Wednesday, May 17, 2006

4. The Geometry of Beauty

Illustration of the Golden Section: a venerable lesson from Art History 101. In the updated context of the global obession with celebrity looks it's taken on a new lease of life. The cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Marquadt has created the perametres of the geometrically perfect face: you can go to his site and print a mask to measure your own face by. You can guage how far you deviate from what is deemed to be classically beautiful.

The use of numbers and formulae to summarise and categorise the aesthetics of perception. Another attempt at making a yardstick, a finite measure of the successful proportions that equate to 'beauty'.

Success and beauty, modern culture is obsessed with the dream of success and 'beautiful' people are often more successful and are trusted simply based on their looks. Michael Milken vs Socrates: Michael would still win the people's trust more readily than poor ugly old Socrates.

So the venerable Golden Section with its classical, timeless elegance has been co-opted into a formula for success in the modern era. How do you measure up?

Eugenicist mathematics.

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