Part i & ii of a iv part essay titled—Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry

i don’t have the foggiest idea what i’ve done. i suppose i’d call it connecting the dots in some odd way. reading up on IIT all these thoughts homed in on me & this essay was produced. though i have edited & worked it, all the ideas were spawned organically, quite automatic & even against my will— as if it wrote itself, if that makes sense. it feels much like what i’ve been doing with the ‘Soliloquy Poems’ but on a much more wild & expanded canvas— like painting a map of the stars on a naked person, who is sleeping  hasn’t the foggiest what is happening to them while they dream of galaxy stuff bursting into dolphin clitters, which is directly caused by being painted. this is i suppose profoundly academic non-conformity without being a dick about it. haha. sorry. please enjoy & comment below if you actually know anything about IIT so i might get the gist & maybe write a better essay, with more parts. 


Integrated Information Theory as Formula for Poetry


The Abstract

i want to examine, as organically as possible, with, as unfathomable an approach as possible, which still retains & transmits, die to the vague, self-imposed pressure to make sense, a cohered message, Caesar of Consciousness Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) & its terminology in a literary, largely poetic context, which i have perceived directly without influence from outside hands planting germinated seeds in the soil-goop of my brain.

he [Tononi] talks effortlessly about it in a Youtube video ( , which means he is the real deal who knows his stuff & to add to that, his distinguished chair, which he sits in & does Consciousness Science, at the University of Wisconsin, gives him ample authority to be heard.

how far can we use Tononi’s theoretical love child as a correspondence, approach & paradigm in our wrestling a poem out of the void [허공]? how is//can our reading & writing of the poem [be] radically altered when we begin to measure its consciousness, as according to Tononi’s theory (as you shall discover or may already know) everything is tagged [possesses] with consciousness. the poem written on a page, typed on a computer or typewriter, or even the ones hewn into mountains or scribble in protest on walls, whether to spoken with a voice are experienced & so we can designate them with consciousness. it seems to me that if the objects & experiences we put into the poems have a measurable consciousness then surely the poems carry in their pliable paunch the avoirdupois of tangibly measurable conscious reality— a measurement already made by us upon recognizing the objects or experiences as we see or have them act upon our sense.

—(i must make an admission of ignorance: i don’t fully understand Tononi’s findings, but i don’t need to, this is all experience— i have experienced the information to my benefit, if i am culpable of talking crap, please read my crap first— doctors have divined ailments through faeces & the indomitable Greeks & Romans divined by offal, it was called hepatoscopy (for organs) or extispicy ( for innards), perhaps crap might be divined from too, think of yourselves as hierophants as you read this, but hierophants of essayed crap.)—

Tononi’s Abstract for the journal Nature is our spring board into the cornucopia of the void (허공):

[it] provides a means to determine, in principle, the quality & quantity of experience. The theory leads to some counterintuitive predictions & can be used to develop new tools for assessing consciousness in non-communicative patients.

let’s say this is a manifesto (latin. manifestus: clear, evident). or a paradigm forward to the poem. or intention to act upon. a grip up to the heart of experience. a vision of the earth from the perimeters of the Milky Way. we have a great deal here to guide our step where there is no ledge. & only a brief Abstract. (there is so much information bombarding us even during our brief cessations from reading//talking//listening//watching
—even as we sit in quiet, waves of information rushes through our ears, up our nostrils, sneaks up through our abdomens & for once, i’d like to take as much from as little as possible.

shouldn’t the poem anyway determine the quality & quantity of experience or better still add to it? if not what is the poet doing. i don’t think it is ever the case that a poet is not doing something, perhaps at various levels of deterioration or rejuvenation, no quarrel there (otherwise every poem would be reacted to with gasps of joy). how is it we know the poet is doing experience? that’s easy: we all see from our perspective, even if we try to imitate, we will say things in as incoherent & ugly a form as someone else, but it will 10 times out of 9 be different. the whinny of whale song all sounds the same to us, but to a whale it is unique each to each.

in our age the carnage of change is overwhelming us from all directions
— chaos has always been a part of the established way of reality, but we seemed to have heaped spoonful upon spoonful to this unsatisfying, immovable enigma of life— which has kept us busy so long. even a view of the earth from the moon couldn’t staunch our bickering. i have grown to quite like it (not the bickering but the untidiness of us): i used to want some form of a spiritually interconnected harmonious upheaval of the status quo— for us to realize some higher psychological state & all perhaps walk about with blissfully carved grins across our stupid faces homo spiritus or something to that effect. pah!
— that seems boring or rather more importantly, an impotence for tolerating entropy.
to utilize the flux in order to manufacture something inedible, unusable; something with the sole charge to stir chest clutching rasps from the uncommon arrangement of words— a letting of things happen (fall into place), seems more profitable action.

how? : this generation needs to put information to any use whatsoever if only to justify there being so much of it. else we run the risk of plasticity— a super-abundance of useful but unused information, all with its own petty, unrecognized, unorganized consciousness.
our poet today must be the infrastructure of society & take no token of gratitude, must branch his poetry to the Blakean definition of creator: Blake’s poetic genius was not only a poet, but a man of learning who spoke truths, imagined or real. poet as everyman & individual. poet as legislator for the beginning of a handy thought. not the only one (poets get different names) but one nevertheless.

