# less_retarded_wiki

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# Beauty

Beauty is the quality of being extremely appealing and pleasing. Though the word will likely invoke association with traditional art, in technology, engineering, mathematics and other science beauty is, despite it's relative vagueness and subjectivity, an important aspect of design, and in fact this "mathematical beauty" has lots of times some clearly defined shapes -- for example simplicity is mostly considered beautiful. Beauty is similar to and many times synonymous with elegance.

Beauty can perhaps be seen as a heuristic, a touch of intuition that guides the expert in exploration of previously unknown fields, as we have come to learn that the greatest discoveries tend to be very beautiful (however there is also an opposite side: some people, such as Sabine Hossenfelder, criticize e.g. the pursuit of beautiful theories in modern physics as this approach seems to be have led to stagnation). Indeed, beginners and noobs are mostly concerned with learning hard facts, learning standards and getting familiar with already known ways of solving known problems, they often aren't able to recognize what's beautiful and what's ugly. But as one gets more and more experienced and finds himself near the borders of current knowledge, there is suddenly no guidance but intuition, beauty, to suggest ways forward, and here one starts to get the feel for beauty. At this point the field, even if highly exact and rigorous, has become an art.

What is beautiful then? As stated, there is a lot of subjectivity, but generally the following attributes are correlated with beauty:

• simplicity, typically finding simplicity in complexity, e.g. a very short formula or algorithm that describes an infinitely complex fractal shape, a simple but valuable equation in physics (e = m * c^2), a short computer program that yields rich results (demoscene, code golfing, suckless, ...).
• generality, i.e. if a simple equation can describe many problems, not just a specific case.
• lack of exceptions, i.e. when our equation works without having to deal with special cases (in programming represented by `if-then` branches).
• symmetry, i.e. when we can e.g. swap variables in the equation and get some kind of opposite result.
• unification, i.e. if multiple nice things meet, for example the Euler's identity brings together into one equation the most important numbers in mathematics: i, pi, 1 and 0.
• aesthetics, either of the equation itself or the generated thing (fractals, attractors, ...).
• TODO

Examples of beautiful things include:

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