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The relation between expertise and pleasure

Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
This is based on the second comment of this blog post, which inquires as to the curiosity about how, as our tastes are refined, we start to enjoy the more lowest common denominator stuff less:

The relation between expertise and pleasure is one that an economist would probably be interested in. As I've learned more about coffee and beer, I find that I really can't drink bad versions of either. In part because of this experience, I've avoided learning much about wine and find I'm very content with whatever's cheapest at Trader Joe's.

I've had exactly the same experience. And, in relation to the blog post itself, having been to China I'm actually dreading the yearly Christmas Day excursion to a "Chinese" restaurant. I haven't been able to tolerate the stuff since I got a taste of the real deal.

This seems kind of an obvious relationship on the surface, the whole connoisseur rejecting the pedestrian, but why does it happen? Do our tastes genuinely get "refined" somehow? Why do you think it is, what happens? What experiences have you had with this? Are you an "expert" of some sort who has lost your tolerance for the average experience?

It's interesting how many fields this applies to as well. It's not just food and drink of course. Literature, music, and I've noticed my tolerance for certain playstyles in games like Magic: the Gathering diminished as my abilities blossomed.

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Loren Michael on
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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    isn't this just a matter of expectations? If you're accustomed to a thing of X quality, it stands to reason you'd get less utility from using a thing of >X quality

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'd imagine it has to do with the fact that when one does refine their tastes, for example coffee, they get used to avoiding the way that cheaper versions taste.

    Quid on
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Ignorance is bliss.

    Raiden333 on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Ignorance is bliss.

    I wonder that sometimes. Would I be happier if I wasn't such an elitist about Chinese food and proper gaming etiquette?

    Loren Michael on
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  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    My two cents...

    I live in the Northwest and am a huge beer snob. I love my micros. Sometimes on a hot day though, nothing goes down better than a Corona or a pabst.

    I think its purely a thing of expectations. Something can be low quality and still be quite enjoyable in the current situation. all depends.

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  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    It's interesting how many fields this applies to as well. It's not just food and drink of course. Literature, music, and I've noticed my tolerance for certain playstyles in games like Magic: the Gathering diminished as my abilities blossomed.

    I think pleasure is refined in these sorts of situations. I only build tournament level, efficient decks in MtG and "cannot enjoy" shoddily constructed stupid decks. But I do not think my pleasure decreased. It's just that I get more pleasure than I previously did from more specific things.

    I think that is the same way with, say, gin or beer or steak. It's not that as one's tastes are refined the pleasure is decreased. Rather, pleasure increases with regard to specific things.

    Sex would be the same way, one imagines. Heightened pleasure over time from more specific positions.

    For my part, I have no problem with this phenomena.

    _J_ on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    Here's a question:

    Who has more pleasure? The world's foremost expert on everything or one who has no expertise?

    Edit: Also, is expertise just preference stilted on hubris?

    _J_ on
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I don't seem to experience this much, if at all. I've started drinking progressively better loose teas over the last few years, but I still enjoy crappy bagged tea as much as I used to (I think I enjoy it more, in fact, although that might be the "acquired taste" phenomenon regarding bitter foods kicking in). Same thing with mineral collecting; a crappy specimen doesn't intrigue me any less than it used to before I had a better one. And no matter how much I improved at M:tG, I still enjoyed playing crappy theme decks or draft decks (or decks I made an honest effort on that ended up doing poorly anyway). You know, I miss that game.

    I do have very little tolerance for the shit that some people consider "camping" or "hiking", though. If the average American could do it, I am not interested. I know that sounds pretty elitist, but there's something I just like so much more about going somewhere remote. I want to feel as though I've accomplished something.
    It's interesting how many fields this applies to as well. It's not just food and drink of course. Literature, music, and I've noticed my tolerance for certain playstyles in games like Magic: the Gathering diminished as my abilities blossomed.
    You're not one of those weenies who can't stand playing against a control deck, are you?

    CycloneRanger on
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I actually find that, especially for games or other competitive activities, I have more pleasure when I have less expectations. And I'm not a competitive person. It's just that when I'm new everything is different and interesting, and since I don't really care about what I'm doing in the long term I have no problem with doing whatever feels fun at the time, regardless of winning or losing.

    However, if something holds my interest enough then I will explore the competitive aspects. I can have just as much fun playing something competitively, but I can tell that it's a different kind of fun, and I can't go back to just fucking around unless I force myself to.

