Aesthetic Signals & The best Aesthetic.
“Mad, bad, & dangerous to know” — Byron. Adapted excerpt from https://gumroad.com/l/faust THE FAUSTIAN MINDSET.
Aesthetics can be seen as a combination of signals, a combination of memes. you need many signals to create a new meta signal, that of which can be defined as a aesthetic. It is mostly praxis based. With things that are action based, you need to convey your signal, all signals, all action can be conveyed and thought of as a variation of signalling theory.
This form of action based praxis, creates an aesthetic heuristic, this allows you to be seen as who you are due to what you do. This also fulfils abstract praxis, instead of concrete praxis. If thought is a form of praxis it has to be differentiated from concrete signalling. How you think can be deduced by your aesthetics. The feedback loop can also affect how you think about certain decisions too, you can tell political and tribal affiliation via aesthetic. This is essentially meme branding. Memes branding themselves via association of aesthetic.
Two selection criteria for preferred aesthetics.
- Preferred signals and aesthetics are those that provide utility, how much a signal or aesthetic provides most utility depends on the time and environment of the person. These can vary society to society and species to species. Dangerous signals for one can be enticing signals to another abstractor.
- Costly aesthetic, is the one which is most hardest to replicate. stemming from costly signalling. Costly signals are those that are hard to replicate, and usually indicate a deeper level of fitness. If a multitude of signals are to make a aesthetics, there has to be a multitude of costly signals.
Thus then what satisfies both the above? the costly and preferred aesthetic ?
“I always said i’m an intellectual thug” -Shant Alexander
It is that of the noble savage, the warrior poet, Byron’s hero, the anti hero. The polymath, batman. Excelling in many areas, one who has mastery over the meta mask. The one constantly working. One who is constantly learning, the autodidact, because to go so deep and across so many domains, one has to know how to teach oneself. The Faustian hero.
Think Jay Gatsby, able to mesh along with criminals and political elite, unrelenting in drive, and willing to get his hands dirty. A rebellious and dark streak, for the Faustian hero, it is the willingness to sacrifice, sacrifice whatever needs sacrificing. Less likely to give a fuck of opinion of the masses.
This is the acme of all aesthetics, because it satisfies the costliness of the signal. It is hard to replicate, how many world class people do you truly know? How many domains do they touch, how adventurous are they? True masters are rare, masters of many disciplines are rarer still.
The next is the signal preference ? Do people aim for this ? YES. People want to be good, not only that, many want to be great in multiple domains. Leonardo da Vinci the polymath is heralded more than others. It is a costly signal to be great at many things in the top 5% world wide of 3 domains, not only that, but to have physical mastery too, mastery of mind and matter.
A variation of the romantic hero, more realistic, more timeless. The hero becomes more Faustian, more a self starter, more individual, all that matters is his goal. This is repeated in many cultures throughout time. One who is knowledgeable as he is capable.
They who add entropy to situations by their new take on things, they rebel, they add chaos to the system. This is why they are timeless, they mix things up to give birth to the new and are preferred in times of stagnation.
The problem is specialisation, they get buried in a domain, they become domain specific, unable to venture out of it. Not to diminish masters of one craft, but it is a less costly aesthetic. To be truly great in many contradictory arenas is no easy feat.
The other aspect of this is that they also seek mental mastery as well as physical, to achieve the highest aesthetic you too must strive to be aesthetic in looks, and mannerisms.
In order to fulfil both the above requirements, it is paramount to be individually minded, as you are looking to be uncommon amongst uncommon people. Keeping it moving, and reinventing yourself constantly. Moving the needle.
But one of the key takeaways from this type of polymath, is the refusal to be boxed in and a refusal to stop learning. they keep going. The eternal student. An unrelenting drive by their very nature.
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Excerpt adapted from The Faustian Mindset. Pre-Order here : gum.co/FAUST
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