there is no generally agreed explanation for why evolution leads to ever more complex organisms. Evolution yields organismic complexity because the universe is, in its very fabric, inherently complex, as suggested by Ilya Prigogine's work on dissipative structures. Because the universe is complex, increments in organismic complexity yield survival benefits: (1) more efficient extraction of energy and matter, (2) more flexible response to vicissitudes, (3) more effective search. J.J. Gibson's ecological psychology provides a clue to the advantages of sophisticated information processing while the lore of computational theory suggests that a complex computer is needed efficiently to perform complex computations (i.e. sophisticated information processing).
PaperRank:
With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationali... more With cultural evolution new processes of thought appear. Abstraction is universal, but rationalization first appeared in ancient Greece, theorization in Renaissance Italy, and model building in twentieth-century Europe. These processes employ the methods of metaphor, metalingual definition, algorithm, and control, respectively. The intellectual and practical achievements of populations guided by the several processes and exploiting the different mechanisms differ so greatly as to warrant separation into cultural ranks. The fourth rank is not completely formed, while regions of the world and parts of every population continue to operate by the processes of earlier ranks. It is the continued emergence of fourth rank and even fifth rank cognition that constitutes the coming singularity, not the emergence of “superintelligent” computers, whatever they may be.
PaperRank:
These notes are in preparation for a post I will make on 5 July 2010 at the Forum on the website ... more These notes are in preparation for a post I will make on 5 July 2010 at the Forum on the website the National Humanities Center. I have been posting them on my blog, New Savanna (see URL below). My Forum post will, of course, be an independent and free-standing document; but it will be based largely on ideas in these posts and in the three further posts I am planning to do in the “workshop” phase of this project. It is possible, of course, that my ideas will change when writing the Forum post, but I do not anticipate drastic changes.
Note: I have added a new post on memes to version 2: RESET: Where Are Memes? It modifies the position I elaborated in CE 3, 4, 5, and 8.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems , 1993
Culture elaborates expressive forms by developing ever more differentiated control over patterns ... more Culture elaborates expressive forms by developing ever more differentiated control over patterns in the expressive medium. In Rank 1 culture (preliterate) music evolves through control over rhythm. Rank 2 culture (literacy) gains control over melodic structure while Rank 3 culture (Renaissance and after) adds harmonic elaboration to rhythm and melody. Within the twentieth century jazz has followed a similar course, with rhythmic elaboration coming first with traditional jazz, then melodic control emerging with swing, and harmonic control with bop. Both classical and jazz have much music straining beyond the limits of Rank 3 harmonic control, but no clear Rank 4 forms have yet evolved.
PaperRank:
I treat a single word, Xanadu, as a “meme” and follow it from a 17th century book, to a 19th cent... more I treat a single word, Xanadu, as a “meme” and follow it from a 17th century book, to a 19th century poem (Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'), into the 20th century where it was picked up by a classic movie ('Citizen Kane'), an ongoing software development project (Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu), and another movie and hit song, Olivia Newton-John’s Xanadu. The aggregate result can be seen when you google the word, you get 6 million hits. What is interesting about those hits is that, while some of them are directly related to Coleridge's poem, more seem to be related to Nelson's software project, Olivia Newton-John’s film and song, and (indirectly) to Welles' movie. Thus one cluster of Xanadu sites is high tech while another is about luxury and excess (and then there's the Manchester Swingers Club Xanadu).
PaperRank:
In January of 2006 I participated in an online discussion of Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Trees, Maps... more In January of 2006 I participated in an online discussion of Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Trees, Maps (2007) that took place at a now-defunct blog, The Valve. I contributed a post, “One Candle, a Thousand Points of Light: Moretti and the Individual Text”, in which tracked the distribution of “Xanadu” on the web, concluding that the term seems to occur in two contexts: 1) sybaritic excess: entertainment, exotica, and opulence and 2) cybernetic connectivity: hypertext, media, the internet. This does not mean that all of the web sites associated with 'Xanadu' can be placed in one of those two categories. It only means that many of those web sites can be placed in one or another of those categories, and that those two categories are the largest groups in the list of websites returned by web searches. I further argued that the dispersion of took place in three phases: 1) Print media: 1816 into the first half of the 20th century. This is the root of the system, as it were. 2) Electronic and mass media: mid-20th century to present. 3) Digital media with world-wide provenance: mid 1990s to present.
The post generated an extensive an interesting discussion, with others offering contributions. As The Valve has now gone off line I am positing a PDF of the post AND the subsequent discussion. The PDF includes a number of imgages of things Xanadu. That discussion influenced the working paper I eventually produced, “One Candle, a Thousand Points of Light: The Xanadu Meme” (March 2010).
PaperRank:
This document collects three previously published essay reviews that discuss five books: Steven M... more This document collects three previously published essay reviews that discuss five books: Steven Mithen, The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body (2005). James L. Pearson, Shamanism and the Ancient Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Archaeology (2002). David Sloan Wilson, Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002). Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History (2005). Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson, eds. The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (2005). Taken together they cover music, drawing and painting (on rock), and literature and cover periods from human pre-history, through the emergence of modern man, to contemporary culture and society.sha
PaperRank:
Culture is an evolutionary domain in which paradigms evolve through the replication and variation... more Culture is an evolutionary domain in which paradigms evolve through the replication and variation of memes and psychological traits. In biology genes flow in such a restricted way that there is a relatively transparent relationship between genealogy and taxonomy. In culture memes are borrowed freely between lineages so that a given paradigm may have contributions from many cultures. Further, under certain conditions cultures come into such intimate contact that the process of creolization produces new paradigms within a relatively few generations. Consequently cultural taxonomy is inherently more complex than biological taxonomy. Dynamically, over the long term culture exhibits an S-shaped growth curve which reflects the proliferation of memes within cultures. Perhaps the deepest issue in cultural evolution is the Gestalt switch which happens between the highest level of one cultural rank and the beginning of the next rank.
PaperRank:
Academic literary criticism has become centered on the interpretation of meaning in literary text... more Academic literary criticism has become centered on the interpretation of meaning in literary texts. As a consequence, the profession has no consensus account of what texts are or what form is. By following tentative interest in structuralism, semiotics, and linguistics to the analysis of 'Kubla Khan' I moved deep into the cognitive sciences with an analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 129. That effectively removed me from the profession, which continued to pursue a wide variety of interpretive approaches. A 21st century discipline would retain interpretation as ethical criticism while incorporating other approaches as description, naturalistic, and computational criticism.
PaperRank:
In Permanent Crisis, Reitter and Wellmon have provided a timely account of the nineteenth century... more In Permanent Crisis, Reitter and Wellmon have provided a timely account of the nineteenth century debates in the German academy that shaped the structural armature of the modern research university. Discord and discontent are inherent in the institutional culture of the humanities, making humanists exquisitely tuned to see attacks coming at them on all fronts. The argument is illustrated and extended by observations from J. Hillis Miller, an eminent literary critic, and opportunities literary critics have missed in using the Internet to reach citizen-humanists and enrich civic life. I use Plato's The Crito and Goethe's Faust as two examples of core humanities texts that have enriched and guided my own life.
PaperRank:
Bill Benzon interviews Hollis Robbins about the African American sonnet tradition, and other thin... more Bill Benzon interviews Hollis Robbins about the African American sonnet tradition, and other things. African-American poets have loved the sonnet for 200 years, thriving in its limitations, but had to weather identity issues in the 1960s and after. Meanwhile, the blues. The sonnet was invented in 12-century Europe to soothe a lovesick soul in conflict with an earthly body. It proved ideal for Black poets negotiating their complex relationship with America. Meanwhile, the blues. Progress is born in irritation. Poets cultivate the capacity for irritation, hence their ability to drive progress. Shelley nailed it. Hollis: Humanists have a lot to tell engineers about how to design AIs to craft sonnets. Bill: But humanists haven’t developed the language needed to hold down their side of the conversation. GPT-3 challenges Marcus Christian in a contest to craft a sonnet.
PaperRank:
PsyArt: An Online Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts, 2006
Naturalist literary theory conceives of literature as an adaptive behavioral realm grounded in th... more Naturalist literary theory conceives of literature as an adaptive behavioral realm grounded in the capacities of the human brain. In the course of human history literature itself has undergone an evolution that has produced many kinds of literary work. In this article I propose nine propositions to characterize a treatment of literary form. These propositions concern neural and mental mechanisms, and literary evolution in history. Textual meaning is elastic - through not infinitely so - and constrained by form. Form indicates the computational structure of the act of reading and is the same for all readers. Over the long term, literary forms become more complex and sophisticated.
Slightly revised, 6 August, 2016, with a new appendix about obtaining neural evidence about binary oppositions.
PaperRank:
An extended consideration of Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 (2017). The story is a heist pl... more An extended consideration of Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 (2017). The story is a heist plot engineered by residents of the Met Life Building in the year 2140, when the seas had risen 50 feet. Topics: Fiction and reality, patterns, transportation infrastructure, formal order encompassing narrative chaos, politics, from the micro politics the Met Life Tower, to New York City politics, and beyond that to the nation and the world financial system. Includes photographs of the current New York skyline in which you can see the Met Life Building as it currently exists.
PaperRank:
Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections.... more Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections. In these notes I use a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques to analyze and describe it. In particular, I argue that it exhibits center- point construction, a tale within a tale within a tale, and that the story’s moral center contrasts workplace values with basic human bonds.
Version 5 added October 27, 2019
PaperRank:
Heart of Darkness (HoD) and Apocalypse Now (AN) both exhibit center point construction. Each narr... more Heart of Darkness (HoD) and Apocalypse Now (AN) both exhibit center point construction. Each narrative is constructed about a central incident that is, in effect, a précis of the whole. In HoD that incident is the death of the helmsman, into which Conrad inserted a long paragraph giving Kurtz’s history. In AN that incident is the (needless) massacre of the crew of a sampan. The two narratives, however, are thematically different. HoD is about European imperialism while AN is about the American state. These differences are reflected in differences in the ways the two narratives utilize center point construction.
PaperRank:
In 2005 Houston Baker published a short piece honoring Jacques Derrida, one of 18 in a special se... more In 2005 Houston Baker published a short piece honoring Jacques Derrida, one of 18 in a special section of PMLA. He tells a series of anecdotes about how he came to embrace deconstruction. The final anecdote is about having dinner with Derrida with a small group of colleagues. During dinner Derrida reveals an appreciation for jazz. This climactic passage exhibits inept writing and betrays ignorance about jazz. Through a close reading of these problems I indicate how fiction can serve truth, and truth is necessary for effective fiction.
PaperRank:
In 1986 J. Hillis Miller was President of the Modern Language Association (MLA). As such, he deli... more In 1986 J. Hillis Miller was President of the Modern Language Association (MLA). As such, he delivered the Presidential address to the convention that year: The Triumph of Theory, the Resistance to Reading, and the Question of the Material Base. ' It was published in due course and I submitted a letter in critique of it, asserting that under deconstruction all texts look alike, as all cats are gray in the dark. That letter was published in due course. I reproduce it below.
PaperRank:
A bit earlier in this millennium I thought it would be interesting to write a book on the paralle... more A bit earlier in this millennium I thought it would be interesting to write a book on the parallel evolution of computer culture and psychedelic culture in the United States from mid-century to the end of the millennium. I wrote up a proposal, called it Dreams of Perfection, and it went nowhere. Subsequently John Markoff and Fred Turner each published parts of the story. Now I’m publishing a slightly revised portion of that old book proposal as an independent document. I’ve cut the marketing portions of the proposal, leaving only the conceptual overview and the chapter summaries. I’d envisioned five longish chapters, one for each decade, each chapter keyed to a different film: Fantasia, Forbidden Planet, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tron, and The Matrix. I’ve retained that structure in this précis and concluded it with a consolidated chronology is significant dates.
PaperRank:
A brief and informal chronology of parallel events and key publications in the cognitive sciences... more A brief and informal chronology of parallel events and key publications in the cognitive sciences and literary criticism from the 1950s through the 1980s and into the 1990s.
PaperRank:
The author submitted an article entitled “Sharing Experience: Computation, Form, and Meaning in t... more The author submitted an article entitled “Sharing Experience: Computation, Form, and Meaning in the Work of Literature” to a top tier journal, New Literary History (NLH). The article was rejected. This working paper reads that rejection as a rejection of computational thinking that is ideological in nature rather than being grounded in any sophisticated understanding of computation. Back in the 1970s there was a brief window of intellectual opportunity when literary critics where open to the emerging cognitive sciences, but that had closed by the end of the decade. The discipline now recognizes that it needs new ideas but 1) has yet to figure out how to re-connect with the possibilities that were bypassed three decades ago, and 2) doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.
