Time lapse and impact in cultural accomplishments

Here’s how I’d speculatively rank the arts and sciences in terms of potential cultural impact, and how long it takes for the culture to absorb the consequences of their insights. For example, calculus was released into the wild circa 1675 in a condensed form, had the largest possible impact for a mathematical theory, and after Cauchy and Riemann 200 years later there wasn’t much left to say about it.

Poetry ~ 500 years
Philosophy ~ 250 years
Math ~ 200 years
Art ~ 150 years
Science ~ 100 years
Engineering ~ 50 years

Each art and science appears to have the same sort of life trajectory, very roughly like a bell curve with a peak at the midway point. New ideas in engineering (the transistor, for example) experience their heyday within about 25 years and then taper off for another 25 years until there are very few derivative innovations left to invent.

The IQ barriers to entry tend to be higher in the lower sciences, because more people can discriminate between good/bad engineering than between good/bad poetry, but I’d argue that the higher sciences require higher intelligence to maximize their potential impact. For example, Goethe > Descartes > Newton > Nietzshe (I classify him as an artist) > Darwin > Ford.

The most impactful poets in Western civilization, in my opinion, defined approximately 500-year epochs in our history: Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, and Goethe. They appear to have done this by defining morality and altering foundational myths for their cultures by communicating epistemological insights straight to the superego through subconscious archetypal forms. According to this theory we are approaching maximum Faust roundabout mid-21st century.

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24 Responses to Time lapse and impact in cultural accomplishments

  1. mendicant says:

    Spengler would have told you Faust peaked long before.

    Also, I think in Goethe’s case you can’t simply isolate his literary/poetic work from his scientific work and philosophical remarks. His thought must be taken as a whole IMO. Maybe I misunderstand you and you just identify a thinker by his highest position on your hierarchy though?

    Another observation: time scales in the lower arts can be subsumed into those of higher ones. (Again, this is sort of a Spenglerian point.) We might go through several cycles of science and technology before the implications of Peirce’s thought are fully absorbed into those fields.

    You grossly underestimate Nietzsche. He belongs in a separate category of “religious founders,” above poets in your hierarchy, with a time scale of at least a millennium. I’m convinced his ultimate level of influence will be as great as Christ’s or Buddha’s, provided literate hominids don’t go extinct. (far from certain!)

    Sorry for disjointedness of this mess.

    • ace of ms says:

      He grossly, I mean grandly, underestimates Nietzsche, Jung, Goethe…

      I mean… this is not the age you skim over many authors and topics, because you have to post about them in a competent-yet-superficial way.

      This is the age you seek after the sufferance of deep knowledge.

      Wanna approach Jung? Well… track down his 6 or 7 main books, and read them all through.
      (Plus Aniela Juffe’s The Myth of Meaning in C. G. Jung).

      Goethe? Same. (Jung deals with Goethe in one of his main works, by the way, because Faust is an archetype of the man that has seen much more than it is good for a man to see)

      Nietzsche? Same. There is an unthinkably large mountain of epistles and aphorisms the late Nietzsche wrote — published only recently (I don’t know if they have been translated into English, frankly).

      And then there would be some of the best books ON Nietzsche, Goethe, Jung, and the others.

      There are things that need calm, and months of seclusion.

      I think one becomes a blog-man, a generalistic one, at 40, not at our host’s age.
      Not if he can do more.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        You’re mistaken. Genius is not equivalent to “more thinking”. This is a common misconception among IQ worshipers. Genius is a qualitatively different and more effective mode of thinking.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Spengler would have told you Faust peaked long before.

      I haven’t read Spengler yet.

      >Also, I think in Goethe’s case you can’t simply isolate his literary/poetic work from his scientific work and philosophical remarks. His thought must be taken as a whole IMO. Maybe I misunderstand you and you just identify a thinker by his highest position on your hierarchy though?

      Correct, Goethe did a lot of stuff but Faust was the most important and will play out for the longest. Elective Affinities, for example, was an important book but sterile in comparison.

      >Another observation: time scales in the lower arts can be subsumed into those of higher ones. (Again, this is sort of a Spenglerian point.) We might go through several cycles of science and technology before the implications of Peirce’s thought are fully absorbed into those fields.

      Agreed, except I would describe pragmatism as a consequence of enlightenment rationalism and likely to play out relatively quickly, in favor of intuitive mysticism in the new paganism.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >You grossly underestimate Nietzsche. He belongs in a separate category of “religious founders,” above poets in your hierarchy, with a time scale of at least a millennium. I’m convinced his ultimate level of influence will be as great as Christ’s or Buddha’s, provided literate hominids don’t go extinct. (far from certain!)

      I disagree. Nietzsche’s influence peaked in 1960 and will have been fully absorbed into the culture within thirty years from today. There will be nothing interesting left to say about him at that point. Secularism is dead and we have killed it, and it will be replaced by a new, robust form of paganism (and Goethe was the first to point this out).

      >Sorry for disjointedness of this mess.

      I can hardly throw stones.

  2. Mycroft Jones says:

    I believe Neitzche is, and will continue, to fade into oblivion. His philosophy is intoxicating at first blush, but nihilistic and juvenile in the end.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Nihilistic yes, juvenile no.

    • Robotnick says:

      A philosophy that is anti-egalitarian, anti-socialist, and pro-masculinity can’t be all bad.

      Arguably his epistemological relativism/subjectivity shit was a tool he used to deconstruct prevailing views of the time, not to be things to dwell upon. Edgy teenagers have abused his philosophy in this way. As well as postwar Liberals who saw how dangerous his thought was (Walter Kaufman) and disingenuously tired to soften and neuter his philosophy into the more popular conception it has today.

      If you want an actual realistic commentary on Nietzsche. Listen to Bertrand Russel’s butthurt rambles about him. Russel was a skinny ANALytic weakboi who was also a literal cuck. He did have a relatively true conception of Nietzsche though, and the butthurt obviously stems from his contrasting nature.

  3. Son of Distant Trebizond says:

    The best poets are well aware of the grasp they hold over distant time;

    “I who am dead a thousand years,
    And wrote this sweet archaic song
    Send you my words for messengers
    The way I shall not pass along.

    I care not if you bridge the seas,
    Or ride secure the cruel sky,
    Or build consummate palaces,
    Of metal and of masonry.

    But have you wine and music still,
    And statues, and a bright-eyed love,
    And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
    And prayers to them that sit above?

    How shall we conquer?
    Like the wind that falls at eve our fancies blow,
    And old Maeonides the Blind
    Said it three thousand years ago.

    O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
    Student of our sweet English tongue,
    Read out my words at night alone,
    I was a poet. I was young.

    Though I can never see your face,
    And never shake you by the hand,
    My soul I send through time and space
    To greet you, you will understand.”

  4. Koanic says:

    What do women want?
    Ignore the lips; ask the cunt.

  5. ace of ms says:

    Rulers see through spies, as cows through smell, Brahmins through scriptures and the rest of the people through their normal eyes.

    Kautilya, Indian philosopher, third century B.C.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Look…I already know where this relationship is going. You should be aware ahead of time that I have zero respect for Indoaryan cultists. If you want to talk about anything else, we’ll probably get along, but when white people do the KANGZ routine it disgusts me.

      And yes, I’m aware that there’s a great deal of interesting information on the subject. The same can be said for social science released by feminists.

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