    There isn't much in between the extremes: either I don't take it seriously and have fun fucking around, or I take it seriously and have fun playing competitively. I have a lot of trouble just half-assing it and end up in a place where I'm not good enough to compete on a level that will make me happy but I'm experienced enough to not have much fun sucking it up.

    Books and TV and movies and whatever else? Hard to say. I can't watch Hollywood blockbusters anymore without physically cringing and I tend to watch a lot of foreign films or films from directors I trust, yet I can still fully enjoy b-movie Zombie dreck like I did when I was 11. I haven't been able to return to the scf-fi pulp that I read in my youth, though; it just bores me.

    With food I can almost believe that my tastes really do change. Food that I didn't enjoy a year ago I crave now, and things that I might not have minded are horrible. I was reminded of this recently when someone took me out to the Mandarin. I've never liked that place, but I've always been able to find a couple of items that were safe enough to eat. This time was different: every single item I tried was just bland and awful, so I just ate a bunch of salad.

    Strangely, in regards to the blog and comments, I adore Korean food. It's probably my favourite right now, and this comes after a long love affair with Vietnamese food (which I still really enjoy). Toronto actually has a lot of very good Korean places and I eat in them regularly. Last time I visited Montreal I took my younger brother down to Chinatown and found pretty much the only Korean place there. As we were taking our seats one of the other customers actually came up to us and told us that he'd just got back from a stay in South Korea and this food was the real deal, just as good as any place he'd been to in Korea. I was glad for that, but a little put off that they didn't have any gamjatang (I asked the owner and she told me it was just too much work O_o). So I had something else, and while it was alright, it just didn't taste the way I wanted it to and I didn't enjoy it. It was also much more expensive than I was used to. Now, I've never been to Korea, but if that's what they're serving over there then I actually prefer the stuff that I'm getting in Toronto. But I find it hard to believe that the place I went to in Montreal was more authentic than the places I go to already.

    How would you distinguish between this idea and someone's tastes just maturing?

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    There's another phenomenon at work, though, especially when it comes to games. Some things are just better the first time, and subsequent games aren't quite the same—not because you've become a gaming snob or whatever (although that may have happened too), but because it just isn't your first time anymore.

    I remember the first time I played D&D and the first time I played M:tG. The latter especially was awesome precisely because I didn't understand everything yet. Playing a 3/3 Ogre Warrior for four mana gave me a thrill because the ogre looked badass and I'd never played a goddamn ogre before. I wouldn't enjoy it as much again because I've done it before, not because it was a mediocre experience and I've moved beyond that.

    I will note that my ability to enjoy a poorly-run or poorly-designed RPG session has decreased considerably, though. I think my enjoyment of it at first was partly due to novelty and partly due to my not knowing that things could be better (the latter being the subject of this thread as I read it). Not so for most other games I've played.

    CycloneRanger on
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I know a great deal about wine and have no problem with 2 buck chuck. Restaurants are a different story. Good food can be hard to find when dining out. I had a 400 dollar meal (between two) a couple of months ago and it was very meh. I think expectations have a lot to do with it and those expectations cut both ways. I've read that wine experts enjoy good wine a lot more when they can see the label.

    themightypuck on
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  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    There's another phenomenon at work, though, especially when it comes to games. Some things are just better the first time, and subsequent games aren't quite the same—not because you've become a gaming snob or whatever (although that may have happened too), but because it just isn't your first time anymore.

    Different kinds of pleasure could needlessly complicate the situation. "Novelty pleasure" against "expertise pleasure" is...something.

    _J_ on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I've found that, while this is true, expectations can diminish over time.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    It doesn't just have to be novelty vs expertise. Some games just aren't worth (or conducive to) expertise, while others demand it. I could never play Quake at a low level because I know what is required to play it well, but I had no problem playing Half-Life deathmatch in any way I chose because it's a shallower experience and I knew I was just going to get whatever fun I could out of it before the novelty wore off. There wasn't even a chance of getting any additional pleasure out of that through experience.

    Experience can work the other way, as well. For instance: I have fun playing Street Fighter or the Vs series with friends because I can play them in a fun manner. I get absolutely no pleasure out of playing either series competitively because I find the strategies and skills required to be boring and tedious. I've heard the same comments about Tekken, and I've experienced it a bit: it's fun to play a bit, learn some juggles, but competitive play is so specific and repetitive that it turns some people off. I can't even watch competitive Tekken it's bores me so.

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    There's another phenomenon at work, though, especially when it comes to games. Some things are just better the first time, and subsequent games aren't quite the same—not because you've become a gaming snob or whatever (although that may have happened too), but because it just isn't your first time anymore.