PaperRank:
Opening Paragraph: “Little Boy” is the nickname of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the en... more Opening Paragraph: “Little Boy” is the nickname of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. In Murakami’s formulation, Little Boy is also Japan in relation to the United States and the passive consumer of capitalist excess, but also the wide-eyed child of manga and anime. In this exhibition, Murakami presents a wide range of art, artifacts, and imagery and thereby stakes a claim on the artistic consciousness and con- science of the twenty-first century.
PaperRank:
We know that characters in fictions are not real but even as critics, we tend to talk about ficti... more We know that characters in fictions are not real but even as critics, we tend to talk about fictional characters in the same terms we use for real characters. This obscures the mechanisms by which fiction works. By looking at several Shakespeare plays and comparing them it becomes obvious that both characters and plot are subordinate to some as yet obscure higher level of organization. We need to develop a language and concepts for dealing with that higher level.
PaperRank:
It is by virtue of its form that a literary work constrains meaning so that it can be a vehicle f... more It is by virtue of its form that a literary work constrains meaning so that it can be a vehicle for sharing experience. Form is thus an intermediary in Latour’s sense, while meaning is a mediator. Using fragments of a cognitive network model for Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 we can distinguish between (1) the mind/brain cognitive system, (2) the text considered merely as a string of signifiers, and (3) the path one computes through (1) under constraints imposed by (2). As a text, Obama’s Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney is a ring-composition; as a performance, the central section is clearly marked by audience response. Recent work on synchronization of movement and neural activity across communicating individuals affords insight into the physical substrate of intersubjectivity. The ring-form description is juxtaposed to the performative meaning identified by Glenn Loury and John McWhorter.
PaperRank:
Inspired by online conversations between Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, I examine the negative m... more Inspired by online conversations between Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, I examine the negative message of Ta-Nehisi Coates though comparisons with Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and Barack Obama. Coates has allowed himself to become trapped in the limits of his own experience and uses his intense curiosity about and formidable knowledge of history to mythologize those limitations, elevating them to a near scriptural intensity.
PaperRank:
The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular podcasts on the web, reaching 10s of millions... more The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular podcasts on the web, reaching 10s of millions of viewers per month. Rogan discusses a wide variety of topics with a variety of guests, some of them friends who appear regularly: martial arts, comedy, nutrition and health, conspiracy theories, psychedelic drugs, and a variety of science topics. In this paper I discuss several specific podcasts, with: Steven Pinker (his latest book, Enlightenment Now), Michael Pollan (psychedelic drugs), Neil deGrasse Tyson (moon landing), Howard Bloom (music, altered states, space program), Joey Diaz (Bruce Lee and martial arts), and Elon Musk (AI). I also include an annotated transcription of the Joey Diaz conversation.
PaperRank:
Stand-­‐‑ up comedy is tightly constructed despite appearing to be casual and improvised. In one ... more Stand-­‐‑ up comedy is tightly constructed despite appearing to be casual and improvised. In one section this working paper examines a comedy bit about donut holes and finds in it a metaphysical dimension that is, in fact, typical of Seinfeld's comedy. Another section shows how a conversation with President Barack Obama hinges on the distinction between a social role and the person playing that role. A final piece looks at the wide range of ephemeral phenomena around which Seinfeld crafts his comedy.
PaperRank:
In The Craft of Poetry Attridge and Staten propose a method of minimal interpretation that they i... more In The Craft of Poetry Attridge and Staten propose a method of minimal interpretation that they illustrate through dialog with one another. In minimal reading one dispenses with theory-driven methods and seeks to come as close to a literal interpretation of the poem as possible. Moreover by dialoguing with one another Attridge and Staten force themselves to justify their interpretations in explicit terms. I offer general methodological commentary and comment on their treatment of five poems: William Blake, The Sick Rose; Langston Hughes, Lennox Avenue: Midnight; Emily Dickinson, I started Early; John Milton, To a Solemn Music; and Wilfred Owen, Futility.
Download
PaperRank:
During the 1970s academic literary criticism experienced a centrifugal motion away from poetics a... more During the 1970s academic literary criticism experienced a centrifugal motion away from poetics and a centripetal motion toward interpretation. The centrifugal motion sought “to define the conditions of meaning” (in a phrase of Jonathan Culler’s) and looked at structuralism, semiotics, linguistics and even the nascent cognitive sciences, but was quickly abandoned. The centripetal motion elided the distinction between reading, in the ordinary sense, and reading, as a kind of written discourse explicating texts. It came to dominate critical discourse.
PaperRank:
People in oral cultures tell stories as a source of mutual knowledge in the game theory sense (th... more People in oral cultures tell stories as a source of mutual knowledge in the game theory sense (think: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”) on matters they cannot talk about either because they resist explicit expository formulation or because they are embarrassing and anxiety provoking. The communal story is thus a source of shared value and mutual affirmation. And the academic profession of literary criticism came to see itself as a repository of that shared value. Accordingly, in the middle of the 20th century it turned toward interpretation as its central activity. But critics could not agree on interpretations and that precipitated a crisis that led to Theory. The crisis has quited down, but is not resolved.
PaperRank:
Literary critics are interested in meaning (interpretation) but when linguists, such as Haj Ross,... more Literary critics are interested in meaning (interpretation) but when linguists, such as Haj Ross, look at literature, they’re interested in structure and mechanism (poetics). Shakespeare presents a particular problem because his plays exist in several versions, with Hamlet as an extreme case (3 somewhat different versions). The critic doesn’t know where to look for the “true” meaning. Where linguists to concern themselves with such things (which they mostly don’t), they’d be happy to deal with each of version separately. Undergraduate instruction in literature is properly concerned with meaning. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has become a staple because of its focus on race and colonialism, which was critiqued by Chinua Achebe in 1975 and the ensuing controversy and illustrates the problematic nature of meaning. And yet, when examined at arm’s length, the text exhibits symmetrical patterning (ring composition) and fractal patterning. Such duality, if you will, calls for two complementary critical approaches. Ethical criticism addresses meaning (interpretation) and naturalist criticism addresses structure and mechanism (poetics).
PaperRank:
J. Hillis Miller is one of the premier literary critics in the American academy over the last hal... more J. Hillis Miller is one of the premier literary critics in the American academy over the last half-century. He is a first-generation deconstructive critic. I studied with him in the 1960s at Johns Hopkins and then went a different way, toward cognitive science. This working paper consists three documents: 1) A letter to the editor (of PMLA) responding to Miller’s 1986 President’s address, 2) a long open letter from 2015 in which I discuss structuralism, cognitive science, and computational criticism, and 3) a chronology sketching out parallel developments in literary theory and cognitive science from the 1950s through the end of the century.
PaperRank:
Using fragments of a cognitive network model for Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 we can distinguish betw... more Using fragments of a cognitive network model for Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 we can distinguish between (1) the mind/brain cognitive system, (2) the text considered merely as a string of verbal or visual signifiers, and (3) the path one’s attention traces through (1) under constraints imposed by (2). To a first approximation that path is consistent with Derek Attridge’s concept of literary form, which I then adapt to Bruno Latour’s distinction between intermediary and mediator. Then we examine the event of Obama’s Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney in light of recent work on synchronized group behavior and neural coordination in groups. A descriptive analysis of Obama’s script reveals that it is a ring-composition and the central section is clearly marked in audience response to Obama’s presentation. I conclude by comparing the Eulogy with Tezuka’s Metropolis and with Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
PaperRank:
Ring-composition is an ancient way of ordering narratives, but it exists in a variety of modern t... more Ring-composition is an ancient way of ordering narratives, but it exists in a variety of modern texts as well. Mary Douglas has identified seven criteria for recognizing narrative rings: 1) exposition or prologue, 2) split into two halves, 3) parallel sections, 4) indicators to mark individual sections, 5) central loading. 6) rings within rings, and 7) closure at two levels. I analyze a variety of texts according to those criteria (“Kubla Khan,” Metropolis, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now), introduce the notion of center point construction as a weakened, and therefor more general, form of ring composition, and discuss ring-composition in relation to a computational model of mental behavior.
PaperRank:
The Pastoral Symphony episode in Disney’s Fantasia depicts scenes from domestic life as realized ... more The Pastoral Symphony episode in Disney’s Fantasia depicts scenes from domestic life as realized by various mythological creatures: child-rearing and play, courtship, wine-making and celebration, mutual aid and protection, and sleep. Gods are ‘played’ by human-form characters one of which, Bacchus, is central to the episode. Humans are played both by animal-human hybrids (centaurs and fauns) and by animal hybrids (flying horses, unicorns). Bacchus is accompanied by a Disney-invented hybrid, a unicorn donkey. Patterns of oral and sexual imagery are arranged in ring-form structure that runs in counterpoint to a typical cumulative dramatic structure, which is built on a contrast between the Dionysian mode of the central Bacchanal and the more Apollonian conclusion, where all’s right with the world and everything is in it’s place. The poetic function, as described by Roman Jakobson, governs various transformations and displacements that structure the visual and sonic materials in such a way that the episode has something of a ‘meta’ quality of being art about art, with Bacchus as a figure for the artist.
PaperRank:
The semantic structure of Yeats' 'The Cat and the Moon' is embodied through a syntactic and sound... more The semantic structure of Yeats' 'The Cat and the Moon' is embodied through a syntactic and sound structure which also goes through phases, phases which complement that semantic structure. The first phase consists of two four-line sentences, each weakly rhymed ABCB. The second phase continues with four-line rhyme groups, but the rhymes are strong. Syntactically, there is a strong alignment between rhyme groups and syntactic grouping in the first phase while there is no obvious alignment between sound and syntax in the second phase of the poem, which also contains two rhetorical questions. The poem's third phase synthesizes the stylistic features of the first two phases. It has the synchrony of rhyme and syntax that characterizes the first phase; but the rhymes are strong and the penultimate sentence of the poem is a rhetorical question—features of the second phase. The poem thus embodies, in both sound and sense, the cyclic interpenetration of opposites which is its meaning.
PaperRank:
Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' has a highly coherent structure in which the two parts of the poem exhib... more Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' has a highly coherent structure in which the two parts of the poem exhibit the same ternary structure. Each can be divided into three sections, the middle of those three in turn has three subsections and again, the middle of the middle has three subsections. The first section ends with 'A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice,' a line which is then repeated in the middle of the second section. This structure encompasses both semantics and sound, uniting both in a single coherent mental act.
PaperRank:
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is a ring composition three levels deep: 1 2 Ω 2’ 1’. The cen... more Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is a ring composition three levels deep: 1 2 Ω 2’ 1’. The central section consists of lines 9 through 12 cuts across the boundary between the second (ll. 6-10) and third (ll. 11-14) stanzas. There is a subtle shift in tense in line 16 in which the poet in effect travels back into the past, at the moment of decision captured in the poem, so that he can anticipate the present moment in which the poem unfolds. Thus the end of the poem rejoins the beginning, not merely through the repetition of a line, but through a trick in time.
PaperRank:
Obama's Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney follows an affective trajectory 'projected' onto the cogniti... more Obama's Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney follows an affective trajectory 'projected' onto the cognitive system by the attachment system (as identified by John Bowlby).
PaperRank:
President O'bama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney took the form of a sermon in the black vernacular... more President O'bama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney took the form of a sermon in the black vernacular tradition. This particular sermon exhibits ring-form composition; as such it is symmetrical about a structural midpoint. It opens with the recitation of a scriptural passage and closes with the hymn, “Amazing Grace”. Grace is introduced as a theme in the middle section, which is also where Obama mentions the killer. The sermon is placed in a traditional of black performance going back to 19th century camp-meetings. Finally it is suggested that the performance takes place in an emerging discursive space that is neither religious nor political, but partakes of both.
PaperRank:
This document contains the complete text of Obama's eulogy along with notations and comments by m... more This document contains the complete text of Obama's eulogy along with notations and comments by me. As I continue to work on the text I will upload new versions of the document.
Version 2 has been uploaded.
Version 3, 27 July 2015.
PaperRank:
