13 years, 3 months ago

The Wisdom of the Tomato

Link: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DemandingChange/~3/1Mv2MB5cNf0/wisdom-of-tomato.html

@davidnasser @mingk @leebryant @ and many others have tweeted the following aphorism.

‘Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

Please permit me to quibble with this aphorism. Classifying tomatoes as fruit is merely information. This classification is supported by data, such as the observation that the tomato contains its own seeds. Knowing not to put it into a fruit salad is a culinary “best practice”, based on a series of social conventions about the proper constitution of fruit salad and its place within a meal. So this is knowledge, or what is sometimes called “received wisdom”. However, innovation often involves disobeying social conventions and surprising those who rely excessively upon received wisdom. For example, how did chefs discover that it was okay to put flower petals into salads (“next practice”)? So courage is knowing that you are not “supposed” to put tomatoes into fruit salad, but doing it anyway. And real wisdom is not inflicting such gross culinary experiments on the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong way.