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Benevolence comments on Where to Draw the Boundary? - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 February 2008 07:14PM

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Comment author: Benevolence 12 July 2012 03:38:16AM 1 point [-]


Its hard for me to put it into words... but i have that feeling in the back of my head of something being wrong.

Maybe I'm a gullible philistine, because while i don't personally appreciate it, I do hold modern art to fall under the "art" category. Python, not so. Python is more of a tool it seems. You could say that a Python program could be art, and I would accept that. but the language itself doesn't seem to fit "art" as much as it does "tool".

Now before you blame me of tossing around and manipulating definitions, I'm going by what i think is the current general understanding of those words. its quite useful following current understandings of words otherwise pizza quietly bucket decision.

Also, you call rationality an "art". I see where you're going with that, and i do agree that rationality can be thought of as an art. If I'm not mistaken, your idea behind this is to keep people from falling into the trap of thinking of it as a "method" or something similar, thereby making it a conditional tool, rather than a general style of approaching life.

But honestly it seems to me that saying modern art is not art is to make yourself a philistine. Saying the Python programming language is art feels like stretching the definition of art much like your example of stretching the definition of fish to include dolphins. Perhaps that statement was a jest or some sort of sarcasm i missed. If so i apologize.

Anyway, i'm not going to try to put what i think art means into words, as i either dont know enough words to do so, or simply cant think of them. But i do have the concept in my mind, and it feels like this post is violating this understanding, in a somewhat hypocritical manner.

Comment author: DrGodCarl 03 January 2013 06:29:40PM 0 points [-]

I know this is six months out from your original post, but I figured I'd respond anyway. Also, this is my first post, so forgive me if it's not of the quality expected.

It would appear you view the language as the tool and the products of the language as art, much like the paintbrush and the painting. Would it be fair to say that most, if not all, nontrivial products of the language are to be considered art, at least by you? If so, consider that Python is written in English and is nontrivial. It's compilers/interpreters/implementations are written in other languages as well (C, RPython, &c.) and are also nontrivial. I think with those ideas in mind it's easier to see the tool as a piece of art; it is as though the paintbrush itself is painted and carved. The language is artfully crafted to be easily read and written. So I think, using what I have interpreted to be your meaning of the word "art" and the way you group it, we have no pizza quietly bucket decision going on here. Though you may still see this as a stretch of a boundary, it is how I see the concept of the Python language as an art.