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Personal taste Tue, Feb 28, 2012
A short while ago, I was at a wine tasting at a vineyard in Italy, and the head honcho tried to explain in his Italian-accented English the importance of personal taste.  He said something like, "My wine has won awards all over the world.  It's widely regarded as a great wine by people who know what they're talking about.  But if you don't like it, that's ok; you're allowed to not like it."  I like that whole idea.  I sometimes have unusual tastes in wines, music, hobbies, etc.  And I often feel compelled to try to explain why my tastes don't match up with the tastes of "the people who know what they're talking about."  But when it comes down to it, personal taste is a circular argument; it is what it is.  You can't convince me to like something I don't like.  And that's that. #psychology

Stock market news Tue, Feb 14, 2012
I subscribe to the CNN Breaking News Twitter feed.  It's good for small doses of relatively important news items.  One item that tends to show up every day or so is something about the stock market.  This morning it said something about a European country doing something ... yadda yadda ... and the Dow Jones is up 31 points.  The Dow is at almost 13000 right now.  A 31-point increase or decrease is about a quarter of a percentage point.  To be honest, I'm not the kind of person who's interested in financial news to begin with, but it seems to me that for something to be "breaking news," it should at least break the one percent mark. #money