Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is a monumentally famous painting. It is beloved by people around the world. If tomorrow, it was revealed that Van Gogh had actually worked with two other madly talented painters to create the masterpiece, would we think it any less beautiful?
The answer, [according to researchers], is yes… Our perception of art, they found, is largely dictated by the amount of time and effort we think went into it. This notion was first put forth by Denis Dutton in his book The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution, where he argued that we evaluate art not just by the final product, but also by the process that created it. We then use our evaluation of the process and final product to determine the quality of the piece we are admiring.
Fascinating research on how we value creative work differently depending on whether we think it’s the product of a single person or a collaborative endeavor.
Anecdotally, I’ve found over the years that people are far more likely to donate to Brain Pickings when they realize it’s a one-woman labor of love.
(via The Dish)
Words mold brains, and if you don’t believe it, you should look at what sort of language we use about the internet and the products (digital and not) that connect to it and are part of it.
Revolutionary, disruptive, magical, wizards, and on and on—contemporary digital culture has co-opted the language of revolution and magic without the muscle, ethics, conviction, or imagination of either. And it’s not that those things aren’t possible, we just aren’t living up to their meaning and instead saturating ourselves with hyperbole. These are words you have to earn, and slinging them around strips the words of their powerful meaning. Can you take a real revolution seriously if you are bombarded with messaging that your phone is revolutionary?