In time, one begins to suspect that the mass of specific details, no matter how extensive, do not combine to form an efficacious force. At best, a kind of residue accumulates. A residue that unconsciously influences one's decision-making processes and/or one's aesthetic choices. What study and reflection may accomplish is a particular coloring of this residue; an idiosyncratic tint that is not, itself, a marketable product. Commercially, it doesn't even exist.
When I was a kid, I preferred the Almond Joy to the Mounds bar. Now I prefer the Mounds to the Almond Joy.