Episode 610 - Beauty!

Nov 21, 2022

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so the saying goes but it's absolutely true. There is a layered subjectivity to it based on personal preference, the cultural standards of your community, the ethnic traits of you and your peers, prevailing global fashions in appearance, the dominant archetypes in the media and so on. All these things combine to form our personal subjective ideas of beauty. You can see this yourself if you look at paintings, statues, masks, frescoes and other artifacts that have been produced by all the diverse cultures on earth over thousands of years: there IS no standard, eternal, objective of beauty.

Topics and Show Notes

Years ago a plastic surgeon thought he'd cracked the secret. He wrote a book about the idea of a mathematical, objective beauty model based on symmetry. Of course any artist could have told him it was absolute nonsense for any number of reasons, but popular books based of pseudo-science gain a lot of traction among the majority of people that don't tend to be able to think too hard about these questions and crave easy solutions.

There are two competing, rudimentary forces at the base of the idea of beauty:
One part is based on conformity: becoming the most generic, simplistic, ordinary, average version of something. Symmetry is a big part of that. This is what that sort of cosmetic surgeon specialises in. We can surmise this comes from the drive to find things that look like us (i.e. our tribe), and is the best representation of “us”.
The second part is based on novelty: What makes this person stand out, what makes them different and unusual.
And then cultural standards, popculture, fashion and many other factors add layers of complexity to these.

*A note on symmetry:
Part of the mistaken notion that inflated its role in “beauty” was the idea that it's an indicator of health or “good genes”, which is false. The reason for symmetry in bodies is just to make the coding simpler. Recent studies have confirmed this: just like when an artist wants to save time by using a mirror or copy, pasting and flipping to make a face or body, nature does it for the same reason.

We talk about it in much greater detail in the Quackcast! Who do you find beautiful?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Phineus Teen Wizard - Thrumming 80s groove. Synthesised neon soft pink glow in the midnight blue fuzz. We’re going back in time… roll up the sleeves on your red leather jacket, slip on your fingerless gloves, lace up your hightops, get on your BMX bike and peddle back through the decades to 1983!


Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
The Faceless Comics Set 1 - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/nov/15/featured-comic-the-faceless-comics-set-1/

Featured music:
Phineus Teen Wizard - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Phineus_Teen_Wizard/ - by Phinmagic, rated E.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/

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Episode 587 - Heroes who are Villains

Jun 13, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.

Episode 580 - Fantasy worlds crossing over

Apr 25, 2022

5 likes, 0 comments

The full team is assembled yet again! Tantz came up with the idea of having a look at hidden fantasy worlds in fiction that have strong ties with the “real world” and how they function together. Her main example was the world of Harry Potter which has many strong connections to the real world and yet manages to stay very well hidden, which stretches plausibility a bit. The World of Casandra Clare's Mortal Instruments is similar in that regard, it's deeply tied to the mundane world and yet it stays hidden from it to a degree that isn't really possible.

Episode 561 - You are being manipulated

Dec 13, 2021

4 likes, 1 comment

This interesting Quackcast topic was influenced by a DDer who has been subsumed by anti-CoVid conspiracy. This inspired me to delve into the reasons for the massive growth in these types of conspiracy and how the current state of the internet contributes to it. I had some theories, but I thought I should do some reading on the subject to see what the real reasons are rather than using guesses to fill the gaps like conspiracy thinkers tend to do. I was quite shocked by what I found.

Episode 550 - Gaming

Sep 27, 2021

3 likes, 0 comments

We decided to chat about games. Video game and computer games. They're now a huge part of pop-culture entertainment and they've influenced us in many ways creatively throughout our lives. There are many different kinds of games out there, but one of the really cool things about them is that they're able to deliver a kind of interactive narrative experience that takes things further than Film or comics can easily do. Games were also instrumental in the early days of the first big popular wave of webcomics with gamer comics (PVP, Ctrl Alt Dlt, and Penny Arcade) and sprite comics (8 bit fantasy), being some of the most popular.

Episode 547 - Franchise fail

Sep 2, 2021

4 likes, 2 comments

There seemed to be a lull for a while after the 1990s and the massive sequel craze of the 80s, but nowadays we're back in full swing again with sequels, reboots and reinvisioning of film and TV franchises. Banes noticed a distinct pattern of behaviour that occurred around bad or failed franchises: The makers would chose to go against what existing fans liked about the property in the fist place, usually in order to appeal to new fans. When both new fans and old ones dislike what they do, they attack the fans and blame the fans for failure of their version. Then they'll search and find a new franchise to mess up. It's rare that people own up to or admit to failures anymore, it's usually always the fault of the fans for being too “toxic”.

Episode 530 - What is SciFi?

May 10, 2021

4 likes, 0 comments

So what IS SciFi? Well it's a pretty wide umbrella term and contains a lot of different things. In some senses it's just an imaginative fiction story where science replaces magic. SciFi can simply be a sciencey setting where genre stories take place (romance, adventure, nior, horror). It can be a magical fantasy space opera with a futuristic skin (Star Wars), it can be “hard SciFi” where the story is set in the future but the science is completely plausible, it can be written with strong themes that examine philosophical questions and make interesting points about the nature of humanity, and it can be so many more things too. It's a broad church!

Episode 504 - Decompression

Nov 8, 2020

4 likes, 2 comments

For our Patreon video I decided to dress as the WW2 Captain America (from the movie, Captain American the First Avenger). That and the very de-compressed nature of the US election led us to chat about what was going to happen! It wsn't till JUST after the video that we heard that the US offocially had a new president! So you can see me pictured bellow in my costume or become a Patreon and see the vid :)


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