In sfirsit, noul volum de poezii este gata! Am inclus o parte din poeziile publicate anterior pe acest site, dar si ceva nou (de fapt vechi, care a fost gasit pe paginile carnetului care se refera la acea perioada).
Cartea poate fi copiata de aici - Ctrl+Z (PDF version).
A fost un proiect interesant. Toate ilustratiile le-am facut singur, sau cu pix/foaie/creion, sau cu camera digitala, sau cu Paint.NET (grafica de rastru), sau cu editorul de grafica vectoriala Inkscape. PDF'ul a fost generat cu OpenOffice, PDF Creator avind probleme cu PNG'uri transparente.
Uhmm.. ilustratia pentru 'Prada' a fost implementata "from scratch", ca model a servit imaginea "Iram alien tree". Cu toate ca puteam s-o folosesc "as is" (licenta permite), am decis s-o fac singur, ca sa pot afirma ca n-a facut-o altcineva :-) Mult timp am cautat o persoana care va alcatui un desen pentru aceasta poezie, si acest proces a aminat "date of release" cu aproape 7 luni... Pina la urma tot singur am desenat-o :-)
In text si imagini pot fi gasite referinte ascunse catre: nume, filme, evenimente. Incearca sa le gasesti.
P.S. the disclaimer is serious - some things may not be what you think they are.
Comment from: Griliaj [Visitor]
fain ….. Ctrl+Z nu putem face … putem schimba orce numai nu trecutul …
‘Labirint’ rises above everything else – a true masterpiece.
However, I’m not that great at steganography… I could not find anything “hidden” except the pretty obvious erotic reference in ‘Prada’ (or am I completely out of my mind?)
If it’s something complicated like “the first letter of every 23rd word", you’ll have to give out a list of word separators first 8-)
Here’s what I’ve tried:
* extracted the images and rotated them in every possible way, looking for things that “are not what they look”
* extracted the text to check that there are no “white font on white background” parts
* tried combining letters near to the three places where three asterisks appear in the volume…
I guess I fail to see the simple things ;)
The verses on the last page strangely reminded me of “Under the spreading chestnut tree / I sold you and you sold me / …” Could that possibly be the source of inspiration?
[dupa ce am recitit ce-am scris]
Si acum intrebarea zilei: de ce #@%! am scris in engleza?!?!
Si apropo, in soviet Russia, past changes YOU!!
Buna incercare cu #23, dar nu in asta e fishka (-: (am privit si eu filmul “The number 23″, am fost wow-impresionat)
Pina cind o persoana a reusit sa descopere ceva pe prima pagina; discutia a fost pe ICQ, si nu aici, de aceea mai ai inca sansa sa gasesti si tu ceva acolo.
Ai dreptate despre versul de pe ultima pagina. Intr-adevar, acesta a fost scris in asa fel incit sa aminteasca despre versul din “1984″; m-a atins partea “I sold you, and you sold me", un fel de mutual lack of trust, mutual “ah, it won’t work…", mutual Shift+Del. These things happen.
Cele 3 strategii pe care le-ai mentionat - nu, teoretic nu ar trebui sa se primeasca nimic.
hint: pe ultima pagina sunt 3 elemente ascunse. Un element l-ai gasit.
read your poems, and they seem to be from a different time somehow. possibly because of their neat rhymes and rhythm. this could also be the reason why they read like song lyrics to me. but i guess this isn’t the only reason. there seems to be this singer-songwriter type of dude behind them. nice work.
Hm… I’ve read them too, and what I can say is that I noticed the neatness, and it bothers me :-)
I keep telling myself that with a bit more experience, I will be able to write a program that will write my next poem for me :-) I.. see them as a set of patterns with little variation between them.
One day I decided to make an experiment, it is documented here.
Whether there is a difference or not, I don’t know; but my subjective opinion is that there was an effect. (disclaimer: causation does not imply causation)
What you say about songs is true. Sometimes it hurts so much that words are simply not enough. Which is why one of my plans is to learn how to play the guitar and/or the piano.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
skimmed through your post on the experiment. didn’t read enough of this blog to be able to pronounce myself on the changes in your poetry, though. actually, reading your poems made me ask myself why don’t I write that way. rather, why is it that I’m incapable of writing like that. i’m inclined to think it’s because i had different influences. reading you I kept wondering: what are his influences? well, not like it boils down to that. of course, the question now is: what makes influences stick?
maybe i’ll try your experiment. my left hand needs practice anyway (for piano-related reasons, since you mentioned applied music). good thing you wanna learn to play! i imagine you’d make cool stuff, being a computer guy.
just curious: why does the neatness bother you? for the same reasons that sadness does?
what makes influences stick?