    Different kinds of pleasure could needlessly complicate the situation. "Novelty pleasure" against "expertise pleasure" is...something.
    Well, some stuff just isn't the same the second time around.

    How does your enjoyment of a particular joke vary with the number of times you've heard it? What about a Weird Al song? Novelty (and nostalgia) seem to be different from what Loren is talking about.

    CycloneRanger on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    There's another phenomenon at work, though, especially when it comes to games. Some things are just better the first time, and subsequent games aren't quite the same—not because you've become a gaming snob or whatever (although that may have happened too), but because it just isn't your first time anymore.

    Different kinds of pleasure could needlessly complicate the situation. "Novelty pleasure" against "expertise pleasure" is...something.
    Well, some stuff just isn't the same the second time around.

    How does your enjoyment of a particular joke vary with the number of times you've heard it? What about a Weird Al song? Novelty (and nostalgia) seem to be different from what Loren is talking about.

    I think that we have to dump all "novelty pleasure" into the "novelty" bucket such that they are not "pleasure qua pleasure" but rather are "pleasure qua novelty".

    Because if we keep novelty pleasures on the same continuum as expertise pleasure then we're fucked. Because someone can say "the first time i had salmon was the best time i had salmon, fuck you" and expertise loses some virtue.

    So if we put all "novelty" pleasure into a seperate sort of thing, then we can talk about expertise without having to rectify its relation to novelty. We just say "novelty is something other than which we are discussing".

    _J_ on
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    There's another phenomenon at work, though, especially when it comes to games. Some things are just better the first time, and subsequent games aren't quite the same—not because you've become a gaming snob or whatever (although that may have happened too), but because it just isn't your first time anymore.

    Different kinds of pleasure could needlessly complicate the situation. "Novelty pleasure" against "expertise pleasure" is...something.
    Well, some stuff just isn't the same the second time around.

    How does your enjoyment of a particular joke vary with the number of times you've heard it? What about a Weird Al song? Novelty (and nostalgia) seem to be different from what Loren is talking about.

    I think that we have to dump all "novelty pleasure" into the "novelty" bucket such that they are not "pleasure qua pleasure" but rather are "pleasure qua novelty".

    Because if we keep novelty pleasures on the same continuum as expertise pleasure then we're fucked. Because someone can say "the first time i had salmon was the best time i had salmon, fuck you" and expertise loses some virtue.

    So if we put all "novelty" pleasure into a seperate sort of thing, then we can talk about expertise without having to rectify its relation to novelty. We just say "novelty is something other than which we are discussing".
    Er... this is a reversal of your previous position, right? You were arguing with me before, and now you seem to be agreeing that we ought to try to discount the effects of novelty when looking at this phenomenon.


    Also, I hate the word "qua" in a way totally inappropriate to its status as a mere word. I guess you could say I hate "qua" qua qua, but that I do not hate "qua" qua "qua".

    CycloneRanger on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think it's all more of a "value vs. function" argument.

    How often do you find yourself saying, "Hey, this is pretty good for a ______?" Probably a lot. Have you ever had a Nathan's Hot Dog? Amazing. Quarter pound of kosher beef on a warm potato bun with sauerkraut . . . delicious shit right there, man. And you can usually snag one for under a buck or so. You really can't do better.

    Unless you want something better than a hot dog. And then, even the most well-prepared Nathan's can't hold a candle to the most modest prime cut of steak or seafood. And sushi? Forget it. There's a reason it's so expensive: it's fucking incredible.

    But what makes all these things worth the expense? Generally, a combined value of "complexity" and "quality preparation." You can get a sirloin from your local butcher and grill it with salt and pepper, and have a very nice dinner. Or you can get a Wagyu filet seared at 1500 degrees and marinated in white peppercorn au poive, and have a religious experience.


    But you can't have that experience if you don't know how to discern those tastes, and just like any other form of appreciation (be it musical, cinematic, alcoholic, et al), that comes with experience and guided study. So it's a bold and endangering choice to enter the world of elitism, but I personally feel the reward is worth the suffering of pretenders and diversions to the quest. But that's just me, and I like to know what I'm missing.

    Ignorance isn't bliss, because the ignorant have no knowledge of bliss. Ignorance is only the lack of awareness.

    Atomika on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Ignorance is bliss.

