What is Taste? A Cultural Analysis

Kant philosophy

One of the hardest words in the English language to define is taste.  The definition has been wrestled with and torn apart for centuries but still nobody knows what it means.  There are two schools on the idea of taste.  The first believes that taste can be standardized and objectified.  The second believes that taste is not something that can be measured or standardized by any means and that it is completely in the eye of the beholder.  I say that taste has taken on new definitions and implications in the 21st century and that has changed the definition of taste 180 degrees from the philosophies of Kant and Bourdieu.

The late philosopher Immanuel Kant attempted to answer the question of taste in his essay The Critique of Judgment.  I think that Kant’s ideas sound good in theory but are impossible in practice.  One of Kant’s major topics is that taste must be separate from all personal bias.  In order to achieve a “pure judgment of taste” the critic must be impartial to emotions and purpose of the work, in other words, disinterested.    A piece of government propaganda cannot be aesthetically beautiful because it was born with the purpose to persuade.  Pure art should have no purpose; it should simply be.  I disagree with Kant on this point.  I believe that the purpose of art is to convey an emotion in the mind of the beholder.  If a piece of art fails to do this then why even create it?  The purpose of art is to be enjoyed and savored, not robotically examined.

Everyone knows that in our world there is a gigantic variety of tastes to be found. Whether it’s in food, music, movies, or anything that can be judged, all people have a great difference in their personal judgment of material things. Great thinkers and philosophers, particularly Hume, Kant, and Bourdieu have attempted to answer the detailed and complex question of whether taste is something that can be judged, instead of it being a concept that is
completely relative to an individual. When David Hume wrote his On the Standard of Taste, he set out to prove that there are absolute standards of taste (as opposed to it being completely conditional to each human), and that some people have finer tuned and more exquisite preferences than others. He opens the paper by saying that “it is obvious” that there is a gargantuan diversity of tastes between people and stresses how this variety is even “greater in reality than in appearance.” Hume then strategically talks about the opposing position to his view, telling us that some thinkers would believe that taste is something that could never be judged, because at its core level taste relies on each persons preferences.

There are many things that are considered pleasurable.  Musical notes, the color green, flowers, all are pleasing to the senses but, according to Kant, they are not beautiful in themselves.  Kant proposes that it is not the individual parts that make something beautiful, but the “delineation” or form of the individual components.  In the words of Kant, “ a pure judgment of taste has for its determining ground neither charm nor emotion-in a word, no sensation as the material of aesthetic judgment.”  One must put all charms aside and look only at the form in order to recognize pure beauty.  Although his first point is almost irreconcilable to me, I do believe with Kant on this point.  The form of a piece of art is more important than the individual pieces because we perceive art as a whole entity, not a random assortment of parts.

In the late 20th century, a man named Pierre Boudieu conducted a large-scale study on the link between taste and social class. Between the years of 1963 and 1968 Bourdieu surveyed a group of 1,217 people who he divided into groups based on their economic and cultural backgrounds.  Bourdieu found very strong similarities within the groups and this led him to believe that taste is a learned element of culture, not an inherent quality that people are born with.  He divides taste into three categories: low brow, middle brow and high brow.  A person who has grown up around money and a culturally rich lifestyle will be more apt to like a “legitimate” work such as the song “Well-Tempered Clavier” than a person who was raised around “popular” works such as “insert popular work here.”

I strongly disagree with Bourdieu for many reasons.  His assumptions of what is legitimate and what is not are completely biased on social class.  According to Bourdieu, a large percentage of the population is automatically doomed to lowbrow taste with no consideration of the individual.  These assumptions are just as bad if not worse than racism.  Social class does not make one more tasteful than another.  Simply listening to a particular song or viewing a piece of art does not mean that one fully grasps its aesthetic essence.  Furthermore I believe that Bourdieu’s theory has become obsolete with the rise and widespread use of the Internet.  We are now in a new age, the information age in which cultural and social boundaries have become blurred and the standard of taste is eroding.

