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Eliezer, This is a bit naughty. TABOOing art on one thread and elaborating on art on this one. In my experience, 'art' is used like a sponge. Everybody can do with it what they want. Squeeze it, make it woolly, throw it into your face, or talk about the art of science (a paradox!) for example, etc. etc. I should know a bit about this. I am an artist and have taught art at universities for twenty years. There are as many definitions as there are water drops in Lake Victoria. Quote: So I reply: "I think it has to do with admiration of craftsmanship: work going in and wonder coming out. What the included items have in common is the similar aesthetic emotions that they inspire, and the deliberate human effort that went into them with the intent of producing such an emotion." Modern art does not have that much to do with craftsmanship anymore, more with concepts, context and 'everybody could be an artist' if ...... At the end, your home movies, put into the right context (a museum) with a good description why it is art, describing a concept of making home movies for audiences in museums, with shaky camera movements, out of focus (no craftsmanship needed) could be a piece of art. Recontextualisation is a keyword.

Going back to the definition of art by Doug S. A reaction by the audience is not necessarily a definition for art. A reaction by an audience can be achieved by many means. See post by Richard Hollerith. I fear that a definition of art that is audience oriented conforms more or less to a definition favoured by public bodies like arts councils, governments and everybody who gives money to the arts. There are numerous studies about art and audiences. Similar to television ratings that make us belief that something is good television because it is watched by zillions, audience reaction (ratings) are used to define if something is (good or bad) art. By the way, many artists have created art because they enjoyed doing so, and many of them (think about painters) did not necessarily think about the reaction of an audience when they created their works.

Paul McCarthy did a video/performance in the 1970s where he punches his own nose (face). So it is art, isn't it?

Language (systems) can never be precise, only as precise as possible. At its best it is about the least misunderstanding; misunderstanding being inherent. Approximation comes into my mind. It is about agreements (also the breaking of these) and closed circuit situations. At its best it is about more or less successful feedback loops.

Thanks for this, Ben. Perfection has got a 'bad smell', somehow. Because it is associated with flawless and the ultimate possible (actually a glass ceiling). There is of course, always something more perfect than perfect, especially if one thinks about the rapid changes in technology and knowledge. I have obviously applied it to human nature and psychology. It seems perfectly okay within the context you describe. I am still thinking about as good as possible or as high standard as possible or challenging oneself or according to the latest knowledge or... Perfection is still a bit problematic for me. As is excellence. I live in the UK and excellence is prescribed by the government and applied to all sorts of PC papers.

"Perfection is our goal. Excellence will be tolerated." -- J. Yahl

This is a really stressful one. And an impossible goal. There are so many of these. Like being good (in a moral sense) Reminds me of Olympia, the perfect doll for a not so perfect creator. Didn't this fail? (The Sandman, ETA Hoffmann). Thinking about the story, she was a robot. Is perfection only possible for a robot?

Thinking about it, if failure is anticipated, when it is quite a good quote. (Making the impossible possible. )

Or: a mother wants a perfect child. And Yahi has internalised this. Maybe he has to become a robot.

Really like your article. Thanks

Thanks for pointing out Randall Collins.
Resistance certainly achieved something. I mentioned it as an example for 'justified' violence.

DaCracka: I think these are two issues related in a different way. His paintings were not better than genocide. This is like saying butter is better than a smack in the face. This is kind of illogical. Though, if his paintings would have been better there would have been a chance to avoid this genocide, because the Academy would have accepted him and he might have become a painter instead of a dictator. About the violence thing. I agree nobody should react with violence to an argument. There are people out there who do so. They do it because they are either frustrated or they have not learnt to discuss, or somebody has taught them to do so, or their only language is violence. It might be in the genes or just lack of education or a social dysfunction …. Some people, by the way, feel better, if they shoot the alien. Some people feel better if they use violence. Some people batter their kids and spouses because they did answer back or the soup was not cooked properly. Some people are inherently violent. They are ‘anger’ machines. It gives them a kick. About violence and society. What do we define by violence? Do we also define intrusion in our personal sphere, psychological re-programming, etc. as violent activities? Capitalism can be seen as violent and intrusive. Globalisation, the forceful opening of new markets, the imposing of certain consumer and management phraseology on whole groups, the creation of seemingly unnecessary needs and obsessive consumerism. There is a whole generation of managers with certain speech and thinking patterns, they seem to be the forerunners of limited futurist AI. As posted by others, sometimes violence is the only way of avoiding even greater violence and injustice. What about the Resistance in countries that were occupied by Nazi Germany? I think that their violence was necessary violence.

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