the axioms of IIT as given by http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Integrated_information_theory
(all italicized passages are IIT’s axioms from the link above.)
Consciousness exists: each experience is actual—indeed, that my experience here and now exists (it is real) is the only fact I can be sure of immediately and absolutely. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers (it is intrinsically real or actual).
the poem gestates in the mind. takes form from a germ. editing is the preparatory crafting of the limbs & body in the limbo between conception & birth
— it has a womb life, our mind is that warm sanctuary. a poem is born.
know your deictics like you know your mother’s face. you can make the existence of a poem intrinsically now with deictics & you can acutely point out something you want people to attend to. know them well. they are your here & now // you & i // this & that.
According to Jonathan Culler, “the importance of such deictics as technical devices in poetry can scarcely be overestimated,” for they “bring into being a voice and a force addressed.” Roland Greene concurs: “lyric must rely on deictics to maintain and adjust its internal process, to found fictions.” “Whenever we use the terms now or here or I or you,” observes Susan Stewart, “we find ourselves immersed in the ‘now’ of articulation, the ‘here’ of the space in which speech is spoken, the ‘I’ of the speaker, the ‘you’ of the listener. It is … not just that such terms are context-dependent: they themselves define and create the circumstances of specific contexts.” (Kilbane, Matt: https://jacket2.org/article/indexical-lyric)
this is proof of something profound & commonplace, you know it even if you don’t know the word deictic, which gives me hope to laud over.
it is crafted into complexity just like an animal is crafted by cells & D.N.A in harnessing fluids. become actual it stumbles into the world. a poem is like a baby foal or calf: it can walk as soon as it exi(s)ts. it must do else how will it make its impact on the passive. it knows itself in a mirror quicker than a baby. it has understood how to please itself with gregarious alacrity. breathless to its own design. i show you a living thing. feel the poem & your own pulse, they emit the same rhythm, simultaneously.
it can praise its creator. makes a god of them. meets on Sundays with other poems
: love poems, metaphysical poems, Zen poems, religious poems, experimental poems, Dada, Imagist, sonnet, villanelle, terza rima, heroic, couplets, iamb, anapaest, trochee— all the poetics bundled under one metaphoric roof. they determine their meaning. debate the fallout of their endeavours to understand, like a Hindu giving up on knowing Genesis in its multiform because they know Prajapati. speaks Freudian/Jungian. knows its Kant from Nietzsche— no help there. understands economics & mathematics but never calculates infinity— no point: won’t care for far thinking like that— depth & length are two faces of a poem, but it is multi-faced. thinks in matar, but doesn’t have to count, more organic that way.
debates sexual discrepancies. how they dream of foreplay with verses from The King James or Vedas pursing their lips on the nape of their necks. shambolic nights with Aphorisms. dirty weekends in Cornwall with Apothegms. an accountants stanzas in the back alley, drunken & flustered until they cum the building blocks of themselves on cobbled streets, which magpies sup & sing from the top most tip of cypress.
none of this is a lie. i give it intrinsic existence by my creating it— let no one tell you otherwise. i could go on but always know when enough intrinsic existence is enough.
Consciousness is structured: each experience is composed of multiple phenomenological distinctions, elementary or higher-order. For example, within one experience I may distinguish a book, a blue color, a blue book, the left side, a blue book on the left, and so on.
Consciousness is specific: each experience is the particular way it is—being composed of a specific set of specific phenomenal distinctions—thereby differing from other possible experiences (differentiation). For example, an experience may include phenomenal distinctions specifying a large number of spatial locations, several positive concepts, such as a bedroom (as opposed to no bedroom), a bed (as opposed to no bed), a book (as opposed to no book), a blue color (as opposed to no blue), higher-order “bindings” of first-order distinctions, such as a blue book (as opposed to no blue book), as well as many negative concepts, such as no bird (as opposed to a bird), no bicycle (as opposed to a bicycle), no bush (as opposed to a bush), and so on. Similarly, an experience of pure darkness and silence is the particular way it is—it has the specific quality it has (no bedroom, no bed, no book, no blue, nor any other object, color, sound, thought, and so on). And being that way, it necessarily differs from a large number of alternative experiences I could have had but I am not actually having.
composition is the bread & butter of a poem. the poem is composed. i could end here & i’ve made my point. it is phenomenological. has a way about itself. punctuated by higher order. full of weather & objects. peopled with acts. acted with peoples. dimensional. just as something is made & then bulldozed, burnt & mortified— so the poem. it is composed of feelings & so it feels. it feels your eyes all over its naked flesh. it knows when you cry wolf. it may be contained in a blue book. it takes all the blame. won’t dob its mates in. left facing — or right facing. it is its own book. we are all books. all of us a poem. they are not so much composed from out of us as they are worn on the thin skin of our wrists or nourished by the flab of our waists. we should write in patois trepanned as the lyric of the unsung culture.
James Longenbach is a special kind of wizard: he can pull poems apart with his teeth, grapple them in his maw as he surgically pulls them iamb from rhyme then rearrange them so that if the poem is ABABC#DC#D, he can reorder it DADABC#BC# & miraculously, the meaning does not subside into nowt, but rather survives the mad rending.
cause & effect is there still. un.be.lieve.a.ble.
turn out the light & in the cupola of dark you will still be able to read a poem as if it is written in invisible ink & our eyes saturate it in a self-modulated strobe of UV. phenomenologists are busily attempting to understand this peculiarity of the IIT poem. there was an article in a book on a book shelf of the libraryofbabel, which explains the mechanism within the poem that enables this but, no. it’s all gibberish & we haven’t got the handle on gibberish quite right as of yet despite our heavy conscience.
i’ve explained poems are made. you make them with a communication of mind to hand. like most things.
look closely at an amplituhedron, a lot, as long as Keats looked at that Grecian Urn. i’ll give you time [… … … …] did you see it?
