In reply to: Towards more aesthetic forms of cryptography by B. Skoric
Whenever one wades into the stream of a discussion surrounding an article one is called upon to add value to the premise that caused said article into existence. If not, a wise man would say; silence is golden.This seems to point to the observation that wise men could be affluent if they held their tongue and perhaps – the other way around – that rich men would be wise or rather they could be if they practiced what wise men preached. But I do not hold to such ideas as I am no lover of objectivism and besides: it is not the subject under discussion. What is under discussion is the assumed aesthetics of higher levels of cryptography.
Now I am not much of a cryptographer but – in my pretense to be an artist – I think that aesthetics might be a terrain on which I feel at home enough to add something of value. Indeed: a lot, given that I live most of the time on the edge of destitution. And, as it bears out, I noticed that the more I say, the poorer I become. This might probably be the reason why wise men make poor politicians.
Aesthetics, to explain to those who missed out on the finer points of advanced education, is the experience of pleasure through beauty (As an aside:this is not the same as sex, although I grant you that ugly people can have sex, it will never get to be a thing of beauty, regardless of how much glasses of scotch one downs). The premise of Skoric’s article is that the more complex a certain discipline becomes, the more it tends to get infused with an aesthetic element. Taken to extremes this might mean that a discipline gets so intricate that it becomes synonym to beauty. Or actually: it becomes beauty and only beauty at that..
But is this what really happens?
Let us take a pure random example as a case in point: warfare. Warfare is a simple discipline. It is aimed at destruction. Which is the simplest thing one can do as even a new born baby possesses the ability to break things, as parents all over the globe can attest to. Over time the means and ways of waging war have become more complex, yet the aim is still the same: destruction. Sometimes warfare can be beautiful, but that has nothing to do with means nor the methods used. Nor has it anything to do with the outcome. It is the simplicity of destroying that matters. And this simplicity is seen by some people as a thing of beauty.
So can one really say that complexity is correlated to beauty?
I have my doubts.
It is my belief that things have an inherent beauty of their own and it is not complexity nor simplicity that makes them beautiful. Cause and effect are swapped around in Skoric’s article. A thing is beautiful and sometimes complexity and sometimes simplicity brings that out in the open. It is therefore not that something is beautiful because it becomes more complex, it was already beautiful and complexity revealed this to be enjoyed. In this case, complexity removes the veil that hides the beauty inside.
It can therefore also be said that when something becomes more simple, it becomes more beautiful. It is exactly what an abstract artist like Malevich showed to us. His painting of a black square shows a black square on a white background..it was the simplest of things and to some the utmost thing of beauty.
Simple things can have you experience pleasure: they are aesthetic. Simple things are uncomplicated and through their simplicity can be depended upon. Like gravity. There is nothing complex or intricate about gravity. Gravity is as solid as a rock. Push something of a ledge and it will fall with the same acceleration towards the ground below. Q.E.D. Like the apple that never fell on Newtons head, but would have if he had been sitting under a tree from which an apple would have fallen at the exact same time and spot where he had been sitting if he had been sitting there on that spot at that time under that tree. Just hold on to that image. In fact that apple would have fallen twice.. once on his head and then bounced of his head and fall towards the ground a second time. And all that falling would have been done at the same acceleration. Newton showed that there is no mystery there. Gravity is as simple as things can be. And every time I see gravity at work I thus experience joy. Just like Newton. Gravity is a thing of beauty.
Str to gt wuzzy nw