This document contains analytical tables for Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis. The tables demonstrate th... more This document contains analytical tables for Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis. The tables demonstrate that the text is ring-form as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4’, 3’, 2’ 1’. The outermost structure is a framing device while the innermost structure reveals a variety of “secrets.”
PaperRank:
In Uta Klein, Ktaja Mellmann, Steffanie Metzger, eds. Heurisiken der Literaturwissenschaft: Disciplinexterne Perspektiven auf Literatur. mentis Verlag GmbH, pp. 527-545., 2006
Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis is ultimately a narrative about the nature of art told in a concrete vi... more Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis is ultimately a narrative about the nature of art told in a concrete visual and verbal logic accessible to a child. The story unfolds across multiple domains – Greater Metropolis, Underground, Child’s World – and has the form of a ring where the first element matches the last, the second matches the next to last, and so forth: 1 2 3 4 5 4’ 3’ 2’ 1’. By juxtaposing multiple plot lines, Tezuka deploys an essentialist mechanics of inner-workings and external appearances of people and animals to illustrate practical, moral, and aesthetic issues. By depicting a world that is rapidly destroying itself, Tezuka indicates the order that must be conserved if the world is to persist. Two of Tezuka’s devices have been developed in later manga by himself and others: 1) an artificial being is search of its place in human society, 2) a being that can be either male or female.
PaperRank:
This is a series of notes in which I argue that better descriptive methods are a necessary precon... more This is a series of notes in which I argue that better descriptive methods are a necessary precondition for more sophisticated and objective literary criticism. Description, though it does not give unmediated access to texts, requires methods for objectifying texts, methods which must be discovered in the doing. By way of comparison I discuss the role of description in biology and I discuss the use of images and diagrams as descriptive devices. Lévi-Strauss on myth and Franco Moretti on distant reading, though quite different, are up to the same thing: objectification.
PaperRank:
These notes consist of five posts discussing the description of literary texts and films and five... more These notes consist of five posts discussing the description of literary texts and films and five appendices containing tables used in describing to manga texts (Lost World, Metropolis) and two films (Sita Sings the Blues, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence). The posts make the point that the point of description is to let the texts speak for themselves. Further, it is through descriptions that the texts enter intellectual discourse.
PaperRank:
Describing literary texts requires a mode of thought distinct from the discursive interpretation ... more Describing literary texts requires a mode of thought distinct from the discursive interpretation of them. It is a mode of thought in which various visual devices are central. These devices include: tables, trees and mental spaces, directed graphs and “sketchpads”. Visualization facilitates the objectification of literary form and objectification is necessary for objectivity. With objectivity comes the possibility of cumulative knowledge.
PaperRank:
Recent corpus techniques ask literary analysts to bracket the interpretation of meaning so that w... more Recent corpus techniques ask literary analysts to bracket the interpretation of meaning so that we may trace the motions of mind. These techniques allow us to think of the mind as being, in some aspect, a high-dimensional space of verbal meanings. Texts then become paths through such a space. The overarching argument is that by thinking of texts as just ordered collections of physical symbols that are meaningless in themselves we can examine those collections in ways that allow us to recover the motions of mind as it constructs meanings for itself. When we examine a corpus over historical time we can see the evolution of mind. The corpus thus becomes an arena in which we investigate the movements of mind at various scales.
PaperRank:
PaperRank:
Andrew Piper analyzed the large-scale narrative structure of Augustine’s Confessions using a vect... more Andrew Piper analyzed the large-scale narrative structure of Augustine’s Confessions using a vector space semantic model. The 13 books fell into two distinct cluster, one having 3 books, the other having 10. By treating his analysis as specifying a macro-scale (low resolution) path through that space, one can see that it consists of three loops of increasing size: 1-6, 6-10, 10-13. The last is by far the largest, and ‘points’ back toward the beginning point. I argue that we may interpret this as a path in the mind, where the mind is conceived as the high-dimensional state space of the brain.
PaperRank:
Michael Gavin has published an article in which he uses ambiguity as a theme for juxtaposing clos... more Michael Gavin has published an article in which he uses ambiguity as a theme for juxtaposing close reading, a standard procedure in literary criticism, with vector semantics, a newer technique in statistical semantics with a lineage that includes machine translation. I take that essay as a framework of adding computational semantics to the comparison, which also derives from machine translation. After recounting and adding to Gavin’s account of 18 lines from Paradise Lost I use computational semantics to examine Shakespeare “The expense of spirit”. Close reading deals in meaning, which is ontologically subjective (in Searle’s usage) while both vector semantics and computational semantics are ontologically objective (though not necessarily objectively true, a matter of epistemology).
PaperRank:
Canon/Archive straddles the border between the standard interpretive literary criticism that has ... more Canon/Archive straddles the border between the standard interpretive literary criticism that has been in place since World War II and a new naturalist literary study in which literary texts and phenomena are treated as phenomena of the natural world, like language, without prejudice. This naturalist investigation takes the careful analytic description of texts, considered as strings of word forms, as its starting point. Canon/Archive exemplifies a so-called computational criticism in which computers are tools used for analyzing texts, often taken as a corpus of 10s, 100s, or 1000s of texts. Naturalist investigation also includes a computational approach in which computation is seen as the process linking word forms to semantic structures, expression to meaning. I examine two chapters from Canon/Archive, showing how that work can be supplemented by this other approach in which computation is a model for a mental process
PaperRank:
This is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation to go with the paper of the same title: https://www.ac... more This is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation to go with the paper of the same title: https://www.academia.edu/34975666/Abstract_Patterns_in_Stories_From_the_intellectual_legacy_of_David_G._Hays
PaperRank:
Coleridge's ' Kubla Khan ' exhibits nested structures suggesting an underlying computational proc... more Coleridge's ' Kubla Khan ' exhibits nested structures suggesting an underlying computational process. Seeking to understand that process I joined the computational linguistics research group of David G. Hays in 1974, which was investigating a scheme whereby abstract concepts were defined over patterns in stories. Hays examined concepts of alienation; Mary White examined the beliefs of a millenarian community; and Brain Phillips implemented a system that analyzed short stories for the theme of tragedy. I examined Shakespeare's sonnet 129, ' The Expense of Spirit ' , but was unable to apply the system to ' Kubla Khan '. In 1976 Hays and I imagined a future system capable of 'reading' a Shakespeare play in some non-trivial manner. Such a system had not yet materialized, nor is it in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, I have been identifying texts and films that exhibit ring-composition, which is similar to the nesting evident in ' Kubla Khan '. Do any story generators produce such stories?
PaperRank:
Virtual reading is proposed as a computational strategy for investigating the structure of liter... more Virtual reading is proposed as a computational strategy for investigating the structure of literary texts. A computer ‘reads’ a text by moving a window N-words wide through the text from beginning to end and follows the trajectory that window traces through a high-dimensional semantic space computed for the language used in the text. That space is created by using contemporary corpus-based machine learning techniques. Virtual reading is compared and contrasted with a 40 year old proposal grounded in the symbolic computation systems of the mid-1970s. High-dimensional mathematical spaces are contrasted with the standard spatial imagery employed in literary criticism (inside and outside the text, etc.). The “manual” descriptive skills of experienced literary critics, however, are essential to virtual reading, both for purposes of calibration and adjustment of the model, and for motivating low-dimensional projection of results. Examples considered: Heart of Darkness, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, The Winter’s Tale.
PaperRank:
In The Cultural Logic of Computation David Golumbia offers a critique of Chomsky and of computati... more In The Cultural Logic of Computation David Golumbia offers a critique of Chomsky and of computational linguistics that is rendered moot by his poor understanding of those ideas. He fails to understand and appreciate the distinction between the abstract theory of computation and real computation, such as that involved in machine translation; he confuses the Chomsky hierarchy of language types with hierarchical social organization; he misperceives the conceptual value of computation as a way of thinking about the mind; he ignores the standard account of the defunding of machine translation in the 1960s (it wasn't working) in favor of obscure political speculations; he offers casual remarks about the demographics of linguistics without any evidence, thus betraying his ideological preconceptions; and he seems to hold a view of analog phenomena that is at odds with the analog/digital distinction as it is used in linguistics, computation, and the cognitive sciences.
PaperRank:
This is a series of elementary notes on computational thought that is oriented toward the needs o... more This is a series of elementary notes on computational thought that is oriented toward the needs of literary critics. Computing is a physical process that builds on and requires structures of signs and symbols. In one way or another, these notes all emphasize and point to structure and construction. In some notes we look at arithmetic and linguistics; in others we look a comics and ants. The latter are allegorical in character, but so, in a way, are the former.
PaperRank:
There is a loose historical continuity in themes and concerns running from the origins of “close”... more There is a loose historical continuity in themes and concerns running from the origins of “close” reading in the early 20th century through machine translation and computational linguistics in the third quarter and “distant” reading in the present. Distant reading is the only current form of literary criticism that is presenting us with something new in the way that telescopes once presented astronomers with something new. Moreover it is the only form of criticism that is directly commensurate with the material substance of language. In the long-term it will advance in part by recouping and reconstructing earlier work in symbolic computation of natural language.
PaperRank:
I co-authored this piece with David Hays. It was published in 1976 in what was then Computers and... more I co-authored this piece with David Hays. It was published in 1976 in what was then Computers and the Humanities and is a review of the computational linguistics literature. At the end we imagined Project Prospero, a computer simulation of the human mind with which we could simulate reading a literary text. It wasn't possible to do such a thing then, and it still isn't, but as a way of thinking about literature it's a thought-experiment worth resurrecting.
PaperRank:
The profound use of the computer in discourse analysis must employ a theory of discourse comprehe... more The profound use of the computer in discourse analysis must employ a theory of discourse comprehension and production with which to conduct the analysis. Models currently employed in computational linguistics have a semantic basis and are goal-directed. The basic model is an associative cognitive network. The basic inventory of concepts of the system is given in the systemic network, which is organized into paradigmatic, syntagmatic, and componential structures. Since events happen in particular places at particular times, there is also an episodic structure. The gnomonic system defines abstract concepts over episodes. According to Phillips (1975), discourse coherence must be considered on two levels, the episodic and the gnomic. A discourse which engenders episodic and/or gnomonic expectations which are not then fulfilled is incoherent. A lower limit on coherence may be defined as a discourse so ill-formed that it makes no sense even to its creator. The upper limit on coherence is set by the most powerful creative minds. Between the two limits, discourse analysis, from the point of view of the computational linguist, probably requires nothing less than a full-blown computational theory of the human mind. (JB)
PaperRank:
Corpus linguistics offers literary scholars a way of investigating large bodies of texts, but the... more Corpus linguistics offers literary scholars a way of investigating large bodies of texts, but these tools require new modes of thinking. Literary scholars will have to recover a kind of interest in linguistics that was lost when the discipline abandoned philology. Scholars will need to think statistically and will have to start thinking about cultural evolution in all but Darwinian terms. This working paper develops these ideas in the context of a topic analysis of PMLA undertaken by Ted Underwood and Andrew Goldstone.
PaperRank:
Alan Liu has been organizing and conceptualizing digital humanities (DH) for two decades. I consi... more Alan Liu has been organizing and conceptualizing digital humanities (DH) for two decades. I consider a major essay, “The Meaning of the Digital Humanities,” two interviews, one with Katherine Hayles and the other with Scott Pound, and a major blog post in which Liu engages Stephen Ramsay. Other investigators included: Willard McCarty and Franco Moretti. Some of Liu’s themes: DH as symbolic of the future of the humanities, the need for theory as well as practical projects, the role of DH in enlarging the scope of the “thinkable,” the importance of an engineering mindset, and the need for a long-term effort in revivifying the humanities.
PaperRank:
Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections.... more Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections. Paragraphs range in length from 4 words to just over 1500. The overall distribution is exponential with a mean of 193 words and a median of 129. When the distribution is charted with the paragraphs in serial order the picture is ‘spiky’ with an envelope having a crude pyramidal form. The distributions of individual sections are exponential, but with different means and medians and with different serial shapes. It is suggested that such distributions are an aspect of prose form.
PaperRank:
Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections.... more Heart of Darkness is a novella that is roughly 38,000 words long and divided into three sections. The story is more or less about an enigmatic figure named Kurtz. If one counts each occurrence of the word “Kurtz,” notes its position in the text, and then creates a periodogram of those positions, one sees that “Kurtz” appears in cycles, with the periodicity having two components, one roughly three or four times longer than the other. This periodicity coincides with critical features in paragraph length distribution, which are also identified through qualitative analysis.
PaperRank:

Wild Women Don't Get The Blues

Macroanalysis is a statistical study of a corpus of 3346 19th Century American, British, Irish, a... more Macroanalysis is a statistical study of a corpus of 3346 19th Century American, British, Irish, and Scottish novels. Jockers investigates metatdata; the stylometrics of authorship, gender, genre, and national origin; themes, using a 500 item topic model; and influence, developing a graph model of the entire corpus in a 578 dimensional feature space. I recast his model in terms of cultural evolution where the dynamics are those of blind variation and selective retention. Texts become phenotypical objects, words become genetic objects, and genres become species-like objects. The genetic elements combine and recombine in authors' minds but they are substantially blind to audience preferences. Audiences determine whether or not a text remains alive in society.
PaperRank:
Literary critics seek patterns, whether patterns in individual texts or patterns in large collect... more Literary critics seek patterns, whether patterns in individual texts or patterns in large collections of texts. Valid patterns are taken as indices of causal mechanisms of one sort or another. Most abstractly, a pattern emerges or is enacted as some machine makes its way in an environment. An ecological niche is a pattern “traced” by an organism in its environment. Literary texts are themselves patterns traced by writers (and readers) through their life worlds. Patterns are frequently described through visualizations. The concept of pattern thus dissolves the apparent conflict between quantification and meaning, for quantification is but a means to describing a pattern. It is up to the critic to determine whether or not a pattern is meaningful by identifying the mechanism that produced the pattern. Examples from Shakespeare and Joseph Conrad.
PaperRank:
Stephen Greenblatt has identified pairs of moments in literary history such that the former momen... more Stephen Greenblatt has identified pairs of moments in literary history such that the former moment must necessarily have preceded the later: literary history has a direction. This can be explained by asserting that the later texts required computational procedures capable of operating on the objects created by the earlier procedures, in the manner of Piaget’s reflective abstraction. Beyond Greenblatt’s examples two such pairs are examined, Amleth and Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale and Wuthering Heights. Also considered: Heuser and Le-Khac on 19th Century British novels. Three network-based network models are considered, at macro (topic modeling), meso (Moretti’s character networks), and micro scales (cognitive networks) of time.
PaperRank:
This is series of informal essays about Apocalypse Now that argues that the movie as a whole take... more This is series of informal essays about Apocalypse Now that argues that the movie as a whole takes the from of a classic rite of passage as described by Durkheim and van Gennep. Particular attention is given to the opening montage, the trip into the jungle for mangoes, the sampan massacre, the final parallel killings of Kurtz and the caribao, and parallels between characters. There is a descriptive précis of the whole film that organizes it into five large sequences and screen shots throughout.
PaperRank:
Gojira (1954) is a Japanese film with two intertwined plots: 1) a monster plot about a prehistori... more Gojira (1954) is a Japanese film with two intertwined plots: 1) a monster plot about a prehistoric beast angered by atomic testing, and 2) a love plot structured around a conflict between traditional arranged marriage and modern marriage by couple’s choice. The film exhibits ring-composition (A B C D C’ D’ A’) as a device linking the two apparently independent plots together. Nationalist sentiment plays an important role in that linkage. the paper ends with a 6-page table detailing the actions in the film from beginning to end.
PaperRank:
Opening Paragraph: The penultimate sequence of Rintarô’s Metropolis (2001) is astonishing. We see... more Opening Paragraph: The penultimate sequence of Rintarô’s Metropolis (2001) is astonishing. We see a finger press down on a key, followed by flashing light, and then hear Ray Charles singing “I Can’t Stop Lov- ing You,” a bittersweet ballad about lost love. As the music unfolds, we see the horrendous destruction of a huge building complex. e juxtaposition of music and image is exquisitely jarring. What is going on here?
PaperRank:
Opening Paragraph: Watanabe Shin’ichirō’s twenty-six-episode Samurai Champloo is seductive, tempt... more Opening Paragraph: Watanabe Shin’ichirō’s twenty-six-episode Samurai Champloo is seductive, tempting the sophisticated critic to read it in terms of post- modern eclecticism, cultural hybridity, and self-consciousness. A more sophisticated critic, or perhaps one utterly lacking in such sophisti- cation, knows better. It is not that Champloo does not exhibit those signs of postmodern times; it does. Very much so. Casually so. So ca- sually, that one suspects Watanabe is up to something else.
PaperRank:
In The Wind Rises Hayao Miyazaki weaves various modes of experience in depicting the somewhat fic... more In The Wind Rises Hayao Miyazaki weaves various modes of experience in depicting the somewhat fictionalized life of Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese aeronautical engineer who designed fighter planes for World War II. Horikoshi finds his vocation through ‘dreamtime’ encounters with Gianni Caproni and courts his wife with paper airplanes. The film opposes the wind and chance with mechanism and design. Horikoshi’s attachment to his wife, on the one hand, and to his vocation on the other, both bind him to Japan while at the same time allowing him to separate himself, at least mentally, from the imperial state.
PaperRank:
Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll features two interlaced of sex scenes, each involving men who are large a... more Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll features two interlaced of sex scenes, each involving men who are large and hulking and men who are smaller. But one man is clothed in the robes of minor officialdom and has appropriately dressed hair while the other is semi-naked and bald. The two scenes, while both in dim night-time light, are depicted in different colors and the scenes are composed in contrasting ways. One of these acts is legitimate (the one involving the official) in the sense that it accords with social standards. The other is clearly rape. The film reveals both to be impure and the social order to be corrupt.
PaperRank:
Chuck Jones believed in the “disciplines” one had to maintain for a cartoon, the constraints with... more Chuck Jones believed in the “disciplines” one had to maintain for a cartoon, the constraints within which one acted. In the Road Runner cartoons, no one talked, though there could be signage, the action always centered on two, and only two, characters, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, and it always takes place in the outdoors in the American Southwest. These cartoons play with reality and engage in a guessing game with the audience in doing so. What’s Opera, Doc? goes beyond a string of gags end engages in a story about the relationship between Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Finally Daffy Duck and Porky Pig venture into space in Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, which satirizes incompetence and self-generating conflict.
PaperRank:
The Greatest Man in Siam is a Walter Lantz cartoon from 1943. It has a pseudo-Oriental setting an... more The Greatest Man in Siam is a Walter Lantz cartoon from 1943. It has a pseudo-Oriental setting and depicts a contest to win the hand of a young princess. The losers present themselves as intelligent, rich, and athletic, respectively, while the winner is a good musician and dancer. He’s also the only one who plays attention to the princess and doesn’t insult the king. The cartoon ends with everyone dancing, thus affirming communal values over individual accomplishment. Just before the end there is a virtuoso dance sequence between the couple; it was superbly animated by Pat Matthews.
PaperRank:
Porky in Wackyland is a satire of the get-rich-quick scheme in which Porky intends to get rich by... more Porky in Wackyland is a satire of the get-rich-quick scheme in which Porky intends to get rich by capturing the rare do-do bird. It turns out that the do-do isn’t so rare and that the do-do and his companions capture Porky. The cartoon consists of seven segments, with the nature of the action changing after the fourth and middle segment. Before that Porky Pig is subordinate to all the strange objects, creatures, and events that take place in Wackyland. After that the focus shifts to a battle between Porky and the do-do bird he’s attempting to capture. The cartoon features self referential elements and a diverse ontology of strange and not-so-strange creatures.
PaperRank:
A series of notes on how ritual forms are used in Sita Sings the Blues. Covers: 1) the Agni Parik... more A series of notes on how ritual forms are used in Sita Sings the Blues. Covers: 1) the Agni Pariksha episode; 2) structuralist anthropology on ritual forms; 3) comparison to Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing; and 4) the implied cosmological scope of the film.
PaperRank:
Transcript of an interview with Nina Paley on the Agni Pariksha episode of Sita Sings the Blues. ... more Transcript of an interview with Nina Paley on the Agni Pariksha episode of Sita Sings the Blues. Includes 21 screen shots used to prompt Paley's comments.
PaperRank:
Descriptive information on the Agni Pariksha episode of Sita Sings the Blues including: 1) a nine... more Descriptive information on the Agni Pariksha episode of Sita Sings the Blues including: 1) a nine-page table describing what happens in the episode scene by scene, 2) a list of the heart images, 3) lyrics to the song, with English translation, 4) a set of 21 representative screen shots.
PaperRank:
A presentation for the Literature and Cognitive Science Conference, April 8, 2006, at the Univers... more A presentation for the Literature and Cognitive Science Conference, April 8, 2006, at the University of Connecticut.
PaperRank:
The range of subjects in Disney’s Fantasia is encyclopedic, placing it in a class with such very ... more The range of subjects in Disney’s Fantasia is encyclopedic, placing it in a class with such very different works a Dante’s Divine Comedy, Goethe’s Faust, Melville’s Moby Dick, and Joyce’s Ulysses (cf. Mendelson on encyclopedic narrative and Moretti on the modern epic). The episodes are arranged such that they call on an increasing range of mental faculties with each succeeding episode. In discussions of individual episodes (all of them) I deal with ring-form, animated acting, Freudian undertones, the relationship between sound and imagery, and Jakobon’s poetic function.
PaperRank:
Dumbo is Walt Disney's myth of modernity, a film in which he uses a story about infant-mother sep... more Dumbo is Walt Disney's myth of modernity, a film in which he uses a story about infant-mother separation as a vehicle for assimilating modern technology and management structure to the evolved mechanisms of the human mind. This paper considers psychoanalytic and evolutionary psychology, examines the structure of scapegoating as a means of social contral, considers parallels with the story of Genesis, the role of machines and animals in the modern world, the interplay of nature and culture, the distinction between animals that talk and those that don't, and features extensive descriptive an analytic work on the film, with many frame grabs.
PaperRank:
Dumbo tells a coming of age story about a young elephant who must gain psychological independence... more Dumbo tells a coming of age story about a young elephant who must gain psychological independence from his mother; Fantasia consists of eight episodes on various subjects, but they are strung together with the image of the conductor, Leopold Stokowski, and his (famous) hands. Two of the episodes (Nutcracker Suite and Night on Bald Mountain) dramatize the use of hands in controlling the actions of others. I elaborate on these issues using the psychoanalytic work of Erik Erikson, Ernst Kris, John Bowlby, and Norman Holland and introduce material on the neuropsychology of motor control.
PaperRank:
This is a full-dress article about Spike Lee’s film, Mo’ Better Blues, that I never published for... more This is a full-dress article about Spike Lee’s film, Mo’ Better Blues, that I never published formally. The penultimate paragraph: “In attempting to construct the image of jazz, and its musicians, in the stylizations of a black mythology, Spike Lee committed himself to working against the received conventions. By insisting on one simple truth about jazz, that it is disciplined stylization, Lee began to undermine those Hollywood conventions. But he was unable completely to free himself from the Romantic conventions which determine our vision of the artist and his place in society. Lee's displacements don't alter the fact that, at the core, his protagonist is a self-destructive descendent of the Romantic Artist.”
PaperRank:
Various thinkers (Rodolfo Llinás, Christof Koch, and Elon Musk) have proposed that, in the future... more Various thinkers (Rodolfo Llinás, Christof Koch, and Elon Musk) have proposed that, in the future, it would be possible to link two or more human brains directly together so that people could communicate without the need for language or any other conventional means of communication. These proposals fail to provide a means by which a brain can determine whether or not a neural impulse is endogenous or exogenous. That failure makes communication impossible. Confusion would the more likely result of such linkage. Moreover, in providing a rationale for his proposal, Musk assumes a mistaken view of how language works, a view cognitive linguists call the conduit metaphor. Finally, all these thinkers assume that we know what thoughts are in neural terms. We don’t.
PaperRank:
GPT-3 is an AI engine that generates text in response to a prompt given to it by a human user. It... more GPT-3 is an AI engine that generates text in response to a prompt given to it by a human user. It does not understand the language that it produces, at least not as philosophers understand such things. And yet its output is in many cases astonishingly like human language. How is this possible? Think of the mind as a high-dimensional space of signifieds, that is, meaning-bearing elements. Correlatively, text consists of one-dimensional strings of signifiers, that is, linguistic forms. GPT-3 creates a language model by examining the distances and ordering of signifiers in a collection of text strings and computes over them so as to reverse engineer the trajectories texts take through that space. Peter Gärdenfors’ semantic geometry provides a way of thinking about the dimensionality of mental space and the multiplicity of phenomena in the world, about how mind mirrors the world. Yet artificial systems are limited by the fact that they do not have a sensorimotor system that has evolved over millions of years. They do have inherent limits.
PaperRank:
Metagram Software - A New Perspective on the Art of Computation, 1982
The theoretical expansiveness of metagramming paradoxically serves the purpose of reducing the pr... more The theoretical expansiveness of metagramming paradoxically serves the purpose of reducing the problem of writing software to one which can reliably be solved.
The goal of the intelligence analyst is to detect and analyze substantive problems against a background of descriptive, reportorial, and speculative-evaluative knowledge: these forms of knowledge are stratified, with higher strata being meta to lower strata.
The analyst needs a metagramming system with the capacity to check the prima facie plausibility of causal paths involving double-contingency calculation: this checking conserves the integrity of structure-function correspondence in a recursive analysis of causal paths.
Gibsonian psychology frees us from Cartesian solipsism and doubt provides a criterion for ascertaining the reality of our perceptions: If new information becomes available when the object is inspected, then it is real; otherwise it is a figment of someone’s imagination. Invariance detection is the medium of perceptual interchange with the environment and conservation principles are invariance principles.
Just as the search space in which chess is played is meta to the one generated by the rules of chess, so the space in which computers can reliably be metagrammed is meta to the one in which computers have heretofore been designed and built. The higher level space is related to the lower through representation functions which work well with complex irregular objects. Metagramming works by indexing an ecological closure over an otherwise unbounded search space. An account of the application domain (e.g. strategic intelligence) is crucial to formulating the closure.
PaperRank:
Language is the locus of computational processing in the mind/brain. In this view computation is ... more Language is the locus of computational processing in the mind/brain. In this view computation is not fundamental to the nervous system. Rather it is derived. Computation is the means though which speech binds word forms to elements of meaning (syntactic processing). We can think of the mechanisms of speech as a Turning-like device of limited power. The speech signal itself is analogous to the paper tape while the auditory system reads from that tape and the vocal system writes to it. The neocortex contains the table of instructions and the state register.