This is a very interesting question. It could be a “spur of the moment", or it could be explained by some design feature of the human brain. Perhaps something in its structure determines the type of things that stick to us.
What’s your area of expertise? What do you study? Do you have the skills that are needed to answer such questions? If yes, I’d definitely like to research this matter.
I think this has to be linked to one’s competences. For example, I may like many things and I can be impressed by a lot of works of art; however - I will only be able to reproduce them or make similar works if, and only if I understand how they were created.
Many factors can influence me, but a visible trace will only be left if I fully understood the modus operandi.
Sometimes exposure to a specific type of art can exert an influence as well. You can make a list of words that are typical to an author, then challenge yourself with “write a poem that uses all these words". You’ll end up producing something that resembles the style that has inspired you. (but I must emphasize that this is going to work if you can relate to the author’s state of mind, feelings)
just curious: why does the neatness bother you? for the same reasons that sadness does?
It doesn’t, at least not anymore :-) You’ve challenged me with a good question and I’ve been thinking about it. The explanation I came up with is simple - for the same reason that people who grow in places where there are no bananas like bananas :-)
Scarcity makes something more desirable. In contrast, a resource that is available in plenty is perceived as less attractive, less important - because people are used to it being there. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
In my case, “neatness” is an abundent resource, I’ve got an infinite supply of it; anti-neatness, on the other hand, is something I tend to value more, just because I [think I] don’t have it. (It reminds me of “People always talk about the weather”)
Another plausible explanation is that I was lead to believe that “neat rhymes” are trivial to come up with. “Pick some words, then use a dictionary to find other words that are just as long and that have the same ending :-) Even a dumbass can do that". That’s not very good for one’s self-esteem.
Now I think that neatness has nothing to do with it, what matters is the message itself (neatness is just one of the ways to represent the message). As long as there is a hidden message that can be read between the lines, it is not “something that even a dumbass can do” :-)
Sadness is another interesting element. In such a state I can concentrate, I can be creative, I can get things done. I am afraid that at some point I will end up creating “artificial trouble", just to make myself do something. The bad part is that I can hurt other people in the process. Naturally - this bothers me. (note: this is an unverified claim, further research is needed) It turns out it is not the first time I think about this. If sadness wasn’t a part of my life, would I ever write? It is difficult to admit that something I like depends on something I don’t like. If I accept one, I must accept the other too.
You say you are incapable of writing like that, but that is not necessarily the case. How do you write? And another one - do you want to change that?
what do you think are the skills that would enable us to answer the question ‘why do influences stick?’.
To answer your question, i study philosophy.
Now, the question of why influences stick is an empirical one, do you agree? I mean, there is a fact of the matter, one which, if you ask me, is impossible to determine. But that’s alright, plausibility will do. Psychoanalysis has addressed this question to my satisfaction (and mind you, i don’t have high standards just because not much hangs on this question for me. in fact, i didn’t even read further once I got a glimpse into it, such that I’m not even prepared for an educated discussion about psychoanalysis. I’d have to refresh my memory for that, but unfortunately I have other stuff to refresh my memory of at the moment. Roughly: we seem to have innate predispositions, and they become ‘activated’ depending on the kinds of ‘encounters’ we experience as children. In other words, traumas shape our preferences. I know this is too ‘in a nutshell’, but like I said, that’s as far as I can responsibly go at the moment).
Of course, the modus operandi is important, but i thought our question came before this: what is it that makes you likely to want to learn this modus operandi rather than another? But if you mean that the broadness of your area of expertise makes you open to more influences, then sure, I agree.