to write some bygone time is valueless to poetry & to the Millennial (which even Microsoft Word Spelling & Grammar Check has caught up to). the Millennial is screaming their throat hoarse their lungs dry, but the generation of Boomers who raised (razed?) them, foolhardily vitiate their creative endeavors in some Russian Dolls of ignorance that befell them, as if that’s how it goes (i am generalizing i know)— & this becomes the sexy nymph dragging Hylas off his tiny boat gagging for it. how many articles (i’m looking at you Guardian dicks) have there been derogatory of the Millennial or their spawn for identity: the Hipster. Millennials have to learn about the past if only to break the tradition, to give some reasoning behind the severance. they are always i agree, but… else they are ignorant. & good for us, good for us to reckon with the past & to give it a duty in the world we inherit. it’ll be different when you’re gone.
the Millennial is committed to acts of genius. to works of breathtaking importance.
i have watched so much uniqueness peak briefly & collapse into doleful obscurity— a memory for the few who cherished it.

but we have to don’t we. we have to use the integrated consciousness. be part of it. recognize each other in our pains to be heard.
this all sounds so puerile, but i rebel against tat tvam asi our teachers gimleted into our soft, malleable heads:
this is valuing the efforts of each generation. if that generation must tend blogs or clouds of sound like gardens or court their peers with the best work they can produce day to day. to live & work & in their idle moments spared them, create— then it must be acknowledged.

this is behaving to counter any comment to the contrary that poetry or what we create is not an annex in to determine the quality & quantity of experience.

counterintuitive predictions should be a golden phase that amplifies to the pitch of the heart of many carrots in the ear of the poet as they read it. it scaffolds freedom to ruminate the many facets of experience available to the human animal (DO NOT FORGET we are animals that apperceive, who can look solid in a mirror facing another mirror & recognize infinity domino either side of them— that is as close to touching infinity as were ever going to get, sup it up.) : to language things. to form & to technique things on top of other things, this is man’s duty to his consciousness & the things conscious he takes for granted.

to willfully dig out the present down to the future, some guesswork that may with coincidence become reality. we are prophets if even 2% of our guesses come to pass. to be poetic-seers in a digital age & to know it, to not be phased even when erroneous. this is revolutionary. with such aspirations to this despite hypocrisy & despite knowing it is utter non-sense. soldiering on with this is to look outside of any current crisis, to be more human than our warring & hatred allows us. we are not two Onyx scrapping over a female or a drying pool of ochre coloured river bed. we are civilized. we are many & from many. we have choice & so we need not spoil this with our belligerence.

we brachiate like the arms of Avalokiteshvara, but arms holding telescopes or made of telescopes that look to more fertile times, where nothing has changed but us, who have changed to re-appropriate our feelings toward what would try to tear down our furor to create. if something doesn’t change you change. if others don’t write what you want to read, write it. if others won’t clean the land you want clean, make pains to clean it yourself. if others won’t stop eating meat, stop eating it yourself. if the elements are not to your liking, change to like them. if the only food you have is simple, learn to eat simple food. (there are dire circumstances where this logic is not applicable. but for many of us reading this, we can take this into account & do a little bit of good.)

otherwise, don’t alter anything: wu wei wu wei wu wei.
or kick back, write a poem— eat some fruit. eat a flower. drink paint. snort music. eat a poem.
let everything be glimpse (apercu) like//with//as George Didi-Huberman translates the word.

we all know not much really changes: evolution is slow. look how long it took us to not be monkeys. there are still monkeys y’know, they just have fake tans & play golf rather than pull their foot out their own arses.
the consciousness of things persists, goes on the same even when we are gone
— let’s fully integrate ourselves in that consciousness.
full immersion with poetry & creative-movement: read David Bohm’s On Creativity, right now!

who will the non-communicative patients be?— them that can’t see past their own nose.
them that see nothing beyond everything. those that compartmentalize reality rather than seeing it as uniform (i have blundered into hypocrisy— that is life now, y’know)

: without borders. without edges.

these people will not be left out, they will be used— used as cannon fodder for the poet should they recruit them into their forms, to fire anything they can stuff in their & fire at them, just to make them react, organically. the poet sees beyond them. sees they’re an unbroken continuation. they will be other & yet the same, like two cups either end of a piece of string. they will discriminate themselves but as poets we will take pains to include them, to not be discriminatory. they’ll become something like brass door knobs or tins of paint, an un-decorated paper fan.
pens or canvas or Moleskine notebooks. paintbrushes tied to branches above easels. utilitarian but useless to act in & of themselves. so the poet will borrow them. their state will bring them no discomfort or pain. they will not be different other than in a marginal world they’ll have no clue about. they chose not to see when seeing is for the taking. the poet will recognize them as objects capable of higher function. they will be the integral information of a new theory on poetry that produces something remarkable. as lay-abouts of the status quo they will be beyond their own comprehension but comprehended through an art of elapsing, rippling glimpses. it will take time for them to take definition. perhaps this is happening in some germinate mode. i cannot say for sure.

