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Creation Date: 2002-12-12
Tonight, I spent a little time on a logo. I'm always trying to make JF look better and this is an attempt. Using Kontour, KDE 3.0's Open Source/Free Software vector graphics program, I made these two drawings. Then I used GIMP to dress them up by using simple blur/sharpen filters. It worked pretty well. The one in the lower right is just a fun one that probably will not get further than a modest mention in this Making Of as the lesson of the day. Today's lesson is beauty. Many say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It depends who you ask. Usually I'm more a fan of that beauty is that which is _good_. However, we physicists have a very objective definition of beauty: lack of entropy and symmetry. Not just in our thermodynamics and electromagnetism do we look for low-entropy systems and symmetry. To find people of the opposite gender, we look for these two attributes. Let's define them. Entropy basically is the order of a system. Something chaotic is high entropy. How do we define order? By probability and usable energy. Noise is high entropy because it is highly disordered. If your TV screen is filled with a bunch of perfect diagonal lines through it, check the wires because it is not likely to be normal noise/entropy, but rather a simple loose connection to cause such a low entropy error. And then there is probability. The probability that you get four aces in poker is low, so getting four aces is a low entropy state: someone is likely fixing the deck. But getting a four, five, ten, jack, and queen is more likely than four aces since there are four fours, four fives, four tens, four jacks, and four queens while there are only four aces. Then we have symmetry. This is more often applied to beauty because a lot of living thing are symmetric, humans for one. There's azimuthal symmetry (EM students love that), radial symmetry, mirror symmetry, and a few others. Anything crooked is automatically less beautiful because it is not symmetric. Buck teeth and freckles can be a positive attribute if they are symmetric.

You catch my drift, right? Well, it works for measuring beauty. Simply find the entropy of a person and their symmetry and you'll find the beauty. But what about a female gorrilla? They're fairly symmetric and low entropic. Well, I bet they're darn sexy to a male gorrilla. I can't quote one, but they seem to get along. A good example of ugliness in the animal world: fish and pandas. Fish bury their young and mate without ever talking. Wanna know why? Because they are ugly. They're tottally unsymmetric, their bright coloring is usually to one side or another. Their entropy is extremely low because have to flop around in freezing rivers and the ocean, jumping up waterfalls. No wonder they have a 1/1000 survival rate here in Washington (besides the twenty dams between the breeding grounds upstream and the ocean). Pandas I have a bit more respect for, but again suffer from unsymmetric spots, very high entropy due to their weight and their food: leaves. They sit in asymmetric trees and expect their better half to mate when they don't care to comb their hair? No wonder they are on the endangered species list on their way to extinction. Trees are a whole other problem altogether: asexual reproduction. But you get my point. Well, what do we have in the lower left? We have a low entropic noise in a medium entropic system. Those scattered lines are the product of a call to blur, then sharpen 91%, then fill with a dark color. Sharpen 100% would have made a solid color, but I was experimenting. Perhaps I could blur it and sharpen 91% again to get such a low entropy that it looks smooth. The rest is left up as an exercise for the reader.

You might say, "That's awfully politically-incorrect of you to bash ugly people." But you'd be wrong. First off, I'm a very ugly person by anyone's standards. I make it that way on purpose. When I want to participate in the dating game which I currently am morally opposed to, I'll announce it to the world by increasing my entropy and my symmetry. Secondly, I'm not bashing ugly people, I'm bashing ugly animals. In fact, I don't think there are any ugly people out there except myself. I am amazed at the beauty I can find anywhere I look. By my standard of beauty==good, it is very easy to find much beauty around me even in inanimate things such as my computer and my headphones. While my headphones don't create the beautiful sound, I find my headphones to be beautiful because they allow me to listen to beautiful music all day and night and that is very good/beautiful. The bit is a beautiful thing and if I lived in a virtual world, I would marry a virtual girl and we would make sandwiches. ^_^
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