PaperRank:
Cognitive Science and Literary Theory, 1978
Cognition is grounded in sensorimotor perception and action. The sensorimotor system is organized... more Cognition is grounded in sensorimotor perception and action. The sensorimotor system is organized in a hierarchy of servomechanical systems as explicated by William Powers (Behavior: The Control of Perception, 1973), from the bottom up: intensities, sensations, configurations, sequences, programs. Cognition is conceptualized as a network organized on three hyper-orders: systemic, episodic, and gnomonic. Systemic nodes of different types represent sensorimotor schemes through a system of parameters. Intensities have no direct representation in cognition. The other orders (Powers’ term) are represented by systemic nodes as follows: sensations > properties (adjective, adverb); configurations > entities (nouns); sequences > events (intransitive verbs); programs > plans (transitive verbs). Nodes representing schemas from in different sensorimotor channels are linked by the assignment relation. Paradigmatic arcs connect nodes of the same type (properties etc.) but varying amounts of detail while composition structure reflects the scope of connected nodes (small, medium, large). Nodes of different channels are connected by syntagmatic arcs. Episodic nodes represent coherent subnetworks of systemic structure and locate things in time and space. The episodic network also has on-blocks as control structures. The gnomonic network is sensitive to the epistemic status of items in the systemic and episodic networks and regulates the interaction of language and cognition.
PaperRank:
The assignment relation creates an inheritance hierarchy among different Realms of Being, and thu... more The assignment relation creates an inheritance hierarchy among different Realms of Being, and thus has an ontological character. An object thus may be considered to be an assignment between a form and a substance, and living being (plant) an assignment between an object and a vegetative soul, and so forth. Inheritance goes up such a hierarchy, where what is being inherited is susceptibility, of qualities and for action. The assignment relation explains the Great Chain of Being, including its recent explication by Lakoff and Turner (1989).
PaperRank:
Mark Changizi has argued that we will understand the mind/brain only when we have an accurate des... more Mark Changizi has argued that we will understand the mind/brain only when we have an accurate description and inventory of the tasks it must perform. He calls this the teleome. Until we know what a mechanism is built to do, we have no way of understanding the functioning of its parts. The same is true of the mind/brain. I extend Changizi's argument by noting that the appreciation of works of art calls on a full range of human capacities and is thus a rich source of insight into neuro-mental mechanisms. Moreover we have every reason to believe that we can develop sophisticated ways of describing works of art, verbal art and films are my particular focus and interest. Those descriptions will be invaluable for interpreting observations about the brain activity supporting those aesthetic objects.
PaperRank:
Everett’s core assertion is simple: There is no language without culture. Culture is the dark mat... more Everett’s core assertion is simple: There is no language without culture. Culture is the dark matter of the mind. Everett defines culture as: “... an abstract network shaping and connecting social roles, hierarchically structured knowledge domains, and ranked values. Culture is dynamic, shifting, reinterpreted moment by moment. Culture is found only in the bodies (the brain is part of the body) and behaviors of its members. Culture permeates the individual, the community, behaviors, and thinking.” The book, which is at heart a work of philosophy, is based on Everett’s work among the Pirahã and contains many examples from his work there, including a crucial argument about recursion and fascinating examples about evidentials. However, I strongly suspect that computation will play a major role in constructing the new accounts of language and culture that Everett’s work calls for. In this I probably differ from Everett, who is skeptical about computation.
PaperRank:
Psychoanalytic theory is a theory about the mind. I suggest we think of the mind as the brain's n... more Psychoanalytic theory is a theory about the mind. I suggest we think of the mind as the brain's neural state space where the brain is conceived as a complex dynamical system. The large scale dynamics of the mind are governed by a modal system, as defined by Warren McCulloch. Psychoanalysis is the best conceptual tool we have for charting the motions of these large-scale dynamics in films and literary texts.
PaperRank:
Sydney Lamb's model focuses our attention on the physicality of language, of the signs themselves... more Sydney Lamb's model focuses our attention on the physicality of language, of the signs themselves as objects in the external world and the neural systems the support them. By means of the metaphor of a cognitive dome, he demonstrates that there is no firm line between linguistic and cognitive structure. In this context, I offer physically grounded accounts of Jakobson's metalingual and emotive functions. Drawing on Vygotsky's account of language development, I point out that inner speech, corresponding to the common sense notion of thought, originates in a circuit that goes through the external world and is then internalized.
PaperRank:
While it is my goal to consider semiotics in relation to both humanistic and scientific thought, ... more While it is my goal to consider semiotics in relation to both humanistic and scientific thought, I wish initially to advance my concerns by means of a fairly simple example, the relationship between salt and sodium chloride. In a sense ‘sodium chloride’ is the chemist's name for ‘salt’; that sense is, if you will, naive. On a more sophisticated reading salt and sodium chloride turn out to be two different things. And then we must consider the relationship between the naive and sophisticated readings which is, I argue, analogous to the relationship between semiotics as a study of ‘man’ and semiotics as a study of ‘Homo sapiens sapiens’. I will argue that ‘Homo sapiens sapiens’ and ‘sodium chloride’ designate concepts which are propositional reconstructions of the terms ‘man’ and ‘salt’. The notion of propositional re- construction is akin to Piaget's concept of reflective abstraction (Piaget 1976) and thus implies the creation of newer more abstract concepts by a process of reflecting back on the preexisting conceptual matrix. This mechanism requires a semiotic system capable of self observation; the creation of new concepts is based on the observation of old concepts in action. And so we arrive at the problematic implied by my title, the relationship between the system and the observer/theoretician in the process of semiotic modeling; on this matter I have only one goal, to make the relationship seem less problematic by revealing it to be just a case of propositional reconstruction.
PaperRank:
Sydney Lamb's model focuses our attention on the physicality of language, of the signs themselves... more Sydney Lamb's model focuses our attention on the physicality of language, of the signs themselves as objects in the external world and the neural systems the support them. By means of the metaphor of a cognitive dome, he demonstrates that there is no firm line between linguistic and cognitive structure. In this context, I offer physically grounded accounts of Jakobson's metalingual and emotive functions. Drawing on Vygotsky's account of language development, I point out that inner speech, corresponding to the common sense notion of thought, originates in a circuit that goes through the external world and is then internalized.
PaperRank:
From the article: The Apple Macintosh is the most significant microcomputer since the original MI... more From the article: The Apple Macintosh is the most significant microcomputer since the original MITS kit, but its importance hasn’t been adequately explained. The Mac is user friendly, but even more important is what lies beyond that user-friendly interface–MacPaint. MacPaint provides visual power. It is fun to use–you can zap the mouse around, draw a zillion rectangles in a minute, put four reflecting planes in the drawing space, and create amazing symmetrical designs with mere flicks of the wrist. Why is this important? One hemisphere of brain is more or less verbal while the other is more or less visual. The Macintosh is a tool for the visual brain.
PaperRank:
A review of Gregory L. Murphy, The Big Book of Concepts, The MIT Press, 2002; ISBN: 0262134098.
PaperRank:
Jamie Bérubé is a young man with Down syndrome in his early twenties; he has been drawing abstrac... more Jamie Bérubé is a young man with Down syndrome in his early twenties; he has been drawing abstract art since he was eleven. So far he has explored five types of imagery: 1) fields of colored dots in a roughly rectangular array, 2) tall slender towers with brightly colored horizontal ‘cells’, 3) pairs of concentric colored bands with one pair of concentrics above the other, 4) colored letterforms above a set of colored concentric bands, and 5) arrangements of fairly complex biomorphic forms. Taken together types 1&2 exhibit one approach to the problem of composing a page: place a large number of small objects on the page in a regular array. Types 3&4 exhibit a different approach: position relatively large objects in the center of the page. In some ways Bérubé’s fifth approach, arrangements of biomorphic objects, can be considered a synthesis of the two other approaches. Moreover the individual objects appear life-like and their arrangement on the page is dynamic, properties not otherwise evident in Bérubé’s art. It is his most recent form of art and may be considered the product of long- term experimentation.
PaperRank:
Opening paragraph: The ontology of common sense is the discipline which seeks to establish the ca... more Opening paragraph: The ontology of common sense is the discipline which seeks to establish the categories which are used in everyday life to characterize objects and events. In everyday life steel bars and window panes are solid objects. For the scientist, the glass of the window pane is a liquid, and the solidity of both the window pane and the steel bar is illusory, since the space they occupy consists mostly of empty regions between the sub-atomic particles which constitute these objects. These facts, however, have no bearing on the ontological categories of common sense. Sub-atomic particles and solid liquids do not exist in the domain of common sense. Common sense employs different ontological categories from those used in the various specialized disciplines of science.
PaperRank:
To the Editor: We are sympathetic to Lindley Darden's intellectual program. But the various conce... more To the Editor: We are sympathetic to Lindley Darden's intellectual program. But the various conceptions of abstraction which she discusses are, individually and collectively, inadequate. There are two problems, one concerning the basic nature of abstraction and the other concerning a mechanism by which abstract terms can be related to their definitional base. Darden comes close to the basic nature of abstraction when she asserts that 'In difficult cases, forming an abstraction can involve more than merely dropping parts or replacing constants with variables. New, abstract semantic concepts might have to be introduced.' This, however, is not quite good enough and, in any case, she doesn't suggest a mechanism by which this can be accomplished. We wish first to discuss the fundamental problem and then to propose a computational mechanism.
PaperRank:
The categorization of entities into classes such as object, plant, animal, or human reflects onto... more The categorization of entities into classes such as object, plant, animal, or human reflects ontological structure. Ontological structure can be represented by inheritance trees which are orthogonal to more conventional 'isa' inheritance trees. Given ontological structure we can define paradigmatic transitions, such as that from caterpillar to butterfly, and ontological transitions, such as that from living to dead. These concepts are exemplified with examples from everyday knowledge and from the world of computer integrated manufacturing.
PaperRank:
This is a review essay of Benny Shanon, The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of ... more This is a review essay of Benny Shanon, The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience (Oxford University Press, 2002), which is a detailed phenomenological account of what happens when one takes ayahuasca, a psychoactive concoction from South America. Ayahuasca is traditionally taken in the company of others and accompanied by music, which paces the visions and affects their content. The effect is that of entering another world. I offer some speculation about underlying neural processes, much based on the work of Walter Freeman’s speculation that consciousness is organized as short discontinuous whole-hemisphere states. I also speculate on the similarity between the dynamics of ayahuasca experience, as Shanon has described it, and the dynamics of skilled jazz improvisation; and I point out that what Shanon reports as a second-order vision seems to be involved in Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”.
PaperRank:
Its ability to deal with visual information is one of the mind's most powerful capacities. Visua... more Its ability to deal with visual information is one of the mind's most powerful capacities. Visual thinking, high-level manipulation of visual information, is important to computer science because, with the flowering of computer graphics and image processing, it provides the basis for a rich and intuitively satisfying channel of man-machine interaction. Just as writing evolved to help the verbal mind, so various media have evolved to help the visual mind. I propose that visual thinking involves the internalization of visuo-manipulative activity and of movement through the environment. We move through the physical environment, sometimes in a familiar place, sometimes in a strange place; we handle objects, sometimes to accomplish a specific task, sometimes simply to inspect the object. Visual thinking involves imagined locomotion in imagined settings, imagined manipulation of imagined objects. The settings and objects may be real, but not present, or they may exist only in imagination.
PaperRank:
Thirteen various observations on the thinking of Bruno Latour, from We Have Never Been Modern thr... more Thirteen various observations on the thinking of Bruno Latour, from We Have Never Been Modern through Reassembling the Social and up to modes. Excursions into Stanley Fish, Paul Feyerabend, and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Topics: religion, history, social organization, culture, mind, language, truth and felicity. Thread running throughout: Latour’s “flat ontology”, in which everything has agency, has fruitful, perhaps even substantial and revelatory, implications.
PaperRank:
It has been 25 years since John Horgan published The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowled... more It has been 25 years since John Horgan published The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age (1996). Horgan still believes that science is, in some sense, at an end. I disagreed with him then and I disagree with him now. Horgan suggested that we face biological limits to our cognitive capacities. I argue that, thought a succession of inventions – speech, writing, calculation, and computation – culture has allowed us transcend our primate biology. We have no reason to believe that we have run out of inventiveness. Topics examined: problems with the foundations of physics, Horgan’s ironic style of argument, coming to understand the human mind – “How, exactly, does a chunk of meat make a mind?” – and the long-term development of human culture. I suggest that what Horgan sees as the end is, paradoxically, an effect of the accelerating pace of cultural evolution, which is now up against a limit imposed by the human life cycle. Velocity is capped, but not motion.
PaperRank:
The metaphysical structure of the world, as opposed to its physical structure, resides in the rel... more The metaphysical structure of the world, as opposed to its physical structure, resides in the relationship between our cognitive capacities and the world itself. Because the world itself is 'lumpy', rather than 'smooth' (as developed herein, but akin to 'simple' vs. complex'), it is learnable and hence livable. Machine learning AI engines, such as GPT-3, are able to approximate the semantic structure of language, to the extent that that structure can be modeled in a high-dimensional space. That structure ultimately depends on the fact that the world is lumpy. It is the lumpiness that is captured in the statistics. Similarly, I argue, the American economy has entered a period of stagnation because the world is lumpy. In such a world good 'ideas' become more and more difficult to find. Stagnation then reflects the increasing costs the learning required to develop economically useful ideas. CONTENTS
PaperRank:
