This blog is highly personal, makes no attempt at being politically correct, will occasionaly offend your sensibility, and certainly does not represent the opinions of the people I work with or for.
Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

Another very interesting talk from TED, which was quite revealing, in many levels, but in particular because I discovered that one of my well known traits is "normal": I always need to know what I am eating before eating it.

This imperative has been a great source of disagreement between Aubrey and I in the past because she could not get me to eat Chinese food in restaurants as she could not (or did not want to) tell me what I was eating. Of course this goes beyond Chinese food and is true for anything I eat, but was very accentuated with Chinese food (where you can easily be eating anything disguised as anything else -- a form of art in Chinese cuisine apparently). And of course (this goes without saying), my reluctance in eating what I could not mentally recognize has nothing to do with the fact that I cannot eat some kinds of food. I can eat almost anything. What she could not get was the fact that "knowing" is the first step of taste for me, and missing this step was not negotiable. The second step after knowing is smelling. Indeed, smell carries a higher value to me than taste, when it comes to food or even people.

Of course, in times of war/famine or any kind of exceptional circumstances, I would lift my preferences and eat whatever source of protein is available (even some really non kosher stuff), but then this would be for obvious biological imperatives and the experience would not necessarily be pleasant (unless rat actually tastes good). This said, I do not see why I should pay money (in a restaurant) to submit myself to an unpleasant experience.

Every part of this talk could easily be the subject of another weblog entry. I will just stop here...