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10-05-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 9,623
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 20127
Reply to: 20127
More or less pleasure: wider implication
It made me to think. Another day I went to a concert that was very bad in my view. The semi-amateur orchestra spent a lot of efforts to play with fewer mistakes and as they more or less did. As the mistakes were filtered then the primitivism of general interpretation and the entire orchestral became very annoying and made the hall listening experience poisoned. Anyhow, the concert was not good in my view.

After the concert I met a person, let call her X, who began to go over herself explaining to me how wonderful the performance was. He was clueless.
Then, telling the event to Amy and highlighting how uninformed that persons was and how low her reference point were Amy asked me an interesting question that bothers me. She said:

“You have very high standards and that perverts you to have pleasure from mediocre concerts. The person X has very low standards and that makes her to have obtained pleasure form bad performances. So, if to correlate the X’s pleasure and my pleasure then how approach delivers more satisfaction? “

That is an interesting take and that kind of stumbled me.  I can go over many think that suggest that with higher reference points and rising level of infirmity the depth of pleasure also rise significantly. However, I also might argue for the very opposite point of view….

"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-05-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,203
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 20129
Reply to: 20127
Ignorance is Bliss?
This is an old saw.  But how does one "forget what one knows"?  Perhaps, once the awareness and critical faculties are developed beyond a certain "point of no return", it requires a sort of personal discipline to simply let go when one is best served to do so.

Another point of view is that there are many points of view.  It may be that the "person with low standards" is actually responding favorably to factors "imbedded" in the evening/performance/experience that you are less concerned with.  For many people, just being part of a group is sufficient, and their perception of "events" might spring from their general sense of satisfaction, the proverbial rose-colored glasses.

Best regards,
Paul S
10-06-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Posts 309
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 20130
Reply to: 20127
We don't know enough about the person X to assess the situation. I might say something similar if I went to a local semiprofessional orchestra, paid a few bucks and heard them play better than I expected. If I had paid $100 and spent an hour each way traveling then I might not be so amused. It's called equity theory. But let's assume that the performance was not even good in equity terms. We would have to see whether their behavior matches their verbal sentiments. In other words, if they have a chance to see one of two free performances, one with that semi pro orch and the other with a professional orchestra do they flip a coin? Just from general experience, when people are offered a choice they tend to choose better quality. Not the best quality necessarily, but better quality. The more experience a person has in making these comparisons the more expert they become at perceiving and evaluating differences. Even the not typically brilliant monarchs of old could become connoisseurs that way.

As for happiness in becoming more expert, intelligence never evolved because it made little animals happy; it evolved because it made them survive better. It's just that people apply their intelligence to subjects which have no real survival value when their own survival is not at stake. If a person had experience with "superhuman" orchestras they would be even more dismayed than you at listening to the BSO. You are satisfied with what you perceive as a great performance of Bruckner. But if a conductor and orchestra came along that were noticeably superior then that same performance would seem rather deficient.
10-08-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree

Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 4
Post ID: 20138
Reply to: 20127
Would you care for some entertainment?
Many people I know don't really have an active, critical approach, they are just looking for entertainment when they read a book or watch a film, attend a music concert or a ballet.
I think that it all depends on what you are looking for.

But as Amy mentioned, having the will and ability to dig deep into the layers that stand below the surface, to involve oneself emotioanlly and rationally in the subject can be an impediment, a barrier that prevents us from enjoying the moment, even when it's mediocre from an intelectual point of view.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
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