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BISOCIATION of Arthur Koestler in the ACT OF CREATION

Koestler in the
as the foundation of
Bronislaw Czarnocha
Napoli, May 13, 2014
Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation, 1964
• “I have coined the term ‘bisociation’ in order
to make a distinction between the routine
skills of thinking on a single ‘plane’ as it
were, and the creative act, which…always
operates on more than one plane” p. 36
• for Koestler, bisociation represents a
“spontaneous flash of insight...which
connects previously unconnected matrices
of experience” (p.45)
!Aha! Moment
Eureka Experience
Albert Einstein (1949) Autobiographical Notes. P.7
• “What exactly is thinking? When at the
reception of sense impressions, a memory picture
emerges, this is not yet thinking, and when such
pictures form series, each member of which calls
for another, this too is not yet thinking. When
however, a certain picture turns up in many of
such series then – precisely through such a return
– it becomes an ordering element for such series,
in that it connects series, which in themselves are
unconnected, such an element becomes an
instrument, a concept.”
Progress of Understanding and Exercise of Understanding
(Koestler, p.619) “ is necessary to distinguish between progress
in understanding - the acquisition of new insights, and the exercise
of understanding at any given stage of development. Progress in
understanding is achieved by the formulation of new codes
through the modification and integration of existing codes by
methods of empirical induction, abstraction and discrimination,
bisociation. The exercise or application of understanding the
explanation of particular events then becomes an act of subsuming
the particular event under the codes formed by past experience.
To say that we have understood a phenomenon means that we
have recognized one or more of its relevant relational features as
particular instances of more general or familiar relations, which
have been previously abstracted and encoded”.
Associative and Bisociative Thinking and Pattern Finding
[Koestler] distinguishes
associations that work within a given domain
(called a matrix by Koestler) and are limited to
repetitiveness (here, in Computer Creativity:
finding other/new occurrences of already identified
bisociations representing novel connections
crossing independent domains (matrices).
Two Aha moments of Sultan, the genius among
Koehler’s chimpanzees (1914)
(I7.2.1914) Beyond some bars, out of arm's
reach, lies an objective [a banana]; on this
side, in the background of the experiment
room, is placed a sawn-off castor-oil bush,
whose branches can be easily broken off. It is
impossible to squeeze the tree through the
railings, on account of its awkward shape;
besides, only one of bigger apes could drag it
as far as the bars. Sultan is let in, does not
immediately see the objective, and, looking
about him indifferendy, sucks one of the
branches of the tree. But, his attention having
been drawn to the objective, he approaches
the bars, glances outside, the next moment
turns round, goes straight to the tree, seizes a
thin slender branch, breaks it off with a sharp
jerk, runs back to the bars, and attains the
objective. From the turning round upon the
tree up to the grasping of the fruit with the
broken-off branch, is one single quick chain of
action, without the least 'hiatus', and without
the slightest movement that does not,
objectively considered, fit into the solution
described.• (p.103)
The chimpanzee Sultan first of all squats
indifferently on the box which has been left
standing a little back from the railings; then he
gets up, picks up the two sticks, sits down again
on the box and plays carelessly with them.
While doing this, it happens that he finds
himself holding one rod in either hand in such a
way that they lie in a straight line; he pushes
the thinner one a little way into the opening
of the thicker, jumps up and is already on the
run towards the railings, to which he has up
to now half turned his back, and begins to
draw a banana towards him with the double
stick. I call the master: meanwhile, one of the
animal's rods has fallen out of the other, as he
has pushed one of them only a little way into the
other; whereupon he connects them again
Had Sultan known Greek he would certainly have
shouted Eureka! (p.103)
an Aha moment from 5000 years ago:The
Hymns of Humble Appar
Ero così ignorante (pieno di cecità indotta dal Malam), che non conoscevo il Chaste Tamil
di versi illuminanti e non componevo poesie e testi con essi. Non sapevo come apprezzare
le grandi arti e scienze portati alla perfezione attraverso riflessioni ripetute e continue su
di esse. A causa di tali incompetenze non ero in grado di apprezzare la presenza dell’
ESSERE e della Sua essenza. Ma come una madre e un padre pieno di amore e di cura,
l’ESSERE dischiuse su Sua spontanea volontà la Sua presenza ed essenza e continuò a
stare con me durante la mia evoluzione tenendomi sempre come Suo proprio soggetto.
Ora, pieno di vera comprensione dell'ESSERE, salgo su per la collina di ERunbiyuur e
testimonio l’ESSERE come Luce benevola.