‘You can make a list of words that are typical to an author, then challenge yourself with “write a poem that uses all these words". You’ll end up producing something that resembles the style that has inspired you. (but I must emphasize that this is going to work if you can relate to the author’s state of mind, feelings)’ Hm…not quite how I imagine influence to work. I think what you appropriate from the authors that influences you is more subtle than particular words and topics. Also, I don’t take influence to be something consciously assumed, although some things can be consciously developed. But even if you choose a role model and set out to emulate him/her, is this really what you would do? Make a list o words? Well, i don’t wanna dwell too much on your example. It’s probable you only meant to instantiate your notion of influence, nothing more. I’ll try to give my own example. Let’s say I want to write like T.S. Eliot. First of all, there are various ways in which his style can be described, and accordingly, different people can write different kinds of poetry while claiming to emulate T.S.Eliot. I could, for instance, write without rhymes, use direct speech without signaling it in any obvious way, go from one point of view to another, from one speaker to another, again, without signaling it directly etc. Coming back to our original question: there is probably a reason why I like this in Eliot’s writing, and why I want to be able to write like that. Not sure about the answer, but I suppose it’s somewhere there, in the ‘dark corridors of my subconscious’. Roughly, this appeals to me because it seems to me to be the form that best suits the content i’m trying to get across.
I’d say the same to your ‘banana’ example: why bananas and not pineapples? Also, why is it that some things you can’t do don’t appeal to you at all? So scarcity isn’t the only factor..And i’m surprised you think neatness is abundant. Nowadays people hardly ever write in rhymes (that’s why I had that association with song lyrics and with poetry from another time). And I don’t agree: near rhymes aren’t as simple to come up with as you describe it. I mean, not like the rhyme is the only thing that matters. There’s also the fluency of the verse, the naturalness. Some people who insist on rhyming come up with such contrived mannerisms, or with utterly inane stuff. Most of your poetry is fluent in this sense.
Sadness: i think i know what you mean. back in the times when I was writing poetry, i never put pen to paper in a cheerful state of mind. Of course, writing simply because you’re sad puts some limitations on your poetry. Ideally I’d write in a state of sobriety, regardless of whether i’m happy or sad. in other words, i’d write because there’s something to say, period. I guess melancholy is more compatible with contemplation than cheer is, but this could well be a prejudice.
i don’t write poetry anymore. well, very rarely. how do I write? tough one. um, no rhymes, for one thing. and usually there are parables. do i want to change that? well, if i wanted to become a better poet, maybe i’d give this more thought. but poetry isn’t a priority. it’s a funny way to put it, i know, because people just write, period, without considering priorities. i hardly ever feel the urge to write a poem, so changing the way i write isn’t a living issue. usually, the problem i have with what i write is that it’s not interesting, original enough. it’s hardly ever a style complaint.
You know, I find it interesting that you wrote in the other message that things need to be clarified and that we have to summarize the bits.
I wanted to start this message with “Hmm.. I think this discussion has reached the phase in which it cannot continue to be organized unless we introduce a whiteboard and start drawing diagrams” :-)
I agree, I should have added a disclaimer. What I meant is that it is one of the easiest ways to get influenced, and it provides a fast result. I tried it myself once - after reading a book by Steliana Grama (in one breath), it turned out that my next poem ended up being very Grama-like (Грамаобразная :-) I didn’t think of that until someone pointed that out.
I decided to make an experiment - I re-read a part of her book, selected a few words I liked, then tried to write something that fits within the chosen constraints. I think it worked.
Picking some words is just one of the ways it can be done; this defines your mindset. Provided that in normal circumstances you write about the same things (ex: death, failure, irreversibility of time), you can be pretty sure there will be common features, such that an independent observer can spot the similarity.
Maybe it is just a coincidence (because I can easily relate to her feelings and I try to get the ~same message across), and I wouldn’t be able to repeat the same experiment with another author.
To check that, I made another test, this time it was with Dorothy Parker (check out “Men” and “Unfortunate Coincidence"). I tried a different approach - try to implement some typical features (rather than rely on a vocabulary), ex:
- it has to be about relationships,
- it has to talk about painful experience from the past,
- it has to be true (and sad, once you realize that it isn’t just humour, but also the truth)
(got no feedback on this one yet, can’t say how successful this was)
So you’re right, there are many ways in which you can try to emulate someone; and depending on the chosen path, the results will be different.
