Archive for the ‘psychology’ Category

beauty

March 1, 2007

What is Beauty? Is it individual or universal? Why are some faces more beautiful than the others? Why some people who have no physical beauty still radiate and shine beauty in opinion of many? Is beauty just in the eye of the beholder, or there is more to that definition? Where shall we start…I searched in Wikipedia first.

Beauty is a quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (such as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (such as personality)

Interesting how they said it. Intense pleasure or deep satisfaction. And I agree, there are satisfactions of subtler kind that are not pleasure, so hence the distinction. But why just to the mind? As if there is no other instrument in us to perceive beauty, like heart. But I guess it is from rational heritage of western philosophy. As if the whole world is just on the west. Oh well.

golden ratio line

But this definition does not explain why beauty is beautiful. I know that painters and sculptors speak about Sectio Aurea. That is proportion -> a:b=(a+b):a They found beauty and harmony in that proportion. It has something to do with human anatomy too. For example your belly button should be located according to this proportion, meaning on 61.8% of your body height. I actually measured height with the tape in my case, and interestingly it is so.

Luca Pacioli and Leonardo Da Vinci were among the first to notice golden ratio in human anatomy and apply it to art. The Pythagorean school in ancient Greece noticed that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. That would never occur to me to think about geometry law in aesthetics. It is genius who discovered such phenomena.

But what is the connection between beauty and culture? Is it different when you are born in Norway where everybody is blonde with blue eyes, and in Turkey where everybody is black haired with black eyes, for example? How much are we conditioned to perceive the beauty in this or in that way by civilization we live in? Remember those african women with rings around their necks. And what about social and political system? And what about time factor, century we live in? Does consumer society affect aesthetic sense? Unfortunately, it does.

A friend of mine told me -I want to put silicone in my lips- I was surprised since I think there is nothing wrong with her lips at all. -Yes I know- replied she -but I want them to look like as if they were stung by the bees- :-) Oh my!

Is physical beauty so important issue? Today I wrote about beauty in physical world, but there are other types of beauty, so in next posts I will pay attention more to questions like connection between beauty and ethics, mental and inner aspects of beauty.

Be what it may, I was told that I was very cute when I was lets say in primary school. But ever since I grew up, I seriously consider pressing charges on Ugly Duckling for theft of part of my life story and using it to film cartoon, in..umm…reversed way. Uh huh :-) (J/K)

What do you think about outer beauty, what is your definition? Be sure to check out Face Research too. Interesting site.

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random access brainmory

February 10, 2007

Wile

If my brain was to transform into a flash memory card – oh well, I am completely sure – nobody would be interested to buy it!

I am not trying to say that I am all plain stupid. It is just that I forget things very easily and on large scale. Yesterday I went to buy big ceramic fuse for my boiler, I still don’t use electromagnetic ones. And while I was walking I saw someone in bus who looked somewhat familiar to me but I thought that is a coincidence, until he waved at me – I then waved at him back, and spent the rest of my walking time to figure out who was that. Of course, I am still thinking who was that and still cannot remember.

It happens to me always. Someone approaches me on the street, we handshake and chit-chat like a good ole friends, but at the end he goes, we say goodbye, and I still don’t have slightest idea who was he. And I feel embarassed to ask -excuse me, who are you?- when someone is so happy to see me. Sometimes beautiful women say hello to me on the street (this especially was happening while I was still in a primary school, I don’t know who they were but my friends were amazed – they wanted me to tell them who that was, and to introduce them too) But how could I do it when I have no idea who that had been (I guess neighbours from the hood). Few months ago someone approached me and said hello, but I was determined to ask him from where do we know each other, and I asked. He said that I was bying comics from him. Now that cannot be true, I do not buy comics. Yet he wanted to give me his pass for free entering in Book Fair. Crazy is this world!

O yes, and if I see you for the first time – and you tell me you name while we handshake, well, don’t expect me to remember it afterwards. It is the most difficult for me. Uh huh.

