Feb. 21st, 2010

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)

Given the choice, would you prefer to be a world-class (visual or performing) artist or an intellectual genius? Which, in your opinion, would facilitate a more fulfilling career and social life?

Submitted By [livejournal.com profile] numbartist

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Why, this is perfectly straightforward. "Intellectual genius" and "world-class artist", respectively.

...what?

Oh, the contradiction. Yeah, I just have to own that one. The thing is, somewhere in my head, I have this driving principle which seeks out knowledge rather than pleasure. "Socrates dissatisfied", as they say. The thing is, though, I do so even though I dispute John Stuart Mill's thesis: I would be more content, not merely happier, if I chose to subordinate my intellectual drive and took up the paintbrush. I just choose not to. I prefer to choose the less pleasant when offered the choice of truth or happiness, or even truth and safety, or truth and pride - I would rather know the truth, though it tear me to pieces.

Which, to disgress, may be part of what I find so compelling in Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net. And that may be as satisfactory a conclusion as any to the post.

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