In his work on memetics Daniel Dennett does a poor job of negotiating the territory between philo... more In his work on memetics Daniel Dennett does a poor job of negotiating the territory between philosophy and science. The analytic tools he has as a philosopher aren’t of much use in building accounts of the psychological and social mechanisms that underlie cultural processes. The only tool Dennett seems to have at his disposal is analogy. That’s how he builds his memetics, by analogy from biology on the one hand and computer science on the other. These analogies do not work very well. To formulate an evolutionary account of culture one needs to construct one’s gene and phenotype analogues directly from the appropriate materials, neurons and brains in social interaction. Dennett doesn’t do that. Instead of social interaction he has an analogy to apps loading into computers. Instead of neurons he has homuncular agents that are suspiciously like his other favorite homuncular agents, memes. It doesn’t work.
PaperRank:
Using his so-called intentional stance, Dennett has identified so-called “free-floating rationale... more Using his so-called intentional stance, Dennett has identified so-called “free-floating rationales” in a broad class of biological phenomena. The term, however, is redundant on the pattern of objects and actions to which it applies and using it has the effect of reifying the pattern in a peculiar way. The intentional stance is itself a pattern of wide applicability. However, in a broader epistemological view, it turns out that we are pattern-seeking creatures and that phenomenon identified with some pattern must be verified by other techniques. The intentional stance deserves no special privilege in this respect. Finally, it is suggested that the intentional stance may get its intellectual power from the neuro-mental machinery it recruits and not from any special class of phenomena it picks out in the world.
PaperRank:
This is a series of informal notes on the structuralist method Lévi-Strauss used in Mythologiques... more This is a series of informal notes on the structuralist method Lévi-Strauss used in Mythologiques. What’s essential to the method is to treat narratives in comparison with one another rather than in isolation. By analyzing and describing ensembles of narratives, Lévi-Strauss was able to indicate mental “deep structures.” In this comparing Lévi-Strauss was able to see more than he could explain. I extend the method to Robert Greene’s Pandosto, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I discuss how Lévi-Strauss was looking for a way to objectify mental structures, but failed; and I suggest that the notion of computation will be central to any effort that goes beyond what Lévi-Strauss did. I conclude by showing how work on Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” finally led me beyond the limitations of structuralism and into cognitive science.
PaperRank:
This is a series of informal notes on the structuralist method Lévi-Strauss used in Mythologiques... more This is a series of informal notes on the structuralist method Lévi-Strauss used in Mythologiques. What’s essential to the method is to treat narratives in comparison with one another rather than in isolation. By analyzing and describing ensembles of narratives, Lévi-Strauss was able to indicate mental “deep structures.” In this comparing Lévi-Strauss was able to see more than he could explain. I extend the method to Robert Greene’s Pandosto, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I discuss how Lévi-Strauss was looking for a way to objectify mental structures, but failed; and I suggest that the notion of computation will be central to any effort that goes beyond what Lévi-Strauss did. I conclude by showing how work on Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” finally led me beyond the limitations of structuralism and into cognitive science.
PaperRank:
This document sketches a pluralist metaphysical system various inspired by the ideas of Bruno Lat... more This document sketches a pluralist metaphysical system various inspired by the ideas of Bruno Latour, Paul Feyerabend, Graham Harman, J.J. Gibson and William James. The system can be summarized in eight propositions as follows: 1. Objects: Individual entities of many different scales are the ultimate stuff of the cosmos. 2. Abundance: These entities enter into relations with other entities but are never exhausted by any of their relations or even by their sum of all possible relations. 3. Realms of Being: In the large objects exist in patterns of relatively stable interactions among multiple objects. These are relations of indirect or vicarious causality. 4. Unity of Being: Humans desire the ability to access and reflect on memories of events in one’s life. The extent that that is achieved is called Unity of Being. 5. Life Way: A Latourian collective, with human and non-human members, is considered to participate in all the Realms in which any member of the collective plays a role. The ‘envelope’ of those Realms is called a Life Way. 6. Latourian Negotiation: Collectives having different Life Ways have been interacting through a process of negotiation in which differences among Life Ways are resolved and commonalities created or not depending on the desire to extend the boundaries of the larger more inclusive collective. 7. Realms of Abundance: Realms of Being are organized into Realms of Abundance, of which three have appeared to far: Matter, Life, and Culture. 8. The Fourth Arena: The current global Latourian negotiation brings us to the edge of a fourth Arena of Abundance. If it goes well, that’s where our successors will dwell.
PaperRank:
In T he End of Science John Horgan, himself a devotee of science, argues that the stock of fundam... more In T he End of Science John Horgan, himself a devotee of science, argues that the stock of fundamental scientific truths is limited and that we have discovered most of them. What has come to an end, I argue, is a certain view of the world which sees reality as reducible to simple laws about simple systems underpinning the superficial complexity of phenomenal experience. On the contrary, reality is fundamentally complex and reductionism is doomed. The universe is fecund in that it has evolved multiple Realms of Being, with the later ones being implemented in the former.
PaperRank:
Notes on Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, with som... more Notes on Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, with some consideration of compositionism. These ideas are developed with ideas and concepts from cognitive science, literary studies, music, and extensive examples from the world of contemporary graffiti.
PaperRank:
By substituting Paul Feyerabend’s rhetoric of abundance for Graham Harman’s rhetoric of withdrawa... more By substituting Paul Feyerabend’s rhetoric of abundance for Graham Harman’s rhetoric of withdrawal one can establish the basis for pluralist ontology organized around Realms of Being. This working paper traces the steps by which I made that substitution. The crucial step involved J.J. Gibson’s account of how one can determine whether or not one is perceiving real objects: Real objects yield more information upon further scrutiny; imaginary objects do not.
PaperRank:
Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, takes global wa... more Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, takes global warming as the starting point for a philosophical investigation our current moment. The world as we’d conceived it is over; the world we’re now living in is a strange one. Time and space aren’t empty containers and objects aren’t simple. We aren’t separate from the universe, nor it from us. Quantum mechanics, relativity, climate modeling, phase spaces, environmental art, nuclear waste, Morton covers them all.
PaperRank:
To understand how music works, we must think of it as primarily a means of coordinating interacti... more To understand how music works, we must think of it as primarily a means of coordinating interactions among a group of music-makers. If we think of rhythm as the foundation of music, then we can think of musical interaction as a being grounded in coupled oscillation, which has been studied in the case of firefly blinking and in the case of audience applause. Thought of in this way, music-making links several nervous systems together into a single dynamical system. Following the research of William Condon, I will argue that such coupling seems to be necessary for language as well. In particular, I will suggest that such coupling is necessary for the so-called Theory of Mind Module to operate. Without that, we are unable to regard one another as appropriate speech partners and so experience language as elaborate noise.
PaperRank:
A series of notes about learning to play patterns, especially polyrhythms on a tongue drum with s... more A series of notes about learning to play patterns, especially polyrhythms on a tongue drum with six tongues. 2 against 3, 3 against, 4, different stroking patterns, early learning and then phase changes when moving from slow to fast tempos, when moving from learning to consolidation and then performance. Becoming fluid at switching between different fixed patterns on to free improvisation, where you play any pattern you are capable of playing in whatever order you choose. Conscious and deliberate effort vs. automatic, unconscious and spontaneous play. The layout of musical ‘space’ for different instruments: drums, trumpet, piano, strings.
PaperRank:
Improvising is when you make up your own tunes on the fly. It's rather like holding a conversatio... more Improvising is when you make up your own tunes on the fly. It's rather like holding a conversation, but with music. When you talk you call on a collection of words and grammatical tricks at the tip of your tongue. In music those are known as licks, riffs and phrases. Developing your repertoire of licks is not difficult, but it takes time. These five steps can be applied to any kind of improvising: 1) Play tunes by ear, 2) Embellish those tunes, 3) Go crazy, 4) Invent systems, 5) See it and play it.
PaperRank:
Three against two, hemiola, is a fundamental building block of musical structure, but it is not e... more Three against two, hemiola, is a fundamental building block of musical structure, but it is not evenly distributed across the world’s musical cultures. I discuss it at the beginning of Chapter VI, “Rhythm Methods: Patterns of Construction”, in Beethoven’s Anvil (Basic Books 2001, pp. 116-142). This passage based on material cut from a pre-final draft. I am publishing it here because 1) it is an important topic, and 2) it is built around the advice that a great piano virtuoso, Joseph Hoffman, had given in the pages of Ladies Home Journal back in the early 1900s. Think about that, a great piano virtuoso wrote a regular column for Ladies Home Journal.
PaperRank:
After an introductory chapter, Mithen has six chapters that are more or less about music and the ... more After an introductory chapter, Mithen has six chapters that are more or less about music and the brain. The second part of the book consists of ten chapters starting with a review of primate communication and then presenting Mithen’s speculative reconstruction of the steps leading through the origins and elaboration of musicking to its final differentiation into language and music. All of these chapters contain useful information and intelligent synthesis that is well and cleanly presented to a cumulatively brilliant effect. Rather than attempt to review all of this material I will only cover the topics that, for better or worse, I found interesting. I will then offer some speculations of my own on music and sociality and conclude with some general remarks.
PaperRank:
The Future of Africa., 2003
Sometime in the last million years or so a band of exceedingly clever apes began chanting and dan... more Sometime in the last million years or so a band of exceedingly clever apes began chanting and dancing, probably somewhere in East Africa, and thereby transformed themselves into the first humans. We are all cultural descendants of this first African musicking and all music is, in a genealogical sense, African music. More specifically, as a consequence of the slave trade African music has moved from Africa to the Americas, where it combined with other forms of music, from Europe but indigenous as well. These hybrids moved to the rest of the world, including back to Africa, which re-exported them.
PaperRank:
Nikongo Ba'Nikongo, ed., Leading Issues in Afro-American Studies. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press. pp. 189-233., 1997
European-American racism has used African America as a screen on which to project repressed emoti... more European-American racism has used African America as a screen on which to project repressed emotion, particularly sex and aggression. One aspect of this projection is that whites are attracted to black music as a means of expressing aspects of themselves they cannot adequately express through music from European roots. Thus twentieth century expressive culture in the United States has been dominated by an evolving socio-cultural system in which blacks create musical forms and whites imitate them. It happened first with jazz, and then with rock and roll. The sexual revolution and the recent floresence of blacks in television and movies suggests that white America has had some success in using black American expressive forms to cure its affective ills. The emergence of rap, from African America, and minimalism, from European America, indicates that this system is at a point where it is ready to leave Western expressive culture behind as history moves to the next millennium.
PaperRank:
It is common to talk of such things as Western culture, African culture, Oriental culture, etc. a... more It is common to talk of such things as Western culture, African culture, Oriental culture, etc. as though they described culturally coherent entities. If we look closely at the evolution of jazz in 20th century America, however, we see that this division between “the West and the Rest” is incoherent. For example, the idea that jazz is specifically American in character arose in propaganda during WWII and was not a result of cultural analysis. The idea of Western culture seems to be ideologically driven and is only loosely related to the details of cultural origin and practice.
PaperRank:
It is well known that music can engender altered states of consciousness that are difficult to in... more It is well known that music can engender altered states of consciousness that are difficult to interpret scientifically except as odd malfunctions in the nervous system. In this paper I report a phenomenon known among some musicians as “the magic of the bell”: the emergence of high-pitched twittering sounds when a group is playing interlocking rhythms on different bells. These sounds cannot be attributed to any of the musicians and they emerge only when the group is a group is playing bells with passion and precision. I argue that those sounds arise through interpersonal coupling among the musicians and that the ‘naïve’ temptation to attribute them to a ‘spirit’ or ‘spirits’ can be reconciled with a close description that does not presuppose non-physical entities. Those spirits should be conceived as the embodiment of non-mysterious and physically coherent group process. This argument has ramifications for how we think of time and how we think of longer cycles of group life.
PaperRank:
Russell A. Barkley has argued that ADHD is fundamentally a disorientation in time. These notes ex... more Russell A. Barkley has argued that ADHD is fundamentally a disorientation in time. These notes explore the possibility that music, which requires and supports finely tuned temporal cognition, might play a role in ameliorating ADHD. The discussion ranges across cultural issues (grasshopper vs. ant, lower rate of diagnosis of ADHD among African-Americans), play, distribution of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, neural development, and genes in culture (studies of the distribution of alleles for dopamine receptors). Unfortunately, the literature on ADHD does not allow us to draw strong conclusions. We do not understand what causes ADHD nor do we understand how best to treat the condition. However, in view of the fact that ADHD does involve problems with temporal cognition, and that music does train one’s sense of timing, the use of music therapy as a way of ameliorating ADHD should be investigated. I also advocate conducting epidemiological studies about the relationship between dancing and music in childhood, especially in early childhood, and the incidence of ADHD.
PaperRank:
Some important aspects of physiological function can be conceptualized as a system of coupled osc... more Some important aspects of physiological function can be conceptualized as a system of coupled oscillators. In a similar fashion, coupled oscillation can be used to understand musical interaction between individuals. The looping circuitry of individual nervous systems can be thought of as a bank of oscillators while musical sound provides the coupling function linking individuals together in a very satisfying form of social interaction. By providing severely disabled patients with simple piezoelectric triggers they can play electronic musical instruments well enough to join together in making music that is satisfying to them and to others as well. This article discusses three such patients and suggests avenues for future research.

