On the Beauty of Weapons

The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy.

Ian M. Banks, Excession



  1. …As the end result of human technology the “weapon”, in itself, is by definition, a beautiful thing. It is the wrath which we bring upon ourselves for its own beauty, the very definition of contradiction.

  2. The beauty of function and the function itself…yes, they cause contradiction. The entire book, Gravity’s Rainbow, is dedicated to the beauty of a mathematical form that is put to a murderous use. But still, sad, right? Tragic that horror doesn’t always look horrible and that beauty can be so amoral.

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