• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

An interesting quotation

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Quotation from Gordon Holt in 1987.

"Despite heroic efforts to educate our population, the US (and, apparently, the UK) has been graduating scientific illiterates for more than 40 years. And where knowledge ends, superstition begins. Without any concepts of how scientific knowledge is gleaned from intuition, hypothesis, and meticulous investigation, or what it accepts today as truth, anything is possible.

Without the anchor of science, we are free to drift from one idea to another, accepting or "keeping an open mind about" as many outrageous tenets as did the "superstitious natives" we used to scorn 50 years ago. (We still do, but it's unfashionable to admit it.)

Many of our beliefs are based on nothing more than a very questionable personal conviction that, because something should be true, then it must be. (Traditional religion is the best example of this.) The notion that a belief should have at least some objective support is scorned as being "closed-minded," which has become a new epithet.

In order to avoid that dread appellation, we are expected to pretend to be open to the possibility that today's flight of technofantasy may prove to be tomorrow's truth, no matter how unlikely. Well, I don't buy that."
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Magic cables, equipment stands, black ravioli, mains conditioners and unnecessarily high bit-rates for digital music spring to mind...
 
T

the record spot

Guest
The trouble is Steve, it's just as bad on the other side of the fence. We've got a bunch of folk out there who'll jump onto Google and start bandying the phrase "science" around and act like they know what they're talking about. I've little time for either, but J Gordon was indeed bang on the money. IMO.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
steve_1979 said:
Magic cables, equipment stands, black ravioli, mains conditioners and unnecessarily high bit-rates for digital music spring to mind...
Unless the high bitrate version is the only one of a given mastering you want...such is life. Equipment stands, well, depends which ones you mean really? I have a four shelf wooden one than cost me £80 from richer Sounds, unbranded, but lovely bit of furniture, unlike, say, anything that looks like it'd been welded together or costs about £2000....or both.

My personal favourite however, is the Shakti Innovations site. Indeed...!
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
the record spot said:
The trouble is Steve, it's just as bad on the other side of the fence. We've got a bunch of folk out there who'll jump onto Google and start bandying the phrase "science" around and act like they know what they're talking about.
This is true.

I expect that most people on hifi forums have done this at one time or another (myself included :oops: ).
 

bigblue235

New member
Aug 22, 2007
82
0
0
Indeed.

It's the same with many things though. If people aren't knowledgeable enough to understand fully the technicalites of the subject, they'll either take for granted what is commonly accepted as the norm, advice from people who are respected in the field, or advice from people who sound like they know what they're talking about. The problems only get worse when these people repeat stuff as if they 'know' it to be true, rather than stating "I once read that...".

Try a golf forum - there's a whole other range of magic beans out there. But there's still references to Snake Oil; how component companies are where it's at; how big OEMs are ripping us off; how a certain manufacturing process is clearly better than the other; tribal brand loyalty, how tiny differences make huge performance changes, etc. And then there's the good stuff which completely contradicts all known laws of physics but "It does work for me".
 

DandyCobalt

New member
Oct 8, 2010
203
0
0
steve_1979 said:
Quotation from Gordon Holt in 1987.

Many of our beliefs are based on nothing more than a very questionable personal conviction that, because something should be true, then it must be. (Traditional religion is the best example of this.) The notion that a belief should have at least some objective support is scorned as being "closed-minded," which has become a new epithet.

[/quote

Unfortunately, many scientists, particularly those who work for the large industrial companies and governments, design their objective studies to prove the positive...and any negative studies are ignored.

Where money is involved, objectivity and neutrality are the first to suffer. (Tamiflu springs to mind ;-)
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
altruistic.lemon said:
...Also applies to the magic properties of active crossvers.... :)
I genuinely hope this comment doesn't offend you altrustic.lemon. :)

But by saying that active crossovers have "magic properties" kind of proves the point of the quotation perfectly when you consider the amount of scientific evidence that supports the advantages of active speakers over passive speakers.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
Ooh, another ### stirring 'science vs belief/superstition/religion/magic' post.

Maybe it'll be like the last one, where someone got suspended and the thread was completely deleted.

Cue JCBrum in full-on 'pedagogue' mode and anthmax the unstoppable toxic troll (in at least one visit from under his bridge) and expect oodles of the sainted Clinton R ('Dicky') Dawkins FRS, FRSL, FOBS.