Women Don't Ask PDF Free Download

PaperRank:
This document is in three parts. The first is some experiences I’ve had as a musician which give ... more This document is in three parts. The first is some experiences I’ve had as a musician which give me some insight into how emotion & magic arise in musical performance. The second part contains a few statements by listeners. The third part is a list of passages by various performers that I’ve collected from various sources over the years.
PaperRank:
Notes from a two-day recording session in early January of 1993 where Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, J... more Notes from a two-day recording session in early January of 1993 where Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, John Cerminaro, and Cecil Licad record the Brahms Horn Trio.
PaperRank:
Graffiti may or may not be art, and that may or may not matter. To those ends I discuss a half do... more Graffiti may or may not be art, and that may or may not matter. To those ends I discuss a half dozen or so pieces in different styles, show that, whatever his particular style, Ceaze’s letterforms do not overlap, identify X-form and ‘crazy organic’ as styles, and distinguish between ‘old school’ and wild style. Moreover, because of its insistence on the name as the basic matrix of a piece, graffiti may represent a break from the past comparable to the adoption of 3D perspective in the early modern era and the creation of abstraction at the beginning of the modern. Finally, graffiti exists on at least a half dozen different quality levels.
PaperRank:
This document describes a major graffiti exhibition involving 100 artists producing 28,000 square... more This document describes a major graffiti exhibition involving 100 artists producing 28,000 square feet of graffiti on the interior and exterior walls of a Pep Boys store in Jersey City. The building has been sold to developers, who will demolish it in mid-summer 2015. Topics include: history of the project, stylistic and thematic analysis of the art, and social context of the exhibition.
PaperRank:
Notes on Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, with som... more Notes on Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, with some consideration of compositionism. These ideas are developed with ideas and concepts from cognitive science, literary studies, music, and extensive examples from the world of contemporary graffiti.
PaperRank:
A brief presentation of graffiti in the northern section of downtown Jersey City. Includes photos... more A brief presentation of graffiti in the northern section of downtown Jersey City. Includes photos and links to online photos and some discussion of local history.
PaperRank:
A plan whereby Jersey City, a medium-sized city across the Hudson River from Manhattan, can creat... more A plan whereby Jersey City, a medium-sized city across the Hudson River from Manhattan, can create a two-mile cultural corridor that could bring ninty-million dollars ($90,000,000) of tourist revenue in to the city. The key element in the plan is to make graffiti legal in certain areas of the city and to encourage world-class artists to work there. The plan can be bootstrapped on skateparks, where graffiti is part of the culture.
PaperRank:
Graffiti exists in a liminal zone undefined and unwonted by any particular cultural institution. ... more Graffiti exists in a liminal zone undefined and unwonted by any particular cultural institution. Born on the streets, it exists on walls where it is subject to the weather and to the needs of and desires of the graffiti writers who explore those walls. It is the graffiti site, rather than the individual piece, that is central expressive locus of graffiti culture. Because the site is ever changing, subject to a dynamic controlled by multiple parties (graffiti writers, passers-by, municipal authorities, and the weather) we can think of the site as “home” to a tutelary “spirit,” known in Japan as a kami.
PaperRank:
The human sciences encompass a wide variety of disciplines: literary studies, musicology, art his... more The human sciences encompass a wide variety of disciplines: literary studies, musicology, art history, anthropology (cultural and physical), psychology (perceptual, cognitive, evolutionary, Freudian, etc.), sociology, political science, economics, history, cultural geography, and so forth. In this paper I process to organize courses and curricula aso as to include: 1) material from three different methodological styles (interpretive, behavioral or social scientific, and structural/constructive: linguistics, cognitive science), 2) historical and structural/functional approaches, and 3) materials from diverse cultures. The overall scheme is exemplified by two versions of a course on Signs and Symbols, one organized around a Shakespeare play and the other organized around traditional disciplines.
PaperRank:
This working paper consists of a series of posts written for an online workshop in connected lear... more This working paper consists of a series of posts written for an online workshop in connected learning: Connected Courses. It was conducted in the Fall of 2014 and was sponsored by the DML Hub, as part of the MacArthur Foundation, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. It contains notes on learning, pedagogical styles of different courses, the nature of the online world, and the challenges of life-long learning.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems, 1994
First paragraph: Students of cognitive evolution and of twentieth century thought are fortunate i... more First paragraph: Students of cognitive evolution and of twentieth century thought are fortunate in the simultaneous appearance of these two biographies. No doubt the simultaneity is mostly coincidence. The physicist Richard Feynman is most widely known, alas, for two autobiographical collections of anecdotes which reveal him to be a waggish and riggish anti-establishment sort; he is most deeply known for his contributions to quantum electrodynamics. John von Neumann was a thoroughly establishment sort - soldiers guarded his hospital room as he lay dying of brain cancer just in case he let out defense secrets in his sleep - and is most widely know as the name which appears in phrases like “computers using the von Neumann architecture.” The two men crossed paths in Los Alamos, where they worked on the atomic bomb. That crossing is a reasonable place to begin our review.
PaperRank:
Computer-based mediation and brokerage, coupled with the expanding role of information technology... more Computer-based mediation and brokerage, coupled with the expanding role of information technology in a globalized economy, has political, social, managerial, and economic consequences which manifest themselves in the virtual organization. Virtual organization is founded on the separation of requirements from the ways in which requirements are met. One result of this separation is a weakening of personal, political, and business loyalties. Absent a sense of loyalty to persons or places, virtual organizations distance themselves—both geographically and psychologically—from the regions and countries in which they operate. This process is undermining the nation-state, which cannot continue indefinitely to control virtual organizations. A new feudal system is in the making, in which power and authority are vested in private hands but which is based on globally distributed resources rather than on possession of land. The evolution of this new political economy will determine how we do business in the future. This paper explores these issues by presenting three fictional scenarios each centered on a different person.
PaperRank:
On the evening of July 22 I learned that Dick Macksey had died earlier that day. He was a Hopkins... more On the evening of July 22 I learned that Dick Macksey had died earlier that day. He was a Hopkins legend – a prodigious polymath who speaks who knows how many languages, a tireless teacher, a genial host, and an indefatigable conversationalist who owns more books than the Library of Alexandria, though only a few of them are quite so old. Everyone had said so for decades, and Everyone is now saying it again.
The thing about legends is that they are based in fact, but the amplification serves to create distance from facts behind the legend.
I worked with Macksey for seven years between 1966, the spring of my freshman year at Johns Hopkins, and the fall 1973, when I went to SUNY Buffalo to get a doctorate in English literature. I have had occasional contact with him since then, both in person and over the phone. I knew the legend. I would also like to think I glimpsed the man.
PaperRank:
One feature of Trump's Presidency is that he consistently blurs the line between his personal int... more One feature of Trump's Presidency is that he consistently blurs the line between his personal interests and duties and his duties to and responsibility for the nation. This kind of distinction has been dramatized in various works, such as Shakespeare plays (Henry V, Part II) and current TV series, The Crown, and NCIS. General behavior and policies aside, there are two specific mechanisms Trump employs that act to blur that crucial distinction: 1) He issues a constant stream of tweets on political matters and on national policy. 2) He conducts regular campaign-style rallies around the nation. Using these two mechanisms he projects his unbridled Id over the nation, thereby connecting with his ' base ' and, in effect, fusing with it to form a hybrid cybernetic organ of national control.
PaperRank:
In the summer of 2018 a scandal broke out at New York University concerning the way a senior lite... more In the summer of 2018 a scandal broke out at New York University concerning the way a senior literary critic, Avital Ronell, had exploited a graduate student, Nimrod Reitman. This paper examines this scandal in the general context of academic literary criticism as it developed in the third quarter of the 20th century, eventuating in the phenomenon of the “star” critic. Ronell is such a star. Stardom is one thing, however, and is specific to the particular conditions of literary criticism. Abuse is a different phenomenon, tied to personal behavior and informal local norms. The paper includes a close analysis of a short article Ronell wrote on the occasion of the death of Jacques Derrida, her teacher and mentor.
PaperRank:
Computer Science: Key to a Space Program Renaissance: Final Report of the 1981 NASA/ASEE Summer Study on the Use of Computer Science and Technology in NASA., Jan 1982
Computing technologies have the potential to radically transform the way we live. Such a transfor... more Computing technologies have the potential to radically transform the way we live. Such a transformation is not inevitable, nor is it necessarily good. The purpose of this paper is to place this possibility into its proper historical perspective and to consider, in a general way, how one plans for it. The first section considers the place of the 'Information Age' in history, suggesting that it is the fourth major transformation in human cultural evolution. The next section develops a five-dimensional metaphor outline certain basic factors which may be considered in a strategic plan for the use of computing technology. The final section discusses a specific aspect of that planning – the relationship between computing and productivity – and suggests that the transforming power of computing technology lies in the possibility of dramatically increasing productivity as intelligent computer becomes routine and reliable.
PaperRank:
The first section sketches a broad historical framework in which to understand the emergence of t... more The first section sketches a broad historical framework in which to understand the emergence of the computer and the profession of technical communication and sets the stage by concluding that the computer is both a part of the technological milieu which needs technical communicators and a tool which communicators can use. Then comes a brief review of computer applications in terms of numerical, nonnumerical, and communication applications and dumb, clever, and intelligent program functions. Then the author argues that advances in computer science will narrow the gap between writing computer programs and documenting them to the point where technical communicators in the software field will be programmers. The final section suggests that computing technology will give technical communicators professional autonomy comparable to that currently enjoyed by doctors and lawyers. Computing technology has more to offer the technical communicator than word and text processing and the technical communicator has more to offer the computer technologist than after-the-fact documentation of his computer systems. The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between these two statements. First, let us establish a broad perspective by considering the computer and technical communication in relationship to the history of human communication systems. Then, review some of the wonders which computing technology has to offer the technical communicator. After this, turn the tables and consider what technical communicators can do to assuage the fears of those who wonder, What good is a computer if the programs are unreliable and access to them is difficult? Conclude with a general discussion of the relationship between the disciplines of technical communication and applied computer science.
PaperRank:
This recounts my history with personal computers, from a Z80 machine in 1981 through my Macintosh... more This recounts my history with personal computers, from a Z80 machine in 1981 through my Macintosh PowerBook Pro Retina today. I discuss the machines themselves, how I use them, the man-machine interface, and how computing has changed the way I work and afforded me new possibilities. Working as an independent scholar, the Internet has given me an intellectual life that would have otherwise been impossible. I have easy access to reference materials, to other scholars, and publishing opportunities that aren’t encumbered by old modes of thought or by the limitations of print publication
PaperRank:
This document sketches a natural language interface for end user software, such as PowerPoint. Su... more This document sketches a natural language interface for end user software, such as PowerPoint. Such programs are basically worlds that exist entirely within a computer. Thus the interface is dealing with a world constructed with a finite number of primitive elements. You hand-code a basic language capability into the system, then give it the ability to ‘learn’ from its interactions with the user, and you have your basic PPA.
PaperRank:
Fourteen (14) essays I wrote for 3 Quarks Daily during 2014 on a variety of subjects, including A... more Fourteen (14) essays I wrote for 3 Quarks Daily during 2014 on a variety of subjects, including American culture and aggression, graffiti, cultural evolution, music, the humanities, and the future.
PaperRank:
A fragment of intellectual autobiography about how encounters with poems by Keats, Shelley, and C... more A fragment of intellectual autobiography about how encounters with poems by Keats, Shelley, and Coleridge pitched me into the cognitive study of literature. Glimpses of Johns Hopkins, Dick Macksey, Earl Wasserman, and the 60s.
PaperRank:
Concepts of self-organization and complexity originating in statistical mechanics have proven use... more Concepts of self-organization and complexity originating in statistical mechanics have proven useful in many disciplines. This paper gives an informal development of basic concepts of entropy, irreversibility, phase space, and self-organization using a bit of table-top physics anyone can observe. I placed ink droplets into a tumbler of water and photographed the evolution of this system over four hours. Vertical convention cells (self-organization) had appeared by eight (8) minutes but were almost gone by two (2) hours and twenty (20) minutes.
PaperRank:
The MacArthur Fellows Program would be more effective in supporting creatives if it simply stoppe... more The MacArthur Fellows Program would be more effective in supporting creatives if it simply stopped giving fellowships to people with secure jobs at elite institutions; they don’t need help in order to function. This paper elaborates that argument; considers three fellows gifted in the first year; examines the problems involved in evaluating talent; and evaluates three elite schools. It concludes by looking at the careers of three certified geniuses: Louis Armstrong, John von Neumann, and Richard Feynman.
Version 7 has updates on the classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.
PaperRank:
Rome Air Development Center Technical Report, RADC-TR-81-118, 1981
The report documents the results of a six-month R&D effort consisting of a critical examination a... more The report documents the results of a six-month R&D effort consisting of a critical examination and feasibility test of the metagramming technique to assess its innovative utility in providing an improved access to databases in the COINS network. The introduction briefly describes current problems in software development/management and outlines metagramming principles. The first chapter illustrates state-of-the-art limitations of conventional programming. The second chapter elucidates the conceptual foundations of metagramming (multi-level abstraction, cognitive processes) and describes a three-level computational system based on metagramming. The third chapter discusses a continuous evolutionary growth of cognition to progressively higher strata described as a sequence of cognitive jumps, each of them characterized by a greater control over complexity than its predecessor. The historical evolution of computational technology is described in the fourth chapter, prior to highlighting the role of higher-level abstractions and the “universal executive” inherent in the metagramming strategy of computation. The fifth chapter envisions the development of metagramming technology as a series of successively easier-to-use machines. The problem of control in metagramming processes is addressed in the sixth chapter. The seventh chapter discusses computational requirements associated with progressively more complex world models inherent in the evolution of metagramming from the initial system (level 0) to a multi-system (level-6). The last chapter deals with the applicability of metagramming to intelligence needs as a means of substantially enhancing the analytic competence of the intelligence community. A discussion of metagramming in the context of intelligence requirements is provided in the Appendix.
PaperRank:
American Anthropologist, 1972
Eleven focal colors are named by basic color terms in many languages. The most salient colors (bl... more Eleven focal colors are named by basic color terms in many languages. The most salient colors (black, white, and perhaps red) are named in all languages; the least salient of the set are named in fewer languages. Salience correlates with earliness of introduction, as measured by a scale of social evolution; with brevity of expression, as measured by phonemic length of basic color terms; with frequency of use, as measured by frequency of basic color terms in literary languages; and with frequency of mention in ethnographic literature. None of these correlations are established in the pioneer study of Berlin and Kay (1969), a study whose defects are well exposed by Durbin (1972) and Wescott (1970). The first two were documented respectively in Naroll (1970) and Durbin (1972); the last two are documented here. These four correlations independently support the Berlin-Kay color salience theory. They furnish a sound basis for further research on color term salience in particular and indeed on salience phenomena in general. We speculate that salience may be an important general principle of cultural evolution.
PaperRank:
Cross-Cultural Research, 1994
Raoul Naroll planned to call a book on cultural evolution Painful Progress. The progressiveness o... more Raoul Naroll planned to call a book on cultural evolution Painful Progress. The progressiveness ofevolution is apparent in data on longevity, economic inequality, and so forth. What Naroll intended to say about pain cannot be known, but he opened and closed The Moral Order by mentioning the pain of incomprehension. The author argues that progress causes such pain during periods of transition but alleviates this and other kinds of pain over the long term
PaperRank:
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Vol 19, 1976
An encyclopedia article on cognitive networks: networks: processes and information structure, par... more An encyclopedia article on cognitive networks: networks: processes and information structure, paradigmatic systems, representations systems, syntagmatic systems, the concrete objects, objects in space-time: thought and communication, causality: information retrieval, integration, and selection.
PaperRank:
A seminal paper on dependency grammar by its chief early proponent in the United States, David H... more A seminal paper on dependency grammar by its chief early proponent in the United States, David Hays.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 18(1): 9-32, 1995
From the introduction (p. 10): “Working apparently without knowledge of Naroll, Leonard Sagan (19... more From the introduction (p. 10): “Working apparently without knowledge of Naroll, Leonard Sagan (1987) examined the facts of life and death in human history and concluded that increase in human life expectancy cannot be explained by improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and medicine, because these improvements either came after increase in longevity or were ineffective. Instead, doubling of the human lifespan must be due to “the rise of hope and the decline of despair” in the modern world, following the French Enlightenment. Sagan describes his book as dense with unproved assertions, but to the extent that his conclusions are correct, they provide an alternative justification for Naroll’s core values. If longer, healthier lives on the average are not preferable to short, sickly ones, what significance remains for the act of valuing? (We have to say “on the average” to allow for extraordinary situations where illness or early death serves a great purpose.) And, more significantly, if shortness of life and bad health are due to hopelessness and despair, all relativistic questions about happiness and quality of life are gainsaid.” The body of the article examines worldwide statistics on health, wealth, and social life and an appendix gives 32 scatter plots depicting the data.
PaperRank:
Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 15(2), 1993
The capacity for integration of personality and formation of character changes in cultural evolut... more The capacity for integration of personality and formation of character changes in cultural evolution. Mechanisms of ego defense arisewith literacy, and mechanisms of reorganization arise in and after the Renaissance. Expressive culture, consisting of religions, magics, arts, and entertainments, etc., differentiate correspondingly. At present, levels of art, entertainment, and diversion can be distinguished by the demands they make on their audiences, and by their effects. Neurologically, the problem may be to bring cortical goals, such as the need for beauty, truth, love, and justice into concordance with animal goals, such as the need for security, sustenance, sex, and sociality. The difficulty of this problem is reflected in the prevalence of perversions.
PaperRank:
by David G. Hays. In (R.R. Geyer & D. R. Schietzer, Eds.): Theories of Alienation. pp. 169-187., 1976
Uses cognitive networks to analyze different concepts of alienation, including those in sociology... more Uses cognitive networks to analyze different concepts of alienation, including those in sociology by Karl Marx and Melvin Seeman, and Walter Gerson in psychiatry. Each of these concepts employs a different ontology. A notion of assignment is developed wherein complex entities are seen as a assignment between aspects in different realms of being. Abstract concepts are seen as being defined by stories.
PaperRank:
Daedalus, 1973
From the opening paragraph: “A scientific discussion of how language provides a vehicle for socia... more From the opening paragraph: “A scientific discussion of how language provides a vehicle for social relationships must therefore consist, as I see it, of an analysis of the mechanism of human affection, an analysis of the mechanism of speech, and a composition of the two. Unfortunately, any discussion of this fundamental problem must be highly speculative. Nevertheless, I feel that the present discussion is justified by the value of summarizing the speculations of a number of predecessors and contemporaries, by the existence of a few rather recent observations and experiments that may be the precursors of a new wave, and by the resulting possibility of speculating today on a slightly deeper level than heretofore.'
PaperRank:
PaperRank:
PaperRank:
In a recent review of articles in computational criticism Franco Moretti and Oleg Sobchuk bring u... more In a recent review of articles in computational criticism Franco Moretti and Oleg Sobchuk bring up the issue of tree-like (dendriform) vs. reticular phylogenies in biology and pose the question for the form taken by the evolution of cultural objects: How is cultural information transmitted, vertically (leading to trees) or horizontally (yielding webs)? Dendriform phylogenies are particularly interesting because one can infer the phylogenetic history of an ensemble of species by examining the current state. The horizontal transmission of information in webs obscures any historical signal.
PaperRank:
In Macroanalysis (2013) Matthew Jockers created a graph depicting similarity relationships betwee... more In Macroanalysis (2013) Matthew Jockers created a graph depicting similarity relationships between 3300 19th century Anglophone novels, each characterized by 600 features. The graph is derived from a database that contains no date information. When projected onto two-dimensions and visualized, however, the graph has a gradient that is aligned with time. I 1) interpret the graph as a trace of the activity of complex dynamical system (19th century Anglophone novels), 2) conclude that the system has an inherent temporal direction, and 3) contrast it with systems that evolve through random or through cyclic trajectories. I suggest that as this system evolves the range of design possibilities for novels becomes larger, allowing them to encompass a greater range of human experience. I conclude by asserting that evolving literary culture is itself a force in history.
PaperRank:
Vector semantics allows us to use a corpus to construct a geometric model of semantic relations b... more Vector semantics allows us to use a corpus to construct a geometric model of semantic relations between words in the corpus. We may think of that model as a representation of a ' corporate ' mind as the fact that many authors are represented in the corpus is incidental to its use. The model, in effect, presents us with the relational semantics of the language in the corpus. Given that, I consider a passage from Paradise Lost that Michael Gavin had examined, and reanalyze it as a path through semantic space, through the mind, and suggest that, for the first time, we are in a position to map the mind by tracing the paths of literary texts through semantic space. Way back at the end of September I posted the first of a two, possibly three, post series: Notes toward a theory of the corpus, Part 1: History. 1 I figured the second post would follow within a couple days and perhaps a third a few days after that. I got delayed, diverted by other matters. But here we are with the second post. As I said at the beginning of that post, by corpus I mean a collection of texts. The texts can be of any kind, but I am interested in literature, so I'm interested in literary texts. What can we infer from a corpus of literary texts? Then I was interested in history. This time around I'm interested in the mind. History and the mind, two different, but not unrelated, phenomena. The fact that a given corpus consists of text by many different authors is essential to making historical inferences. The different authors published at different times; we can use a corpus of those different texts to arrive at inferences about historical process. In that earlier post I used Mathew Jockers' 1 New Savanna, https://new-savanna.blogspot.com/2018/09/notes-toward-theory-of-corpus-part-1.html.
PaperRank:
Using Matthew Jockers' study of influence in Macroanalysis (2013), I argue that we may think of t... more Using Matthew Jockers' study of influence in Macroanalysis (2013), I argue that we may think of that study as an operationalization of the idea of Spirit or Geist, from German idealist philosophy. A book is an expression of its author's mind, and so in a sense of readers' minds as well. A corpus is a collection of books, an expression of the minds of a population, their collective Geist. An analysis of such a corpus is thus a description of, a 'snapshot' of, some aspect of that Geist. In the case of Jockers' study of influence, it shows us direction in time. Note, however, that is simply a vector in an abstract space. Figuring out what that direction is, that requires an act of interpretation.
This version contains notes which I've appended to the original draft.
PaperRank:
'Kubla Khan' and 'This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison' are constructed on utterly different schemes, t... more 'Kubla Khan' and 'This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison' are constructed on utterly different schemes, though they share some of the same underlying components. 'Kubla Khan' is ontological and impersonal in character and makes extensive use of convolution in calculating meanings. It reveals the structure of being. 'Lime-Tree Bower' is narrative and personal and makes little or no use of convolution. It reveals the unfolding of subjectivity in time. The two poems also differ in their versification, a differences which is related to their different strategies of meaning.
PaperRank:
'Kubla Khan' has two movements. The movements have the same form: each movements segment into thr... more 'Kubla Khan' has two movements. The movements have the same form: each movements segment into three components (where the middle component, in turn, segments into three components and, once again (the middle component segments into three components)). All other divisions are binary. Iif we concentrate on the centers of the two movements we have that seething fountain occupying the same SLOT (middle of the (middle of the (middle))) in the first movement as the dome and the cave occupy in the second movement. And the dome and caves occupy the same SLOT in the first movement as “drunk the milk of Paradise!” plays in the second movement. Notice that the final words of both movements, “ice” and “Paradise” respectively, rhyme.
PaperRank:
Draft material on what a toy model of computational semantics can tell us about literary texts. W... more Draft material on what a toy model of computational semantics can tell us about literary texts. With and example from Shakespeare, Sonnet 129
PaperRank:

