Saturday, February 14, 2009

Abstract ideas

From the dictionary: Abstract:
  • Considered apart from concrete existence: an abstract concept.
  • Not applied or practical; theoretical. See synonyms at theoretical.
  • Thought of or stated without reference to a specific instance: abstract words like truth and justice.
  • Impersonal, as in attitude or views.
  • Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation: abstract painting and sculpture.

I just had a realization about another reason why I don't use chat or texting much: it does not fit well with abstract ideas, it is better fitted for small specifics like what time the train comes in.

I am not very interested in chitchat. I am not very interested in specifics. I am not very interested in personal details, including my own. Most damning: I am not very interested in people. I am not warm and personable and cozy. I'm sorry, it's just the way it is.

I am very interested in abstract ideas. If you can talk with me about a concept or philosophy which interests me, we can talk till the cows come home. But talk to me about specific details in mine or somebody else's life, and I lose interest after two minutes.

Occasionally somebody will be offended that I haven't asked them about how the specific details in their life is going. Well, basically I'm not interested, and I don't expect them to be interested in those things in my life. I could fake it and have more friends, but if there's anything I dislike it's fake, so I guess that won't happen.

Basically I like to think about, and thus talk about, ideas which have broad application. If it can't be applied to life in the bigger perspective, what's the point, is how I feel.


Monsieur Beep! said...

An interesting personality.
Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Yes, thanks for sharing. I can understand it very good, because I'am (partly) like that:

As a scientist I'm very much interested in a "good map" in order to understand how the world's functioning can be described, and thats a big part of my life. And of course, in a often longtime process I try to write it down in words or mathematical symbols or in graphical descriptions (but I think thats not what you mean with "texting"). Being alone going through such a process is very important for me, but I like it also very much to share that with somebody who is really interested.

BUT there are at least also two big exceptions:

Being together with my girlfriend since many years (going better and better), we are mutually very interested to share our actual being - a honest communication (with and without words) with an open heart about how we are and feel specifically right now is a powerful basis of being together in a satisfying way and to avoid boring routines.

Of course not every moment - there is a rhythm between being totally alone and being totally together. And this helps to develop further. (And of course there are other aspects, too.)

The second exception is when I'm giving bodywork sessions to somebody, coaching and helping her/him through some kind of crisis. Of course, in such moments the specific inner situation and the inner resources to deal with it are very important topics to talk about, but sometimes it is much better to go into deep silence, relaxation and let-go.

I'm also not interested in small talk ... but still, there are additional parts of my life, which I can't put in any of these compartments mentioned above - life is paradoxical, simply a "mystery to be lived" ...

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to read that someone else out there has similar thoughts to myself. I have often felt out of place being amongst people who so often are overflowing with interest in each others mundane life details. I'm not sure that people are faking this but I do know that for myself to carry in such a way would indeed be faking. It's not that I don't care about others but that I just don't care about so much trivia. Or at least so I tell myself for an excuse my boredom in such social encounters. For me this idea of the abstract carries over into my other interests and I find my focus in photography deviates from the universally lauded importance of people photos depicting great emotional resonance to the extent that I'm mostly interested in "Abstract Photography". I have spent several months developing photo gallery/community software for a website I'm going to launch and I am thinking seriously about re-purposing it to also open a site focused entirely on "Abstract Photography". Following on from this idea, as background research, and since you say you have an interest in the abstract I'm curious if you have ever come across a good photo site that centers entirely around abstract works? I know that several of my favourite sites have categories for abstract but they are always amongst a far greater selection of other types of work. I'm interested in the idea that a site that 100% focuses on ABSTRACT work would provide a place to really push this type of work forward and give it a pedestal to highlight the best available.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I love those, although I think that unless you process photos, they can only achieve semi-abstraction at most. But that is great.

I think quite few people understand it.

What do *you* mean by abstract photography? Give a couple links.

Anonymous said...

To me, abstract work can take on many styles or types that all interest me. Some more than others of course but I tend to really like work that has appealing form, interesting colours, balance perhaps. I suppose one could say there is some emotional effect, a sense of beauty. I'm going to add a few links here for some work I've seen online that for me fits this description but I wouldn't want you to get the idea it's limited to just these types of photos. It could really be almost anything "non-pictorial", by which I mean that when you view it you don't immediately recognize it as this or that object alone. I'll try a few examples here from one site I like that really only has a smattering of abstract work but tends to almost entirely be concerned with "pictorial" content. Not that "pictorial" is bad; just not what I'm interested in here.

To me abstract could be geometric, or grunge, or whatever. According to your definitions above it would involve "intrinsic form". I tend to download and save ones I like and in most cases I don't have links to where I saw them. So these may not even be the ones I like most.

When I can look at a photo and see "beauty" without it being a photo of a thing being "beautiful", as in a "beautiful tree" or "beautiful apple", then I'd call it abstract.

Why would someone take a photo of a crack in a wall? Is there some beauty there?

This one I include, not because I think it's the best example, but I found it quickly and I think it conveys the idea that a photo of a women can be abstract (of course) and I didn't want to leave that out. Clothed or not. Although I think this photo may work better as an abstract if the eye were not present.

Anonymous said...

Add this one,

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I understand. That's what I thought you meant.