Who is the most beautiful queen of cards? Opinions vary.
From Gina Says part 2
How to debate Beauty
[cosmic variance. Gina Says: May 10th, 2007 at 6:18 am ] The issue of beauty and physics is quite prominent in this discussion. Lee Smolin warns against adopting a physics theory based on aesthetic consideration and brings Kepler’s theory relating the five planets and five platonic solids (regular polytopes) as an example. Peter Woit makes (repeatedly, again and again and again) the claim that string theory is simply ugly, very ugly.
Well, beauty is a subjective matter. I remember my dear grand uncle Lena telling me:” Gina, aren’t we very lucky that people see things in a subjective way? If men were objective they would have all fallen in love with my own beloved wife (her name was incidentally also Gina,) who is clearly the most beautiful woman. This could have caused all sorts of complications.”
I, for example, regard string theory as very beautiful. Supersymmetry which grew up along string theory is an extremely beautiful notion. (In my view, supersymmetry has a natural form of beauty while string theory has an exotic and peculiar beauty.)
But the really interesting question in my mind is how to debate beauty. Can beauty be argued and debated at all?
Here is a story about arguing beauty in court, which may be of use. It was a case where the defendant was accused of a terrible crime.
The attorney for the defendant said in his opening speech: “Look at the defendant. Look how beautiful he is and look at his blue eyes, eyes of an angel. Do you really think he is capable of committing this ugly crime?”
At first, the prosecutor thought of ignoring this remark altogether, but then the remark was repeated and similar sentiments were expressed by some witnesses. The prosecutor watched how this non-issue was becoming an issue, and was worried that the beauty claims might convince some jury member.
The dilemma was not a simple one. Trying to argue that the defendant was not beautiful might convince a few jurors but would strengthen the belief of others that having beautiful eyes is indeed an impediment to being a criminal. Trying to argue that there is no connection between the innocent angel look and the crime may give this whole beauty business some credibility, and may cause those jurors who believe in this connection to take for granted that the defendant is indeed beautiful.
This is what the prosecutor said in his closing argument:
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” said the prosecutor, “there are two types of beauty. There is beauty that reveals a beautiful soul and there is beauty that covers up a corrupted and distorted personality. It is very difficult to distinguish between these two types of beauty, and often our initial hunches and intuitions turn out to be wrong.
We have carefully proved during this trial that the defendant committed the crime he is accused of, and therefore you must conclude that to the extent you find him beautiful, this is beauty of the bad kind, beauty which covers a corrupt personality capable of committing terrible crimes.”