None of which will stop me looking now and then to watch everyone running around and setting their hair on fire (because that's quite funny) but this is my last comment.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
chebby said:
Maybe it'll be like the last one, where someone got suspended and the thread was completely deleted.
Being an optimistic chap I was hoping that people might try and discuss things in a constructive and friendly manner. :pray:

People should be able to have differences of opinion without others taking it taking it too personally or resorting to verbal attacks against other members.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
the record spot said:
Unless the high bitrate version is the only one of a given mastering you want...such is life.
There are some people who don't understand that it's only because of the different mastering of some music which makes it sound different. Yet they still claim that 24bit music sounds better than 16bit music.

the record spot said:
Equipment stands, well, depends which ones you mean really? I have a four shelf wooden one than cost me £80 from richer Sounds, unbranded, but lovely bit of furniture, unlike, say, anything that looks like it'd been welded together or costs about £2000....or both.
Build quality and aesthetics aside, some people claim that putting a solid state amplifier (for example) on one solidly built rack sounds differerent to putting it on another solidly built rack. Yet these are usually the same people who are never willing to do any sort of blind testing.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
990
21
18,895
steve_1979 said:
chebby said:
Maybe it'll be like the last one, where someone got suspended and the thread was completely deleted.
Being an optimistic chap I was hoping that people might try and discuss things in a constructive and friendly manner. :pray:
After your "howevermanyhundreds" try, you're still optimistic on this?!

steve_1979 said:
People should be able to have differences of opinion without others taking it taking it too personally or resorting to verbal attacks against other members.
But surely the point of your original post was people shouldn't have different opinions if a scientist has proven something?
 

bigblue235

New member
Aug 22, 2007
82
0
0
steve_1979 said:
But by saying that active crossovers have "magic properties" kind of proves the point of the quotation perfectly when you consider the amount of scientific evidence that supports the advantages of active speakers over passive speakers.
Yes, but they don't have magic properties, they're just a component. They can make a difference, but not on the level that they're often claimed to (in other words, all you need is an Active crossover and the cabinet, drivers, etc doesn't come into it). Similar applies to cryogenically frozen doodahs, dimmable displays, upsampling, etc.

See how I made this about other stuff as well as that which causes controversy? Can't we play nice for once and not make posts about it going tits-up before it actually goes tits-up? (Yes, I get the irony...)
 

DandyCobalt

New member
Oct 8, 2010
203
0
0
Didn't the great Stephen Hawkings say that scientific truth was just a hypothesis waiting to be proven untrue. I've probably completely misquoted the great man, but the gist is there.
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
279
0
18,890
We only have a finite intelligence as a race and the only way to push the boundaries is to advance technology by using science to push beyond our own human abilities and once beyond our level of understanding and compreshension, anything can be deemed magic or by design of a higher power.

Granted there are some bright people around, but equally, there are many that simply have to accept what they are told about the way stuff works, as to them it may as well be magic because they simply do not have tha capacity to understand the technology in front of them.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
bigblue235 said:
Yes, but they don't have magic properties, they're just a component. They can make a difference, but not on the level that they're often claimed to (in other words, all you need is an Active crossover and the cabinet, drivers, etc doesn't come into it).
I don't think that anyone is claiming that the crossover is the only factor. Obviously there are many other more important factors such as the cabinet and drivers which also need to be considered too.
 

bigblue235

New member
Aug 22, 2007
82
0
0
Maybe not in this thread, Steve, but it was a quick general point related to people who claim all Actives share the same traits. See the other thread on the front page. And it was also aimed at people who think all speakers of a certain brand/all speakers with certain drivers or technology, etc. sound the same. Just silly sweeping generalisations. I have heard great passive subwoofers, but some people claim they're all, well, pants.

Nothing has 'magic properties'. You can get good parts, but the effect of that part can be rendered worthless by other parts. To go back to the golf analogy, I once tried a $1000 Driver shaft which had every bit of modern, much-hyped shaft technology in it. It was pretty poor. The various technologies didn't gel and it was a flop. It was outperformed by shafts with less tech but better design.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
Have you taken on the mantle of Ashley James quoter now that JCBrum cannot, Steve?

Disappointingly, I lost the sweepstake on how long it would take you.
 

bigblue235

New member
Aug 22, 2007
82
0
0
Blast. I've stayed away from these threads so long that I'd kinda hoped things had changed. Last time I took part Steve was being a good egg. Oh well.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
chebby said:
Ooh, another ### stirring 'science vs belief/superstition/religion/magic' post.

Maybe it'll be like the last one, where someone got suspended and the thread was completely deleted.

Cue JCBrum in full-on 'pedagogue' mode and anthmax the unstoppable toxic troll (in at least one visit from under his bridge) and expect oodles of the sainted Clinton R ('Dicky') Dawkins FRS, FRSL, FOBS.

None of which will stop me looking now and then to watch everyone running around and setting their hair on fire (because that's quite funny) but this is my last comment.
Funny as F**k
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
professorhat said:
After your "howevermanyhundreds" try, you're still optimistic on this?
The optimist in me is hopeful that we can keep this friendly for as long as possible. :pray:

The realist in me expects to be disappointed. :doh:

professorhat said:
But surely the point of your original post was people shouldn't have different opinions if a scientist has proven something?
That's a fair point prof. :)

If someone claims something without having any sort of objective evidence to back it up then this claim has limited credibility IMO. The onus is on the person making a claim to provide good reasoning and evidence to back it up if it's to be taken seriously.*

*Although there is still no reason to be rude to someone just because they believe something different to yourself.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
professorhat said:
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” - Socrates

"Ceasar was a salad dressing dude." - Bill S. Preston, Esquire
Are these the two best quotes in History!!!?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts