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« June 2, 2001 | Main | Duplicate Macedonia-2 Post »

July 02, 2007


Eric Burns
Clever. Unfortunately, also wrong, on a deeper level.

Well, yeah. As with all cheap gags -- either they're essentially wrong, or they highlight an essential truth, or both.

Were I to discuss the matter more seriously, instead of as a leadin to a rather silly story about baristas as maenids, I'd say that mythology and religion both seek the same ultimate goal -- to give reason and purpose to a world that seems otherwise random.


(Hit post too soon. ;) )

In the end, there is little difference between "Thor threw his hammer" and "it was God's will the lightning should strike, and we must have faith His reasons were good ones." It is an explanation of that which to the observer was both unexplainable and seemingly capricious.

Science, on the other hand, explains far more precisely.

The scientific explanation for Starbucks' coffee is they burn the beans as part of the roasting process. It gives them a distinctive flavor (that many hate) that is immediately recognizable as "the starbucks drip coffee." And, as you say, it's not where they make their money so the branding is more important than the coffeemaking.

But see, that's not as much fun to write as lying storytelling.

Moe Lane

All true, but I needed an excuse to write something. :)

Blake Winton

Sadly, the coffee-hangs-around-too-long explanation is also wrong, since (at least at the Starbucks in my neighbourhood) they throw out the remainders every 20 minutes, and put the containers into the dishwasher. (I agree with Eric's explanation. Heck, they even boast about it in their display cases, with the various stages of roasting "Green (Unroasted)", "Light Roast", "Dark Roast", "Charcoal"... Oops, I mean "Starbucks Roast".)

I wonder if there's a second part to the story about Starbuck's son, who brewed a Second Cup (tm) of coffee, and lo, it was good. (Their espresso-based drinks, on the other hand, seem to be ass more often than not. But then, Starbuck never could pull a good shot.)

Moe Lane

I stand corrected, then.

And thus have we recreated the scientific method: hypothesis, experiment, discard hypothesis as not explaining results, creation of alternate hypothesis, experiment... try doing that with an origin myth. :)

Blake Winton

Isn't that what happened as Judeo-Christianity replaced older religions, and was in turn replaced by Science? ;)

Moe Lane

Not... precisely. More like J/C retreated* from arenas which it/they had no business being (astrophysics) while holding its/their ground in places where it/they did (morality, ethics). :)


*With varying levels of graciousness.

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