Artificial selection – like dog breeding, or grape farming – is a subset of natural selection. Artificial selection is natural selection with a layer of rationalism. Rationalism is necessary to orient and fix the behavior of the humans.
So economy is a subset of ecology. I think it’s interesting that the word “economy” is older than the word “ecology.” Economy was discovered by the ancient Greeks. Ecology was discovered in the 19th century, along with … natural selection – and bottled beer. But geologically ecology existed long before economy did. Knowledge expands outward and inclusively as it accrues.
Symbiants can be arbitrarily divided into three classes based on their effect on the fitness of their host or co-species: Parasite. Comensal. Mutualist. Daniel Dennet expands this model to explore cultural symbiosis. Which memes are harmful, neutral or beneficial to the host? Religion. Agriculture. Baseball. Presidential elections. Twerking. The internet is consumed with situating these in a hierarchy of value – in order to favor one over another. Because of competition.
Wine culture sits at a tangled intersection of selection processes, natural and artificial.
Gallery curators, DJs, subscribers to dating websites, bloggers – how do their selection processes work? How direct or symbolic, how mutual or parasitic? What is the ecological impact?
In an earlier post on this blog I criticised a wine selling practice exemplified by a grower of California Pinot Noir. It’s important to note that my critique is entirely situated within an arbitrary assumption – that the interests of The Consumer are either served or taxed by this system and the values it delivers. For a blog hoping to attract viewers – to self replicate – this is a reasonable tactic. Because the numbers of consumers are large and largely disconnected from the ornate mechanics of wine value production. It’s something in the culture that might be exploited. The originality of this insight is inversely proportional to its safety as a starting point.
There are essentially two kinds of wine commentary – boosterism and flame-throwing. These tend to self-perpetuate, so that certain fora and associated fora clusters seem dedicated to a certain sanitary happiness while others feel like yelling matches over minutiae. These are not interesting to me.
So this is the thick layer of rationalist house paint I want to cover this blog with. It should be balanced. Criticism can’t be suppressed, but it should be fair and situated in the understanding of who’s or what’s interests are being represented. Maybe this is how to avoid the ends of the spectrum, so that these posts and reader comments are worthy of replication.
We shall see.
Thank you for reading!