There is one more phenomenon connected with me. I can talk about “business” on the phone while I am sleeping! Once I was about to sell some bigger amount of paper to a friend, and when I woke up, I had impression that we have already talked about that. It felt like I just had a dream. So I was not sure, and I took the phone and called him. And I asked him did I by any chance have talked with him – he said yes, and I explained that I was sleeping then. He told me that my voice was very serious, and that he thought I am angry or something. But he said that I told him very precisely about the money and the place where we were about to meet, and I was asleep. Go figure!

I feel like Wile E. Coyote is my brother. Like him, I desperately want to be intelligent, and like him I will never stop trying.

rediscovering autobiographies

February 8, 2007

palm IIIxe

“There is properly no history; only biography”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

These days I have intense wish to read biographies and autobiographies. And I really wish to read about that golden period of history – XIX century. Impressionists were painting in France, and Henry David Thoreau went to the woods to write his diary there. Serbian inventor Michael Pupin went to USA and wrote to me very dear Pulitzer winning autobiography From Immigrant to Inventor, in which he portrays the true american spirit, and when you read that book you see how America was great country comparing to Europe then. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his immortal Essays, and believe me I am spending nights in reading his collected works, and I stand in awe in front of his language (I still don’t get it how could he wrote like that!) Who can write in such fiery words if not that philosopher poet from Boston, who wrote Self-Reliance – essay that became solid inspiration and foundation of my system of values. And there are poems of Emily Dickinson. And of course, we cannot avoid Nikola Tesla serbian poet-scientist who gave the world alternating currents. Many many interesting people were born in XIX century.

Now I know that books are expensive, and one is not always in mood to go to the library too. But that is why project Gutenberg is there. You can find ove 20000 free e-books there, and there is always top list of 100 books and authors if you are not sure what to read (I never paid too much attention to that top list so far, but it is nice to know it exists). Good thing is that Gutenberg library offers books in Plucker format, which is suitable for reading on your Palm device. I have prehistoric model, Palm IIIxe, with grey display and 8 MB of memory, but truth to be told, I like to read books on it. And I don’t like to read books on the computer screen (I do it only when I have to). Now I entered word biography in searchbox on Gutenberg site, and it gives me 90 results back (you can try to type memoirs too). So there will be a lot of good (and free reading) for me in next period.

If you have Palm but do not have Plucker, you can download it from here. From the list I chose autobiography of actress Sarah Bernhardt. I was reading first few chapters this morning, and I was very immersed in the story. And so far, I really enjoy reading it a lot. So I will provide link for it here:

My Double Life – The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt

If you know some good biography or autobiography that you have read and enjoyed it, kindly recommend it in comments please.

don’t go message

February 6, 2007

Coco

Coco knows when Barbara will go to vacation, so he hides in her bag (thinking that she will not see and carry him too) :)

is that so?

February 3, 2007

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”

story taken from 101 Zen Stories

O Captain! My Captain!

February 2, 2007


Where are now teachers like Mr. Keating? Rise poets, rise, your destiny is freedom! Mr. Peter Weir, my infinite gratitude for this movie!

the north wind and the sun

January 30, 2007

The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.

Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”

“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

“How did you do that?” said the Wind.

“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”

taken from www.storyarts.com

I adore shopping!

January 29, 2007

Who says that I object shopping? In fact I like shopping, I only don’t like it in periods when I don’t have money. In fact even then I like it, but I like it infinitely more when I can buy something too. Well, when I see Britney with her friends on MTV going to shopping, I just close my eyes and think that I went also to buy new running shoes (actually I bought silver-black Reebok leather ones few weeks ago, the wisest thing to do is to get running shoes when it is winter discount!)

