Beauty is sufficient, useful, a call to justice

Pointing to the video in my feed reader, SEED says"the correlation between truth and beauty is high."

I find it true in three different ways.

In a newly released TED Talk, the discoverer of quarks, Murray Gell-Mann, says that beauty is associated with the mathematical truth of physics and, at the end of his 16 minute video, asks rhetorically whether "we need something more to get something more." Clearly, for him, the beauty of physical theory stands on its own merits. It needs nothing more.

Seeing beauty as useful, the brand new president of the Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, has other ideas. He believes in beauty's application, saying that because everyone can understand the language of the arts, the arts

have to advance the culture of knowledge around technology, [which has raced ahead of understanding].

Beauty is not merely a descriptive, but a prescriptive, both salve for a technology-driven society and knowledge in its own right.

Lastly, in John Caputo's book The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event, the philosopher turned theologian explains why poetics speaks to us, relating beauty to the pursuit of justice. Rather than a cause, causing, it is a call, calling:

A poetics is not true the way a scientific theory is true, as a covering law that is weakened, altered, or refuted by the accumulated weight of evidence and replaced by a competing scientific theory. A poetics is true with the truth of the event; it wants to become true, to make itself true, to make itself come true, to be transformed into truth, so that its truth is a species of truth as facere veritatem. A poetics is true the way a novel is true even if its is classified by the librarians as a "fiction," or the way a poem is true without picturing a fact, or the way a hymn, a ballad, or a song is true, which is completely consistent with not being historically factual, that is, with not being a representational account. A poetics does not record the strong force of hard facts; it describes the weak force of a call for the kingdom, or for justice, which is true even if the real world is truly unjust.

Did any of that make sense? I'll see you online Wednesday.

Wayne