Owl convo re: Art, big 5, cognitive styles, sensualism as an -ism

Hank Oslo’s article on Hellraiser reminded me I have a couple of textwalls lying around. Here’s the first one. (I disagree with Oslo’s identification of the Cenobites as simply gay fetishists, I think they’re a personification of something more fundamental to Barker’s fictional world’s metaphysics. See the short story “The Book of Blood” and pay attention to the description of the woman “unlocking” the spirit world with sensation. It presages the puzzle box, which is again a more concrete representation of the abstract thing expressed in “The Book of Blood”.)

I’ve been wrestling with some ideas on visual media versus the written word and the different temperaments that are drawn to, say, painting versus poetry, but it’s all very inchoate at the moment
there’s porbbaly an melons/thals/croms perspective on it
anyway, if you have anything to spitball on it off the top of your head thta could be fun

I’d imagine there’s an edenic angle on it, yes.
But maybe not a simple one.


I imagine all melonheads liking paintings from a young age, very few cro magnons, and only 1/3 of the troothals who get fixated on drawing and stuff.
Basically the same for poetry. Overall I conceive of melonheads as very smart theater kids.
Whereas neanderthals are various shades of Dilbert. Their art appreciation is going to be more restricted and incidental to their life experience and the things that border on their obsessions.
So if they’re into drafting they might really appreciate 3D perspective painting and accidentally get into art that way.
Or it could be something they picked up in childhood, or in the pursuit of a problem.
I think it’s effectively random which type of media thals like, but the selections within that media will be very stereotyped.
The ones who like reading will like Lord of the Rings.

Speaking only for myself, the poetry I actually enjoy is pretty stereotypically boy stuff, the equivalent of toy trucks and guns.
Kipling is the main one.

Cro magnons, if they’re smart, appear to develop a taste for very neurotypical, very heterosexual art choices.
As opposed to melon theater kids, who are more into a broader palette and weirder stuff to include less hetero material.
Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind, although I haven’t seen it.
But it feels like entry level, Harry Potter level melonhead stuff from the outside.
Thal girls seem to have similar tastes to melonhead men.
Melonhead women I’d expect to be into the classics in a big way, maybe even stereotypically, and actually appreciate them through sheer autism.
Homer, Shakespeare, and so on.
I think that’s all I got off the top.

There are a couple inserting points in here and it’s made me realize how few people are actually “into art”

“Into art” unpack this plz.

as in, seriously seek out art beyond the passive absorption of popular culture
As defined by actually going to museums, seeking out literature, finding books, poetry…etc

That makes it sound like foodies.
I don’t think that’s the essential difference.

ok, so I’m making a difference between just “things they enjoy” versus “things they treat as a hobby”

What’s the drive being served? What do they feel like when they get less of it than they need?

spiritual, cultural and moral deprivation

What does the world around you feel like under those conditions?
Do you find yourself more or less likely to engage in the arts yourself under such conditions?
My own experience is that a cycle of deprivation and abundance produces the best crop.
Usually in the Autumn-equivalent phase, which is interesting.
The downslope but not the trough proper.

the reaction to the decline proper but while there’s still enough energy and material to make use of
for my own part i seek out artistic expression to experience a broader range of human experiences than i get from ordinary life

Comparable to taking vitamins.

a good analogy if we take a page from older times and view art as an important tool for moral and social development

Is this driven by your nature as a sensory hedonist?

honestly, probably yes

Drawing too clear of a line between sensation and edification may not be profitable here.

well it goes back to your questions about what drives are satisfied by art

I recommend Clive Barker’s short story on this subject, The Book of Blood.
It’s a prototype for the book The Hellbound Heart (also an excellent treatment of the subject), which became the Hellraiser movie.
The metaphysics of that world is that various sensations and experiences can be like playing with a Rubik’s cube that can occasionally unlock portals to different worlds.
The Book of Blood is much more explicit about this.
Whereas The Hellbound Heart is a cautionary moral fable about sensualism.
But they’re both about sensualism as an -ism.