COMMENT: Uno degli oggetti dell’Ontologia Fondamentale che è stato portato in parole dai giganti
della spiritualità Tantrica come Tirumular Namazvar e così via è quella di MALAM, il Buio Metafisico
che rende le anime CIECHE e quindi incapaci di vedere qualsiasi cosa. Questa nozione metafisica è
antica quanto il Sumerico NeRi di Suruppak (3000 a.C.). I filosofi sumeri hanno anche notato che
qualunque competenza umana, comprese le competenze tecniche come inventare un alfabeto per
scrivere il linguaggio, è lì solo perché ESSENDO emerge nelle profondità dell'anima come il Sole
Interiore che viola il buio interiore e lascia che ci sia la luce dell’Intelligenza (Utu ude-a aAM Uru
iGanamee - 505 Enmerkar e Araata)
Appar interpreta la sua intelligenza contro una comprensione metafisica fondata da questa Ontologia
Fondamentale e in questo registra anche una continuità con i filosofi Sumeri.
Examples of Eureka moment through a bisociation.
Poincare: “Then I wanted to represent these functions by the quotient
of two series; this idea was perfectly conscious and deliberate, the
analogy with elliptic functions guided me….Just at this time I left
Caen, where I was then living, to go on a geologic excursion under the
auspices of the school of mines. The changes of travel made me forget
my mathematical work. Having reached Coutances, we entered an
omnibus to go some place or other. At the moment when I put my
foot on the step the idea came to me, without anything in my former
thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the
transformations I had used to define the Fuchsian functions were
identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry. I did not verify the
idea;…but I felt a perfect certainty” (p.115)
Examples of bisociation; Darwin
wherein lies Darwin's greatness, the originality of his contribution? In
picking up, one might say, the disjointed threads, plaiting them into a braid,
and then weaving an enormous carpet around it. The main thread was the
evolutionist's credo that the various species in the animal and vegetable
kingdom had not been independently created, but had descended, like
varieties, from other species…but it gave no explanation of the reasons
which caused the common ancestor to transform itself gradually into
serpents, walruses, and giraffes. The second thread that he picked up was
of almost as trivial a nature for a country-bred English gentleman as
Archimedes's daily bath: domestic breeding. The improvement of domestic
breeds is achieved by the selective mating of favourable variations…
He had found the third thread…In …Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of
Population. When Darwin read the he saw in a flash the 'natural selector',
the causative agent of evolution, for which he had been searching:…”
Examples of bisociation: Guttenberg’s
Printing Press
Here, then, we have matrix or skill No. I: the printing from wood blocks by means of rubbing. It
leads Gutenberg, by way of analogy, to the seal: 'When you apply to the vellum or paper the seal
of your community, everything has been said, everything is done, everything is there. Do you not
see that you can repeat as many times as necessary the seal covered with signs and characters?'
• Yet all this is insufficient.
I took part in the wine harvest. I watched the wine flowing, and going back from the effect to the
cause, I studied the power of this press which nothing can resist....
At this moment it occurs to him that the same, steady pressure might be applied by a seal or
coin-preferably of lead, which is easy to cast on paper, and that owing to the pressure, the lead
would leave a trace on the paper - Eureka!
• A simple substitution which is a ray of light.... To work then! God has revealed to me the secret
that I demanded of Him•••. (p.123)
Bisociation: When two habitually independent
matrices of perception or reasoning interact with
each other the result is either:
a collision ending in laughter.A
Smullyan joke:
Un visitatore che vuole conoscere come
vivono i carcerati viene condotto in giro dal
direttore. Passano per i corridoi e guardano
non visti, nelle celle attraverso certi spioncini
chiamati "sportelli di Giuda". In una delle celle
4-5 prigionieri sono seduti sulle brande e ogni
tanto uno dice un numero (per esempio
sedici) e gli altri ridono. Dopo avere osservato
per un po' la scena, il visitatore chiede al
direttore che cosa accade, che cosa sono quei
numeri e perché i carcerati ridono. "Semplice risponde il direttore - raccontano barzellette.
Ne hanno fatto un elenco, ognuna con il suo
numero. Le hanno sentite così tante volte che
le conoscono a memoria"I due continuano ad
osservare mentre molti numeri vengono lanciati. A
un certo punto uno dice 72, e nessuno ride. "E
adesso, che sta succedendo?" chiede il visitatore.
"Oh, - risponde il direttore - quel tipo le barzellette
non le sa proprio raccontare!"
