Perfect imperfection is the observation that imperfections are often more valuable than perfections. The following are illustrative examples.
LikabilityImperfection is an element of likability as we commonly like people for their shortfalls and mistakes as much as for their strengths. For example, if you design a character in a film to be unfailable, the audience will typically dislike them. As such, even superheroes are given weaknesses that make them more charming.
CraftManufacturer items have few imperfections such that each unit is identical. Items that take more labor and talent to create by hand have imperfections that add to their value. For example, a fine meal that is obviously the work of a chef due to its small inconsistencies versus a packaged food item that always looks and tastes the same.
AsymmetryIn art and design, it is easy to achieve symmetric balance as you simply make both sides the same. Asymmetric balance is much more difficult to achieve. Beyond this, some artists are brave enough to leave asymmetry unbalanced. This is arguably a sublime aesthetic that requires supreme skill to get right. Above: Klimt - Death and Life (asymmetric balance)
Wabi-SabiWabi-sabi is the Japanese aesthetic of imperfection and impermanence. This isn't an embrace of laziness or haphazard results but is rather the refinement and mastery of imperfection. For example, a gardener who makes an irregular bamboo fence that doesn't last long that is nonetheless viewed as highly refined.
UniquenessImperfections give life uniqueness that allows for endless variety. For example, a DNA mutation results from errors in biological processes or damage. This is a basis for evolution that has created a great variety of life on Planet Earth.
ComplexityPerfection is typically simple, plain and bland. For example, a minimalist design of a room with white painted walls that appears to have no flaws. Imperfection allows for great complexity that may be more stimulating. For example, a wall constructed of various recycled bricks.
Perfection of the WholeIt is possible for individual parts to be imperfect but the whole to be closer to perfect. From a philosophical point of view you could argue that each individual human is imperfect but that the world as a whole is perfect and requires each of these individual imperfections to achieve this state. This could be idealistic but it's an interesting argument.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about philosophy.
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