Sounds like there’s a lot to wrestle wiht there
That’s a very rich way of looking at…a lot of thigns

I’d caution you that Clive Barker is gay and that bleeds into his work.
With the remarkable exception of The Hellbound Heart, which is extremely heterosexual.
That’s interesting on its own.
I expect Mr. Barker was a reader of Foucault.

or at least, a reader of people who claim to have read foucalt
he’s one of those writers where most people who take about him only ever deal with him second- or thirdhand
taking things back a bit, we talk once ages ago about musical theatre being a very upper-middle class art form. we can add to that here that’s it’s a very “head girl” art form
not really a cro-mag thing, and probably not serious enough for obsessive thals (but enjoyable for others)

Female cro mag?

maybe, because fun, excitement, music, and dancing

You’re the first person I’ve heard describe it as not serious.
But it checks out, intuitively.
So it’s the girls equivalent of Transformers.

one way of looking at it

No one quotes West Side Story like it’s a work of art.

even the more “serious” works like Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables don’t pretend to be nuanced examinations of the human spirit, moral dilemmas, or anything like that
obviously this is not to say that they aren’t enjoyable, but the natural comparisons are 1) opera, which is 50% of the all about moral tragedies and the disasters that arise from human vices and 2) straight theater, which can cover a full range of artistic expression but can be extremely weighty

How much of this is just precedent by great artists?
Shakespeare made theater great.
Before that it was minstrel shows.

precedent very important here

I’d throw anime in as another example because I’m hopeless.

Rogers and Hammerstein made “classic” american expresions of optimism, good-naturedness, and hope
Sondheim was more modern, adding more emotional complexity, but not quite heaviness
Andrew Llyod Weber probably did the most to make musicals serious and respectable, but again, even Phantom of the Opera doesn’t have the emotional weight of a Don Juan

I’m not familiar at all with either area.
I’m only barely aware that Mozart did Figaro, and I’d want to Google that to check.

I like opera, but it still carries the history of being very much an upper-class art form
and it’s very verbal and musical-oriented, not visual

As distinct from upper middle?


Sort of a stark Norman religious will-to-power mixed with piety.
Versus upper middle pretense and infantilism?
That’s uncharitable but it’s not untrue.

that’s probably fair
i bet you’d find some interesting results if you needs physiognomy studies on opera appreciators versus musical theatre enjoyers

I remember that musical theater enjoyment is basically a proxy for femininity.
And agreeableness, IIRC.
I’ll try to look it up.

that sounds right to me, intuitively

The correlation with social justice is probably 1.
Hmm, I may have remembered wrong.
I’m looking at that Big 5 vs. Movie preferences study Steve Sailer popularized a while back.

oh, good thinking
one thing i’ve had in the back of my head this whole chat is 1) whether big 5 tracks with preferred art medium and 2) if it does, does it track more or less than dominant cognitive style

Correlations with musicals:
Openness: 0.229
Conscientiousness: -0.223
Extraversion: 0.025
Agreeableness: 0.158
Neuroticism: 0.066

i wonder if those results are equally true for musical theater or if there’s a differences as compared to “movies that are musicals”

The latter is initially suprising because that’s weaker than the correlation between the female sex and neuroticism.
I’d guess the difference skews with income/social class. The higher your class, the more likely you are to enjoy musicals in person and all dressed up.
Whereas if you’re a mud person, you stay home and watch Glee at 4 am on your phone while eating Cheetos.

agree with the class angle

I’m trying to find the list of preferred movies by extremes.

thinking of the other comments I had for this…don’t have much experience with melonhead women into art, though I have a case study on an owl with professional dancing experience (dancing dancing, not stripping)
congitive style impacts how people process same art, which tells you a lot about them (which is why it’s always a fascinating topic of conversation)
big question is whether verbal/visual/muscial arts correlate with each other or not. Does appreciation of literature track with poetry or are they too different?
and, as you mentioned earlier: anime

Here, this may help: https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-psychology-of-movies/
For example, the low extraversion table is almost entirely anime.

which i find fascinating because it combines very simplified emotional expressions with very nuanced moral and philosophical examinations
usually all those things track in western art

I wish these were broken out by IQ.
Especially the Openness ones. I want to know what low-openness supermen are watching, and I suspect it’s not the Hannah Montana movie.

IQ range would be fascinating
suspect anime would have the widest range from highest to lowest IQ, probably followed by film in general
but i wouldn’t be surpised by either having the widest range

I feel like it’s time to retrace our steps back to a main topic or just call it.
Something something visual art versus verbal art.
I bet there’s already a study.

there’s got to be

I’m hacking into the mainframe.
Best I can find quickly.

maybe to sum up, the medium thals appreciate most ends up being random, but within their bucket they end up coalescing around a few expected choices, melons probably track more with verbal-tilted works with rich in complexity (OR very abstract visual art), and cro-mags gravitate to normie human baseline as expressed through the appropriate mediums for their class
that’s my hack-job of a working hypothesis

It’s a good start. My elaboration would be to tag them with Big 5 identifiers (melonheads like high-openness movies) and try to control for IQ.
So why the hell don’t I just do that.

let’s give it a shot!

