November 7th, 2015
Off-the-shelf design

Off-the-shelf design

Bertrand Russell on conformity, from “Furniture and the Ego”:

“Tolstoy describes somewhere a newly married couple who are giving their first evening party; when it is over, they congratulate each other on the fact that it has been exactly like anyone else’s evening party. Those to whom this is the highest ambition evidently fear contempt more than they hope for admiration, and in so far as they do hope for admiration they hope to secure it by successful imitation rather than by any genuine intrinsic quality. They may acquire taste, which can be learnt by those who take the necessary trouble, but they cannot acquire spontaneous enjoyment of the things that appear beautiful to them, whatever others may think of them.”

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