A fusion of intellectual
synthesis. Poincare fusion:
For fifteen days I strove to prove that
there could not be any functions like those
I have since called Fuchsian functions. I was
then very ignorant; every day I seated
myself at my work table, stayed an hour or
two, tried a great number of combinations,
and reached no results. One evening,
contrary to my custom, I drank black coffee
and could not sleep. Ideas rose in crowds; I
felt them collide until pairs interlocked, so
to speak, making a stable combination.
confrontation in an aestetic experience
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Computational Creativity, from M.R. Berthold (ed)
Bisociative Knowledge Discovery, LNAI 7250, 2012
Along with other essentially human abilities, such as
intelligence, creativity has long been viewed as one of the
unassailable bastions of the human condition. Since the
advent of the computer age this monopoly has been
challenged. A new scientific discipline called
computational creativity aims to model, simulate or
replicate creativity with a computer (Boden,1999;Dubitsky
et al, 2012).
Boden(1994) distinguishes three types of creative discoveries:
Combinatorial, Exploratory and Transformational.
Computational Creativity – bases.
Essential Distinction:
…bisociation can be defined as sets of concepts that bridge two
otherwise not – or very sparcely – connected domains (viz progress in
understanding; finding patterns across domains)
an association bridges concepts within a given domain (viz. exercise of
understanding, finding patterns in individual domains).
Definition 1 Creativity is the ability to come up with ideas or artifacts
that are new, surprising, and valuable.
Example: “in 1996 Akihiro invented a “digital pet” called Tamagotchi which soon
became a best seller
Computational Creativity – types of bisociation
1 Bridging Concept
3.Bridging by Graph Structural Similarity
Computational Creativity/Human Creativity
2. Bridging graphs
Human Creativity: R. Catanuto,
Everest Academy, Switzerland LEARNING ROUTES METHOD
Teaching-Research Questions
1. Given their common origin, what are the ways in which
human creativity and computer creativity can mutually
positively reinforce each other?
2. What are the essential parameters of difference between
human and computer creativity?
My hypothesis (TRQ2):
…Non è un quadretto ma una finestra, in cui si può mettere un numero.
B: Come sarebbe?
P: Due finestre sono uguali a 64, una finestra è uguale a 32. Infatti, se sottrai 12 da
entrambi I lati, vedrai che le due finestre sono uguali a 64.
B: Ma ci sono numeri nelle finestre?
P: Due finestre sono 64, perciò una finestra è 32.
B: Finestra!?
P: Proprio così: una finestra. Guarda: un elefante più un elefante fa 64. Allora, a che cosa è
uguale un elefante? Due elefanti sono uguali a 64. Allora, un elefante a che cosa è
B: Un elefante? Uhm, sì. Un elefante è uguale a 32. Ora capisco… dunque l’equazione…
P: Se due elefanti sono uguali a 60, a che cosa è uguale un elefante?
B: Un elefante?, ok, un elefante è uguale a 30. Ora lo vedo. Ora
COMMENTARY of the observer:
Riflettendo su questo dialogo, si pongono diverse domande: Perché a Przemek è
venuto in mente un elefante? Perché per Bartek funziona un elefante, dove non
avevano funzionato né un quadretto né un segmento? Da dove viene fuori
C’erano sulla mensola due statuine, un maialino e un elefante. Il maialino non
può funzionare per i significati che vi si associano (almeno in lingua polacca), ma
l’elefante è neutro, pronto per essere preso come simbolo di un qualche oggetto
mentale. Così l’elefante è stato usato come simbolo adeguato di un oggetto
mentale, che spesso viene indicato con ics ma senza che ce ne sia necessità. Non
si tratta di un episodio accidentale. L’uso fatto è ciò che si chiama metonimia.
Quando risolviamo problemi in matematica, specialmente in algebra, usiamo
spesso metonimie
???PDTR in bisociation / Aha moment???
• The situation is interesting: we have one precise principle underlying
both Human and Computer creativity. Each domain is in the beginning
of its development. A collaboration in the investigation of both and
their mutual impact promises, in the spirit of Bisociation to bring a
wealth of new results and discoveries for both. On one hand “The
ability of humans to perform creative reasoning like bisociative thinking
outstrips that of machines by far”, and on the other hand, the generality
of computer creativity offer wealth of applications to the classroom.
• .The re-introduction of creativity into mathematics classroom might be
the only way through which our students will get back interest in, and
enjoyment with mathematics. Our respective tasks, facilitation of the
discovery in the classroom and sensitizing computers to “habitually
separate domains”, although different bear, a similarity, which could be
the basis of collaboration leading to the next EU grant, the follower to
the Commenius Programme grant 2005-2008 PDTR and to the Bisonet
grant of EU 2009-2011.
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