Note: my experience confirms that “quick influence” is possible only if some conditions are satisfied, ex:
- you can easily identify with the protagonist of the target author’s works
- you cover the same topics
- you have a similar sense of humour…
So… maybe my examples are not examples of emulations, and I was just revealing another part of me (which was there from the very beginning)?
Perhaps this means that another experiment needs to be made - try to emulate someone you don’t like, don’t understand, cannot relate to, etc. That can be much harder.
Influences, long term, subtle
At the same time I fully support you when you say that influences are subtle, unexpected, indirect, not-immediately-visible. These are the ones that really stick to us, and they will manifest themselves in anything we produce, even if we “configured” ourselves to [try to] be someone esle..
These can be very indirect, and the patterns can be barely visible. I think some statistical analysis could be handy here. We also need a brain scanner and access to the medical records of all the poets of the last century :-)
Thanks for the reference to T.S. Eliot, I will read that. “The Hippopotamus” is something I find attractive, but I need to read it more times (that’s me).
I’d say the same to your ‘banana’ example … [snip]
Hmm.. yes, I admit the example is somewhat flawed, maybe I should rephrase that. When I wrote “banana” I meant “pineapple” too; my definition is “banana = noun, anything that doesn’t grow here".
So, if you pick a typical child who was born and raised in an area with a temperate climate, then make them choose between:
[a] apple, pear, plum …
[b] banana, pineapple, mango …
they will most often go for [b], because of its novelty, the exotic factor, scarcity, etc. ( I know, but it is an experiment we can easily set up, so if we really really really need a citation, we can get one [or get none, hence discard this idea]).
Also, why is it that some things you can’t do don’t appeal to you at all? - you’re right, this is in tune with what I wrote in “Influences, quick” (this works, provided that some conditions are satisfied). If the hypothesis is right, then one will completely suck at emulating something they don’t like.
Scarcity.. I asked myself why this was the first thing that came to my mind, and why I thought that neatness was abundant… I figured this could be an answer - rhymezone. I immediately thought of a concept of a program that would retrieve the results from the site than generate verses, allowing a person to choose and tweak the one they prefer. Then, all you need to do is give this program to a thousand monkeys (ex: make a Facebook application from it:-) and wait.
But again, this is the point of view of a descendant of the ancient geeks (they always wanted to automate, then mass-produce :-)
Hmm.. prior to your intervention, I swear to dog, I thought neatness was a bug, not a feature.
Disclaimer - my opinion is biased by my incredibly small sample of read works (something makes me believe that I read far less than anyone else on this planet).
Why do influences stick?
Now, the question of why influences stick is an empirical one, do you agree? - You mean that we can answer it only by making experiments?
Yes and no. I suppose that once we understand the architecture of the human brain very well, we will be able to make predictions about the development of a baby. For instance, if the level of chemical X is above a certain threshold AND the size of Y is below 42, then the child will be better at identifying complex patterns [therefore if they become a poet, their rhymes won’t be neat - the rhyme will be there, but it will be so complex and subtle that only true pattern-hackers will be able to identify it]. In contrast, if those conditions are not satisfied, and the child becomes a poet, their rhymes will be “visible to the naked eye” (i.e. even a dumbass can see them, even a dumbass can devise them).
This example is not supposed to be accurate, I was just trying to find out what you meant by “empirical". In this case you can call it empirical, because it is based on some evidence harvested in practical experiments (ex: measure the level of a chemical); but at the same time it can be seen as theoretical (I used a chemical measurement and a chain of thought that enabled me to make a prediction with respect to one’s writing style - the connection is not evident).
Trauma - I think that’s a very good keyword for this discussion. But again, can we make sure this is the cause, rather than the effect? We call something “traumatic” if it had a heavy negative influence on us, because we couldn’t deal with it. If we could deal with it, then it wouldn’t be a trauma, would it? We’d say “ah, piece of cake!” or “eh, business as usual".
In other words, the same thing can happen to 2 different people, one of them can get past it with a breeze, while the other one can end up in a depression. This is in agreement with:
Roughly: we seem to have innate predispositions, and they become ‘activated’ depending on the kinds of ‘encounters’ we experience as children. In other words, traumas shape our preferences.
So there are 2 variables here:
I wouldn’t say that one is of a greater priority (unless there is some real evidence to support that). So was it the trauma that actually shaped the preference, or was it the predisposition?