Neanderthals, in order of precedence:
Low extraversion, because anime.
Low agreeableness, because masculine brain.
High openness, because IQ and associative horizon.
Cro magnon, in order of precedence:
(This one is hard, I’m not really sure about them.)
High conscientiousness
High extraversion
Male female subsplit on agreeableness and neuroticism

High openness
Low conscientiousness
Low extraversion
I’m inclined to throw high neuroticism in there.
This one is essentially the lists which offer unusual sensory experiences.
Ip Man is something you can experience in real life.
Friday Night Lights, same.
My Neighbor Totoro, less so.
How do you feel about comedy movies?

most are dumb, but genuinely good comedy is fantastic

Examples of the latter?
And do you enjoy it for the laughs or because it inspires you to be funny yourself at parties?

my personal preferences basically span across “dumb people being dumb humor” (“A Fish Called Wanda”) to biting satire (“Dr. Strangelove”, “Death of Stalin”)
I enjoy it for the sake of being able to appreciate the absurd in life
so satire tracks pretty well
big fan of dark humor

Do you enjoy making people laugh?
I.e. has standup comedy ever appealed to you?

i’m good at, but i’ve got a very particular dry wit
I’m better at riffing off of things that are already happening
I’ve never felt the need to try stand-up ocmedy

That’s interesting, because it appeals to me somewhat.

and i don’t feel the need to steal material from comedy films

Better not to draw a clear line between inspiration and stealing.
Part of my interest is practical (being professionally funny would take my social skills from a 2.5/5 to a 4/5), part of it is probably just Irish geniality, and part of it is raw talent looking for an outlet.
For example, I regularly suppress the urge to write my best jokes down.
I’ve been doing the same with my urge to learn how to draw for years and in the last few months it’s been getting a little out of hand.
The latter is interesting because my interest in drawing used to be absolute zero and only starting peeking out around age 26, 27.
Whereas I’ve always been pretty funny.

oh that’s interesting
i started getting interested in drawing baout that age as wel

Huh, here I thought I was this unusual basketcase of a dualback creative genius with no comparison group.
At about the same age I started losing my interest in computers.
And I feel these were related in my case.

that would be interesting to dig into
what’s the overlap between interest in computers nd interest in drawing?
do these things track?
artists and comp sci people are definitely differnt tribes…but what can we learn from people who are into both about what drives most to gravitate towards one or the other

Possibly related: http://www.olearyzone.com/classes/philosophyS2/readings/goethe/StagesofMind.pdf
“Every age of man has its own appropriate philosophy. The child appears as a realist; for he finds himself as much convinced of the existence of pears and apples as of his own.  The youth, overwhelmed by inner passions, must observe himself, feel his way forward; he is transformed into an idealist.  On the other hand, the man has every reason for becoming a skeptic; he does well to doubt whether the means he has chosen for the purpose is indeed the right one.  Before acting, in acting, he has every reason for keeping his intelligence mobile, so that he need not subsequently be sorry for having made the wrong choice.  The old man, however, will always espouse mysticism. He sees that so much seems to depend on chance:  the irrational is successful, the rational fails, fortune and misfortune unexpectedly coincide; so it is, so it was, and old age finds comfort in Him who is, who was, and also who will be.“
I suspect that we both entered a different stage of life at around 27.
Which one that is may be up for debate.

i seem to have hit the mysticism stage well before old age
i think this might be correct

Here’s my working hypothesis: we have similar cognitive ability distributions, and this stage of life is where the neglected visual ability is making itself known like a shadow function.
So even though we’re very different in most respects, our similarity is in our slight cognitive strength in the verbal and conceptual area.
And a life history characterized by overdependence on that verbal-conceptual strength.


