Semantic Noodling And Meaning Machines
January 17, 2020 11:10 AM   Subscribe

"This is a question that has fascinated me for a long time: How Do You Think New Things?"
Christopher Noessel discusses divination, latourex, semiotics, constrained writing, creative matrices, The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table, John Cage, and more.

I found this via a twitter thread from Angus Johnson[threadreader]
Lotta weirdos dunking on @sadydoyle for mentioning that she's into tarot cards, so I guess it's story time. Pull up a chair, if you're so inclined.
Noessel also covered similar grounds on the UX Podcast: #217 Randomness with Chris Noessel, which has a machine transcription.
posted by the man of twists and turns (4 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
From that twitter thread: "And yeah, dismissal of tarot is absolutely a gendered position to take."

YEP. Same with astrology.
posted by egypturnash at 11:52 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]

When that twitter thread was going around, I saw multiple comments saying that if the response to Tarot wasn't misogynist, people would treat Oblique Strategies the same way. I don't see anything linked in that thread now though.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:31 PM on January 17

Not sure, but I think people take Oblique Strategies as a useful heuristic, maybe I Ching somewhere in the middle, and ascribe occult meanings to Tarot? I'm happy to take them all as heuristics, but I'm not sure that's where practitioners actually are.
posted by sjswitzer at 1:38 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]

Take a vague, oblique text, preferably with some related images, and with the idea that this thing is trying to tell you something important, your mind will begin to unravel the text and put it into some intelligible context, and meaning will arise, it will speak to you. The only belief required is that there is a message there for you. The Tarot, for example, is a rich set of symbols, ideas, etc that makes a great playground for your mind to play within. I’ve read Tarot for friends and myself for years. The closest parallel is the automatic writing practiced in surrealism. The human mind is an amazing thing when given the chance to freely create something out of possibly nothing.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:51 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]

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