Before the invention and widespread use of the Internet there were indeed societal barriers to entry to “highbrow” art.  If one wanted to hear the latest piece by the symphony or view the most esteemed art of the time, a monetary payment was necessary.  Today a bum on the streets of New York can walk into a public library, access the internet, put on headphones and enjoy the Sydney Opera just as much or more than a person who is actually there.  In the past information and art was shared physically but today a song, dance, or piece of art can be sent to the farthest reaches of the globe in milliseconds.

We all like good things, but what can a person do to recognize pure aesthetic beauty from artistic garbage?  David Hume attempts to answer this puzzle in On the Standards of Taste. Hume opens his essay by showing the reader the wide varieties of taste and the difficulty of having people agree on what constitutes good taste.  Most people firmly believe that it is impossible to achieve a universal standard for what is good or the “Catholic and universal beauty.”  Although, according to Hume, if an ancient work of art is still popular, it must be inherently good because it has withstood the tests of time and human judgment.  Therefore, there must be a standard of taste.  In order to effectively judge whether a piece of art is good, one must start with the “organs” that relay senses to the brain.  As evident in the Don Quixote example, some people possess finer-tuned senses than others.   In order to properly critique a piece of art, one must develop a full understanding of the genre; listening to more classical music and studying its components will make you a more worthy critic of it.  The biggest mistake in judging is in not taking the time to look at the full picture or “perusing.”  Hume says that the standard of taste can be seen only by fully analyzing every part of each piece being compared.  According to Hume, a critic must be able to identify each individual component of a work of art.  The next step is to compare the piece in question to similar pieces.  The final component in the quest for the standard is a non-biased judgment.  Hume states that the only mind that can properly discern good taste from bad taste is “a mind free from prejudice.”   In conclusion, Hume has not explicitly told us what is tasteful and what is not, but he has given us deliberate instructions so that we can do it ourselves.

Around the same time that Hume was searching for the standard of taste, a man named Immanuel Kant wrote an essay that also deals with standardizing taste.  The difference is that Kant focuses on the specific characteristics that make a work beautiful.  The Critique of Judgment spells out guidelines for determining whether or not an object is aesthetically beautiful.  Similar to Hume, one of Kant’s major topics is that taste must be separate from all personal bias.  In order to achieve a “pure judgment of taste” the critic must be impartial to emotions and purpose of the work, in other words, disinterested.    A piece of government propaganda cannot be aesthetically beautiful because it was born with the purpose to persuade.  Pure art should have no purpose; it should simply be.  There are many things that are considered pleasurable.  Musical notes, the color green, flowers, all are pleasing to the senses but they are not beautiful in themselves.  Kant proposes that it is not the individual parts that make something beautiful, but the “delineation” or form of the components.  Aesthetic judgment must therefore be based in logic and not in the senses.  In the words of Kant, “ a pure judgment of taste has for its determining ground neither charm nor emotion-in a word, no sensation as the material of aesthetic judgment.”  One must put all charms aside and look only at the form in order to recognize pure beauty.  By following these guidelines one can recognize which works of art have legitimate beauty and those that are merely charms.

While Hume and Kant discuss the standardization of taste and teach the reader how to recognize true beauty in art, Pierre Bourdieu seeks to draw connections between taste and social standing.  Although very different from the essays by Hume and Kant, one can assume that Bourdieu has derived some of his understanding of taste from their works.   The Aristocracy of Culture asserts that there are strong correlations that show that taste is influenced by socio-economic factors.  Taste is a taboo subject in the world of sociology and has been further mystified by people who argue that taste is something that should be unspoken; if you do not know what it is you do not have it.  Bourdieu attempts to dispel the mist that surrounds taste with a scientific approach rather than a psychological approach.  Between the years of 1963 and 1968 Bourdieu surveyed a group of 1,217 people who he divided into groups based on their economic and cultural backgrounds.  Bourdieu found very strong similarities within the groups and this led him to believe that taste is a learned element of culture, not an inherent quality that people are born with.  He divides taste into three categories: low brow, middle brow and high brow.  A person who has grown up around money and a culturally ric lifestyle will be more apt to like a “legitimate” work such as the song “Well-Tempered Clavier” than a person who was raised around “popular” works.  People of low cultural and economic statures have a limited exposure to legitimate, tasteful works and therefore have low brow taste.  Thus, having so-called “good-taste” is reserved for the social elites who have grown up surrounded by sophisticated works of art and the rest of us are left enjoying what everybody else is enjoying.

