RE: MD The MOQ makes inroads

From: Erin N. (
Date: Tue Oct 28 2003 - 21:37:21 GMT

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD What makes an idea dangerous?"

    >===== Original Message From =====
    >Hi All:
    >Interesting column by George Will about a new book by Virginia Postrel
    >entitled, "The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is
    >Remaking Commerce, Culture and Consciousness."
    >Will begins by noting, "Creative thinkers do not merely answer
    >questions that interest others, they answer question that others have
    >not realized were interesting, or even are questions. For example:
    >Starbucks' coffee is not that much better than everyone else's coffee,
    >so what is Starbucks really selling?
    >The answer, according to Postrel, is a rising appreciation of what she
    >calls the "aesthetic imperative" in this expressive age.
    >From just the brief description above, two ideas jump out -- "substance
    >of style" and "aesthetic imperative" -- immediately connecting in my
    >mind to "quality as real as rocks" and "the aesthetic nature of the
    >conceptually unknown."
    >Lest you think I'm stretching to make a point, consider this passage
    >verbatim from Postrel's book:
    >"Aesthetics shows rather than tells, delights rather than instructs.
    >The effects are immediate, perceptual and emotional. They are not
    >cognitive, although we many analyze them after the fact."
    >Will adds, "Aesthetics, Postrel stresses, is not irrational or anti-
    >rational, it is pre-rational or non-rational."
    >Where have you read similar words before?
    >According to Postrel, in all areas of life and living Americans are
    >consuming design and designing themselves. If she's half right, the
    >lure of Quality is making itself felt more and more strongly, as
    >Pirsig's cosmic evolutionary morality predicts.
    >As for Starbucks, "People are eager to pay Starbucks for more than mere
    >coffee--for a sensory environment that pleases more than just their
    >Looks to me like the MOQ is making inroads into the collective American
    >psyche despite the cold shoulder it has gotten so far from the static-
    >bound intelligentsia. :-)

    This is confusing to me. I don't remember exact words but I thought your past
    assertions consisted of distinguishing between beauty and things like fashion
    trends, with beauty being intellectual and fashion trends being social. Now
    this aesthetic argument seems like it is saying something different.
    Like the appeal of gap jeans is beauty driven:-)
    So how exactly you distinguish trendy aesthetic and intellectual aesthetic.

    I don't think that thread about art being intellectual or social had a clear
    conclusion, with arguments like this it seems even less clear.



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