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Pepsi and their so-called "independent" polls have insisted for years that in a blind taste test people prefer the taste of Pepsi to Coke. This has been a guiding principle in my personal belief system -- which I call "People are Stupid" -- and can be demonstrated thusly:
- People who prefer the taste of Pepsi are stupid.
- Most people prefer the taste of Pepsi.
- Therefore, most people are stupid. Q.E.D.
I've always figured that only people with half a brain could prefer the taste of Pepsi. It turns out that I was more right than I had realized. Science has recently demonstrated that part of the reason that Coke outsells Pepsi may be because years of carpet-bombing the world with Coke advertisements has caused the consumer's brain to react differently in the presence of a nostalgia-inducing can of Coke than a can of Pepsi (details here). In a nutshell, the science indicates that as soon as you know you are drinking Coke, your brain tells you that you like what you are drinking, whether it tastes good or not. The proof looks something like this:
- When you see Coca-Cola, you are happy.
- You see that you are drinking a Coca-Cola.
- Therefore, you are happy. Q.E.D.
Like the rational, open-minded individual I am, I immediately wondered if I would be able to tell the difference between the two colas if I couldn't see the difference. So I decided to take the Pepsi Challenge myself. I
forced enlisted my brother to be my lab assistant and instructed him to pour 6 ounces of a newly-opened 2-liter Pepsi in one glass and 6-oz. of a newly-opened 2-liter Coke in another as I waited outside the kitchen lab. Trey soon presented me with the two glasses and waited under threat of verbal abuse patiently with a pen and legal pad for me to sample the beverages and tell him which I preferred. No sooner had I picked up the first glass than my experiment went to hell.
For me to venture an honest opinion about which beverage I honestly thought tasted better, I had to remain unaware of which beverage was the Coke and which the Pepsi. I had no clue which caramel-colored cola was in the glass I was raising to my lips, but before I could even taste the contents, I could smell that it was the cloyingly sweet Pepsi. And more importantly, I therefore immediately knew it wasn't Coke. I continued to drink from this glass and the next, but only for science. I already knew what the outcome would be:
- I think Pepsi tastes like shit.
- What I am drinking smells like shit.
- Therefore, I am drinking Pepsi. Q.E.D.
I was not surprised to discover that when all was said and done, Trey had written down that the glass I liked contained Coke and the glass I didn't like contained Pepsi. Unfortunately, I suspect I will never figure out whether that decision was made by my brain or my tongue. I suspect that only my nose knows for sure.