Why should taste be subjective when sight isn't?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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another_jim
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#1: Post by another_jim »

misterdoggy wrote:But don't deny Arpi the privilege of enjoying McDonalds Hamburgers over a Cotoletto di Vitello Italian style. My son prefers Frozen Pizza to Dover Sole. Its their inalienable right to choose and us to respect that choice.

Even though we know better :)
I believe this is nonsense.

People have a right to "see" a green light and an empty intersection when the light is red and there's traffic, but they shouldn't drive, and they should go to an eye doctor.

Why should "tasting" something wonderful when they put crap in their mouths be any different? Granted, they aren't a public menace, but they do need help.

Why should taste be subjective when sight isn't?


...split from How to make excellent shots with Lavazza Super Crema by moderator...
Jim Schulman

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HB
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#2: Post by HB »

another_jim wrote:Why should taste be subjective when sight isn't?
Everyone needs to agree what the colors red and green are, but they don't need to agree that green is their favorite color.
Dan Kehn

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sweaner
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#3: Post by sweaner »

It is the brain that determines sight, taste, and all senses. Red is red because that is what we are taught. We all could perceive it totally differently but would never know it. That is why people buy lime green cars. They think they look good. Oh, and a McDonald's hamburger is good, but is different than filet mignon.
Scott
LMWDP #248

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cafeIKE

#4: Post by cafeIKE »

misterdoggy wrote:My son prefers Frozen Pizza to Dover Sole. Its their inalienable right to choose and us to respect that choice.
Assuming the kid is under 21, you ought to to take him in hand and educate him. Letting little brats have their own way only begets more brats.

The biggest favor my parents ever did was 'forcing' me to eat only fresh or frozen fresh vegetables from our garden. Sure, I bitched about having to dig the garden in the spring, plant, weed, water and harvest. Today I can't thank them enough. First time I was served canned peas at a pals, I literally had no idea what they were.

I NEVER get hungry enough to eat a McDs. No one should.

CafeNoir

#5: Post by CafeNoir »

sweaner wrote:...That is why people buy lime green cars. They think they look good.
Oh man, that hurts. You're saying my 1974 signal green Opel Manta wasn't a chick magnet?

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coffee.me

#6: Post by coffee.me »

Hmmm, I opened the last page of this thread hoping for an update on some way of making "excellent shots" from Lavazza but, instead, I see a discussion on subjectivity...

Well, I :mrgreen: believe everything is subjective; taste, sight, my view that this discussion is now OT, etc ;-) .

So, since this is the "Tips and Techniques" forum, which I subjectively interpret to mean "Barista skills and experiences", which I, also subjectively, assume many other forum members will subjectively infer it to be, and hence will make it a common perception of what this forum is for and therefore not anymore merely a subjective perception but more like an objective view due to how common that understanding is: how about an updated technique on making "excellent shots with Lavazza Super Crema"? Or, subjectively speaking, on some updated technique making the best possible shots from Lavazza (and all other supposedly good, but already stale, Italian blends)?

:lol:

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michaelbenis

#7: Post by michaelbenis »

Well not all beans in a bag from Italy are stale. It depends where you get some.

I pick some up out of nostalgia from a local Italian bar and the "non-valve" bag swells massively, which says something,. And it tastes OK.

I don't prefer it to the stuff my local gourmet roasters turn out, but I do like it for a change. I find it's a bit like flushing oil for an engine.... :shock:

As for Arpi. He was all over the moon about his method and wanted to come in a share it in a somewhat "I've found the secret" manner that not surprisingly didn't go down well and then he got the hump as we put it over here on the small side of the pond. Which isn't surprising either (both that he got the hump and that we put it that way).

I really don't know what we're Arping on about... though I like Dan's colour analogy, traffic light conventions notwithstanding....

Cheers

Mike
LMWDP No. 237

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another_jim
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#8: Post by another_jim »

What I'm arping about is relatively simple -- the acquisition of correct taste.

Coffee that has been hand picked and sorted, well prepped, transported fast, and roasted by somebody who cares is better than a collection of branches, stones, unripe and rotten cherries, that are triaged, steamed, roasted, packed, and left to go stale on an assembly line. If you don't think it tastes better, your taste is incorrect in a very objective sense, you are not tasting the reality of the two coffees.

Here's the argument in a nutshell:
  • That taste is subjective would come as a very big and very lethal surprise to just about any organism, including us for most of our history, that relies on it to distinguish what will nourish from what will kill.
  • We no longer need taste to keep us alive. So we can harness the same ability to discern the chemical content of what we ingest and put it to some other use, one more playful and interesting.
  • For instance, we could use it to distinguish foods that take skill, effort and creativity from those that merely increase shareholder value.
  • If we do this, taste remains objective. Instead of distinguishing poison from food, it distinguishes quality, i.e., the rarity, skill, effort, etc, that go into foodstuffs, from trash.
It's obvious that taste is a perfectly objective sense, like all the others, albeit out of a job in the modern affluent part of the world. So why are people so misinformed? That's easy to understand too. It's the only way advertisers can persuade people that the crap which merely increases shareholder equity actually tastes good.

Mass produced food is cheaper than high grade food, and most of us have to eat much of it for budgetary reasons, We can pick and choose only a few areas where we go gourmet. So there's a temptation to delude ourselves, "It's all subjective, so if I pretend long enough that this stuff tastes right, it really will taste right."

But there's no need. The taste of, for instance, a TV dinner is rapidly acquiring the same relation to the foods in it as the picture on the TV has to the monitor -- none at all: the taste is more and more imposed by additives and processing just as the picture is imposed by the broadcast. So enjoy these foods as high tech, even occasionally highly skillful, simulations of actual taste, just as you enjoy the TV as high tech simulations of actual vision. There is neither a need to believe the simulation itself is real, nor that the reality underlying it doesn't exist.

I'm always surprised that the clarity and simplicity of this approach doesn't at least appeal to the engineering types. Instead of blathering about subjectivity, one could talk about what tastes are the hallmark of great coffees and how to get them as clearly as possible.
Jim Schulman

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cafeIKE

#9: Post by cafeIKE »

From one engineering type : Bloody Brill :!:

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CRCasey

#10: Post by CRCasey »

another_jim wrote:What I'm arping about is relatively simple -- the acquisition of correct taste.

I'm always surprised that the clarity and simplicity of this approach doesn't at least appeal to the engineering types. Instead of blathering about subjectivity, one could talk about what tastes are the hallmark of great coffees and how to get them as clearly as possible.
Amen abrother_Jim. :wink:
Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love-CMdT, LMWDP#244