I am inclined to think that predispositions play a greater role. Imagine a child who was lucky to have a smooth childhood - they won’t have any traumatic experiences; would that make them people without a personality?
Take a look at the poll on the top right - so far 7 people chose “my childhood was peaceful” (as many as those who said they were bullied). I know that if they weren’t bullied, they could be exposed to other types of painful events, but I think this exercise is still useful. We have philosophical zombies (someone who acts and reacts like a real person that has feelings and thoughts, but isn’t one:-), why can’t we have non-traumatized kids?
I guess melancholy is more compatible with contemplation than cheer is, but this could well be a prejudice. - That’s what I think too, but then I think of writers like Eminescu (who have sad stuff and cheerful stuff too). Which means that for some people it is possible to write about happiness when they are happy…
So either they dealt with their traumas better than we have, or they were so hurt that they ended up lying to themselves and pretending things are well, when they are not.
In any case, whether this argument holds water or not, depends on whether we find a way to destroy the hypothetically non-traumatized kid.
To answer your question, i study philosophy. - is this your primary academic field, or just something you’re interested in?
S.Grama, ha? I remember I liked her poems, but this was a long time ago and i only have a vague recollection of her texts. Recently I came across a poem blog set up by her mother, but it only contained the poetry she wrote as a child. which one of your poems is Грамаобразная? So there’s been an attempt to emulate Parker…Could it be the poem about having a heart and a brain? (nice one.)
So, influences: writing teachers often say that in order to improve your writing, it’s better to choose a role model and work towards emulating him/her. And they don’t mean aping, of course. They advise analyzing that writing so as to pin down how exactly your values (writing values, such as simplicity, elaborateness, irony, precision or what have you) are instantiated by the author you’re chosen. From there on it’s a matter of technique and practice.
I think it’s important that the advice is to choose an author that makes you say ‘that’s how I want to write when i grow up!’, not just someone whose writing you like, adore etc etc. It’s possible to be blown away by an author without wanting to be able to write like him/her. The thing is, when you choose a role-model, you most likely do it with a view to the raw material available to you - your own style, undeveloped as it is. Here’s where your ability to relate to the author, as you say, begins to matter. And as you conclude, it’s a bit misleading to call this emulation, because the role of the role model (pardon the repetition) is to help you develop some of the tendencies you already have. It’s an non-violent influence.
So you liked The Hippopotamus? Pretty neat, isn’t it? )) What I like is The Wasteland. Very different kind of stuff.
Neatness…Well, depends on what do you compare it with. What I like about most of your poems is that they don’t do violence to language in order to fit it into a rhythmical, rhymed verses. They’re not contrived, they’re natural. Of course, some people would say that art consists precisely in doing violence to regular tools such as language. In order to have artistic value, the words in a poem must be used for a different purpose than they are in everyday conversation. But this is another kind of violence which need not conflict with neatness. Neatness is bad if it leaves no surprises, if it makes poetry dull, but I don’t think this is a serious danger for you.
But I think I know what you mean: there are simple rhymes, there are complex ones. The same with verse structure. When I think about this, i understand better what you mean by wanting to transcend your condition. So you really can’t write otherwise than neatly? fascinating. whenever i try to write neatly (i’m talking about poetry here) i fail miserably. also, i don’t really try very hard cause, well, what’s the point? it’s clearly not my kind of thing, and I have no reason to try to appropriate it. So have you ever tried to write, say, without rhymes? I wonder what would you come up with if you tried..
