Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Delving Deep into the World of Subjectivity: How would you Describe "Beautiful"?

Here's an interesting find: conducting a simple Google search for the words "Victoria's Secret model" will produce about 66 million results. On the flip side, typing in the word "solar" will offer you a whopping 557 million results. (That's nearly nine times more!) This is, of course, a cherry-picked comparison intended to make a comical point, but it's fair to say that solar could be considered up there on a list of things individuals search for on Google.

And just to ease my curiosity, I had to search "ugly" too. Result? 232 million hits. What about "beautiful"? A staggering 2.3 billion results. That's much more than "ugly," "solar" and "Victoria's Secret model" combined...

So how can we explain our world's fascination with all things beautiful? Possibly more important, what makes something beautiful and what makes something ugly? Where, exactly, do we draw this line? Perhaps this would be a more appropriate question for a sociologist, or maybe even a Google software developer, but it does beg the question: How do we qualitatively describe the difference between "ugly" and "beautiful"?

I'll be honest, this question often crosses my mind while conducting site visits for customers interested in solar for their home or business. The intriguing allure of receiving a utility bill requesting payment of $0.00 -- and many times containing a customer refund for producing excess energy -- is obviously very attractive. It's safe to say there isn't one person out there who would choose to pay more on their energy bill. However, even with this fascination of eliminating their bill, the doubt often enters the mind... 

"Aren't solar panels really ugly?"
"I'd really like to hide them so I don't ever have to look at them."
"My neighbors might be unhappy about having to see them from time-to-time."

If you will, I'll throw a question out to you readers. Do you think the solar array on this Cosmic Solar installation above looks presentable? Did you find yourself to be pleasantly surprised that this house was able to zero out their utility bill without drastically changing the look of their home? Of course, if you disagree, I promise to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion... which brings us back to the idea that beauty (or ugliness in some cases) is entirely subjective. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, it's possible you feel the look adds to the house. I happen to agree with this opinion, but I could certainly sympathize with you if you don't.

A look past aesthetics...

See, I've been looking at solar panels for so long now that I only see the beautiful aspects they provide: free electricity, energy independence, a significant increase in home value, an incredibly reliable form or energy and an amazing investment. Tell me I have a "panel bias" if you'd like, but I'm just reporting what I've heard from hundreds of our customers. Every single one of them has looked past any potential uneasy feelings regarding aesthetics and wholeheartedly embraced all the positive attributes in respect to solar energy for their homes. Solar's true beauty, if not the sea of beautiful blue or black silicon wafers, comes from its unique ability to provide a highly sought after and incredibly necessary component to our country's energy mix. On a basic level, solar panels turn "wasted" sunlight into electricity. Truthfully, I can't think of a more necessary tool in today's world of increasing energy costs and worries over dwindling, hard to find energy resources.

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?
Sound off in the comment section below.

Pey Shadzi
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar
Proud owner of a beautiful solar system
(760) 532-9712

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