04 February 2007

The bisociation machine

arthur koestler's 1964 "the act of creation"
argued that creativity
in the arts
in the sciences
and in humor too
depends on 'bisociation'
in which disparate parts
are (creatively) unified

pynchon's creative strategy
can be usefully analysed
in these terms

take any image and ask
what disparate parts
he's trying to unify
(often math
and/or mysticism
and/or conspiracy
and/or slapstick)

the simplest model of synesthesia
is that the coding scheme
of one sense modality
is rerouted thru another

so if a high pitch
is represented by a faster rhythm
of neural firing
in the pathways from the ear

and the color red
is similarly encoded
in the pathways from the eye

the synesthesic mapping
from eye to ear or back
should match high pitch to red color

if we generalise
this version of bisociation
we might imagine a
bisociation machine
that takes as input
any two encoding schemes
and systematically
(or even randomly)
explores the consequences
of all possible mappings between them

and mirror neurons
can be seen as such a mapping
between 'self view'
and 'other view'

while g spencer brown's
aggressine 'idiocy'
can be seen as a rejection
of some 'other view' as inefficient
in favor of an intuited
future efficient 'self view'