Morality, Disgust and Political Parties

“Morality isn’t just about stealing and killing and honesty, it’s often about menstruation, and food, and who you are having sex with, and how you handle corpses.” –Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt’s research into disgust and politics is fascinating. For example, many conservatives are disgusted by the ideal of gay sex and are therefore against gay marriage. Libertarians tend to have the lowest levels of disgust. I saw a TED talk of his in which he said that most people would find it disgusting to contemplate, but college students are able to consider “eating their pets”. College is an environment designed to encourage openness — the ability to think of things in novel ways, and entertain unconventional beliefs. Here’s a lecture by Haidt on Reason that’s a good intro to some of his ideas.

Most people ign…

Most people ignorantly suppose that artists are the decorators of our human existence, the esthetes to whom the cultivated turn when the real business of the day is done…Far from being merely decorative, the artist’s awareness is one of the few guardians of the inherent sanity and equilibrium of the human spirit that we have.

— Robert Motherwell

Art criticism

I am writing an essay for an upcoming show at The New Museum, and as a result I am getting caught up on art criticism, which I haven’t been reading much of in recent years, having spent most of my time reading blog posts about activity feeds and their purpose, privacy policies in the age of No Privacy and the social repercussions of superpoking.

So I am reading “Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting Again? Because They Think It’s a Good Idea” and a bunch of other essays on Afterall, which I was not familiar with until today and am finding quite good.

Posted in Art