• 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

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Overdose said:
...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.
I can appreciate that some people don't have the intelligence involved which is fair enough. I would never hold something like that against anybody.

However, what I do disagree with is when someone who clearly has no understanding of a subject tries to argue with some who does have a good understanging of the subject. I wouldn't try and argue with Professor Brian Cox on the subject of quantum gravity because it's a subject that I don't understand.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
steve_1979 said:
However it is probably not quite as relevant as you'd imagine. If you have a team of people who have a good basic understanding of each of these sciences you only really need one true expert in each of these disciplines. Provided they can all work together as a team each of the sciences will get due consideration during the design process.
Cheers, Steve.

You're right, of course, and multi-disciplinary teamwork is the norm in many fields of science these days. I'm not aware of this happening in hi-fi, however. I guess hi-fi just isn't important enough commercially to be of interest to scientists or science funding bodies. So where scientists do get interested in hi-fi, it's usually as a hobby alongside their 'serious' scientific work (I'm thinking here of Jim Lesurf). One exception to this is the work of Lidia Lee and Earl Geddes on the audibility of distortion. A couple of their papers are available here:

http://www.gedlee.com/distortion_perception.htm

Matt
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
steve_1979 said:
What I don't understand is that people accept that other things like TV's and planes are designed and built using sound scientific engineering principals. But when it comes to hifi equiptment it must be designed using subjective voodoo for it to be any good. :roll:
To be fair though, a lot of the principles of hi-fi design are based on (theoretically) sound science. And one man's 'voodoo' is often another man's perfectly reasonable attempt to exclude any unwanted influences on the signal path, e.g. from distortion, noise, vibration.

Clearly I'm not going to defend whatever 'theory' is behind magic stones though ...

I suspect what you actually have in your sights is the scientifically unjustified marketing hype used by manufacturers, much of which is either untestable, irrelevant or simply too vague.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
steve_1979 said:
"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.
Where is the proof for this? How much scientific advancement was made in the 40 years between 1947 and 1987 when this quote was made? We put men on the moon and discovered DNA, quarks, pulsars and found evidence for the big bang. Do you think we made more scientific discoveries in those 40 years than the previous 40, or fewer? Do you think there has been more advancement in our understanding of the universe in the following 30 years, or less?

steve_1979 said:
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.)
Keeping an open mind is the cornerstone of science. Our current understanding of the universe is probably about 0.000000001% of the truth of it.

steve_1979 said:
The notion that a belief should have at least some objective support is scorned as being "closed-minded"
Where?

steve_1979 said:
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.
In which case, he was wrong. Today's flight of technofantasy may very well prove to be tomorrow's truth, as technological advancement has proved again, and again, and again.

Finally, in trying to find how qualified he might be to make these statements, I found this quote from him via Wikipedia - the italics are mine:

"Gordon attended Nether Providence High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and attended Lehigh University with the intent of becoming an engineer. After discovering he "couldn't hack the math," Gordon switched his major to Journalism."
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
steve_1979 said:
Overdose said:
...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.
I can appreciate that some people don't have the intelligence involved which is fair enough. I would never hold something like that against anybody...
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
 

Joe Cox

Global Editor-in-Chief
Editorial
May 31, 2007
268
11
18,895
altruistic.lemon said:
steve_1979 said:
Overdose said:
...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.
I can appreciate that some people don't have the intelligence involved which is fair enough. I would never hold something like that against anybody...
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
:)
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
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.
HA! Yes, what he said.
 

ReValveiT

New member
Aug 2, 2010
20
0
0
MakkaPakka said:
Part of the problem with hi-fi is that the 'electronics' part is already where it needs to be. Other technology has moved on massively but hi-fi today is the same as it was 20+ years ago.

The lack of any real innovation means companies have to find 'stuff' to sell us and re-badge the same stuff over and over. CD has been around over thirty years, I had a portable player over twenty years ago that played discs just fine yet companies tell me I need a CD player costing thousands, sat on a stand costing hundreds connected by wires costing hundreds, etc. to get the data of a piece of ancient, basic technology . All the while you can fit hundreds of CDs on a chip the size of a baby's fingernail as technology marches on in other fields.

