Re: Extropic art: symbolism, interpretation & association

Sarah Marr (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 22:12:46 +0000

At 17:41 17/03/97 -0600, Gregory Houston wrote:

> wrote:
>> (Enough of this sort of silliness! In the name of Newton, I want to
>> definitions of "definition" even less than I want to discuss defintions of
>> art.)

I heartily agree with TOMorrow on this one!

>Sara Marr wrote:
>> The point being, that the objective definition of anything, if an objective
>> defintion can exist, is temporally and culturally variant.
>Let us say that I were arguing that the earth is round, and you were
>arguing that the earth is flat. If I cannot convince you that your idea
>is less objectively true than my arguement that the earth is round, then
>there is simply no reason for us to argue. I must simply pass you by and
>wait for more reasonable people to be born,

You're missing the point here. If a person lives within a culture where
no-one has ever even suggested the world to be round, that person is every
bit as objective as you in his/her acceptance of the flatness of the world.
Whilst I agree with you that reasonable, Western people would accept the
roundness of the world, I can't accept your exceptionally blinkered of
culture as simply being "Western, post-Enlightment rationality = reasonable
and objective, everything else = unreasonable and subjective". I guess that
just the anthropologist in me coming out.

>...people who are not so
>attached to the archaic definitions or lack of definitions for things,
>people who will not accept fairy tales as valid sources of objective

Just to make the point one more time: fairy tales are perfectly reasonable
sources of objective facts in those cultures where there are no other
opinion-systems to be heard. Objectivism is, I have said before, defined
as, simply, listening to what others said and assigning them a greater
priority than what oneself thinks.

>Each generation is accepting of less and less mystification of things.

Each generation has more information.

>Future generations will not accept our current mystification of art. You
>can argue with me day and night, but that will not stop the
>demystification and future scientific use of art.

Nor does it stop the current scientific use of art.

>If it [art]is not a source of truth or facts, then is it a source of untruths
>and non-facts?

No, that's an entirely spurious logical extrapolation. Art is a source of
discourse, which may or may not reveal truth or facts, or may do both. A
drawing of a flat Earth presents both a possible truth (this artist
believes the Earth to be flat) and a possible not-truth (the Earth is flat).


Sarah Kathryn Marr