Ockham’s Razor on Vino

occam.jpg is a catalyst to conversation, a social lubricant and an opiate for the senses. So, though it may help to know a little bit about , it’s best really to know a lot more about something else, and then to drink and share your knowledge in a social setting, whilst listening more than you speak, so as to keep the things going and learn more. Christopher Hitchens was ranked by the Economist in 2006 as one of the world’s greatest living conversationalists, and one may think that that is an odd thing to be. But really it’s not, we can only learn more and help people understand through conversations. What I love about the world today is how much knowledge is available, literally at our fingertips. From Tom Friedman, to Jared Diamon, Will Durrant, and most recently Ivar Ekeland.  I’m in huge debt to such scholars, who have enriched my understanding of the world.

Wine has always been business for me, so I try to avoid talking about it in social settings, because it’s what I spend a lot of my day talking about anyway. Whenever I can, I go out of my way to read and talk about anything but wine. Books like ‘The Best of All Possible Worlds: Mathematics and Destiny’, which trace a single thread to the multitudinous overlays within the palimpsest of technology, ethics, history, philosophy and science often leave me in awe, and even after having read passages three or four times, I still battle to relay the gist in any complimentary fashion to someone who asks ‘what you reading?’ One thing I did get loud and clear from Ekeland is the ‘principle of least action which is ultimately a rendition of Ockham’s Razor, where William of Ockam wrote that the simplest solution is the best. Many cultures have had similar revelations, such as in the Tao Te Ching, translated by Thomas Cleary, where the overwhelming message is that we should follow the path of least resistance if we wish to go the furthest.
And yet, no matter how many times it has been stated, it still seems counter-intuitive to many of us raised on notions of back-breaking Calvinism… but there is certainly something to it. The wine industry places so much value on free run juice, and yet, as soon as it comes to taking that juice to market, we put it through a complicated system which ultimately drives up the prices, decreases margins and chokes the industry. There is a compromise however, and like any system in its development, its working through its kinks. But what I am confident of is that what is driving the push against linear monopolised distribution models is a need for simplicity. We want to remove the old monolithic structures which pollute this industry and help prime the pumps for a faster, more efficient and diverse wine distribution network.However, as I say, most of us don’t have the time to research wine, and nor should we be spending valuable conversation time talking too much about it. Ultimately what the average person needs is a tool that helps them select a wine they like, find a cool recipe and perhaps find a way to have it delivered, without having to think too much about it. Tastevine believes that wine is stifled by all the unnecessary complexity, and ultimately the industry will truly flourish once someone makes way for the path of least resistance and shows that the simplest solution is the best.

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