Monday, 4 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.04

Interesting times in the State. The CPD, Home Guard and CalNav in joint military actions all over the place, up to and including orbital bombardment.

Naturally, CPD and Home Guard are handling the situation with all of the public relations delicacy and skill for which they're renowned. Legal action is flying thick and fast, and has even swept up a few of the involved capsuleers which is... unprecedented, as far as I know. I'm not entirely sure whether I'm not among them because I'm a director in an extraterritorial corporation, because I'm Ishukone rather than KK, or because my language on the IGS was sufficiently diplomatic. Probably a little of all three.

Elsewhere, we got into a conversation about wine last night on the Summit after somebody expressed a fondness for Caldari wines... now, I'm no great wine drinker, but I got nettled when the suggestion was offered that you can't make a real wine on, quote: "Some megacorporate factory-farm".

Taste and scent are purely chemical senses. if the substance in your glass falls inside the range of chemical balances (mostly water, then ethanol, then a delicate balance of fruit sugars - "Passion" is not among the list of ingredients) that it thinks of as a "good wine" then you absolutely can make good wine that way. You could make a wine that was indistinguishable from any of these ultra-rare collectors' vintages laid down by nth-generation vintners in some obscure corner of lowsec according to a traditional blah blah blah...

Point is, if I hand a neutral test subject two glasses of a chemically identical substance and tell them that one contains l'eau du cheval '97 and the other is the product of a megacorporate factory farm, the test subject will very probably tell me that the one with the fancy name tastes better, despite there being no chemical reason this should be the case. This is a known psychosomatic response - people prime themselves for an experience based on their foreknowledge of the context of the experience.

Now if what you're after is the meta-experience of indulging in something rare and special that was made in a peaceful sunny valley somewhere, great! And I completely agree that no SuVee corporate farm would ever replicate that experience. But if what you're after is great-tasting wine, then the farm absolutely CAN produce that. Accurately, perfectly, every time.

At this point it was suggested that I am a joyless Sansha initiate who sees no magic in life. Though to be fair this comment was later retracted and apologized for.

"Seeing the magic in life" must a shorthand for autohypnotic mental legerdemain, I suppose. Call me strange, but I see nothing magical or beautiful in lying to yourself, and this idea that the vintner's identity, family tradition and unsustainable business model have any bearing on the taste of the wine certainly does constitute lying to yourself.

Isn't it more beautiful to see what those things really do improve? They improve the overall context and experience of the drink, rather than the flavour of the drink. I'd rather have a good wine and ruminate on rustic lifestyles and human connection across dozens of light years be deluded into thinking that "being made with love" improves the taste.

Even better, I'd rather have a good beer. Wine's not really my thing.

Save. End.

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