& poems will burst out of you composed like the tintinnabulations of a Vajra fixed in its Ghanta. no one may understand what the heck you’ve drabbled out of your Self, but someone will get the gist of the composition at some point in time— isn’t that immortality in a nutshell? compose yourself. proceed…
Consciousness is unified: each experience is irreducible to non-interdependent, disjoint subsets of phenomenal distinctions. Thus, I experience a whole visual scene, not the left side of the visual field independent of the right side (and vice versa). For example, the experience of seeing the word “BECAUSE” written in the middle of a blank page is irreducible to an experience of seeing “BE” on the left plus an experience of seeing “CAUSE” on the right. Similarly, seeing a blue book is irreducible to seeing a book without the color blue, plus the color blue without the book.
a blue book in a dream & a blue book in your lap in reality are the same blue book if the book is not opened. the poem dreamt or the poem wrote, too. they have the same amount of consciousness, because they are the surface of the experience. content is still absent, so they are seen with as much consciousness as one another because of the definition we give them as experienced. they inhabit radically different spatial environments. however, if asked to describe them as detailed as possible you’d end up with strikingly similar descriptions. i saw a blue book in a dream it isn’t open i do not know the contents. i have a blue book in my lap i do not want to look at the contents.
i can’t help but think of all this like the difference in defining the word grunt or using its onomatopoeia or explaining gravity with an equation rather than watching an anvil fall from the Eiffel Tower.
what am i saying: that all experience is integrated into the domino of moments that we perceive or someone else perceives for us & so our experience is an integrated one. the touch of rains, the smooth of glass, the prickle of nettles is one to another alike.
fall under the category of experience, integrated under that one word, be trodden into it like gum on a footpath. if we can describe something or something that took place thing of the potential.
how can we do this even if something has never been experienced?
because it has a measure of consciousness annexed to it, which the mind cooperates with to enable our interaction with the world at a higher level.
what does this mean for poetry: write about whatever the fuck you want. just make it damn good.
be a poem.
Consciousness is definite, in content and spatio-temporal grain: each experience has the set of phenomenal distinctions it has, neither less (a subset) nor more (a superset), and it flows at the speed it flows, neither faster nor slower. For example, the experience I am having is of seeing a body on a bed in a bedroom, a bookcase with books, one of which is a blue book, but I am not having an experience with less content—say, one lacking the phenomenal distinction blue/not blue, or colored/not colored; or with more content—say, one endowed with the additional phenomenal distinction high/low blood pressure. Moreover, my experience flows at a particular speed—each experience encompassing say a hundred milliseconds or so—but I am not having an experience that encompasses just a few milliseconds or instead minutes or hours.
the poem is definite. it is not a marginal space. nothing is marginalized. or it shouldn’t be. not everything has to be put into one poem. a poet is capable of many poems. so know what to exclude. know your pace. know the poems pace. don’t/do get high blood pressure from a poem. you’ll figure something out. one thing to disagree with here is the potential to alter the poem. it is easy to talk to. however, if you want it to remain unchanged, then do so. it can be definite in its consciousness. think of it like explaining a little about yourself when you meet somebody new: you may not use the exact spiel you used the last time you gave out your autobiography. you will use different words. a different order of sentences. you may update it with something important that recently happened. but essentially the meaning goes unaltered, the subject, unaltered. so too the poem can remain definite in content & spatio-temporal grain & yet something of this content may have been altered in form alone.
how can we test it
Tononi has many graphs & charts, which do not communicate anything other than confusion to me, so i have developed my own method to test IIT— i have yet to find my guinea pigs for the experiment.
get yourself hired as a third party middleman by a person who knows very little about very much (no money should exchange hands). find an object you can introduce to them that they do not know. it will probably be best if it is foreign to their homeland: these tend to be the most flabbergasting. on seeing it they should go something like pfft… fucked if i know!
despite their ignorance, the object should be such that given time they will at least be able to describe it using the vocabulary they have to hand. enough to prove they see it & to prove their seeing it to another person.
bring another person into the fold. a person who knows the object exceptionally well: an expert. these may become more difficult to find as more politicians rebel against them & lynch mobs chase them down from institutes they themselves can’t get appointed by— cuz if ya don’t know you don’t get a say. do not let them meet each other. put them in separate rooms. don’t hermetically seal them— you need them both alive for the experiment to work. use the same object for both. ask them the same set of questions. the questions should be general & no ambiguity should be possible.
they should be questions that determine the objects dimension, shape, sound, colour, material— basic sensory impressions.
correlate the answers after each has taken their turn with the object. it should be clear that the subjects see the same object. if the test results are inconclusive blindfold them & have them both sat before the object. remove the blindfolds at the same time & see if they both look at the object. if they do, then they see the same thing. the room should have nothing to interfere with their seeing the object. if the results are still inconclusive then Tononi is wrong & IIT is for the slag heap. i doubt it though. it’s more likely that even an object unknown to someone, though they may articulate their seeing differently to an expert, they still see the same object, because it is fixed & constant to everyone because of it possesses some degree of consciousness.
if anyone does perform this experiment, please allow me to submit the details of your findings, in full, as an annex to this essay. who knows TEDx might give you a bell. they will pay better than me. i will pay you, but it may be unconventional in its manifestation. if you do the experiment in a lab coat tailored from famous pages of 1st edition poetry books i’d be most impressed & inconsolably saddened in one odd maelstrom of emotion. thanks for bearing with me.