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The Sommeliers of Everything The article is a shallow dive into what would have been a really interesting subject for a longer essay. It's a survey of the recent rise of "sommeliers" for everything from water to honey to chocolate, and the attendant certificates and certifications that go along with this expertise. As expected, the actual expertise indicated by these certifications varies widely. The cultural drivers behind the rise of tastemakers and knowers-of-specific-things weaves a thread throughout, and it concludes thusly: I would have liked to see more from the scientific perspectives on this (e.g., how much of this "expertise" is complete bullshit when measurements are applied and cross-checked). This could easily be expanded to any other number of fields that have acquired "experts" in the information age, and parallels with the increasing tribalism in online communities in general. I couldn't help but think of Japan's otaku culture as well.