Of couse more annoying that the marketing is the people who lap it up and make all sorts of ridiculous claims. I've seen someone who claimed they could hear a difference between different brands of CD-R, a post on here recently said the sound via a wired ethernet connection was more 'relaxed' than wireless and I'm still waiting for a credible explanation of why I should put a several hundred pound mains lead on the end of the 50p a metre twin and earth that's under my floorboards. There's no burden of proof with hifi. It looks functional/ugly, it uses something fancy sounding inside it and costs a fair chunk therefore it must be good.
Post of the month.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
"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.
Where is the proof for this? How much scientific advancement was made in the 40 years between 1947 and 1987 when this quote was made? We put men on the moon and discovered DNA, quarks, pulsars and found evidence for the big bang. Do you think we made more scientific discoveries in those 40 years than the previous 40, or fewer? Do you think there has been more advancement in our understanding of the universe in the following 30 years, or less?
I think that you may be missing the point here. Of course there has been a huge amount of scientific discovery over the 40 year time period.

The point he was making is that the understanding of science by the general population seems to be very limited (just speak to your average school leaver nowadays to see how badly the education system is failing). "And where knowledge ends, superstition begins." This explains why so many people are willing to believe in things like magic audiophile cables - they just don't understand scientifically how they work.

John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
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.)
Keeping an open mind is the cornerstone of science. Our current understanding of the universe is probably about 0.000000001% of the truth of it.
This is a fair point and I fully agree with you here. We need to keep an open mind and think laterally for advances to be made in science.

However until there is some objective evidence to back up a theory it should be held with scepticism. Only the theories that are backed up by objective evidence can be considered to have good credibility (although that's not to say that they might be disproved at a later date).

John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
The notion that a belief should have at least some objective support is scorned as being "closed-minded"
Where?
Audiophiles who claim to hear differences but are unwilling to take part in blind tests are often guilty of this doing this.

John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
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.
In which case, he was wrong. Today's flight of technofantasy may very well prove to be tomorrow's truth, as technological advancement has proved again, and again, and again.

Finally, in trying to find how qualified he might be to make these statements, I found this quote from him via Wikipedia - the italics are mine:

"Gordon attended Nether Providence High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and attended Lehigh University with the intent of becoming an engineer. After discovering he "couldn't hack the math," Gordon switched his major to Journalism."
I agree with you here to a greater or lesser degree. Nobody knows what technology will be available in the future.

However this does bring us back again to the point made earlier that only theories which can be backed up with objective evidence can be considered to have good credibility and theories that have no objective evidence should be held with scepticism.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
altruistic.lemon said:
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
LOL. Yes very funny. :grin:

But what I do disagree with is when someone who has no understanding of a subject tries to argue with some who does have a good understanging of the subject. :?
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
steve_1979 said:
altruistic.lemon said:
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
LOL. Yes very funny. :grin:

But what I do disagree with is when someone who has no understanding of a subject tries to argue with some who does have a good understanging of the subject. :?
Shall I tell you how you're coming across, Steve? You come across as thinking that you are the sole arbiter of who knows what they're talking about in science-related matters. I have a degree in mathematics from a Russell University, an IQ of 147 and am a five day in a row undefeated champeen of Steve Wright in the Afternoon's Big Quiz. Can I play?
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
0
0
John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
altruistic.lemon said:
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
LOL. Yes very funny. :grin:

But what I do disagree with is when someone who has no understanding of a subject tries to argue with some who does have a good understanging of the subject. :?
Shall I tell you how you're coming across, Steve? You come across as thinking that you are the sole arbiter of who knows what they're talking about in science-related matters. I have a degree in mathematics from a Russell University, an IQ of 147 and am a five day in a row undefeated champeen of Steve Wright in the Afternoon's Big Quiz. Can I play?
John, with an IQ of 147, you'd get very bored!
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
CnoEvil said:
We can all come up with interesting quotes to suit our standpoint.

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it." André Gide

"Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective Human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for Human judgement. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers are for those who do not." Nelson Pass.

"We've heard that a million monkeys on a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." Robert Wilensky

On that note, I'm out.
One more for your collection.

