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    Latest Topics


    Social Media Aesthetics and the Good Life

    Discuss the rise of image-based social media often portraying stylized images of food, clothing and interiors. Do these portrayals (both seeing them and creating them) allow all of us to become artists, forcing us to appreciate visual beauty in the everyday? Or do they force us to value the narrowly beautiful at the expense of more complex encounters with beauty?

    • Would you be referring to reality TV here as well? – Munjeera 6 years ago
    • Great topic. If everyone has a camera, can everyone therefore claim to be an artist? Are we snapping and sharing photos because beauty has truly resonated with us, or is it because our craving for admiration and likes compels us to capture and share everything we encounter? – bloom 6 years ago
    • Wow this is definitely something I have been thinking about lately. Should we need images to appreciate the beauty of these things? Likewise, would we appreciate them if they weren't constantly blogged about/posted online? How are we defining art/beauty? I think the images almost create a barrier between us and experience--As if we are constantly viewing the world through a lens rather than actually being present. – Bfitts 6 years ago
    • Brilliant topic: humans as lemmings; objectivity, subjectivity and beauty; the psychology of manipulation; natural vs. man made beauty; etc. – Tigey 6 years ago
    • I feel like I'm in a permanently repeating matrix-world where everyday someone is sharing a new article about the harmful nature of image-based social media... it's exhausting and repetitive. However, as a visual person, the endless stream of perfectly colorful smoothie bowls and fresh-ass clean artistic barber cuts that flood my instagram feed are endlessly awe-inspiring and make me happy. I think the problem is a psychological one with people, not with "art" made in the modern world. – ssudekum 6 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    it’s also interesting to consider the way a physics-based interpretation of these differences can intersect with a literary/fiction-based approach

    Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference

    I agree with you that fictionalizing someone, paradoxically, can be a helpful and necessary way of de-mythologizing them. That’s a good point.

    Hamilton and the Construction of Post-Obama Americanism

    What I love about this is that you’re saying, basically, that terror exacerbates existing fears with which we are already familiar while horror is frightening because it introduces an unfamiliar conception or side of reality. That’s really interesting!

    Terror and Horror in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"