For people my age, taste is a personal aesthetic code. Good taste can be idiosyncratic, in fact, it's expected to be. You're supposed to like what you like for your own well-thought-out reasons, and not just like what everyone else likes. (There are also shared cultural and class standards of "good taste," but those aren't what I'm talking about.)
Someone with taste has a well fleshed-out theory about what makes a work of art good or bad. The cultivated observer is supposed to be able to see something new and rigorously scrutinize it according to their code.
That's why people who put a lot of stake in their own good taste are so delighted when they discover a brilliant unknown band in a seedy bar. By recognizing brilliance in unpromising circumstances they are demonstrating that their aesthetic judgements are uncontaminated by extraneous factors like whether the band is popular or heavily promoted.
Having coherent reasons for your preferences is integral to the concept of good taste. You're supposed to be able to recognize a band that swings hard, or a rocking baseline, or witty lyrics, or whatever you think is important in music.
You gain status for your good taste if you can reliably pick stuff that other people will like. You can't be capricious. If you recommend songs strictly because they have sentimental value for you, they're unlikely to appeal to other people. You have to appeal to shared musical values.
"Guilty pleasures" are things people like but can't justify liking. The concept of a guilty pleasure only makes sense if you try to live by an aesthetic code in the first place. If you just like whatever you like, for any reason, or no reason--you don't have guilty pleasures. If you can admit that you like a song just because it was playing while you lost your virginity, the concept of a "guilty pleasure" is irrelevant for you.
A lot of people who aspire to have good taste won't admit that they sometimes like songs for "irrelevant" reasons. It's human nature to enjoy music that you associate with other pleasures. Sometimes you love a song because the singer is pretty, or because it was a number one hit the summer you drove across the country, or because it has become soothing by sheer repetition, or because it's your best friend's karaoke standby and you love her.
[Photo credit: Roadside Pictures, Creative Commons.]
At what point does spending billions on rocket technology seem irresponsible to those suffering on Earth?
- The private space enterprise he founded will be testing even more in the near future, with $1 billion investment by Bezos each year
- He wants to be seen as "risk taking" and a "needle mover"
- Watch Blue Horizon's escape module test
Hawking, who died in March, answers questions like "Is there a God?" and "Is time travel possible?" in his final book, which is available today.
- Hawking's final book is geared toward a popular audience.
- Each of the book's 10 chapters is posed as a question, such as "How did it all begin?"
- Hawking claims there is no God, time travel could be possible and intelligent aliens exist.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is facsinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
"How do you feel?" is a simple and commonly asked question that belies the complex nature of our conscious experiences. The feelings and emotions we experience daily consist of bodily sensations, often accompanied by some kind of thought process, yet we still know very little about exactly how these different aspects relate to one another, or about how such experiences are organised in the brain.
- The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a set of 17 directives to be completed by a 2030 deadline, with the aim of significantly improving quality of life for all people on Earth.
- Pfizer's commitment to the UN's SDG #3, Good Health and Well-being, is exemplified by its mission to improve global health through a combination of local and global programs catalyzed by innovative health leaders.
- In 1998, Pfizer embarked on a 22-year mission to eradicate trachoma by 2020.Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can cause irreversible blindness or vision impairment. So far, it has been eradicated in six countries.
- Pfizer is a committed partner in improving global health, helping to provide a number of critical cancer medications to six African countries where an estimated 44 percent of all cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa occur each year
A cheat sheet containing what really works.
- 800 hiring managers reveal their preferences in a survey by NetQuote.
- Infographics help unearth the worst words to use in an interview, most important questions, and ideal resume length.
- Figuring out how to present yourself just got easier.
A buzzworthy study looks at the strange actions of bees.
A new survey asks Europeans and Americans to share their imaginary lives.
- People who are overwhelmingly satisfied in their relationships fantasize other people
- More of us daydream about strangers than exes or friends
- Survey asks if we need to keep our fantasies to ourselves
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