I always hated the taste of truffles, or so I thought. It turns out nearly everything sold out there as containing truffles or truffle oil is just some cheap petroleum-derived product. And that includes in many higher-end restaurants.
Real truffles are incredibly rare and expensive:
Winter white truffle, or noble white truffle, is the most expensive and prized truffle. It can be found only in late autumn and winter, no earlier than September 15, no later than the end of January. The world's most famous winter white truffles are found in Alba, Italy, and Croatian Istria is also known for them.
Depending on how well the season was, this truffle can go for thousands of euros. In the case of large, first-class white truffles, the price per kilo comes close to 10,000 euros.
Maybe one day I'll taste the real thing and maybe I'll like it. Until then I'll keep avoiding anything with truffle in its name.
It's not your imagination, products you buy are worse now. Fashion falls apart. Gadgets become unusable, etc. Mainly due to accelerating market changes rather than a deliberate reduction in material quality alone.
Fast-forward a handful of decades, and now several generations of people are conditioned to buy the new thing and to keep replacing it. Companies, in turn, amp up production accordingly. It’s less so that objects are intended to break — functional planned obsolescence, if you will — but rather that consumer mindsets are oriented around finding the better object
From the "what could go wrong?" department:
A startup claims it has launched weather balloons that may have released reflective sulfur particles in the stratosphere, potentially crossing a controversial barrier in the field of solar geoengineering.
Just explore this incredible isometric pixel art world in your browser. Filled with tons of little details and references.
An 8-bit accordion made from two Commodore 64s and some floppy disks. It sounds amazing.
An interesting theory on the Sapient Paradox, the question of why civilization came to be so late in the human species' evolution. We're about 200.000 years old but civilization is closer to 20.000.
The author posits that reputation/gossip control in small groups was the limiter to growth and that the structure of civilization helped dampen this need. However, social media has brought this "gossip trap" back on a worldwide level, risking a return to government by reputation.
I doubt things can be attributed to single causes like this but it's a compelling (and long) read.