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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 11.7.18

Best of Penn, back at it again.

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Photo: Autumn Powell

"de gustibus non est disputandum." I remember like it was yesterday—seeing this phrase scrawled on the yellow–dusted chalkboard in my seventh–grade Latin classroom. 

"Concerning taste, let there be no dispute," my teacher translated for us.

I chewed on this for a while. Taste? And what about it? In my prepubescent brain, there was such thing as bad taste. In fact, it seemed all too common.  

Many thinkers have begun to claw at the notion of taste, arguing that it is nothing more than a class–based imposition of norms, values, aesthetics, and niceties. Still, taste has become too democratic, in part due to—

I don't want to turn this into a pseudo–philosophical Consider the Lobster moment, so I'll stop myself there.

Taste? And what about it? In many ways, our Best of Penn issue is all about taste. Not taste in the capital T sense of the word, but the taste that makes you say, "Why don't we go to this place instead of that place?" while you're debating a lunch spot with your friends. The type of taste that creates habits, forms suggestions, and dictates a person's Penn experience. The taste that structures your everyday life.

Best of Penn is our way of collecting all of y'all's favorites in one place, of trying to synthesize some sort of campus taste profile. It's not gospel, but it tries to approach it. It gets to the heart of what makes Penn students tick, in the most democratic way possible. And for that, I want to thank all of our loving readers who showed up at the Google Form polls to cast their votes. 

And if you have disagreements with your classmates' selections (or ours for that matter), just remember that ancient Latin maxim: "de gustibus non est disputandum." And if you're seriously ticked off, feel free to mail me a strongly worded postcard.


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