I have a personal theory that the ability to create beauty correlate the ability to solve problems. To explain this theory in detail, I’m going to separate this discussion into 1. Observation as tactics and 2. Composition as a strategy.
First of all, what is observation as tactics? I will begin this part of my theory by showing what the problem solving process is composed of. Problem solving is composed of following processes. ① Observation, ② Defining problems based on the observation, ③ Solving the defined problems, and ④ Critiquing the whole process if necessary.
And in my opinion, this first process of “Observation” affect the result of problem solving the most. And in term of significance, we should prioritize the processes of problem solving in order of ①>②>③>④, and the learning process of problem solving must be one way from ① through ④. Let’s see how legit my theory is. I’m going to begin with ① Observation. First, we must be aware that our observation is biased with A. Knowledge, B. Imagination, and C. Desire. Knowledge is based on observation, imagination is based on knowledge, and desire is based on imagination, so if you trace back the origin of biases, they all lead to observation. Therefore the accumulation of observation in the past distort our current observation as biases in short term, but it will eventually help us strategically in long term, and I will explain how this happens in “composition as a strategy” part of my theory later.
And suppose when your observation and knowledge contradict. In Japanese cultural examples, these are “the sun is red” and “green traffic signals are blue.” If you actually observe the sun, its color is white most of the time, but Japanese flag has red sun, so Japanese children believe that the sun is red as knowledge, and green signals are actually green, but Japanese people grew up calling it “blue signal” for reasons we don’t even know, so we automatically think it must be blue as knowledge. When you let Japanese children draw the sun and green signals, they actually draw the sun red and the green signals blue most of the time. From this cultural examples, you can see how difficult it is to consciously admit your knowledge is wrong when it is contradicting with your observation and conclude your observation as actual truth. Then your observation may also contradict your imagination and desire. Now can you guess how difficult it is to perceive reality as it is?
The reason why this is significant is because when you define problems based on your “observation,” even though your ratio of knowledge, imagination and desire within your observation is high, the problem defined by your heavily biased observation may only exist in your knowledge, imagination and desire in your head therefore it is not a problem which actually exist in reality. And by solving defined problem in this manner, you may be able to satisfy your knowledge, imagination or desire, but the reality you wanted to change by solving these problems you defined most likely end up not changing.
Let’s go further. First, a problem solver gather information getting rid of biases such as knowledge, imagination and desire as much as possible when observing reality. Then he/she can define more specific problems reflecting reality well. However when the information he/she collected was too little and heavily biased, he/she can only define abstract problems which don’t reflect reality well. In that case, the probability of actually solving the defined problem differentiate because if he/she had realistic problems with specific definitions, he/she always knows exactly what he/she needs to do next while if he/she only had unrealistic problems with abstract definitions, he/she isn’t sure what to do next therefore it’s much harder to solve the given problems.
And if a problem solver solved realistic problems with specific definitions easily, he/she can change the reality in desired direction, and there will be few unsolved problems left therefore the critiquing process afterward could be minimal and easy if not unnecessary. However if he/she struggled to solve unrealistic problems with abstract definitions, he/she cannot change the reality as much as he/she wished to and many of problems remain unsolved therefore critiquing process afterward become complicated and time consuming. Moreover, the analysis of the whole process must also be heavily biased and lacks specific definitions in case the defined problem was abstract and difficult to solve to begin with. Therefore to repeat critiquing doesn’t promise the improvement of the situation. In conclusion, the accuracy of the first observation with specific definitions was the most important process not to waste limited resources like time for critiquing forever for never improving situation.
Therefore, if we want to manage limited resources like time as efficiently as possible, we need to theoretically allocate 40% of the limited resources to ① Observation, 30% to ② Defining problems based on observation, 20% to ③ Solving the defined problems, and 10% to ④ critiquing if necessary given that the successful previous process always makes the following process easier. However if you actually practice this theory in school for example, the process of ① Observation and ② Defining problems based on observation seems like doing nothing in appearance, so stupid teachers automatically think that you are slacking off doing nothing 70% of the time only spending 20% actually solving problems and only 10% critiquing. However this apparent high functioning slacker also appear to be attractive to those who don’t even try if they cannot become relevant enough since it provokes possibility of huge prosperity with their help involved. In other words, someone with acute observation appears to be “virtuous” to specific group of people.
This is 1. Observation as tactics, and those who can solve problems well tends to have good observation in my theory.
Next part I’m going to explain is 2. Composition as a strategy. People try to utilize strategy especially when they are aware that they have inferior tactics to their opponents. People with a superior strategy win the battle regardless of how unsophisticated their tactics are in the end. For artists, it’s not a rare occasion to see painting with superior composition without particularly superior technique. Or rather many artist pretend as if they don’t even invest in technique since it’s only tactics therefore not a decisive factor of the game in the end. Strategy actually comes from biases in observation such as knowledge, imagination and desire. However those are no other than the accumulation of observation, so the experience of someone with acute observation actually gives a birth to superior strategies, yet many artists dismiss importance of observation as tactics. However biases usually affect observation as tactics negatively, so in short term, those with acute observation tend to be strategically inferior to those with average observation. Those with acute observation goes as far as they can go only with their superior tactics with apparent absence of strategy. They even beat opponents with so so strategy only with mere tactics. Things really start changing when these people with acute observation experience first loss and realize the importance of composition as a strategy for the first time in their lives. They literally realize that they are “designed” to lose in a big way. And this first loss appears to be manifestation of a celestial being for someone with acute observation. In my opinion, really significant compositions are based on this kind of “anyone would miss it if it’s not me” kind of personal manifestation of a celestial being.
You can kind of see the significance of composition in formation of army in the battle field and also in sophisticated design of chain of command in modern information warfare.
Observation as tactics and composition as a strategy both relates to aesthetics. People who think philosophically about tactics and strategies are therefore attracted to details and novelty of composition. Novelty of composition seems to be counterintuitive to the observer and hook their attention to the extent it almost seems like glitchy because it breaks patterns yet reflect truth in life. This is related to authentication of holy grail or 玉, and the fact that they can be relevant with those hidden treasure paradoxically prove their high virtue, and they experience disinhibition as an only outlet of their striving for holy grail or 玉 by failing to inhibit their lewd nature.