HKparts – VP9 the world’s best handgun

hk vp9 accessories

Introduced in the year 2014, HK VP9 pistol is among the few polymer-framed striker-fired handguns from Heckler & Koch. Most gun companies are now producing polymer-framed striker-fired guns with a reason. First, manufacturers believe that plastic is not only cheaper than metal but also easier to work with. Put differently, they can now produce more firearms faster and easily with a better profit margin.  HKparts and accessories are always in demand because of the love that people have for the brand and ability to customize to your liking.  The HKparts reviews are positive across the board as this is one of the best and most loved brands in firearms.

Secondly, the striker-fired trigger system is all-modern. That means that it does not need the hand fitting associated with most designs. For consumers, striker-fired handguns offer trigger pull every time and the bore is usually set lower to the user’s hand, representing lesser-felt recoil and muzzle rise.

History of the VP9 handgun

Actually, the VP9 is not the first striker-fired polymer-framed handgun. VP70, which beats the Glock 17 by almost one decade, is known to be the first striker-fired polymer pistol to enter the market. Two versions of the gun – select-fire edition for military use and semi-automatic handgun for civilians – were released in 1970 and 1989.

The name VP70 stands for something. VP stands for Volkspistole (the People’s Pistol), just like the Volkswagen was a vehicle for the masses. Heckler & Koch intended to produce a quality handgun that everyone could afford. “70” refers to the manufacturing year. Even though the firearm was not as successful as the Glock pistols, it blazed a trail that almost every gun producer would follow in the 21st century.  HKparts are available for the VP-9 allowing for all kinds of upgrades and enhancements.

The key features

Drawing inspiration from the weapons historical roots, Heckler & Koch developed the VP9 handgun as an affordable weapon, which delivers incredible performance and great features. The manufacturer included several features with an aim of making the weapon useable among different people.

Prior to the introduction of the gun, H&K had been selling similar pistol known as the P30 – a polymer framed handgun that employs hammer-fired action.

The VP9 displays numerous features that are closer to those of P30 handgun such as magazine release mounted on the weapon’s trigger guard, side panels and back-straps. The VP9 also features a slide release lever on its frame’s right side and the left side.

However, the frames of the two weapons are not identical. For instance, the two guns have different trigger guards. That is the reason why most holsters designed for P30 pistol do not fit on the VP9.

Heckler & Koch claims that VP9’s trigger is superior to other striker-fired mechanisms available in the market. The trigger is comparatively light with a short reset and smooth press. At the first time, the reset might seem overly energetic but the problem will reduce as you continue using it.

The complaints

Most people complain about the shape of the rear sight. The sight has sloped leading edge. Even though some individuals prefer that as a way of preventing snagging on clothing during draws, others prefer sharp edges so that they can perform single hand reloads and malfunction-clearance.

And just like other heavy-duty pistols, H&K added a Picatinny-type accessory rail on VP9. With the rail, a shooter can pop on a tactical torch or laser easily. Unluckily, polymer pistols are unreliable when accessory lights and particular ammunitions are combined.

 

Bitcoin predictions and future implications for 2018

bitcoin predictions 2018

BITCOIN INVESTMENT TIPS

The potential pick up in BTC is more than the potential misfortune; and this is on the grounds that few crypto-examiners have conjectured that bitcoin could turn into a worldwide cash later on however it is extremely theoretical. On the off chance that this moves toward becoming reality, at that point it will animate universal exchange all around the globe. Thusly, financial analysts have estimated that the cost would climb to 20,000 times its esteem, which will make each $1 worth of current BTC would (speculatively) be worth $20,000 later on. Be that as it may, this will just happen if bitcoin was perceived as lawful delicate for both global and local exchange. This gauge is one made by specialists who trust that putting resources into bitcoin will convey a $200 return for every dollar you contribute.

