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#421312 - 05/15/10 01:44 PM The Aesthetic Paradigm
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Slightly inspired by the ongoing and very interesting discussion on morality, and how this may or may not align with an acceptable idea of objectivity (where the barbaric "crowbar metaphor" of Mr. Hagen still cracks me the fuck up), I question what is the prime motivator in people. There are all kinds of psychological models; to the point, Maslow's Pyramid and other such ideas about an "emergent" model of human psychology.

I like to flatter myself by thinking that I'm really more concerned about aesthetics than ethics, but this may of course be delusional. Never the less, it is something I believe in, i.e. the preference for seeking to align with, and to create, beauty. In this, I unbashfully declare that I am a romantic. I take pleasure in whatever parts of nature or culture that appeals to my aesthetical sense.

For instance poetry. As written by Paul Eluard:

Quote:
She is standing on my eyelids
And her hair mingles with mine,
She has just the shape of my hands,
She has just the hue of my eyes,
She is swallowed by my shadow
Like a stone lost in the sky.
Always open are her eyes
And they do not let me sleep,
While her dreams so brightly lit
Take the moisture from the suns,
Make me laugh, and weep and laugh,
And speak out with nothing to say.


It needs no further explanation than that of being moving. It makes me feel something. Perhaps nostalgia, perhaps hope, who really cares. (The graphics of the text even looks ever so slightly like tits!) The point is that it falls within my beauty paradigm.

The same goes for pictoral and sculptural art. I do not much care for the "smartness" of postmodernism, nor the intellectual challenges of so-called modern and non-contextual arts, I prefer the unrepentant and unbashful strife to grasp something elusive and truly beautiful that you may find in "the old masters". Such as Greek statues. Or Michelangelo.

Which leads to something I think is a very interesting aspect of religion. Quite a lot of people have created intensely beautiful works of art under the inspiration of religion. For whatever else we may say about the negative political and sociological consequences of religion, this is at least something which cannot be denied.

I believe that something significant is being overlooked here: We tend to mix the concept of teopathy (the feeling, the personal "god experience") with the concept of theology (the "explanation" and contextualisation of teopathy) and then proceed to throw the baby out with the bath water. In my opinion, teopathy may as well be an aesthetical as a metaphysical concept. Either way it is subjective and experience-based.

If I were to criticise religions, it would be for their "hidden agenda" of trying to establish the principle and idea that there exists an unquestionable, cosmic authority somewhere, and that there is a special caste of people who are qualified (or trained) to speak on behalf of this authority. I do not necessarily have any problem with people having "faith" in and of itself. Whatever gets you through the night. (Although I am not a believer myself and I do find it somewhat infantile to rely on pixies and fairy dust, especially if you lay claim to being an intelligent creature.)

To conclude: We cannot, as human beings, know a whole lot of things with any assuredness. Even science lay no claim to anything above and beyond the principle of being fairly able to predict what will happen in situation so-and-so, under conditions so-and-so. In order to reach that elusive bottom of the self, the intensity of feelings, we have to look elsewhere. My solution is beauty. Not in the sense that I worship it, but in a mode of experiencing, of feeling beauty. What is yours?
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#421315 - 05/15/10 02:39 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
Liberterius Offline


Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 241
An interesting and enjoyable read.
Yes, I think that deep, unexplainable emotion evoked by a connection to something deep like that is something often lost nowadays, in our age of secular modern art.

There are certainly scientists and intellectuals, such as myself and it would seem yourself, who can definitely enjoy aesthetics along with the great tangible uses of science to understand our world and build useful things.
But again, yes, something is lost even when more and more people are secular, yet still don't lose their herdish consumerism and worship of "smart" art, rather than gaining a connection to something really beautiful and pleasing even if it's simple.

I believe strongly our solution (at least mine) can come through connection to "existence"; by which I mean one DOING things that make them feel vibrant and beautiful, rather than solely seeing such things. For example, the adrenaline rush of skiiing or karate sparring, or the lustful energy intense sexual intercourse. Any sort of athletic activity or action that puts one "in the moment", makes you alive and part of the world. That's my feeling anyway, not to say I'm an adrenaline junkie per se, but I do need to "do stuff" physically to feel alive. There's beauty in it.

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#421320 - 05/15/10 04:41 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: Liberterius]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
On the relativity of beauty:

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#421324 - 05/15/10 06:45 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
John Prophet Offline

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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: XUL
What is yours?

I wrote an article about the subject of human motivation a while back. This is my answer to it:

Fear, Ego & Stimulation

Incidentally, your answer would fall under my category of stimulation. wink
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#421326 - 05/15/10 08:08 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: XUL
I like to flatter myself by thinking that I'm really more concerned about aesthetics than ethics, but this may of course be delusional.


