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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

C-ORM: docs, API.

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Wine Prices and Quality

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 18:13:24 -0400 (CLT)

This interesting paper -
http://www.wine-economics.org/workingpapers/AAWE_WP16.pdf - shows that in
blind trials:

- people who "know nothing" about wine very slightly prefer cheaper

- people who are "educated" about wine very slightly prefer more
  expensive wines

The fascination thing here isn't the different between the two groups but
the fact that both trends are so small.  That means that the price of wine
has hardly no relation to the quality (neither good nor bad).

There are various ways to spin this.  If you're looking to make money you
can pick out the most popular low priced wines, and that's what the
authors have done in a book - http://www.newsweek.com/id/129535

Alternatively, if you're looking to save face you can grasp the slight
positive correlation shown by "those that know" and leave the rest to
rhetoric -

But both those miss the point.

Wine price is no guide to quality in blind tastings, but that's not how
people drink wine.  This work -
http://www.wine-economics.org/workingpapers/AAWE_WP03.pdf - describes how
people actually decide a wine's quality and this -
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/business/09instincts.html - shows just
how effective price is: brain activity related to pleasure changes in
response to the reported wine price, even though the wine remains the

Expensive wine really does taste better - but only because it is expensive.

What to do?  If you want to save money with wine, somehow you have to fool
your brain...


Wine Labels

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 08:23:31 -0400 (CLT)

An article on designing a wine label -

And a lighthearted view at the various design elements -


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