From Marginal Revolution, thanks to my buddy James:
My thoughts (and why sociology wins again, kind of)
This is brilliant. I’m trying to decide if I would defect based on how good the food was.
Also, I recently had a class where the students who led the discussion had us do a blind taste test of red velvet cake. 5 Different Cakes.
Costco cake was most popular
Safeway was third most popular (and my favorite…it honestly was the best, I know you trust my palate, it had the best frosting the Costco one was cloying at best)
Sprinkles was the least popular.
When asked, before the cake origins were revealed, which cakes people would bring to…
…PTA meeting? Safeway.
…Fancy Dinner Party? Sprinkles.
Problematically, the majority taste isn’t the most sophisticated taste, but it carries implications from Carroll and Swaminathan on the microbrewery movement as an organizational ecological response to the consolidation of major breweries and their production of homgenous low-quality beer. So – a) sophistication of taste is more socially constructed than most of us who think we have good taste would like to admit (part of it is caught up in an identity of “not liking the mainstream”) and b) there’s a mainstream market to fit our non-mainstream tastes.
Thus, by still picking the median-favorite cake without knowing what others would choose, I feel legitimated in having non-average tastes.
In my battle banquet I’d distribute the 5 cakes along the table and watch as some people tried to stay in place and others tried to move and then how people’s desires to move or stay in place affected the perceptions and desires of others…