Beauty and the Beast

….in this case, the Beast being us and Beauty being what we describe as such. I heard an NPR show on How Pleasure Works and it got me thinking…..
It turns out that science is finally being applied to pleasure and that the results are not intersecting with psychology and philosophy to shed light on some common questions. Let me jump the gun and start with an interesting one that many people have thought about. Studies have now shown for certain that cheap wine will taste better and give you more pleasure if you think it is expensive wine! C’mon….well all knew that, right? It turns out that your expectations have a LOT to do with what you get pleasure or relief from. Some additional newer studies show that common antidepressants don’t work at all….over a sugar pill….for most sufferers of depression. Of course, that won’t stop billions of dollars of them from being sold…but the point is they could substitute sugar pills and get the same results. It turns out that what makes people better is taking a step to do something about their problem!

One caller to the NPR show asked why he only felt good when he was hiking in completely natural surroundings, natural in this case being wild – such as old growth forest, marshlands, etc.

This got me thinking about what pleases my own visual senses. I have to admit that I may have a preference for man-made landscapes. View of Holyoke Range in W. Mass.
These views speak to me as if to say “here’s what we can do (nature and man) when we work together”.
A Scene near a New England Waterway

I think it must be my practicality showing through! These landscapes speak to me of function – growing food, large trees for shade, grass for recreation and enjoyment and waterways for pleasure and navigation.

Another view of the Holyoke Range

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