The LAST WORD on the Oenophile’s Quandary??
It is high praise for a question-poser indeed when a totally independent third party is provoked to write over 1600 words in response to all facets of the question — all of it interesting and civil.
Such is the case today. Mr. Ryan O’Connell, a winemaker in France, has taken my exploration of the Oenophile’s Quandary and explored it even further:
If optimal stopping applies to the oenophile’s quandary, it’s because the oenophile must settle on a date to consume each bottle. In that sense, each bottle has a stopping problem where the oenophile must decide to wait for a better occasion to drink the wine. So really, you’re not choosing wines. You’re choosing dates. And the quality of the wine has very little to do with the enjoyment. It’s more the context in which you consume the wine. In this sense, the quality of improvement over time is less relevant and the oenophile’s quandary is reduced to an expression of optimal stopping. Is quality of improvement over time a necessary condition? No. You can lose quality of improvment over time and you’ll still have a basic stopping problem because some days will be better than others for drinking that special bottle.
YOU TOOK THE BAIT RYAN AHA HA HA seriously I love it when folks do this.
ALSO: A commenter points us in the direction of the actual paper in which Dr. Dixit used Elaine (from Seinfeld)’s critical contraceptive-sponge shortage to determine the numbers alluded to in my previous post. Here it is! (PDF)
September 10th, 2010 at 1:03 am
PROUDLY SO, SIR. If I had respectable facial hair, I would also have made a post about some sort of unified theory of beards or a theory of the evolution of species of beards. For now this will have to do. 🙂