imagine finding this...

Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote:So yes, that white Natrix is indeed beautiful to me, and many other people by the looks of it. And the question whether one would like their children to be like that is irrelevant. Would you like your children to have a normal non-diseased colouration of a reticulated python (which I'm sure we all find beautiful)?

The answer is no, of course, because a "beautiful and healthy" coloration of a reticulated python belongs to
their species, not ours. We appreciate it in pythons (and I'm sure they do as well), but not in humans.
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:43 am

Berislav Horvatic wrote:
Ilian Velikov wrote:So yes, that white Natrix is indeed beautiful to me, and many other people by the looks of it. And the question whether one would like their children to be like that is irrelevant. Would you like your children to have a normal non-diseased colouration of a reticulated python (which I'm sure we all find beautiful)?

The answer is no, of course, because a "beautiful and healthy" coloration of a reticulated python belongs to
their species, not ours. We appreciate it in pythons (and I'm sure they do as well), but not in humans.


Sure! It is so. :lol:
The problem about "beauty" is more tricky, and, agreeing we about the fact that "beauty" is only a human totally subjective concept, I will no longer use this term.
I will only say here that the red Natrix I've seen was a rare physiological colouration, while the leucistic Natrix or the amelanistic salamander posted by Michal are rare pathological or, if we prefer, "abnormal" colourations... This was my concept (which I think it is the same concept expressed by Berislav in other words).
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:46 am

the fact that "beauty" is only a human totally subjective concept

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroesthetics
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:31 am

Ruggero Morimando wrote:the fact that "beauty" is only a human totally subjective concept


http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150511-why-are-animals-so-beautiful

Ruggero, as a person with scientific mind you and all of us should keep an open mind, righ? If we were always stuck on the "facts" that we know at any given time we would still think that the world is held by a giant turtle ;)

And even if beauty was only a human concept the white Natrix posted here was perceived by humans (as far as I know there are no zebras members of this forum ;) ), so we are "allowed" to use the term. There are many uncelar things about the subject but I think we can all agree that this "feeling" is a physiological process triggered by particular stimulus (which varies among individuals), so if an image or sound (no matter if pathological or abnormal) triggers this particular process in an individual it is safe to say that this image or sound was beautiful to the individual. This is something you can't argue with.

Ruggero Morimando wrote:I will no longer use this term.

Well, I'd like to see you use this in a conversation: "This is a technically very well executed painting the sight of which somehow stimulated my prefrontal cortex" ;)

And this was my point.
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:12 pm

Ilian Velikov wrote: Well, I'd like to see you use this in a conversation: "This is a technically very well executed painting the sight of which somehow stimulated my prefrontal cortex" ;)
And this was my point.

Well, Ilian, I could utter that, even in public, because I strongly believe that's the ultimate truth about it...
Aesthetics is, after all, not such a big and complicated deal as the art critics would like to have it...
I mean, natural aesthetics, by "plain", "ignorant", "uneducated" people... We already know a lot about that,
biologically. We know what stimulates an "unspoiled" ("unpolluted") prefrontal cortex of an "unspoiled" Homo
sapiens
. Read Steven Pinker, for starters.
All the rest is just a social game, for art critics and "educated" people, the "elite"... Bullshitting, if you ask me...

An old joke, just to illustrate what I mean:
An "uneducated art ignorant" visits an exhibition of Picasso's best works. His/her comment:
- I've seen there a Picasso's autoportrait - for God's sake, what that man looked like!!!
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:36 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:
Ilian Velikov wrote: Well, I'd like to see you use this in a conversation: "This is a technically very well executed painting the sight of which somehow stimulated my prefrontal cortex" ;)
And this was my point.

Well, Ilian, I could utter that, even in public, because I strongly believe that's the ultimate truth about it...
Aesthetics is, after all, not such a big and complicated deal as the art critics would like to have it...
I mean, natural aesthetics, by "plain", "ignorant", "uneducated" people... We already know a lot about that,
biologically. We know what stimulates an "unspoiled" ("unpolluted") prefrontal cortex of an "unspoiled" Homo
sapiens
. Read Steven Pinker, for starters.
All the rest is just a social game, for art critics and "educated" people, the "elite"... Bullshitting, if you ask me...

An old joke, just to illustrate what I mean:
An "uneducated art ignorant" visits an exhibition of Picasso's best works. His/her comment:
- I've seen there a Picasso's autoportrait - for God's sake, what that man looked like!!!


It's not so easy. Even if we consider "uneducated and simple" people.
Try to show to 10 of those "laymen" what we consider without doubts a "beautiful" snake (a red and yellow situla? a yellow and black mandarinus? a gorgeous retic?). How would they react? I bet that 9 of those 10 people would judge and define the aformentioned snake as awful and repulsive. People normally don't like snakes.

With art the matter is even more complicated.
The rarity and the market value of the artwork take in this case more value than the beauty itself, which could also be in some cases totally inexistent. A group of cuts in a canvas (some of Fontana's artworks) are considered masterpieces. Are they beautiful? Are they difficult to realize? They are simply considered rare works of a revolutionary and provocative artist...
In a very similar way, the amelanistic salamander (honestly awful to my eyes) posted by Michal is certainly not more beautiful than a normal one. I would even say that most people would "like" a lot more a normal coloured salamander than the one of Michal, with vitiligo-like spots and apparently bulging eyes. But Michal has written he would like to find an amelanistic one... Why? For two reasons: because it's rare, and because Michal knows it's rare.

I would be happy to find a big gold nugget. Is a gold nugget particularly beautiful or really more beautiful than an iron pyrite crystal? No, but for me (and not only for me) it has something very similar to "pure beauty" because I know its value... :lol:
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:35 pm

Ruggero Morimando wrote:It's not so easy. Even if we consider "uneducated and simple" people.


Yes, I agree.

Ruggero Morimando wrote:the amelanistic salamander (honestly awful to my eyes) posted by Michal is certainly not more beautiful than a normal one.


I agree with this as well, but this only proves that the sight of this particular salamander for some reason created similar chemical/neural responses in both of us as opposed to the white Natrix which created different reactions in us. However, neither of this proves whether any of those two animals is "beautiful" or "ugly". It doesn't matter if they have a pathological condition or not, in fact nothing about them matters in defining "beauty" because it is not about the animal but about how WE react to them.

People figured out that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" long before science started studying the physiological processes behind it. We can only define the process happening in our body when we are exposed to a stimulus which we consider "beautiful" but we can't define the stimulus itself that would create this reaction simply because there's no single universal stimulus that creates the same reaction in every human (or animal).
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:08 pm

the amelanistic salamander (honestly awful to my eyes) posted by Michal is certainly not more beautiful than a normal one.

In some aesthetic teories it is unfamiliarity what causes pleasure when experiencing art. I know that animal is not a piece of art sensu stricto but they are beautiful for some.
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Re: imagine finding this...

Postby Matthias Kaiser » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:46 pm

Whether you call it beautiful or not, I find it quite fascinating that this snake was able to survive in the wild for quite some time. Finding a newborn leucistic grass snake is already rare, but finding the pictured snake I think is stunning, beautiful or not!
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