For our prompt of “Vegetables” today, I chose some of my favorites to sketch. Yet, actually, in botanical terms, these are are collection of fruits and berries. Yep, the avocado is actually a berry, along with a banana. And most of us have stumbled upon the fact that a tomato is technically a fruit as well. I’ve mentioned these bits of trivia before when I’ve sketched these types of foods, because I find it all very interesting. But, there’s something even more intriguing to the story. In truth, the term “vegetable” doesn’t exist in botanical terminology. When it come this particular classification, it’s solely a culinary term. So while we can put up a scorecard for which side gets to claim a “fruit” there’s no such thing when it comes to a “vegetable.” Biologically speaking, vegetables don’t exist. This is most likely why the rest of us stick to the culinary thinking. It’s easier to define something by the way you eat it than worrying over the science of it all. Yet, these are the things that make our world so interesting and fun! Nothing is ever as it seems. There’s always more to the story.
When I was a kid, I would always want to learn all I could about everything. This was in a time when the Internet didn’t exist so the only way to learn something new was to visit the library or crack open an encyclopedia. I remember there was a door-to-door salesman once who wanted to sell us a complete set of encyclopedias and I begged my mother to get them. I only now realize that they cost quite a bit for the time and yet, she obliged and got me the entire set. I was in heaven. It was like I had all of the answers to all of the great questions in life sitting on the shelf in front of me. These days, of course, we can simply google it. Type a question and the answers reveal themselves almost immediately. The difference, of course, is that the answers are no longer highly curated by human editors and instead offered up by robots. While my inner child thinks that robots are perfectly awesome and amazing, my adult brain has to question the validity of these answers a bit. In many cases, the first few listings are more sensational than perfectly accurate. Very much like the title of this particular post. Today, rather than having answers carefully vetted, we instead, get them through popularity algorithms.
Yes, we now live in a world where you don’t have to be right so much as the most popular. In other words, we’re now all living in a global cyber high school. It’s not that the robots aren’t clever enough to figure out the real facts from the false, it’s just that the robots make more money for their masters by promoting popularity. While I adore the Internet for its ability to connect all of us together, this trend is a bit alarming. While one might think an encyclopedia is something archaic in this day and age, the human element still makes it far superior. There’s a level of judgement that humans offer up, that machines have yet to replicate exactly. That’s why I adore art. It’s so purely human. Decisions made about what to paint and what color to use that day are incredibly unique to each of us. There’s often very little discernible rhyme or reason to the process. Yet, the process comes with something incredibly special. That amazing gift of feeling actual surprise. Seeing something appear that one never expected in the process. That’s the beauty of art and creativity, which is still very much the domain of human beings. This is a fabulous thing indeed, even when our words confuse us and can make it quite possible that vegetables don’t exist.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Vermilion,Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!