More and Less Exciting Things

Some things are universally more exciting to animals than their opposites. Light is more exciting than darkness, red coloration is more exciting than blue, everything is more exciting than nothing, and movement, speed, long flowing forms, spikiness, upwardness and outwardness are exciting relative to stillness, solid and round objects, smoothness, downwardness, inwardness and holes.



Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s “Composition.” Photo from WikiArt. Public domain.

What, was he sad, or merry?

Like to the time o’ the year between the extremes

Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.

Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra


Brain Heat
Brains Versus Computers
Liquid Crystallinity
Other More and Less Exciting Things
Combinations Versus Mixtures
Imperceivable Mixtures
Works Cited


Various types of simple excitement such as anger and sexual arousal correspond to higher brain temperature in animals, heat which must be accompanied by physical increases in brain fluidity, disorder and molecular motion. Such changes in the brain explain why, in angry and sexual contexts, we spontaneously make reference not only to heat but also fluidity, disorder and speed which doesn’t actually exist in any way in the outside world, also how both the sender and receiver of such signals tend to understand them in a similar way, and why, oppositely, low excitement is so often associated in language with lower temperature, solidness, order and stasis. We reference heat, fluidity, disorder and speed in the business of being arousing and the opposites to calm each other down. We insist, metaphorically, that arguments involve physical…




A concept of aesthetic complexity based on universal animal preferences for mixtures of simple, more and less exciting physical and psychological opposites.