Small Things

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Phil S, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. I think art is made of precisely the imbalance between reason and emotion. That's the crux. Art and culture is the negotiation that happens between the two, it can never really be in balance and harmony.
     
  2. I think common sense doesn't always involve reasoning.
     
  3. I'm talking about art, not common sense. Art is the expression of the conflict between reason and emotion.
     
  4. Yes, agreed. Sorry, I thought you were referring to my last post.
     
  5. To and fro the pendulum throws. We're in the fire but we're still cold...

     
  6. Whether we refer to the artist making a certain choice as being to blame or art being to blame doesn't make much difference to me. I don't think Norman is trying to give art a brain and the capability of having intentions. For me, his question doesn't invoke a guns-don't-kill-people/people-kill-people stream of thought.

    I see the question of blame as the flip side of the question of praise. Since art is often praised, it seems logical for it also to be blamed. Should it be blamed in the case of Supriyo? I don't think so.

    It can be as simple as my sometimes blaming photography for keeping me up late at night. Again, I know photography is not some witch working magic spells on me. But some nights, if I weren't obsessed with a photo I'm working on, I'd get more sleep. Sure, it's ME who's doing it. But this is the way we talk, and I think it's fine to do so. Why were you up last night, we might as someone else? They might cogently and reasonably give the answer, "Work was keeping me up." In that case the insomniac would have work to blame for his sleepless night. I'd be surprised if that same person bothered to use the long form and say, "I'm keeping myself up at night due to work-related stress. It's my choice." In any case, I bet art can be blamed for breaking up more than a few marriages and for driving a few people made. In Adams's Internment Camp case, I think it can be blamed for distracting him from a more important picture to have shown.
    I got Norman's point.
     
  7. That would be regular people, who can separate the two. But there are hypocrites who try to divert blame from themselves and blaming art or work may be literal enough for them to avoid responsibility.

    Norman's bigger point was, I am a pretentious hypocrite :D, which I am not, as I have explained before.
     
  8. I was taking everyone's words at face value. I'll let it rest at this point.
     
  9. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    I seem to be coming late to this word game--maybe I thought it was one of those cocktail party discussion conundrums... :cool:

    The old saw goes that "the devil is in the details." For whatever reasons--and library shelves are filled with tomes and monographs attempting to ellucidate them--we are cognitively wired to 'perceive' in a very gestalt sort of way. Who among us has not themselves, or been in the company of someone who exclaimed "when did they build that?" The referral of course bears on some tangible thing that exists in an ordinary and regularly traveled pathway that had to achieve a state of "different" to be perceived and re-cataloged.

    In this, we often ignore these 'small' or transient slices of something larger. I am busily sorting through my catalog of photos, as always there has been an attraction to the tiny element that ties the whole together. In a couple recent NW posts, we find a hinge--that without it the door would not be there. A sign in the frame that takes an ordinary 'people' image and serendipitously adds another dimension to the activity. Something small--but critical to the being of the greater whole. Something fleeting--but testifying to a larger narrative that birthed its being and place.

    Here is an interesting set of principles that the Gestaltists refer to as Pragnanz--how we choose to group objects in the physical world and sort them in a way that does not create too much dissonance. These groupings sometimes cause "element blindness" in which we choose to ignore the doorknob, the hinge, the discarded cup, or any other thing that detracts from registering the whole. Try these concepts on for size:

    Gestalt psychology - Wikipedia

    I have to go get another cup of coffee now. That is no small thing... :p
     
  10. is art to blame was a a suggestion that the pusuit of art gives us more leeway in digressing from acceptable behaviour. is taking(thinking of taking) a photo of litter and not clearing up more acceptable than just not clearing up?
     
  11. As this thread has amply demonstrated, Supryo's not picking up the plastic bag has been at least as effective as would have been picking up the plastic bag in making people think about the issue of "plastic bags."

    We cannot know that the world is not as it should be without knowing how it is, nor can we know that the world is as it is without knowing how it should be. We cannot know that the world is not as it should be without knowing that it can be changed, nor can we know that it can be changed without knowing how it is. — Vilém Flusser​

    That's what art does, all the time, with or without even noticing that it's doing so. It plays a vital, essential role in every aspect of that description. IMO.
     
  12. i don't know. to me this thread has always been a bit about science v art. if Phil had posted a pic of a *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* cat in a tree would it have had the same effect?
     
  13. hahahahaha. that jibberish is pn's translation of a word that one associates with a young cat. think Ms Galore from Goldfinger.
     
  14. Yes. Except this misses an important point. Thinking isn't as important, sometimes, as doing. Now, I agree that Supriyo was not in a good position to take action, so it makes sense he didn't. But, had he been able to, actually getting the bag would have been better than getting people in the comfort of their homes behind a keyboard to think about plastic bags . . . IMO.
     
  15. If you didn't pick that bag up and recycle it, what if it had blown way down the street where there was a baby in a carriage whose mother had been distracted for a few minutes, and the bag suffocated the baby? I think it might depend on asking "Best for whom?" Best for you, who showed us the picture 7 years later which is why we're discussing it 7 years later, or best for the baby who might have got smothered by the bag?

    This is not to put down your picture in any way. As I said earlier, it's got a lot going for it. And, of course, the picture could have been taken and then the bag disposed of. And I know the above is an extreme example but I said it to make a point that actions can have far-ranging consequences and a lot of photos don't. And especially environmental actions, these days, are important to consider relative to photos of plastic bags.

    It would be hard to know, if all the people taking pictures on the same day you took the picture of the bag had, instead, sought out and picked up a piece or two of plastic from the environment, what would have been "better." Though yours is a good picture, there's no absolute "BETTER" or "BEST" when it comes to taking certain actions in the world and taking certain photos in the world.

    I don't take pictures because I think it's a good thing to do. Honestly, I'm not always motivated by THE GOOD. There's more to life. And I actually believe there are much better things to do than the things I often choose to do, which won't stop me from doing the things I choose to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  16. What if the baby was saved by cleaning up the bag and the baby turned out to grow into a mass murderer? We can go on with what if's...all day long but that's not how the world works. Talking about waste and babies, babies have a huge environmental impact on the planet. Disposable diapers alone contribute to a huge pile of waste and they take up alot of resources. Like bags reusable ones should be used but parents don't want to get their hands dirty. The babies can't help it, they're innocent and never asked to be born (let's hope they don't all grow up to be mindless consumers).

    Better would be if all the people would prevent the bag from being there in the first place by putting it where it belongs and by using reusable bags and by not throwing trash on the ground. That's better than walking around searching for pieces of trash to clean up mainly in order to feel good about oneself when everyone's looking.
     
  17. Right! Exactly my point. Which is why I don't understand why you said "Getting a picture out of the bag would have been the best." How could you possibly know what would have been the best?
     
  18. I know because I did it. I took the picture without me having to agonize over it with irrelevant moral questions.
     
  19. No one suggested you agonized over irrelevant moral questions when you took the picture. You responded in this thread with irrelevant moral musings, which is why I responded as I did. I guess we're in agreement, then, about the silliness of your having turned getting the picture of the bag into a good echoing for all eternity. Glad that's resolved.
     

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