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Re: Do We Perceive Beauty in an Unexpected Context
Ditto Paul and Pawel; this "experiment", which I recall reading about
shortly after it happened, always seemed to me to have been set up to
guarantee the results obtained and wanted, and pretty obviously so.
What's so surprising about a bunch of commuters in a metro station on
the way to work being too busy, too preoccupied and too habituated to
jump the rails for some serious, long-form music, no matter how high-
quality? Any marketing person could have predicted exactly what
happened, let alone any busker…
Similarly, I don't see any evidence that an average crowd or the
average person values random beauty much at all. How often have you
ever seen a freeway traffic jam, or even a single pulled-over vehicle,
during a spectacular sunset, or any other jaw-dropping display of
light on landscape as seen from the road? Nothing's less important
than the "task at hand".
What's more of a cliche than "Stop and smell the roses!" or that the
Artistic Life (which is not renowned for being an enviable one) is
about noticing the beauty that everyone else misses?