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Mushrooms and context

July 13th, 2009 at 07:02 am

I think context is a highly under-rated and extremely powerful concept. One that should be constantly studied and scrutinized to the best of our abilities.

To take it a step further, context helps us see the truth hidden in lies, and see the lies hidden in truths.

To give you a simple example, I've-- well, I don't want to say "chastised", but commented upon-- in more than one occasion for salting and peppering foods before I taste them.

They will share a rather interesting parable about how Henry Ford would take prospective managers out to dinner, and if he sees that they salt their foods before they taste it, he will not hire them.

The moral of the story, of course, is that it is wise to test something before changing it. That and don't salt foods before tasting when dining with Henry Ford. Big Grin

I love this parable by the way. I agree with the general logic, and I have no problems with it... except the context in which it was given.

You see, in all the occasions that it was brought up, it was at dining places that I've frequented for years. In fact, the one place where this conversation came up was at Golden Corral, the big daddy of assembly line foods. Therefore, if you consider the context, you could say I've already "back-tested" there dozens upon dozens of times.

Perhaps it's still a bad idea to salt first, but come on, putting salt on my mushrooms shouldn't turn into an allegory questioning my managerial potential or even my ability to grasp simple cognitives.

If I was at a less familiar place, of course I would taste my food first before adding condiments. I'm crazy, but not that crazy! Big Grin

Of course, it doesn't just relate to foods, but it also relates to everything else we do in life, including money. One example of this is our sense of financial savvy. It's just that, there are a lot of people in my real life anyway, that swagger and boast about how they "know money". But honestly? Their financial life seems like a mess to me.

Oh, I know I'm not one to talk, but at least I acknowledge that my own financial house is far from complete. And I honestly do worry about that....

On the other side, you have a lot of people on here for example, who are extraordinarily financially savvy, and yet, I don't even know if they realize that. It blows my mind that there are even some, whom I think are good enough to host seminars, would still ask questions!

Context really is an amazing thing. But more than anything, I hope that people will also consider not judging lest ye be judged? Because life is short, and I will salt my mushrooms any way I see fit!

9 Responses to “Mushrooms and context”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great post! Mmm...those mushrooms look good, too.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:


    I just got that out of your link on the left, Templeton's 16 rules. It is #14.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Thanks gang. Good catch Joan! Indeed, I typically size up someone's intellectual abilities based not on how much they know, but how willing they are to want to know.

    Not that I judge others or anything. Big Grin I don't believe in that, but I think attempting to understand one's environment and even people are inevitable and perhaps even natural....

    I think the wise never stop asking questions.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    The media drives me nuts in this area - most things in the mainstream media tend to be taken out of context.

    I think this is why a forum like this is very important for people striving to do better financially (no matter how well they are doing to begin with). I think dh and I were a little lazy or had an inflated sense of doing well, before hanging around here. It is easy to feel top of the heap when everyone you know has no assets and tons of debt. IT's also good to have goals and people to look up to. Odds are there is always someone else doing better than you. So yes, financial context is definitely a good thing.

  5. princessperky Says:

    Well to play devils advocate, sometimes food, like finances we tend to do what we have always been doing. And salt, like many financial habits is a bit bad for us. So maybe if you tasted first you might be able to bit by bit reduce the amount of salt used, just like with finances we can look closely at our little automatic habits, and may be able to reduce spending bit by bit...

    Or not....

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Yes, that is a good point PP. I've also made an allusion to it when I wrote, "Perhaps it's still a bad idea to salt first but...."

    For what it's worth, I try to salt as little as possible, because I know that if I over-salt it, it's much harder to fix than not salting enough. So that's what I was doing at the time, but when this little conversation came up.

    And of course, for foods that require no salt, I don't use it, and no critiques seems to come up for that one. Context? Big Grin

    As for finances, I actually don't automate anything except the budget. In other words, I deliberately pay everything manually (but online) so that I would have a good idea of what my cash flow looks like. This, despite the fact that I don't even really need to. But I like it this way.

    The only thing I automate is my budget, but when it automates (at the same day as my pay day), I also double check and reconcile every transaction. That's how I am able to track my finances down to the penny. But automating budget is fine because they're money set aside, not actually spent.

    Anyways, I personally think it's funny, all this over me salting mushrooms. It was almost like a Seinfeldian moment.

  7. whitestripe Says:

    DF does that Smile adds mustard/sauce/salt/pepper before tasting. he has started to stop that now, since I have been constantly telling him to taste the food first! i always cook food 'with flavour' so he's just cancelling out anything i have done in the first place. he's getting better...

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Well, if it's any consolation, I would never do that with home cooking. Not just because I would not be sure of what it tastes like, but also to not insult the chef/SO/will kill you in your sleep if you mess with my food person. Nope, don't want to do that.

  9. whitestripe Says:

    lol well that's nice to hear!
    he was used to eating bland food that he'd cooked out of a packet. 6 years and he's starting to realise - maybe he doesn't need all that bbq sauce...

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