Friday, June 20, 2008

3D (GA's) Abstract Nº21

This is my 21st abstract image generated by genetic algorithms. Lately I'm focusing a bit too much on math, but I guess it is a passing phase.
Dedicated to Giovanni Rubaltelli, who reads much more philosophy than I ever do.



It is indisputable that the being whose capacities of enjoyment are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied; and a highly-endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections qualify. It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides.

It may be objected, that many who are capable of the higher pleasures, occasionally, under the influence of temptation, postpone them to the lower. But this is quite compatible with a full appreciation of the intrinsic superiority of the higher. Men often, from infirmity of character, make their election for the nearer good, though they know it to be the less valuable; and this no less when the choice is between two bodily pleasures, than when it is between bodily and mental. They pursue sensual indulgences to the injury of health, though perfectly aware that health is the greater good. It may be further objected, that many who begin with youthful enthusiasm for everything noble, as they advance in years sink into indolence and selfishness. But I do not believe that those who undergo this very common change, voluntarily choose the lower description of pleasures in preference to the higher. I believe that before they devote themselves exclusively to the one, they have already become incapable of the other. Capacity for the nobler feelings is in most natures a very tender plant, easily killed, not only by hostile influences, but by mere want of sustenance; and in the majority of young persons it speedily dies away if the occupations to which their position in life has devoted them, and the society into which it has thrown them, are not favourable to keeping that higher capacity in exercise. Men lose their high aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them; and they addict themselves to inferior pleasures, not because they deliberately prefer them, but because they are either the only ones to which they have access, or the only ones which they are any longer capable of enjoying. It may be questioned whether any one who has remained equally susceptible to both classes of pleasures, ever knowingly and calmly preferred the lower; though many, in all ages, have broken down in an ineffectual attempt to combine both.

From this verdict of the only competent judges, I apprehend there can be no appeal. On a question which is the best worth having of two pleasures, or which of two modes of existence is the most grateful to the feelings, apart from its moral attributes and from its consequences, the judgment of those who are qualified by knowledge of both, or, if they differ, that of the majority among them, must be admitted as final.

John S. Mill, "Utilitarianism", chapter II.

5 comments:

Moflo said...

"Men lose their high aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them; and they addict themselves to inferior pleasures, not because they deliberately prefer them, but because they are either the only ones to which they have access, or the only ones which they are any longer capable of enjoying."

So does the world destroy us, or do we destroy ourselves?

Your work with genetic algorithms is beautiful.

Exper said...

Great reading, Cristian, for one of your best designs ever; the mixing of 3D and 2D patterns is perfect.

I've been back at this soon, just take time to read and look at it in a meditative hour.

@moflo: both at the same time!

runnerfrog said...

@ Megan: I'm never certain. For what I've read of John Stuart Mill he thought that society set the conditions and men decay or not in the terms of their weaknesses and virtues.

@ Giovanni: Very glad you like the combination, friend.

Will Doohan said...

Cristian, you must throw the Ring of Power into the Volcano from which it was born, or the Eye of Sauron will follow you everywhere.:-P (Interesting quote. I use to read a lot of philosophy when i was a younger man and filled with ideals. Now I am simply jaded by the world and too cynical to believe. did i do it to myself or did the world do it to me? I really don't know.)

runnerfrog said...

I C... that eye of sauron is the utter symbol of voyeurism.

(World do it to us all the time, and argentinian politicians love do it to us everyday, they are insatiable).

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