Whether it’s a higher salary, much-deserved promotion, or more help at home, women find it hard to ask for what they want. They pay for this reluctance in every aspect of their lives—in lost income, slower career progress, barred access to leadership roles at work and health risks at home.

Drawing on research in psychology, sociology, organizational behavior and economics as well as interviews with men and women from all walks of life, Women Don't Askhas become the essential go-to text for women seeking insight into their vexed relationship with negotiating and for businesses and institutions wanting to make their organization culture more accepting of women who ask. Forbes magazine included Women Don’t Ask in its list of “The 75 Smartest Books We Know.”

'Eye-opening and riveting.'

— Virginia Valian, author of Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women

“A highly readable, thoroughly researched and important book.”

Alan Krueger, The New York Times

CONTACT:

Linda Babcock

sara laschever

CARNEGIE MELLON LEADERSHIP & NEGOTIATION ACADEMY FOR WOMEN

PROGRESS: EMPOWERING GIRLS & WOMEN

Women refrain from negotiating even when they know that negotiation is necessary to get what they want. Years of socialization have taught women the dangers of appearing “too aggressive” and their lack of experience makes them worry that they won’t negotiate effectively if they try.

Ask For Itis designed to help women push back against these forces by teaching them to ask for what they want in ways that feel comfortable and do-able. Developed after years of real-world research, the book’s innovative four-step program guides women through the process of becoming more confident, savvy, and successful negotiators.

Finer Women Don't Haze

“Nice girls don’t ask, but smart women do. Ask For It provides the tangible tools and tips you need to get your fair share of the raises, promotions, and perks you’ve earned—and deserve.”

— Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

“Gives women a groundbreaking gift: the means to ask for what they’re worth...more pay, more status, more resources, more equitable treatment.'

Women Don' T Ask Pdf Free Download Windows 7

Evelyn Murphy, President, the WAGE Project