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“The quality-price relationship in wine is logarithmic, with the maximum achievable quality at about 60 euros. Thus, you could tell the difference between a $10 and $100 bottle, but between $100 and $1000 the difference is too small to detect.” -Maria from Palo Alto, CA, quoted in the New York Times Magazine, 11/3/13.


A Complex Logarithm. I think this shows all the red and white wines in the universe being sucked into a black hole in Palo Alto. Source: wikipedia.org

Okay, I never took calculus so the logarithm part is over my head. Looking it up, I see that a logarithm is a “transcendental function” in mathematics. Sounds like the math people have been smoking some good shit. But back to the wine. I have questions for Maria.

1. Did you arrive at this interesting conclusion by empirical methods? Was there some massive wine tasting trial in Palo Alto, with local “experts” from Google, Facebook and Hewlett-Packard rating the wines in relation to cost? That would at least explain how you were able to buy those $1000 bottles.

2. Were the experts Beautiful Men chosen for their skill in creating mind-blowing, toe-curling, transcendental logarithms? If so, could I be part of the next trial?

3. You’re being very coy, teasing us with the 60 Euro figure, but not naming any of the magic bottles. Or did the NYT editor cut out the critical part of your message so she could buy up all the juice for herself?

4. What’s with the weird oscillation between euros and dollars?