If so, then you and I share the same delusion. Ethics, for me, is a tactic, whereas aesthetics is a driving force.

Quote:
The same goes for pictoral and sculptural art. I do not much care for the "smartness" of postmodernism, nor the intellectual challenges of so-called modern and non-contextual arts, I prefer the unrepentant and unbashful strife to grasp something elusive and truly beautiful that you may find in "the old masters". Such as Greek statues. Or Michelangelo.


I like this guy:
Pieter Bruegel

Quote:
I believe that something significant is being overlooked here: We tend to mix the concept of teopathy (the feeling, the personal "god experience") with the concept of theology (the "explanation" and contextualisation of teopathy) and then proceed to throw the baby out with the bath water. In my opinion, teopathy may as well be an aesthetical as a metaphysical concept. Either way it is subjective and experience-based.


You taught me a new word! jack

Quote:
My solution is beauty. Not in the sense that I worship it, but in a mode of experiencing, of feeling beauty. What is yours?


Fiction inspires me. Lately I've found much enoblement in contemplating this guy:
Batman
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#421330 - 05/15/10 09:06 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: John Prophet]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: John Prophet
I wrote an article about the subject of human motivation a while back. This is my answer to it:

Fear, Ego & Stimulation


I apparently have an unusual view of fear and its place in the psyche. I've noticed many times that people find my perspective alien.

In my view, the drive to avoid is fear. The drive to encounter is desire. When avoiding isn't enough - when you want to destroy the thing, or hurt it, or weaken it - that's hate. When encountering isn't enough - when you want to create the thing, or protect it, or strengthen it - that's love. Here's the important point. For me, desire and love aren't better than or preferable to fear and hate, nor are fear and hate better than or preferable to desire and love. Avoiding what you fear can be just as exhilirating as encountering what you desire - it's just a different exhiliration. Likewise, destroying or weakening what you hate can be just as exhilirating as creating or protecting what you love. Life is all of that. The game encompasses it all. The adventure entails every bit of it.

Avoiding what you fear is victory. Encountering what you desire is victory. Hurting what you hate is victory. Strengthening what you love is victory.

I would go so far as to perform ritual with fear in the north, desire in the east, hate in the south, and love in the west. It's all life. It's all nature. Fear is earth, desire is air, hate is fire, love is water. We need it all. The universe is upheld by these four pillars.
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#421332 - 05/16/10 12:02 AM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
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Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10574
Loc: England
Of course, our sense of imagery and aesthetics is shaped by our world view, rather than it shaping the world.

I hear thunder.

Someone else hears angels playing trumpets in the clouds.

But as I have said many times, the harsh blade of reality cuts through bullshit - every time. As long as we do not allow our romantic notions to cloud our judgement then we do not lose perspective.

We do not want to be polishing the turd, as they say.
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#421343 - 05/16/10 07:16 AM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
Shade Offline
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Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Hey, look at that! That's nostalgia in a youtube box right there. I was such a fan of Ministry and RevCo in highschool, not because I really liked the music but because I couldn't stop staring at Jourgensen. Later morphed into my Thing for Rob Zombie. A Thing that was recently re-awakened by Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2. Holy cheeses, I just can't get enough of that mug type.

Yummy, yummy men...

Ah, sorry for interruption. I'll roll my tongue back into my head and let you get back to regularly scheduled program.

grin coopdevil
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#421350 - 05/16/10 08:02 AM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: Rev_Strongbone

We do not want to be polishing the turd, as they say.


Indeed.

As I mentioned in the post itself, I was much amused by Mr. Hagens "crowbar" argument in another thread. Because he is so completely correct: There are two "objectivities" at work here, one which may not be discussed and one which is open for interpretation.

I do feel that there is quite a bit of intellectual pretentiousness - the polishing of turds - in much of that which is labelled "modern art". Whereas we can discuss the techniques used by for instance a painter to create the effects of light and shadow, we may not argue the "impact" a work of stunning beauty has. Even those who are critical and pretentiously "ironic" about it can feel that; and it makes them adapt a defencive mode, often even to the point of attacking such said painter's "lack of political consciousness" or whatever.

On a sidenote: I am reminded of a funny moment from the TV show "QI", when Stephen Fry was waxing on the relative political importance of the old Royal Groom of the Stool, who was reputed to have collected, and even gilded, some of the more remarkable Royal stool samples.


Edited by XUL (05/16/10 08:02 AM)
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#421354 - 05/16/10 08:38 AM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: XUL
I do feel that there is quite a bit of intellectual pretentiousness - the polishing of turds - in much of that which is labelled "modern art".


