Quantifying Everything?

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  But is there such a thing as examining things too much?

I like to cook.  My wife and I like to cook.  Enjoying cooking means a combination of following directions that other people have worked out and figuring stuff out on our own.  Duplicate, create, modify, explore – the possibilities are endless, even if we don’t routinely wander down terribly unfamiliar paths in the kitchen.  
As you cook you learn that some things work and some things don’t.  Some combinations are amazing, others are atrocious.  Are there reasons for this?  I’m sure there are.  Do I need to know them?  No, not particularly.  While a certain level of exploration and understanding are helpful, too much reduces the process to a mechanical state – or at least it has the potential for that.
All to say, I’m not necessarily fascinated by the research referenced in this article.  Consulting a periodic table (or a periodic table of meat) doesn’t interest me.  Part of the fun of cooking is knowing that it could all go wrong.  Part of the excitement – whether innovating or following someone else’s precise instructions – is when it turns out great despite our better hunches.  Life is not made demonstrably better necessarily because of a more precise understanding of some aspects of it. 

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