    I wonder that sometimes. Would I be happier if I wasn't such an elitist about Chinese food and proper gaming etiquette?

    you're not an elitist about Chinese food. Chinese food in America (outside of dirty chinatown places) is not Chinese food. It's white people food served over rice. They just call it Chinese for shits and giggles.

    Sam on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Ignorance isn't bliss, because the ignorant have no knowledge of bliss

    it's bliss in the sense that it'd be nice to be able to just shut up and go eat meatball marinara sludge with my friends instead arguing for going to a place that serves gnocchi and risotto because they'd rather eat large portions.

    No seriously stop calling American goombah food Italian. It's not. It's American junk food that takes inspiration from the more unhealthy basic Italian dishes.

    See? I wish I didn't know.

    Sam on
  • KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2009
    A man experiencing a sunset with a pleasure-heightening cigar might be less lucky than a man in the same position who does not experience it with a cigar - the former will have to spend money on future cigars or feel somewhat bereft. Why bother to learn how to enjoy cigars in that situation?

    Of course, in many ways it is easier to be of the lowest common denominators so much of society caters to, but with out level of technology we'll have to rely on reams of subjective data from many subjects and tests to accumulate anything meaningful.

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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Ignorance isn't bliss, because the ignorant have no knowledge of bliss

    it's bliss in the sense that it'd be nice to be able to just shut up and go eat meatball marinara sludge with my friends instead arguing for going to a place that serves gnocchi and risotto because they'd rather eat large portions.

    What I meant is that the ignorant can't really know bliss. "Bliss" is a pretty strong word. The ignorant might know "eh, pretty good," at best.

    Atomika on
  • METAzraeLMETAzraeL Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Expertise would kind of vary between types of subjects, I would think. If it's something competitive, such as MtG, it makes more sense that you would stick to the best you can do, because you know how to do it. Whereas with music, you start to see types of song structures as banal or production styles as cheap and soulless. Some music "experts" confine their listening to certain time periods only, or certain genres, while others will allow for some leeway.

    I suppose I see it as people losing their flexibility and choosing only what will please them the most in a given situation based on their experiences. And, as others reach the same level of built-up experiences, they will form similar "expertise" in that field and solidify the idea that that is right. But it is what experiences you have that determines the breadth of your expertise - someone getting into metal who only ever listens to metalcore and slam-stop brutal death metal, whether because they don't have more exposure or had a negative experience with other styles, will certainly be an expert of what they listen to, but they would certainly not be an expert of metal. Kind of a small-town kid in the city for the first time scenario - they were perhaps experts of their environment before, but if they move beyond it they will no longer be.

    METAzraeL on

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  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Ignorance is bliss.

    I wonder that sometimes. Would I be happier if I wasn't such an elitist about Chinese food and proper gaming etiquette?
    Probably.

    Hacksaw on
  • The Black HunterThe Black Hunter Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    My friends tell me that my music taste is total shit and their's rocks because their's is consisting of bands with top singles

    Short stack will never be good, I don't fucking care if they got a #1

    The Black Hunter on
  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Ignorance isn't bliss, because the ignorant have no knowledge of bliss

    it's bliss in the sense that it'd be nice to be able to just shut up and go eat meatball marinara sludge with my friends instead arguing for going to a place that serves gnocchi and risotto because they'd rather eat large portions.

    What I meant is that the ignorant can't really know bliss. "Bliss" is a pretty strong word. The ignorant might know "eh, pretty good," at best.

    this is a nice thought if you are already sold on a particular position, but I'm not sure it's true.

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  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    People enjoy things most when they are better than before.

    Expertise means you are more likely to get something better, but it also means there is a lot more before to be better than.

    Technicality on
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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Something like music is a lot more complicated. Enjoying it depends on so many more things besides just you knowledge. Mood and setting can really change how you listen to music and what you get out of it. There's also a social and cultural aspects.

    But for general listening I do think that putting effort into selecting music will reward the listener more than just listening to whatever happens to be on the radio.

    And there's music that requires knowledge or at least strict attention to properly enjoy. And it can be very rewarding. At the same time, though, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a pop song now and again, because they're candy and they can do what they do very well. I think music critics do a lot to confirm this idea: you can take the most elite and snobtastic music magazines or websites and when you look at their top albums of the year, or just general reviews, there are always a few top 40s pop albums or songs that make it onto the lists, and not just for the sake of irony.

    I guess my point is that it's possible to enjoy a Lady Gaga song while you also own every John Cage and Captain Beefheart album. It depends on where you are and what you're doing.

    (Although, having said that, even something like your taste in food will vary greatly depending on things like what you were eating as a kid or how hungry you are at the time.)

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The "ignorance is bliss" thing really raises two issues.

    If I'm ignorant of slaughterhouse practices, I might enjoy a hamburger or a fur coat; my enjoyment might be lessened once I learn how those products are made. That seems a simple enough evaluation of costs.

    The chinese food example is more interesting. Do you actually get less enjoyment out of bad food as a result of being exposed to good food, or do you just notice the difference?

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    It seems like the difference between experiencing things as they are, and things as they are in relationship to other things.

    If you are attached to the luxurious thing, you will never be happy with the plain version.

    It isn't so much a question of expertise or ignorance, it is a question of being content with the world as it is and not yearning for pleasures that aren't available at the moment. Knowledge is good and usefull, the mental attitude of being spoiled and fussy is not.

    At least, this is what I picked up from Stoic writers.

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  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I hope that the stoics don't consider that the way to go, as it seems incredibly stupid to me. Why should I be satisfied with shit when I can get much better with minimal effort and cost to myself? Unless the supposed pleasures aren't available(just noticed that bit), in which case what is the point anyhow? If something is not possible, how can you attain it in the first place? This doesn't really seem to have a bearing to the issue of expertise, as it IS possible to gain expertise in something like food or wine etc.

    As for my particular weakness, tea. I used to use the teabags like most people do, and then I realized that I'd been drinking horrible, horrible sludge for my whole life. I moved to looseleaf tea(which is, while being of far superior quality, also usually cheaper by weight than teabags), and never looked back. It was like moving from drinking from a ditch to using a tap with clean water. Gaining a taste for the good stuff in this case has made it all but impossible for me to enjoy tea made with teabags anymore, unless they're made by one of those companies that use proper tea in their manufacture. None of that tea dust and fannings that's so popular with Lipton and their ilk due to quick steeping(while containing most of the bitterness and little flavour) for me thank you very much.

    Gaining a little expertise in these things can help you to appreciate the good things you have that much more. Without the expertise, you'll still appreciate it, just probably not as much, as you don't have much in the way of reference.

    I was shown this, and found it very funny as it sums up my view of the issue very well.
    2009-10-02-557tea.gif

    Rhan9 on
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    I've had exactly the same experience. And, in relation to the blog post itself, having been to China I'm actually dreading the yearly Christmas Day excursion to a "Chinese" restaurant. I haven't been able to tolerate the stuff since I got a taste of the real deal.

    I think the blog post does a great job of explaining this one. You have tasted the food made with fresh vegetables. Something that a lot of the restaurants do not necessarily have access to. It isn't necessarily that you don't like the food as a rule anymore, but having felt a nice cool breeze, you do not care as much for standing right in front of a fan. That is, a lot of the otherwise subtle cues that you wouldn't have known to look for are missing, and you feel beat with the rest of the work.


    I don't know as I can extend this to other items that well. Music is an interesting one. As you learn more of the difficulties of drumming (for example, keeping upwards of 9 beats going), might you will learn to appreciate a band that you didn't care for before? Same with singing, as you learn more about the task of keeping a pure note, might you care less for the singing of most popular artists?

    I can say that, having bought my first 8oz bottle of Balsamic Vinegar for 50 bucks, I was blown away by how much better it is than the stuff you are typically served. Stuff which, I might add, I used to love. This new bottle is a sublime experience that I am sure I will miss every time I have balsamic in a store again. And it is funny, tasting it and the good Whole Foods brand next to each other, they are close, but enough apart that I have no problems telling one from the other.

    taeric on
  • Mr. PokeylopeMr. Pokeylope Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In regards to wine, one thing that I've noticed is that people don't know as much as they thing they do and are often using other cues to determine the quality of a product than just taste.

    For example we've set up a tasting of products with a different price ranges that all came out of the same tank of wine. People without fail will pick out the product with the most expense package as being the best. I had people talk crap about my companies wines and then talk up a competitor who's wine we supplied and bottled for them.

    It seems that part of what people are buying when purchasing a bottle is the idea that they are part of the elite wine drinkers and it's become no different than buying a brand of shoe's to show off the label. Just people are much more full of themselves about it.

    Mr. Pokeylope on
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In regards to wine, one thing that I've noticed is that people don't know as much as they thing they do and are often using other cues to determine the quality of a product than just taste.

    For example we've set up a tasting of products with a different price ranges that all came out of the same tank of wine. People without fail will pick out the product with the most expense package as being the best. I had people talk crap about my companies wines and then talk up a competitor who's wine we supplied and bottled for them.