I agree. First I'll note that I like a lot of what is called Abstract Expressionism - and in fact I like most of the paintings depicted in the cited Wikipedia article.

What bugs me is when a painting's title is turned into part of the art, such that, knowing the title is necessary in order to fully experience the work as intended. An example is this painting referenced in the above article:
Elegy to the Spanish Republic

First, if you want to make a political statement visually, then, in my view, you should make it visually. You should do it entirely without words. Secondly, what the hell does that picture have to do with the Spanish Republic? Thirdly, before I knew the title of the painting, I liked it, because I had my own immediate emotional reaction to it, and then my own mental associations, and then my own emotional reactions to those mental associations. My response was my own. Then along comes the title, telling me that I'm supposed to somehow be relating this abstract image to the Spanish Republic.

In my view, the whole point of abstract expressionism is that it functions like a Rorschach test. The observer contributes the order invoked by the painter's chaos. This all collapses when suddenly the title intrudes. In my view, abstract expressionists should name all their paintings with numbers, "Painting 63," or "Geometry 71," or other similar constructions.
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#421427 - 05/17/10 06:29 AM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: Machismo]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Apart from some of the works of Wassily Kandinsky and Jason Pollock, I wouldn't say that I'm terribly fond of abstract expressionism myself. This may, however, simply be due to my ignorance on the subject. The comparison with a Rorsach blotch is funny - and it examplifies why I wouldn't want to hang much of it on my own wall.

I'd rather go for naturalism, symbolic naturalism, surrealism and figurative, non-specific art such as that of Odd Nerdrum. Which of course jives with my personal psychology, insofar that I like to "get lost" in the intricacies of detail and the complexity of realism versus perception - such as was examplified by "the different hues within the colour green".
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#421454 - 05/17/10 12:35 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
Opening the can of warms called "moral/cultural/aesthetic relativity" is extremely addictive and irritating.

"Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied."
-Anton Lavey/11 Satanic Sins-

If you are a Satanist you can't deny having some amount of reasonable dogma.
Another catchy phrase roaming this forum: "don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out".

Personally, I'd love to take a crowbar to the head of anyone who claims Lady Gaga is better than Mozart. Or that Hitler/Mao/Stalin was "not evil" but simply "had a different set of morals".
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#421458 - 05/17/10 02:35 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: The_Lightning]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: The_Lightning
Opening the can of warms called "moral/cultural/aesthetic relativity" is extremely addictive and irritating.


Yes, isn't it though?

I do think that this is one of those fields where we may say that language - and, indeed, even those parts of the brain that language is coming from - is not an adequate tool for handling the real issues. We all have different ideas of what "beauty" means, according to personal taste and preference, but at least we have something... so those whom I really feel sorry for (well perhaps not so much, but it's a rhetorical manner of speaking) are those who seem to have no beauty in their life - and not even any desire for it.

Which brings me to Lady Gaga (or, rather, her audience). I don't really see how she and Mozart are even in the same playing field as far as music goes, but I think I would credit her for having a better nose for business than Mozart (probably) ever had. As such she has done remarkably well.


Edited by XUL (05/17/10 02:36 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
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#421459 - 05/17/10 02:52 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: The_Lightning]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2153
Quote:
Personally, I'd love to take a crowbar to the head of anyone who claims Lady Gaga is better than Mozart. Or that Hitler/Mao/Stalin was "not evil" but simply "had a different set of morals".

As for music, the trouble with that all comes down to taste. Objective principles? Of course. But it helps if you actually know what those are. Mozart had an entire orchestra at his disposal, on top of years of training. Lady Ga Ga is just some Italian chick who liked to play rock star and got lucky. Who someone likes better is something entirely different.

No person with semi-adequate knowledge of musical theory can deny that a lot of the newer hard rock today is extremely technical, precise, and on a purely musical level shows an amount of intelligence that is above-average. But not too many people will honestly say that they like it.

For the record, I like Mozart, and Lady Ga Ga. Depends on my mood. wink

As for Hitler, Mao, and Stalin: sure, by the consensus of historians and the victors of those wars, those men were evil as shit. Darth Vader pales in comparison.

Actually surprised you didn't also submit Hussein; he seems to be a favorite nowadays. Seems to always happen to people after they're dead.

EDIT: Also, I've never got the beauty behind cellar door; it would seem to me what kinds of words people find attractive are largely arbitrary.