Am I wrong?

not on my end

I want to be in on the funny.

i’ve found that exploration of the visual has helped express, solidify, and confrim certain personal ideas

MM pointed out a while back that the quality of my blogging correlates almost perfectly with how much anime I’ve been watching.

for example, i enjoy straight lines buy also spirals, which i think is related to a “desire to find/create order by building self-sustaining feedback loops”
as for the funny, it was just how “nail on the head” you whre with the overreliance on verbal/conceptual intelligence bit

Oh, well you’ve hinted at how your job is writing-heavy.

it’s only been in the past few years i’ve been able to develop and bring to bear other tendencies to any serious degree

probably more accurate to say that i’ve leaned into my verbal/conceptual abilities and employed them as a primary tool

How about calling it here?

works for me
we got a lot more out of the art stuff than i expected

I hope it gets you closer to the center of the thing you were getting at.
The end of such an inquiry is to express it in a single profound sentence.
“Men are taller than women, except sometimes.”
I cried a single tear.

i’ve definitely got a lot more structure for thinking about it all going forward
“Art both investigates and expresses the totality of the human experience, and if we devote ourselves to studying its mysteries there is nothing about our fellow man that we cannot learn.”

What’s the difference between studying human nature and politics?

human institutions always, in the end, gravitate towards sociopathic behavior. humans themselves tned to be far more messy and emotional. studying politics adds the element of how institutions affect the outlets have for human behavior

That was a more analytical answer than I was expecting.

so, for example, bureaucracies and political parties can be looked at as anthrpomoprhized sociopathic entties in the way they pursue their goals, but they are also ocmposed of humans who behave in certain ways. who is in charge and who is filling key roles has drastic impacts on the ways those entities carry out their goals and how succcessful they are
the institutions and the humans both have an effect on how the other behaves, and studying human nature only looks t part of this dynamic

So there’s a human element, the element of crowds, the element of proper channels, and the element of the institution’s behavior itself.

very well-put

Thank you.
I may be so bold as to mythologize the former two as Lucifer/Behemoth and the latter two as Ahriman/Leviathan.

that could work

Now feels like a much stronger endpoint.
Old mystics should respect such feelings else we anger the fates at the crossroads of ill-tempered leylines.
The thing is you have to, like, go with the flow.
You good for next week?

next week a bif more iffy. i’ll let you know in the next few days if i can make it or not

Roger. I should be good for it.
In the meantime, may the feng shui of your home office cultivate good fortune.
(Zoom background feng shui, underserved market?)

highly underserved

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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4 Responses to Owl convo re: Art, big 5, cognitive styles, sensualism as an -ism

  1. Pingback: Art as Metaphysical Comfort Seeking – True Ataraxia Radio

  2. MM says:

    “melon theater kids, who are more into a broader palette and weirder stuff to include less hetero material”

  3. aiaslives says:

    archive dot is/BUAP1

    Kaitlyn Younger has been an academic standout since she started studying algebra in third grade.
    She took her first advanced-placement course as a freshman, scored 1550 on her SATs as a junior at McKinney High School near Dallas and will graduate this spring with an unweighted 3.95 grade-point average and as the founder of the school’s accounting club. Along the way she performed in and directed about 30 plays, sang in the school choir, scored top marks on the tests she has so far taken for 11 advanced-placement classes, helped run a summer camp and held down a part-time job.
    “She is extraordinary,” said Jeff Cranmore, her guidance counselor at McKinney High School.
    Ms. Younger, 18 years old, was cautiously optimistic when she applied to top U.S. colleges last fall. Responses came this month: Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern all rejected her.
    “I expected a bunch wouldn’t accept me,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to be this bad.”

  4. aiaslives says:

    > The higher your class, the more likely you are to enjoy musicals in person and all dressed up.
    Whereas if you’re a mud person, you stay home and watch Glee at 4 am on your phone while eating Cheetos.

    Going to plays and other things is basically a drug.

    > I want to know what low-openness supermen are watching, and I suspect it’s not the Hannah Montana movie.

    Non-fag things from “The Criterion Collection” are pretty popular among film people. You should watch “The Black Swan” starring Natalie Portman for your “melon art” stuff.

    Honestly if you don’t detest mainstream flicks (kino > film > movie > film > flick > joint) because you watch something better (anime doesn’t count) then you shouldn’t comment on the things people like to watch. Plus there are billions of people who watch media that is utterly alien. For example, you are not considering women that are into K-pop and K-drama and K-gays (also called K-pop idols), who actually constitute of 25% to 40% of post ’95 women.

    > For example, I regularly suppress the urge to write my best jokes down.
    jokes deserve to be written down imo. Or if you don’t want to, record and save with timestamp, and forget. Put it on random shuffle once it’s sufficiently large.

    > I’ve been doing the same with my urge to learn how to draw for years and in the last few months it’s been getting a little out of hand.
    Get into Loomis.

    And BTW anime is pretty broad, if you actually took a survey you’d see that isn’t not the thals but the broken hopeless rejects that actually contitute the majority of the viewing population.

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