Listen, here’s what I’m wondering: is it better to be able to appreciate subtle refinements and improvements of a thing, the finest examples of it, if it comes at the expense of enjoying the version of that thing that’s most commonly or easily available?

If that “better” thing gives an increase of happiness of X, but the more commonly available instances – in their relative worseness – now gives a decrease of happiness of Y, then how often is the sum of X greater than the sum of Y?

Is it better to really get into, say, wine, for all the increased enjoyment that those few really great wines can provide, if it means that you either need to spend a new multiple on acquiring that wine, or suffer increasing disappointment from the wines you can affort or are offered at friends houses?

Or is it better – on the whole – to remain largely ignorant of what distinguishes a “great” wine from an “ok” wine, and just enjoy them all to a lesser but more consistently positive extent?

It might not be wine, it could be chocolate, or coffee, or art, or pretty much anything else that you can develop a “taste” for. Are the newly-available highs of pleasure worth, overall, the lessened ability to tolerate the instances of that thing which do not match your new palate?

This is what I’m wondering. Sound out in the comments1

The only clue I can offer is that it’s a literal nightmare figuring out how to spell “connoisseur”. I had to look it up to write this. Twice.

The universe weaves clues into its ineffable fabric, I suppose.

  1. JK there are no comments here – literal LOL – nah, you go scream into whatever digital silo you prefer.