<< Note that your model of a purely rational person has no "good reason"
to want a persian carpet, or a fine painting on their wall -- and yet
many people do want these sorts of things. Not all rational desires
may be explained in purely functional terms.
I agree about the need for clothing in certain wheather conditions, and if
someone wishes to wear them as a form of "art", then that's fine too. I
think there may be many people who are more function oriented, who will
prefer not to wear clothes during the times when there is no apparent reason
to. Concerning the "art" issue, in many tribal cultures, it is "normal" and
"artistic" to wear either rings around the neck (stretching the neck in the
process), or to cut slits in the lower lip, and inserting a "plate" into it,
gradually stretching the skin more, and inserting a larger "plate". I think
wearing clothing for "art" could be looked at in a way, as we would look at
these tribal people's "art". I must admit, I am very funtional oriented. I
like art too, but I pay cash for that which is useful in some way. The more
useful, the more valuable. Things of no real use, but are "rare" and demand
large amounts of money, I believe is an artificial augmentation of value. An
old rare coin, a Renoir painting, and an ancient book could all be reproduced
for a small fraction of the price of the original, and with molecular
duplication techniques that will come about "soon", I would not recommend
investing in these kinds of things now. Like in the duplication chamber
idea, "If there is no difference between two things, they are essentially the
same thing." Any comments?
Shawn M. Johnson