Interested in Language
I would like to be helped with:
"He broke off, and she fancied that he looked sad. She could not be sure, for the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression. It only gave a general idea of people—an idea that was good enough for all practical purposes, Vashti thought. The imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy to be the actual essence of intercourse, was rightly ignored by the Machine, just as the imponderable bloom of the grape was ignored by the manufacturers of artificial fruit. Something "good enough" had long since been accepted by our race."
The Machine Stops, E.M.Forster, 1911
Can anybody explain to me what the author means by "he imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy"?
The discredited philosophy suggested that there are nuances and subtleties that are the essence of communication, but the machine is not capable of transmitting these, which may be why the philosopher is discredited. Today, algorithms are used very widely, but they cannot yet account for all the subtleties and nuances of human communication, just like artificial flavours are always missing something of the complexity of a real flavour. That is, I think, what Forster was trying to describe, very presciently, a long time ago.