I have never seen the Taj Mahal awash with moonlight on a Full Moon day. Or the Great Pyramid in the desert rising in grandeur in the yellow sands in front of me. I have never heard the lion’s roar in the wild. Nor can I remember what it must have been like to have seen the ocean for the first time.
But I can imagine what some of it must feel like.
It must be sublime. It must be spellbounding. It must be a moment so full of wonder that it must be the most difficult to express anything at all at the moment.
Now imagine that the Taj is virtual with a discreet like button next to it. Also imagine that you are a virtual tourist on your way to another site of attraction.
Would you pause a while spellbound in wonder at the beauty of it all or would you casually hit the like before moving on to the next site?
Would you be so overcome with indescribable feelings that you would just find it hard to articulate anything at all at a sight so out of your usual realm of experiences or would you just say “Hey, nice work Shah Jahan!” Like! and catch the bus to the train station?
Like or silence–what would your response say about you?
Now imagine you were the Emperor himself trying to assess the success of your aesthetic or architectural design by counting the reactions of visitors who had liked your masterpiece. How many came, how many liked vs. how many were just there.
How accurate would you be in linking appreciation in any way to an articulated response? How accurate would you be in expecting that response immediately as a like as opposed to an unarticulated response the next day or even a few days later or maybe even the next year depending on how grand your work had been? How accurate would you be in counting those numbers of reactions?
When watching a live performance, it is common to observe the most awe inspiring performances being greeted with a few moments of silence while good attempts being greeted with immediate applause.
Can that silence be measured or assessed?