Entertainment Quantified

May 13, 2023 - General

The Problem with Experts

Today I was looking for a coffee grinder. I wanted something that looked stylish on the counter and was really good at what it does. A friend of mine Tweeted that for Mothers Day she got this one that was at the top of my list. I’m not naming it simply because the name of that grinder doesn’t matter in this story. I decided to get serious about buying this $345 grinder. To do that I went to YouTube to watch a review of it. This is where the trouble began. The author of the video compared it to the older version of the grinder which he said didn’t give a fine enough grind for his needs. That the new version was far superior in this effort. He said that the finer grind gave off notes of flavor that were lost on the old version of the grinder. However, this subtlety would be lost on the masses.

I got to thinking about other areas of my life where the “subtlety would be lost on the masses.” I came up with a host of topics. From music, where a set of speakers has a gentleness to them that most people can’t hear, to wine where the flavor is better in odd years than in even years. I don’t drink anymore, but when I did I was once called a wine snob. I don’t want to be known for that though. I think that these subtleties that are lost on the masses are actually bullshit.

On this blog you will find a host of topics from what to do if you put dish soap in the dishwasher to music and video game reviews. The blog started as a movie review outlet because I thought that I had what it takes to be a snob about movies. I don’t. I like obscure movies, rock music, and action/RPG video games.

I don’t have the complex pallet to differentiate between two different grinds of coffee. Heck, I own a Keurig coffee maker because it’s fast and sometimes I don’t want to wait for a French Press or a pour over. Can I taste the difference? Yes, but it isn’t night and day as people would make it out to be. Same thing is true with music, movies, and video games. I like what I like.

For me it isn’t about hearing something, tasting something, or experiencing something that the average user cannot, it’s about the ritual of the whole thing. With music I listen mostly to streamed music, but occasionally I listen to records because I enjoy the ritual of dusting off a record and putting it on the turntable. As I said above I own a Keurig but occasionally I enjoy the ritual of a pour over or a French Press.

This blog isn’t to say, “I know more than you about something.” This blog is a journey of mine that I’m asking you to come along on. It is starting to anger me that these experts say things like, “there’s a little bit up top, not much, but just enough to say this is a better widget.” So what?!?

So what does this have to do with the coffee grinder? Well the coffee grinder would only be there to add to the coffee ritual. It wouldn’t actually add to my enjoyment. So I’m not going to pay $345 for a grinder. I’m already spending too much on things that experts tell me I need. I don’t need their approval anymore.