I come to praise .join, not to bury it...

Carel Fellinger cfelling at iae.nl
Sat Mar 17 00:38:53 CET 2001


Alex Martelli <aleaxit at yahoo.com> wrote:
> "Carel Fellinger" <cfelling at iae.nl> wrote in message
> news:98rmod$c8p$1 at animus.fel.iae.nl...
...
>> but if you get too blinded by this substance thing, you might easily
>> overlook that in the end you have to weight things and there again the
>> seasoned sense of aesthetics of the gifted ones is what makes the
>> difference.

> I appreciate "form follows function" as an aesthetic principle.

Here we agree, and clearly Rococo, though having a beauty of its own,
has nothing to do with the aesthetic principles that guided the
Bauhaus people, so aesthetics in it self as the sole guiding light has
it pitfals, to say the least:)  But we have discussed this before,
aesthettics as a design guide only works for the `Enlightend Ones'.

...

> You seem to imply some moderation (have to weight things) is
> key to YOUR aesthetics -- fine, Aristotle will agree, as will

I don't know why you think that moderation is key to my aesthetics,
surely simplicity is, but moderation?  People tent to descripe me
rather as an extremist.

The weighting you seem to refer to is the weighting you yourself
mentioned earlier on, i.e. that Guido has to weight the relative
importance of several sometimes conflicting substantial goodies or
baddies that come from e.g. introducing an extension to the print
command.

> In my own profession, I make certain choices which I perceive
> as guided by 'aesthetics' when I cannot afford to articulate
> in full detail the path back from the practical example up to
> the guiding-principle; my experience (and 'gift', if any) may
> help this synthesis (a productivity plus) by helping me
> perceive as "elegant" an architecture which will prove helpful
> to the design-task at hand.  If and when challenged, though, I
> can and will fall back to the time-consuming, perhaps boring,
> but often enlightening task of detailed analysis of the
> constituent elements -- there is nothing 'inherently ineffable'
> in this.  I see architects of manufacts with more psychological

And here we part. In my experience, and looking to history not mine
alone, it isn't allways possible to come to a satisfactory and full
analysis.  Not to say that we shouldn't strive to, and strive again
later if we have a better understanding of the things at hand!  But
even *if* you'll have a substantial analysis at hand, in the end it's
a personal judgement whether the analysis is satisfactory and complete
enough.  Very much like in logic class, when I was confronted with
some proof forms I didn't grog, but others had no problem with.  I've
to admit that in those days I was pleased to learn that I was not the
only one objecting to those proofs (IIRC it was called reduction ad
absurbum, not sure, my brain isn't functioning like it used to before
my illness), it turned out there was a whole School of Logic (The
Amsterdam School) based on rejecting them.

...

> Somebody who's unable to do anything but talk of aesthetics
> when discussing a choice in the architecture of a software
> component is simply not contributing to the discussion.  It

Here we agree again:) If one has nothing more to say then
express one's own aesthetics feelings, the discussion ends.
Though, in practice, for me the real quest starts:

  *Why* do/don't I like this.

So let me end telling you that I appreciate most of your
contributions to this newsgroup very much, especially
because they make me more aware of the beauty of Python
and above all becuase they make me better understand the
nature of that beauty.
-- 
groetjes, carel



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