Bitcoin center markets have bounced back finished the previous two days as every token has increased over $1,000 in esteem every day. A couple of days back when Peter Thiel declared he obtained millions worth of BTC the cost bounced from the low $14,000 territory to over $15,000 however stayed stable until today. Different coins like NEM, swell, and ethereum saw impressive hops in esteem while bitcoin center markets ricocheted between $14900-15,200 amid the most recent 48 hours. Today is an alternate story as BTC has ascended to a high of $16,500 amid the mid-evening’s exchanges.

For what reason would it be a good idea for me to put resources into bitcoins?

 

With Bitcoins, you are not required to tie your cash up in long haul intends to influence a benefit and you to can make a benefit in a short space of time contingent upon how much cash is being exchanged through the Bitcoin arrange. In that capacity, you can just put resources into them and utilize the premium created for your every day exchanges like acquiring basic supplies, which implies you get moment access to your cash for your money related exchanges despite the fact that it’s contributed.

So, purchasing Bitcoins in 2018 will seem, by all accounts, to be a decent move for some as it is probably going to additionally increment in esteem and prevalence, so it merits watching out for its advancement during the time for an awesome speculation opportunity.

I will impart more tips to all of you and enable those that to have lost expectation due a few misfortunes before. I should state that there is still would like to recoup your misfortune. Mercifully contact me if this identifies with you.

Black Friday 2017 Online Shopping Statistics 

Black Friday 2017 Statistics

Black Friday 2017 Broke Online Shopping Records

American Shoppers Spent $5 Billion in 24 hours this Black Friday – Brick and Mortar vs. Online Shopping

Data from Adobe Digital Insights shows that American shoppers spent over $5 billion in less than 24 hours.  That is a 16.9% increase in the amount shoppers spent online on Black Friday 2017 compared with what they spent on Black Friday 2016.  The digital retail giant Amazon sold over 200,000 toys within the first five hours!  Big-box retailers and shopping malls malls recorded lower sales compared to online retailers.  Put differently, the modern consumers are willing to spend more in online shopping.  Prime example of a great e-commerce store is HKparts.

Brick and mortar vs. online shopping – Black Friday 2017

It is no secret that online shopping is placing a huge dent in brick and mortar retail spending especially during the holidays.  ShopperTrack, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers visiting stores showed that the number of shoppers in stores reduced by at least 1% compared with the Black Friday 2016.  As the online savvy businesses witness their number of customers increasing, large companies like JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears and Gap have seen their sales decline.

 

Why most consumers are shopping online

It is evident that most people prefer digital shopping over the conventional shopping.  People love shopping while still in their bed or while on the go, not to mention the possibilities it gives to people who are disabled or do not drive.  Moreover, because of the many choices and price options, online shopping gives the shopper more control over the experience.  The prices can be lower and there are more options to choose from.  There are many reasons why the online sales exceeded the brick and mortar sales on Black Friday 2017. Some of the reasons include:

 

Fewer expenses

When shopping in retail stores, you are likely to spend more than you would when shopping on an online platform.  Some of the extra expenses are related to traveling, eating out and impulsive buying decisions.  You tried it on already, now you are reaching for the credit card!

 

Avoid crowds

Most individuals want to avoid crowds when shopping.  A crowd will force you do hurried shopping and create road rage when it comes to parking.  There are some people who would not step foot in a Best Buy on Black Friday even if they were giving out flat screen TV’s for free!

 

Discreet purchases

Everyone will agree that some things are better if they remain private.  Online shoppers are able to purchase adult items, lingerie, undergarments and personal items without the associated embarrassment.