IIT gifts a poem a mind, a consciousness with weight in poem. cherish this like an old Collected Poems that you sleep with under your pillow so that its forms & functions seep into your head while you sleep.

the poem will think for itself when it realizes. we can help it. just like Disney personifies objects & animals, making them talk, the poem will apperceive— glimpse itself in the mirror, give itself a twirl. be an ego all its own fiasco.


how IIT seems to work— an analogy

as an amateur Analogist (not that one, the one i made up) i’d liken it to a compressed folder: the content is not anywhere else but in the compression. the compression isn’t the content but a code from which the content can be obtained, providing they have the correct tool, or software to decompress the compressed information.
i suppose something like the point of infinite density exponentially expanding into mattered things— a microcosm of that event.
as with a compressed file, objects remain inert (compressed) until the content is required, at which moment, the brain decompresses it with the code or software, instantly. this is why, when you have never seen something before & someone else has, you both see the same thing.
no one asked why, when Kaspar Hausar was released from his long confinement, he could distinguish things visually from one another— that he could see what everyone else sees despite having never seen them.
obviously, the content of things requires outside influence, in the same way that the content of the compressed file, may contain information that the receiver needs to process or increase their understanding of with additional resources. the content of the information is just that— as the physical information is just that.
an apple requires you to taste or touch it to fill in the gaps of what additional information it can convey, just as the file’s compressed information must be read to be understood.
only the physical specifications are tied with our consciousness, there is no additional information that tells us anything about the thing— a general rule the aggregate of objects share.
the poem then is compressed emotion decompressed into a physicality, whether that physicality takes the form of sound or writing, nevertheless it has a form which can be managed & projected. the decompression of the emotion is a form & any additional information of meaning is to be decided by a reader or by the poet as the decompression takes place. as it transforms from inner motion to outer solidity, which is capable of motioning someone utterly.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. You make a brave attempt to illustrate the complexities of a poet’s vision and mind–how we navigate through this sea of words, ideas and instincts that we float in to create something versatile, light and tangible, something that can add value and inspire. It is my opinion that effective logistics is the key to success, even in the creative field. How do we process and curate ideas? How do we present said ideas to be consumed? How do we market our ideas? How do we preserve and transport (free verse, traditional, audio visual..) our ideas? Just as there are plenty of resources and labor on this Earth, there is infinite potential in each person’s mind, however, the decisive factor is in the mastery of the logistics, which is why I appreciate the ending line of your essay in particular:

    “the poem then is compressed emotion decompressed into a physicality, whether that physicality takes the form of sound or writing, nevertheless it has a form which can be managed & projected. the decompression of the emotion is a form & any additional information of meaning is to be decided by a reader or by the poet as the decompression takes place. as it transforms from inner motion to outer solidity, which is capable of motioning someone utterly.”

    The key and trick is to take these scattered feelings and profound floating thoughts and refine it into something useful and ship this useful thing to the right form to the right person at the right time and in the right amount.

    1. a great comment & i can tell you really read the piece closely.
      logistics as an important factor in poetry is true, but i never thought about it under the guise of that one term. i think writing with an audience in mind is important & certainly a part of this logistics idea. i know i want to be a poet’s poet, so i write with a lover of poetry in mind, any others are welcome, but i know i craft my poems to be something that can be picked apart line by line if needs be. that is just important to me. but it may not be to another poet— the unrestrained outpouring of self is the sole vehicle i find for many. the only problem with this is, some people can just write like this well & some can’t & there is an imbalance.
      your conclusion i feel is incorrect: a poem needs no have any use, it just needs to make you feel. this doesn’t fill bellies, nor put money in pockets, but it is the reason we want freedom rather than oppression writing a poem or Landay, can get an Afghan woman killed, yet she still does it. in Turkey they are feared by Erdogan, & during uprisings the writers & poets are first to the chop. so they have no use other than to spur a person to think & believe. that is why poetry is so important. for us privilege Westerners, it is a wake up call to a subtler form of beauty other than the lastest X-Men movie. tut tut.
      glad to have you back commenting Brian, i have missed you opinions. where you been:?

      1. Great points, and it is true that a poem need not have any immediate uses like that of a commodity, but I feel that a work’s power to persuade or inspire does lead to constructive activity, for instance, a lot of business ideas or ads came from works of literature and culture, and creations of such works could be considered an act of charity for the benefit of the public domain and for posterity. I agree that it will be nice to see a poetic and literary revival, especially with disheartening stories on the web that keep pointing out poetry’s decline. Moreover, like you, I am not impressed with any of the recent blockbusters or mass entertainments.

        I am currently engaged in various projects, and also considering creating a full translation of Upsaka Xia’s Infinite Life Sutra in a style that would make it easy to recite as liturgy, so my comments will be more sparse and irregular for the foreseeable future. However, I value your work and that of all the bloggers I have been aquatinted with since last year, and I’ll make time for more regular blogging in a few months time.

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