It is just that shops in Belgrade don’t have always what I want…

So I can only dream how beautiful would it be that I enter in shop one day and say

-Good day, my beloved friends!-
-Good day, mister Dejan, what do you wish to buy today?-
-I just want to greet you with a smile, and to buy few things by the way-
-You are always very welcome, just say!-
-Oh well, I need 300 gr of happiness, half a kilo of pure joy, hmmm, what is that there on discount? aha, inner peace, well, that’s good – give me 2 kilos of that…How about selfless love, hmm, okay, give one litre of that. Do I need to mix it with water, or I can drink it like that?
-No, you can drink it like that. But if you want to mix it with water we have concentrated one too!-
-Okay, give me that concentrated one, and what is that over there…forgiveness, give me that too, and two bars of bliss and delight. What, box of pleasures, no, I don’t need it, I have already bought pure joy, and if it won’t be enough I will drop by this evening to buy half a kilo more. And please wrap it all up well, I don’t want to lose anything of it-
-No problem, here I will wrap it in special paper of humility that can contain it all-
-Thank you, how much money do I owe you for that?-
-Come on, why do you ask, we know that you are close friend of the shop owner. So everything is free for you!-
-Ok, thanks very much. I just thought it would be polite to ask :) Good-bye dear friends!
-Good-bye mr. Dejan, and please come again!-

But perhaps this is not mere dream. Perhaps the name of this shop is created Universe. And what is the way to become very good friend with the Owner? Nice topic to think about…

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Albert Einstein

One thing is sure, if such shop exists you do not say ‘Give me’ no, it is not proper. Proper word is ‘Take me’ (make me Your friend, never to part)

Enjoy your shopping!

who is alive, and who is not?

January 25, 2007

As I mentioned in previous post, my little niece came to visit us last week with her grandma who is my aunt.

She is 8 years old, and very sweet child. Unlike me, she adores to dance and is very good at it. I always say that she is new Brittney Spears. So, my aunt is a bit of overeager choleric personality. Most importantly she believes that her way is the only way, but at the same time she has a very, very kind heart.

You know sometimes there is such difference between mind and heart. I believe it is so even in my own humble presence here in this world – I really feel bored when I am living inside my limited mind. But if I manage to intoxicate the mind with the simplicity and peace that I sometimes spontaneously feel deep inside the heart – heh, that is another matter.

Now, my aunt is teaching my little niece this and that, and helping her with school. She teaches her everything, except to think with her own head. Love that grandmothers have towards grandchildren is always great, and my aunt is a bit overeager to teach child what is right and what is wrong, that she fails to see that we have to teach child the value of freedom first. Freedom is something about which we have to sing always and always, through our poems, music, paintings and art in general, and our philosophy and way of thinking. Remember Mel Gibson at the end of movie Braveheart. -Say mercy William- -Freedo0o0o0om!-

I even had a chance to experience how it is like when bombs are falling down all around, my beautiful Belgrade was bombed in 1999 by NATO (without prior permission of UN Security Council, the only international body who can give legitimacy to such action. Iraq was attacked also without such permission). Believe me, if there is no war we should be grateful. From 1991 to 1999 there were 4 wars in different parts of former Yugoslavia. More than 250 000 people were killed, and now what happens – all former Yu republics, now independent states want to go to integrate in EU. But that could be done with big Yugoslavia without war before. Why stupid people want disintegration first, and afterwards again integration? Wars are led because of lack of vision. Look at the history of Europe, remember Hundred years’ war? And now those countries are living united in EU. God bless the uniting aspect of European Union!

Hand in hand with physical freedom goes freedom of thinking. Look what kind of thinking freedom Albert Einstein had! Really I do not understand how could he be so smart when he was only 25 years old. What happens when you are travelling in speed of light and at the same time a mirror is travelling parallel with you. What would you see
when you look in the mirror? Gee, I would never even dare to think to ask myself such question! How could I even formulate something like that?

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.

