People prefer a face that can launch a thousand ships to one that can stop a clock. But did the clock-stopping face break the clockwork mechanism or halt the steady increase in entropy?
[Speaking of entropy, and it’s insistence on increase, a more disordered face reflects a more advanced state of progression, and yet that advancement isn’t honored.]
Back to the clock-stopping face. Breaking the brittle plastic gears of a mass-made clock is no great feat compared to ship-launching. But binding up the inexorable flow of the universe? That’s power.
We see beauty in nature, but we see more in nature reigned in — kept in check by the hand of man. Why should a fresh-cut patch of grass please the eye more than its shaggy state of nature?
What soul doesn’t sore at the sight of a Japanese garden? It’s nature, but micromanaged in the slightest details of distance, shape, light, and order. Not a leaflet out of place. Gravel pads equidistantly furrowed with great precision. A bonsai tree could be called grotesque in its gnarled, shriveled deformation, but — instead — the bonsai has a universal visual appeal. Is it because they are stunted and deformed in precisely the manner man has chosen?
We see beauty in the human form, as well — but too rarely in our own. We like them depilated — plucked to the point that not a hair stands out of place. Biology tells us our eyes should seek the figure capable of staying strong while chasing prey across the savanna or gathering nuts and berries through wastelands where those foods are sparse. But our eyes covet those leaner than that — that leanness expresses our beloved ordered angularity.
Pure nature is frisson-laden — ever uncontrollable, unpredictable, and disordered. Its beauty is never separated from the fear it inspires.
Manicured nature offers a pleasing feel of dominion — an illusion of control that puts the mind at ease.
Philosophers speak of truth and beauty in the same sentence.
The only connection I see is that neither can be seized tightly.
Beauty blanches or crumples under the force of a tight fist,
and any truth that flies from a tender grip isn’t so true as you’d like it to be.
Sometimes, the truth is ugly.
Sometimes, beauty is a lie.
Hell, sometimes the truth is a lie and a lie is true,
and often times a beauty is ugly & ugliness is beautiful.
blinding fire of neurons
— excitation & secretion —
all from a 2-D arrangement of pixels
that my brain thinks is worth getting worked up over —
symmetry, smoothness, scaling, and that jazz–
but that program isn’t the final word
i’ve re-jacked the synaptic dance
when the wiser bit recognized something
flawless in the arrangement of a pile of flaws
or a gorgeous simplicity,
or, alternatively, poison in the perfection
in the short-run,
what was said of pornography may be true of beauty —
i.e. “I know it when I see it.”
but, in the long run,
we’re all dust,
vaguely-remembered best impressions