Entry 67, May 16th, 2011, 11:38am (ship time GMT +2)
People occasionally say things like “that's a beautiful song,” or “what a beautiful dress.” While the message is perfectly clear, I wish we had a more accurate way to say it because technically nothing is intrinsically beautiful on its own. It can't be.
Consider the following: what is considered beautiful and what isn't changes as time passes. Each new generation's music (or art, writing, etc.) is criticized by the previous generation for being “senseless noise” before becoming the new standard. It then proceeds to go in and out of vogue before ultimately being forgotten. Nothing in the physical makeup of the art has changed (Romeo and Juliet is still the same collection of words it was a hundred years ago, and the Mona Lisa looks exactly the same).
Beauty even varies across the same slice of time, depending on the audience. If two people view the same painting at the same second, they see different things. No, when someone says that something is beautiful, this only tells you something about the person talking, not anything about the object in question.