The English audiophile does not really understand music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes. Sir Thomas Beecham.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
davedotco said:
CnoEvil said:
We can all come up with interesting quotes to suit our standpoint.

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it." André Gide

"Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective Human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for Human judgement. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers are for those who do not." Nelson Pass.

"We've heard that a million monkeys on a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." Robert Wilensky

On that note, I'm out.
One more for your collection.

The English audiophile does not really understand music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes. Sir Thomas Beecham.
I think that fits very nicely.....so thank you, and now added. :grin:
 

char_lotte

New member
Feb 27, 2012
9
0
0
Overdose said:
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.
This post is unbelievable. Oozing superiority and condescension....

I wonder how much of the technology you would understand if I just plonked you down in the flight deck??

I'm going to now set my hair on fire.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
990
21
18,895
char_lotte said:
I'm going to now set my hair on fire.
Yes! A scientist told me it improves "brain function" (whatever that is), so I'm going to obey him without question, cos I don't really understand brain thingys.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
990
21
18,895
Overdose said:
professorhat said:
Not that I'm commenting on whether I believe burning in cables makes a difference to the sound or not, but I think you've not grasped what people are after when they do things like burning in cables.
They are after an alteration in the way the equipment behaves from new by use. It is seemingly always for the better, 'burn in' never appears to be to the detriment of the equipment, so to use the analogies of the previous poster why would you risk using any other equipment that had not been properly optimised by 'burn in' of any wiring involved?
I'd expect any equipment of that importance (and the components in that equipment) to have been fully tested for hundreds of hours prior to be putting into proper use and therefore "burnt in". If you want to call it that.
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
0
0
davedotco said:
CnoEvil said:
We can all come up with interesting quotes to suit our standpoint.

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it." André Gide

"Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective Human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for Human judgement. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers are for those who do not." Nelson Pass.

"We've heard that a million monkeys on a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." Robert Wilensky

On that note, I'm out.
One more for your collection.

The English audiophile does not really understand music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes. Sir Thomas Beecham.
I didn't know that word had been invented that long ago but I would laugh if he had said that. I find the term audiophile a little creepy, personally. A great many quotes sound self-evident, are highly amusing but mere opinion.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
990
21
18,895
professorhat said:
I'd expect any equipment of that importance (and the components in that equipment) to have been fully tested for hundreds of hours prior to be putting into proper use and therefore "burnt in". If you want to call it that.
By the way, before people mistakenly / purposefully get the wrong idea behind my statement, I'm fully aware that testing is not considered "burn in" by people in the aviation / medical equipment industries. Just pointing out why the analogy is flawed as there is a different requirement / motive behind the use of said equipment.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
There's often a comment made by some about cables that sort of goes, do aircraft manufacturers or airlines bother about what kind of wire goes into their planes. According to this article, a few people, Boeing included, do:-

http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/aviation/wire_types.htm
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
altruistic.lemon said:
Thanks for sticking up for us thickoes, mate. Thanks to you both, now we know our place and don't have to worry about understanding anything.

You know, I cry each time the electric light comes on when I flick the switch, it really is magic like what the man said.
LOL. Yes very funny. :grin:

But what I do disagree with is when someone who has no understanding of a subject tries to argue with some who does have a good understanging of the subject. :?
Shall I tell you how you're coming across, Steve? You come across as thinking that you are the sole arbiter of who knows what they're talking about in science-related matters. I have a degree in mathematics from a Russell University, an IQ of 147 and am a five day in a row undefeated champeen of Steve Wright in the Afternoon's Big Quiz. Can I play?
I'd be more impressed if that was your high break at snooker.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
busb said:
davedotco said:
One more for your collection.

The English audiophile does not really understand music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes. Sir Thomas Beecham.
I didn't know that word had been invented that long ago but I would laugh if he had said that. I find the term audiophile a little creepy, personally. A great many quotes sound self-evident, are highly amusing but mere opinion.
Your suspicions about the word audiophile in this context are justified. The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations gives: "The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes." I think this was a response to Oscar Schmitz's infamous description of England as "the land without music" ("das Land ohne Musik").

Matt

EDIT it's also hard to believe that someone as fastidious as Beecham would have got his grammar wrong: "the English audiophile ... they". !!!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS