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General Discussion 53

Scientific Methods Misapplied to the Evaluation of Cuisine

Fake Name | May 16, 201506:32 AM

A recent thread introduced the application of scientific method to experience cuisine. More than one respected participant freely and openly (and without shame!) admitted to using these methods to evaluate dining experiences.

I have much respect for scientific method. I have similar respect for accountants and engineers, all are comfortable with maths, and entire area of expertise I’ll never master.

But it’s simply the wrong tool for the wrong job.

Does anyone care what typewriter was used by Tolstoy?
What quill used be Shakespeare?
What brush by DaVinci?
The exact quantity (as a percentage!) of ochre in a Starry Night?

We rightfully shouldn’t care, because these are tools used to create something vastly elevated from their tools and their methods. Focusing attention on these unrelated details interferes with the experience of that result- the emotional component. Mental health professionals will argue using scientific methods to evaluate emotional response to certain stimulus is a way to control and “tame” that response- a way to keep distance- like turning down the volume when a sad song plays on the radio.

Art is meant to be emotionally provoking, to help us feel and experience life in new ways- to help us discover ourselves just a little bit more than we expect. Applying scientific methods insults the intentions of the artist and damages the relationship to that expression.

Put down the pencil, put away the paper, delete the spreadsheet and open the heart.

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