Quarantine, day 7 & 8: Bad Taste Is Better Than No Taste

Day 7:

I wish I could talk about what I have been thinking today. While I have decided to begin to push the envelope a bit more with this blog. I have fallen down a rabbit hole in the last 24 hours that–to say the least– will put me in hot water if I’m not careful. Therefore, I will refrain from speaking too heavily about it.

Outside of tumbling down deep rabbit holes on adrenochrome, pizza, and the elite, I have been reading The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima. The Internet Archive created the “National Emergency Library” which is supposed to aid academics and students as they work from home with lesser access to resources. I’ll take it.

Day 8:

Today, much like the first day of quarantine, I found myself thinking about aesthetics. The difference today was that I was in both an argument with a friend of mine and vgr simultaneously. This is normally fine, I happen to enjoy arguing, but vgr and my friend–both of whom agreed more or less wasn’t having it. It’s also not so surprising they have the same MBTI type and more or less the same outlook on things.

The discussion was regarding taste, and in the end I defined taste as being orthogonal to latency and resolution of aesthetic value. This series of tweets lead to the construction of a tweet 2×2 matrix akin to the way vgr makes his ideas. Annoyingly, instead of using this as a bridge, he instead decided to be pissy about the whole ordeal and be like “dude don’t tag me in taste twitter.” Honestly, a bit of a bitch move but I decided to respect his wishes. Kill your idols.

Regardless, my friend found my reductionist analysis of taste to be helpful so I suppose I”ll put it here.

Note, the first idea in the tweet thread is to acknowledge the reality of the “taste is subjective” crowd. I think the legitimacy of my argument comes from this. Ultimately, in my aesthetic 3-space, projections from 3-space to the plane would appear as being arbitrary. In the 2d plane, it’s possible to be high latency and high resolution, but seen as bad taste, but similarly one can find an example of this quadrant being good taste. Bugmen types who deny the existence of aesthetic reality or taste as being an objective measure would point to this unsteady grounding as proof

The “taste” axis, amounts to “loft” of the target. the resolution x latency plane would be more of an indication of the contents, one’s taste is loftiness of vision. Admittedly, this “loftiness” is vague and hopefully with examples we can get to the bottom of this.

The difficulty here is distinguishing resolution from “loft.” I wanted to use the term “force” initially. I want the norm of the 3d vector to be the grandiosity. There’s a clear distinction between a perfect recreation of the statue of David by a college student in stone (who we’re assuming to be quite talented) and the original creation of the statue in marble. Marble is very unforgiving and it had never been done before. There’s a height of achievement. This notion is of course independent from the materials being used. Additionally, within this model, these two items wouldn’t overlap. The original statue of David is Low Latency / High Resolution / High Taste while the recreation would be High Latency / High Resolution / Mid Taste. Were we to plot these, the trajectories of these vectors would be completely different and the absolute length similarly different.

You can have high taste without being original as well, especially since taste extends beyond simply the act of creation. A housewife with exquisite taste would buy things which are “timeless.” Let’s say this woman is trying to design her kitchen. There’s a clear distinction between the gaudy sensibilities of the noveau rich and those “with class.” These items would be a bit more expensive, but they wouldn’t necessarily be the most expensive on the market. She would eschew granite tops (hideous), she would pick stainless steel appliances probably. The specifics of this purchase are outside of my depth, but its obvious there exists a notion of taste that extends beyond simply buying the most expensive or the most unique or the more “state of the art.” It would also be clear that good taste is largely independent of the overall aesthetic of the home in question as well. Let’s say you have a particularly creative person or someone of lower class, but still has good taste. It is conceivable that someone could pick a Low Latency/ Low Resolution / High Taste kitchen — say on the set of a television show that wants to present the audience with a “throwback” kitchen aesthetic while still maintaining a tasteful decor that will stick with the show for the rest of the season.Tempting as it might be to just call the taste axis “timelessness,” it is not invariant with respect to time. Being out-of-season is a demonstration of bad taste when in areas that demand high resolution.

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