    It seems that part of what people are buying when purchasing a bottle is the idea that they are part of the elite wine drinkers and it's become no different than buying a brand of shoe's to show off the label. Just people are much more full of themselves about it.

    This is something I've noticed about wine as well. To me, it's all the same if the wine costs 5€ or 50€, if it is good(as if I'd buy something worth 50€, I don't have the money to spare).Then some people start tasting "round" and "square" shapes and...

    Anyhow, there are legitimate differences in wines, but some people in that field seem to be so full of shit I can't even begin to describe it.

    Rhan9 on
  • JurgJurg In a TeacupRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    As far as Magic the Gathering goes, I find that knowing more about the game decreases my enjoyment of it. Spikes rob the game of all its creativity when they netdeck. And Wizards is terrible at their job from a creative angle; they make decisions to make money, not to make a better game. (Johnny on a budget, here.)

    Regarding the actual topic, expertise just makes you pine for the better experience. You have to balance the costs of that. This perspective can afford you a better appreciation of quality things at the cost of decreased pleasure for worse products. If that is worth it to you, than by all means, be an expert.

    It's like, I'll be a huge elitist about videogames, criticizing even the most miniscule of design decisions, because I enjoy crafting in my head the perfect game; one that succeeds on every little check. But then, every now and then, I'll play a game that is incredibly simple, yet has enough charm to be completely mind-blowing. My preference tends towards complex JRPGs, but games like Gitaroo Man and Rhythm Heaven gain so much from simple charm, worth more than even the most complicated of nuanced menus.

    EDIT- I've never had wine, but I've tasted "round" tastes in things like fruit flavored drinks. It's just a metaphor for the order in which the various tastes come. Like how 7-up tastes fizzy and has an unusual aftertaste, while 7-upside down (one of the coolest sodas ever) reverses that order.

    Jurg on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Being more aware of the quality of something allows you to appreciate it on more levels. A child likes candy because HOLY HELL SUGAR. An adult may enjoy a cup of tea because of the complexity of the flavor, the bouquet, etc. If education makes you less able to enjoy $0.49 ramen noodles, then how is that anything but a positive? You should be dissatisfied with cheap goods, and if more people were then maybe everything wouldn't be so goddamn Walmart quality.

    TL DR on
  • Mr. PokeylopeMr. Pokeylope Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Being more aware of the quality of something allows you to appreciate it on more levels. A child likes candy because HOLY HELL SUGAR. An adult may enjoy a cup of tea because of the complexity of the flavor, the bouquet, etc. If education makes you less able to enjoy $0.49 ramen noodles, then how is that anything but a positive? You should be dissatisfied with cheap goods, and if more people were then maybe everything wouldn't be so goddamn Walmart quality.

    There's nothing wrong with appreciating fine things, the problem comes from using what you buy to judge your self worth and those of others. And that doesn't make you better than the unwashed masses, just a consumer whore.

    Mr. Pokeylope on
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Jurg wrote: »
    EDIT- I've never had wine, but I've tasted "round" tastes in things like fruit flavored drinks. It's just a metaphor for the order in which the various tastes come. Like how 7-up tastes fizzy and has an unusual aftertaste, while 7-upside down (one of the coolest sodas ever) reverses that order.

    No, they sometimes use actual geometric shapes to describe a taste sensation. I don't get that. I understand a "rounded" or "sharp" or "jagged" taste, as they can mean things like the evenness of the taste sensation and such, but when things start tasting triangular and square and circle etc., well, you've lost me. I don't know enough about wine tasting to comment on how common this is, but I hope it's some kind of a border case. I keep running into those occasionally.

    Rhan9 on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    this relates to the question of utility in general

    is gaining pleasure sufficient? is there a difference between the pleasure I get now from reading excellent, critically lauded literature, and the pleasure I received from reading shlocky Conan books when I was 12 years old? is the current pleasure superior? or is it equivalent, and thus becoming more "refined" means I have fewer avenues to pleasure and am thus, in fact, inferior?

    or is there something besides pleasure, some other positive experience, which I gain from reading a "literary" book - one that is difficult, one that challenges me, one that I have to work to appreciate - and is that positive experience "better," or simply different?

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    how much expertise is false anyway? I have a feeling the increased enjoyment is often due to the perception of being an expert and following certain norms. see wine tasters not really being able to taste more than 4 different flavors: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703683804574533840282653628.html

    valiance on
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