Edited by NapalmNick (05/17/10 03:02 PM)
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"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#421468 - 05/17/10 06:10 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: NapalmNick]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
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Registered: 03/10/05
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Originally Posted By: NapalmNick


EDIT: Also, I've never got the beauty behind cellar door; it would seem to me what kinds of words people find attractive are largely arbitrary.



Hmm...the idea that there may be an objective measure by which certain words put together may elicit a certain result in the hearer or speaker, divorced from the meaning of the words.
I have a strange urge to give study to the Enochian Keys. wink
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#421477 - 05/17/10 07:33 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: Roho_the_Rooster]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2153
Satanists might find the Enochian Keys to be beautiful, but I highly doubt everyone would.

I simply don't hear what makes "cellar door" beautiful.

I understand the concept completely. But to hear some Donnie Darko freak saying shit like that as though it is an objective fact annoys me. I know someone who hates the sound of the letter J. If we find enough people who hate the letter J, does that mean that it's a lesser letter than its counterparts?

I like alliteration; some people find it annoying. Also, what you find pleasing to hear can vary on your culture. Trying to apply objectivity to phonoaesthetics seems futile to me.
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#421479 - 05/17/10 07:41 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: NapalmNick]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
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Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
Satanists might find the Enochian Keys to be beautiful, but I highly doubt everyone would.



All I know is that my mother once fell asleep in front of the television, only to be awakened by the naked old people chanting around Rosemary. Rosemary's Baby was the weekend fright show. She claimed she felt the devil in the room, and refused to ever watch the movie again. That gave me a big case of the happies. Enochian Keys...or old naked people? I don't know. I'll leave it a mystery.

I know...I need to be more serious. Sorry. grin
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#421480 - 05/17/10 07:45 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: XUL]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Originally Posted By: XUL


I believe that something significant is being overlooked here: We tend to mix the concept of teopathy (the feeling, the personal "god experience") with the concept of theology (the "explanation" and contextualisation of teopathy) and then proceed to throw the baby out with the bath water. In my opinion, teopathy may as well be an aesthetical as a metaphysical concept. Either way it is subjective and experience-based.

If I were to criticise religions, it would be for their "hidden agenda" of trying to establish the principle and idea that there exists an unquestionable, cosmic authority somewhere, and that there is a special caste of people who are qualified (or trained) to speak on behalf of this authority. I do not necessarily have any problem with people having "faith" in and of itself. Whatever gets you through the night. (Although I am not a believer myself and I do find it somewhat infantile to rely on pixies and fairy dust, especially if you lay claim to being an intelligent creature.)


One of my biggest issues as well:the fact that they are selling certainty instead of doubt or question. They have no clue. None of us do.

Even our brightest scientists are our equals on that scale. Though they have great theories and ideas,they don't pretend to be certain(the better of them at least).

Religion however goes right in the opposite direction. They make up a certainty and "Guess what?! Also included is a set of rules by which you have to live by!"

As for the aesthetics that have been crafted by the hands of religious minded folks,I still believe some of the most beautiful sculptures grace the outsides of many a catholic cathedral. Absolutely gorgeous. Even down to the stained glass windows and towering ceilings that (by no coincidence of the artist(s') design) draw the eyes upward and take one's breath.

It could have been a brothel or a church. It doesn't matter. Beauty is beauty none the less.
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#421482 - 05/17/10 07:58 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: NapalmNick]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
I tend to challenge so-called objective perceptions on a frequent basis. Like so:

Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
Satanists might find the Enochian Keys to be beautiful, but I highly doubt everyone would.


I prefer reading them in English. When I try to read them in Enochian I have no idea what I'm saying (until I flip the page and look at the translation) and I just focus all my attention on pronouncing the words correctly, which I most likely suck at. Even after hearing Dr. LaVey pronounce them correctly I'd hardly call it "beautiful".

And Donnie Darko is hands down one of the most pretentious films I have ever seen.
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#421486 - 05/17/10 08:05 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: NapalmNick]
Shade Offline
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Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
I simply don't hear what makes "cellar door" beautiful.


I suspect Elisabeth Fritzl would agree with you.
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We're Just Regular People

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#421491 - 05/17/10 08:22 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: Shade]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2153
Not knowing who she was, I consulted the Almighty Google.

That is so deliciously fucked up. grin

Speaking of which, there is actually one combination of words that I do like a lot: Bob Saget. Easily the coolest name anyone has had, ever.

Coincidentally, it's his birthday today.



Edited by NapalmNick (05/17/10 08:49 PM)
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#421747 - 05/20/10 01:30 PM Re: The Aesthetic Paradigm [Re: NapalmNick]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Bob Saget is also my favorite substitute for actually cursing in public places. "BOB SAGET!"
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