apparently my comment was too long…now i realize how long it is…ok, here’s part two (for when you retire):
Influences: my bad, i used the word ‘empirical’ sloppily, and i ended up saying the opposite of what I meant. No, i don’t think we can use experiments to trace influences. But there is a fact of the matter. Yet we can’t gain full access to it by empirical study. We can’t have certainty, only plausibility. Like with psychoanalysis: you analyze someone’s history and make connections that shed some light on the origin of some of our tendencies, but that’s pretty much all we can do. As for the brain sciences, alright, they may be able to predict stuff, but that’s not exactly what i meant by influences. And there’s another thing about scientific explanations of lived phenomena: i cannot adopt the point of view of science when it comes to my own experiences. Science talks about electric impulses or what have you, but I feel pain, and I can’t analyze it (away) in the manner in which my doctor does. Well, i can, but i cannot substitute that analysis for my experience. Or, a bit closer to the topic: the doctor may say that I’m depressed because I lack substance X in my body, but i can only throw up my hands in the air at such an explanation, because from where I’m standing it has nothing to do with how I feel. I don’t mean to say that science is therefore wrong or irrelevant. nor am I denying a relation between chemistry and mood. Not at all. Only that the scientific account goes in parallel with my phenomenal account, and these are incommensurable domains. so it can be rather alienating to be told: ‘here’s what the tests show, here’s what’s wrong with you, here’s what you need to take to get better.’ it’s alienating because depression is reduced to chemistry, and yet i feel depression and not chemistry. Oh wow, that was one hell of a digression. Can we bracket it? Shall I delete it? That would be the easy way out. What I need to do is explain the connection with our topic. I was talking about the brain sciences and how they ‘explain’ influences. And my point, to the extent that I had one, was that from our first person perspective scientific explanations of our states of mind or of our tendencies are accepted as brute facts rather than explanations because science talks about physical properties, whereas we feel phenomenal qualia. Which is why an explanation in terms of trauma is more like what we can accept from the point of view of lived experience.
Trauma: in psychoanalysis (which is a VAST discipline with many approaches and I’m simplifying this by just saying ‘in psychoanalysis’, but perhaps for our purposes it’ll do…) trauma isn’t simply an experience that, well, traumatized you in the ordinary sense of the word. Trauma is a rupture, something that stood out from the uniformity of being and shaped you. It need not hurt. If it did hurt (that is, if you’ve grieved over it sufficiently), it’s not really a trauma. Basically, a trauma is something powerful that happens to you and which you cannot react to at the time when it happens. There’s this massive amount of energy that hits your system, and you cannot react to it, you cannot place it. It remains in your system causing a trauma. You begin ’spending’ that energy without actually reacting to the event that marked you: by developing obsessions, for instance. Think of the Deer Hunter (the movie. seen it?): a guy comes back from Vietnam, where he was held prisoner and forced to play the Russian r0ulette. What does he do? Continues to play Russian r0ulett3 even when he’s not forced to. So preferences are a way of ’spending’ energy that once entered the system and could not be depleted at once by a reaction powerful enough to match up to the shock. Again, it need not be an experience shocking in the ordinary sense of the word. It needs to be something that cannot, for various reasons, be accommodated by your system at the moment when it hits you. The Russian roule.tt.e thing was so powerful that the guy just couldn’t react to it properly at the time when it happened, so he had all these residues to deal with after. If you’re interested, check out Freud’s Emma case study. It’s about sexual trauma.
This isn’t very different from what you were saying - that trauma affects you so much because you weren’t able to deal with it. I suppose I just wanted to point out that trauma need not be like ‘oh, that was so terrible that i just couldn’t deal with it.’ It can also be too terrible for you to even realize how terrible it was, and therefore you’re unable to react to it properly, and deal with it.
Hmm… If you haven’t noticed the Грамаобразная one, it means it is not as Грамаобразная as that one person who pointed that out thought. Plus, if I told you, I’d ruin the experiment.
The “Parker” one is not that one. I think this could be used as evidence that contradicts my initial statement - that it is easy to emulate someone. The influences are too subtle. I’m going to have to eat my words :-)
I’m thinking about making a test, it could go like this:
- a number of known poets are selected
- a number of people are asked to volunteer as emulators
- someone randomly chooses a poet and assigns them to an emulator (the assignments are held secret)
- the emulator writes a poem that emulates the poet
- then a number of people are asked to map each emulator to a poet
This sounds like fun, especially that some poets will be assigned to more than one emulator, and some poets will not be emulated ;-)
Also, we can see how different people will emulate the same author. Hmm… this sounds interesting, and fun too. I will try to make this happen one day. Maybe we can organize this together.
The one inspired by Dorothy Parker is the last one published, I wanted it to be stingy. It is based on a true story. There are some hidden references in it and they fit really well with the processes which are a part of the phenomenon that is defined.
The one about the brain is just mine.
It is funny, I recently discovered the site you mentioned (set up by her mother); I searched the net for any poetry written by her in the past and no results have showed up. And now there’s that site. I am waiting for the right mood, and then I’ll read its contents.