Albert Einstein

To my understanding the best thing you can do to teach children the value of freedom is to cut jokes and to laugh. Why? Kids already have more freedom in their hearts than we adults have. Nothing should be assumed too serious, especially not the school. I was joking so much that my little cousin told me one day that it would be very good for me to work in the circus. What a compliment she gave me! I was so happy to hear that.

My father’s and my aunt’s father, my grandfather who died before I was born. He was transported to Paris during the WWI and he lived there 9 years. When he came back to Serbia he married, got children, and one day he desired to teach them French language. But my grandmother did not allow him to “spoil” her children. That is why I my father does not speak French, and why I do not know today that beautiful language of diplomacy and love. And it could have been different.

So, my aunt wanted to show us all what my little niece knows. So she asked her to explain what is the difference between living beings, and things that are not alive. That is the kind of things they teach kids in second grade of primary school.

-Great!- responded I -that question is still unclear to me. Even great Nikola Tesla mentioned that some people believe how pearls on necklace are living beings, and that they become more beautiful in time as woman wears them.

-What the heck are you rambling about?!- interrupted me my aunt, -what is there to be unclear, living beings are those who breathe, is it right so Sarah?

-But what then with anaerobic bacteria?- exclaimed I somewhat jubilantly, which gave my doctor sister a good laugh. Sarah laughed too, though she had no idea what I was talking about.

No need to mention, aunt went with Sarah to another room. To save her from the wrong spoiling ideas of her crazy-pseudo-scientific cousin. Uh huh.

toys dilemma – what to buy?

January 24, 2007

I remember good ole times when I was a kid. My only ambition was to become garbage collector when I grew up. Truck which came from time to time in front of our building took up the container with garbage using its mighty hydraulic system, and threw the garbage into itself, and then put the empty container back on the ground.

It was clear to me as soon as I saw it. I want to have toy like that. But was it likely to find it then in socialist Yugoslavia? I don’t think so. Nevertheless I started to imagine how I will have big plastic truck, and few plastic containers, and in them little plastic garbage, like yogurt packs, and how I will play with it all day long. Oh well.

What to buy to kids today? What kind of toys?

Someone once said that it is good thing that you buy pencils in so many different colours as you can afford to buy. Why is that? Because by drawing with many different colours child learns that this world is world of diversity – and learns how to be tolerant. How to see beauty in the fact that there are other religions beside yours, that there are other races, other nations, other skin colours, and other cultures and customs, and all of them are wonderful in their own way. We need unity and not uniformity. One cannot be tolerant, if he does not learn to enjoy in divesity. Simple as that.

My little niece visited me last week, and she told me that Bratz dolls are millon time better than Barbie. But parents think the opposite. Even some people rant on TV that such dolls send wrong messages like that physical appearance is most important in life. But I think it does not follow. Bratz dolls with their big heads, big eyes and big lips simply are too cute, like from cartoons, they just bring kids joy. Then Lego bricks are cool, but one has to be careful that children do not swallow them accidentally. You can find freeware LEGO Digital Designer to download here. It is very interesting. I downloaded it and installed it. It is very creative thing, especially for us adults.

A lot of time passed since I was a child. I don’t know – what kind of toy to buy for kids today? What is your opinion? What are most popular toys there in your country? I don’t have kids, but my friends do, and there are birthdays always – what to buy to make children happy, and simultaneously to help developing their creativity. Any suggestions?

Oh, yes, last year while I was strolling in the city, I noticed one nice plastic garbage truck toy in the window of one shop. Complete, with containers. I couldn’t resist and entered in.

-Excuse me, Sir, umm, I just wanted to ask….do you sell a lot of these garbage trucks?-

-Oh yes, that is main attraction, best selling these days- replied he

I walked back home with broad smile on my face. Even as a kid I was innovator hahaha. But others will get the money. Ugh. Nevertheless realization remained – that even jobs which to adults seem low, as garbage collection, give kids joy. Children do not have social prejudices, and we adults should learn that from them.