The Golden Ratio

Posted: January 20, 2015 in Science and Technology, Writing
Tags: ,

I love to learn. Or re-learn. Or remember things I’ve learned in the past. Last night I was watching “Brain Games” on NatGeo and they talked about how people find each other attractive. They brought up the Golden Ratio and how our perceptions of attractiveness could possibly be based on how well our faces reflect it.

First off, what is the Golden Ratio?

Second, what does this have to do with writing?

Per the definition I found on Wikipedia: “In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.” In matters of the face, this boils down to how your face is proportioned. A quick study shows that typically our faces should be half as wide as they are tall. But there are many other proportions that pertain to the Golden Ratio. It’s really quite intriguing if you look it up.

So how does this affect my writing?

Well, when I write and read, I enjoy learning along the way. It’s not enough that the geeky scientist finds another co-worker attractive and out of his level. How will they hook up? Suddenly, they’re trapped under a desk while explosions rock the building. Terrorists are fighting to steal some secret biological weapon found in their facility. He finally professes his attraction to her and tells her she’s a perfect 1.618 (the Golden Ratio). What? We all say, “huh?”. Then he explains the Golden Ratio and not just how it pertains to the face, but to many other things. Great artists of our time have known it and use it in their paintings and sculptures. It means something other than “I think you’re cute”. Bleah. (I hope I never write that in one of my books).

It becomes another and interesting vehicle about something so normal in life. It adds depth. It adds fun. It adds something we learn along the way. And now, not only are we happy the two are together, but we have a “takeaway” from our book that we’ll think about as soon as we get out from under our covers, coveting that eBook on our iPad or Kindle and strut around the real world.

This is exactly why I enjoy writing techno-thrillers and pepper them with science. Our world and how we perceive it is amazing…and endless.

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