I think it’s important that the advice is to choose an author that makes you say ‘that’s how I want to write when i grow up!’ - this sounds reasonable, but also alarming. Her work is filled with pain, grief, tragedy, regret, unfulfilled dreams. One has to experience that in order to be able to write about it. So I’m telling myself that if I want to write like that, I’d have to go through the same things in life. That is not going to be a rosy experience.
I became very worried about her as I was making progress with the book. I could see a person who was in a great need of support. I was asking myself what kind of a burden would make one write that way. I kept telling myself that somehow I need to let her know that I understand. I hope that poetry made it easier for her. I should also quit writing entire paragraphs with sentences starting with ‘I’.
So have you ever tried to write, say, without rhymes? I wonder what would you come up with if you tried.. - no, in that case I end up writing short stories, usually illustrated ones. A poem without rhymes is like a story without pictures :-)
What you say about feelings vs chemistry […] - point taken.
We can’t have certainty, only plausibility. - yes, but most often the methods need not be perfect, they just need to be good enough. You can refine your approaches with time, and get even better at making predictions. This is how science works, and this is how shuttles get into space - based on theories that are not 100% perfect, but are good enough for practical purposes.
I also agree with what you say about qualia - but does that mean we should stop trying to explain things? I once had an awesome conversation with a colleague, we were wondering whether the grass was equally green for everyone, and at that time we didn’t know the word ‘qualia’ :-) As IT-people, we began to think about devices which could be hooked to a brain and monitor the raw data that come from the sensors, before being processed and turned into an image. That would allow us to answer the question. Or at least so we thought.
I’ve been thinking about ways to measure the feeling of love, as well as other states. I don’t have exact answers yet, but progress was made. Even if you don’ find answers, you manage to find new questions, meet new people who are trying to answer them too, make accidental discoveries, etc. It is fun.
Once I experimented with sleep paralysis (when you’re asleep and you cannot move and you cannot talk and you feel a presence in the same room, usually a shadow). First I learned that this is a known phenomenon, then I learned how to induce myself in that state, and then I kept repeating it - because I like that state. In other words, once I understood what makes it tick, I could invoke it when I felt like it :-)
Take a look at this short bit from an interview, Richard Feynman explains it very well - science adds value, it doesn’t subtract it.
Re: trauma - I am still processing that one. So far the bottleneck is in lack of knowledge in this area. I have to go through a psychology course or do some reading first, this is an important topic and it requires a lot of attention.
“Also, we can see how different people will emulate the same author. Hmm… this sounds interesting, and fun too. I will try to make this happen one day. Maybe we can organize this together.”
What, another thing on a to-do list??))) This could be fun, but i personally don’t imagine doing this for anything but fun, such that I’d be goofing around all the time (that is, if I DID manage to come up with anything at all. I’m so bad at writing poetry, especially the kind that rhymes). But if i can be of any use as a judge, then sure!
another idea: you could use a certain pattern and distribute it to people and see what they come up with. Kinda like your translation challenges. You know what would be cool? To try to write a poem like this: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=238710
I know, i know, it’s long, but there are hilarious lines in it. Sometimes I think it was passed back and forth between two people trying to make it more and more difficult for each other. And if that’s what happened, then they must have had a lot of fun.
“One has to experience that in order to be able to write about it.”
well, having a writing role-model needn’t refer to all that. It can be merely a matter of style, or a matter of looking at things. Apart from that, the tragic need not be literal. It’s possible to express it without implying that you’re having a tragic life yourself. I don’t mean, like, faking. But some very sad poems aren’t about something personal. (Yes, i know that S. Grama happened to have a hard life).
“I also agree with what you say about qualia - but does that mean we should stop trying to explain things?”
Of course not. But I guess we should be clear about the ‘jurisdiction’ of our explanation. The domain for which it holds, and the domain for which it doesn’t.
“I once had an awesome conversation with a colleague, we were wondering whether the grass was equally green for everyone”
Ok…but if you came up with a gadget that measures it, how could you be sure that it measures the intensity of the sensation?
“I’ve been thinking about ways to measure the feeling of love”
Isn’t the difference between love and, um, non-love a difference in kind, though?
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