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On beauty

Beauty is that which makes its bearer the most forgettable possible for something still remembered. So much so that looking at something that has beauty feels as if one is always looking at it for the first time.

This view is of course guided by the concept of averageness. Around the same time as the episode, I remember articles like this one going around the internet. It turns out that the average of most people’s faces make the most attractive face.

But why is that? Intuition says that beauty is easy on the eyes. Looking at beauty doesn’t take much effort. And yet we also talk of its rarity. Of being worth a second look. We can’t get enough. We stare. How can something be both average and rare?

Being sloppy with words this way creates confusion of course. By average we only mean the mean in mathematical sense. And by rare we mean infrequent. Those two concepts are not opposites. Most things are more or less than their average such that being average is in fact rare.

Because standing out is remarkable, those that do are easy to remember. Meanwhile, brains take for granted and forget those that blend in the background. By being the average of most things, beauty has both qualities. For being infrequent, it stands out. Yet once the brain spends precious attention on something else, beauty is set aside with ease.

Enough for today.

Some things I noticed 02/17/2020:
  1. WSJ made a rhyme analyser for Hamilton
  2. making the visualization and the algorithm
  3. Back to the Future deepfake
  4. deadpan master
  5. 2017 solar eclipse image
  6. African Guitar Summit from Canada
  7. catch python decorator debate

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