H. Oh my. This blot makes me think of... beauty. As an abstract concept. Yeah.

he concept of beauty is one of the most important to me, and also one of the hardest to put into words. Like the concept of life, its abstractness makes it so difficult to explain or even define, it's usually easier to simply discuss taxonomy. One form is natural beauty -- sunlight streaming into a clean room, the endless blue-on-green horizon from a peak above Muir Woods, the pair of golden butterflies copulating on my window right now. Although I appreciate these sorts of things very much, I'm more interested and impressed by the forms of beauty created by the human mind.

here are the traditional arts, of course -- pictures, music, architecture, poetry, storytelling, cooking, body-piercing, and so on. But for me, there is also undeniable beauty in a clever algorithm or mechanical design. Beauty in a well-designed economic or social system. Beauty in a joke, or clever turn of phrase, or convincing argument, or novel way of looking at an idea. There can be beauty in any human endeavor that relies upon skill and ingenuity.

consider the creation of beauty to be the noblest of all human activities. It is the closest thing I've found, at my tender young age, to a "meaning of life". Survival is important, of course, and happiness is nice. But the creation of something beautiful is what makes a life worthwhile. It justifies humanity.

hat's the philosophy, in any case. In practice, my own creative urge usually manifests itself as a single-minded obsession with whatever project is currently on hand. Projects tend to consume me. An active project might devour every waking hour, every thought, and every quantum of attention, sometimes to the detriment of more survival-oriented activities such as eating and exercising. (But not bathing, since I do some of my best thinking in the shower.) Project-time insomnia is incredible, and entire nights might be spent mentally turning around a musical phrase, or line of poetry, or piece of software or circuit architecture, around and around like clay on a potter's wheel. But the epiphany, the moment when perfection is achieved, when the last piece falls into place, when the beauty appears -- that is when I feel alive. There is no greater feeling.

fter this blot description and the previous one, you might already have an idea of my Ultimate Life Goal. My Ultimate Life Goal is, basically, to Create Something Good. To invent something that improves the state of the world. Something that helps people, something that improves the global quality of life. Something. Someday.

nd if I'm extra-lucky, it'll fit into a Box With Lights And Buttons.

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