Easy to compare prices

 

Online shops have made research of prices, products and their reviews easier than ever before. Online stores have also provided us with the ability to share reviews and information with other shoppers to let them know if they should buy a product or stay away from it.

 

When shopping online, you will get numerous products and brands from several sellers at one ecommerce store. You can therefore learn about the latest international trends without having to travel.  Also, you will not be limited to a geographic area when shopping.

 

Monday Motivational /

Weekend highlights

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches. ~ Napoleon Hill

Winter is coming! Channel 7 Boston News has tips for us for the upcoming winter months.

http://whdh.com/live-stream-1/

 

Tuesday Industry related humor /

Company news

What do you say we bounce like a bad email? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/271553052505296065/

We strive to capture your target market using our social media management skills and services. We will work with you, our client, to ensure that your goals are met and your message is communicated properly.

 

Wednesday Original content /

Ask a question

Did you know? Adults 18-34 are more like to follow a brand through social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Is your business page optimized?  More and more businesses are using Facebook to build meaningful relationships with clients.  Call us, we can help!

 

Thursday Share Industry related news /

Share company blog

Snapchat now has a feature called Promoted Stories allowing businesses to promote themselves in between Snapchat user’s organic stories. “Snapchat’s new Promoted Stories format gives advertisers their own slot in the app’s Stories tab”

https://marketingland.com/snapchats-new-promoted-stories-format-gives-advertisers-slot-apps-stories-tab-228908

 (blog)

 

Friday Original Content with Call to Action/ Weekend Buzz

Happy Friday! Follow us on Snapchat @VisualMediaMKT!

 ‘Tis the season to be jolly!  Where is your favorite place in Boston to see holiday lights?

https://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/christmas-tree-lighting-ceremonies.html

 

Saturday Community based news / Tips / Trending topics

 Live video on Instagram and Facebook has quickly turned into the hottest social media trends of 2017.  We predict growth of this technology and more opportunities for businesses to make meaningful connections.

 

We are on Pinterest are you? Reach more audiences with more platforms.

https://www.pinterest.com/visualmediamkt/

— “With the vast amounts of unstructured social data, the myriad of social media influencers and the growing number of requests for service via social channels, marketers can often get overwhelmed.”

 

Artificial Intelligence is coming to Social Media Marketing

 

“Throwing more bodies at the problem doesn’t usually help much so marketers are beginning to explore AI-based tools to help them better leverage the power of social media.

As a participant in this growing technology category, Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric, an AI-powered social media metrics company, has been following the category closely. Narayan admits “The whole social space has a lot of noise. It’s very difficult to disambiguate one company from the other.  But I think there are distinctive patterns in what companies do. And indeed, in where they’re starting to deploy AI within each of those subdomains. More specifically, they fit into six broad areas within social.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnellett/2017/07/27/new-ai-based-tools-are-transforming-social-media-marketing/#37cc58bc69a2

 

Sunday Community based news /

Tips / Trending topics

 

 Are you planning to go to a concert or show in Boston this December?  These are on our list:

Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart – Holiday Pops – Boston Symphony Hall
Kiss 108’s Jingle Ball – TD Garden  
Christmas with the Celts – City Winery
A Christmas Celtic Sojourn – Cutler Majestic Theatre
Chris Botti -Wilbur Theatre
Suzanne Vega – City Winery
Boston Ballet: The Nutcracker – Boston Opera House
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – House of Blues

 

Keeping an eye out on your most popular tweets and Facebook posts can give you a great idea on topics for future blog posts.  Search for trending #hashtags to see what people are talking about.

 

Make your Facebook posts memorable. Create posts that will entertain, educate, or inspire your followers.  

 

 The new year is just around the corner!  We are truly thankful for the opportunities to help other businesses every day and are looking forward to 2018 with optimism and excitement.  What are your resolutions for the New Year?  Ours are growth and success for our clients and ourselves.

 

 Success requires focus and dedication to your craft.  “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. “~ Swami Vivekananda