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The Objectivist Audio Forum

post #1 of 180
Thread Starter 
"I, Objectivist: The Objectivist Audio Forum (opening soon) If you feel the uncontrollable urge to use the word "placebo," in here is where you'll post (and only here). Discuss DBT all you want in here."

Just a question: Why not, If you feel the uncontrollable urge to use the word "Burn In" in here is where you'll post. Discuss all the Non-Verifiable things you want in here. ?

We have landers roving around the Planet Mars. They didn't get there through magic, fairy tales or snake oil. Measurements were made, tests were conducted and the best components were chosen for their roles, based on science, not magic.

It seems to me that the scientific approach of accurate measurement and testing should easily override hearsay, opinion and the recollections of dim auditory memory.

To force the scientific method into a single forum and allow "burn in" and "Cables" to be discussed freely and openly, without allowing the concurrent discussion of Scientific Measurement or Double Blind Testing encourages Scopes Monkey Trial thinking on Head-Fi and pushes the forum back into the dark ages before scientific enlightenment.

As Science, Measurement, Testing, Verifiable Specifications and Data are the standards of space exploration, so should they be the standards on Head-Fi. Magic, fairy tales, snake oil and the "unverifiable" belong somewhere else, not vice versa.

USG
post #2 of 180
Quote:
the dark ages before scientific enlightenment.
Unfortunately, that is the way the forum is, and there is nothing we can do about it, because that is what the majority of people here believe, and what the administration encourages.
post #3 of 180
It gives you a place to complain, so that's a good thing. It also keeps you from complaining everywhere else.
post #4 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
"I, Objectivist: The Objectivist Audio Forum (opening soon) If you feel the uncontrollable urge to use the word "placebo," in here is where you'll post (and only here). Discuss DBT all you want in here."

Just a question: Why not, If you feel the uncontrollable urge to use the word "Burn In" in here is where you'll post. Discuss all the Non-Verifiable things you want in here. ?

We have landers roving around the Planet Mars. They didn't get there through magic, fairy tales or snake oil. Measurements were made, tests were conducted and the best components were chosen for their roles, based on science, not magic.

It seems to me that the scientific approach of accurate measurement and testing should easily override hearsay, opinion and the recollections of dim auditory memory.

To force the scientific method into a single forum and allow "burn in" and "Cables" to be discussed freely and openly, without allowing the concurrent discussion of Scientific Measurement or Double Blind Testing encourages Scopes Monkey Trial thinking on Head-Fi and pushes the forum back into the dark ages before scientific enlightenment.

As Science, Measurement, Testing, Verifiable Specifications and Data are the standards of space exploration, so should they be the standards on Head-Fi. Magic, fairy tales, snake oil and the "unverifiable" belong somewhere else, not vice versa.

USG
Yawn. Another fun post.

cheers
Simon
post #5 of 180
Science gives the best possible explanation to our world, not the absolute truth. No matter how well a experiment is designed and executed, it still based on a finite group of data and always results in calculation of possibility, plus conclusion and assumption draw from those calculation. Thus, any scientific finding must allows itself to be challenged, even when the challenger is irrational - that is the spirit of Science.
post #6 of 180
The only problem with objective measurement of things like how a person perceives sound is, well, that it's impossible.

Every single person perceives sound differently, and due to the physical differences in the anatomy of the ear structure from person to person, there is no way, whatsoever, to make any type of objective statement about whether things like cable burn-in, $2000 power cords, and the like actually make a difference.

Whether said gear actually does make a difference or not is beside the point. There's no objective way to measure it and as thus, there is no basis for trying to stick with objective measurements when it comes to discussions about things pertaining to gear on here.

It's sort of like the human view of what makes a person attractive. There might be theoretical ways to determine if a person should be attractive or not, but there's not a single objective way to come out and say, "Yes, Girl A is ugly and Girl B is ugly, while Girl C is average." because every single person has a different definition of "attractive" and furthermore, quite a few of those reasons are subconscious and thus can never be explained. One group might feel that assessment is true, while another might feel Girl A is hideous and Girl C is beautiful, while yet another group feels Girl B is perfect and both the others are hags. There's no objective way to determine who is right because no one is - their opinions are based on personal preference, and when you start trying to say that someone's opinion is wrong because they like 32A breasts instead of 36C, the argument beings to smack of arrogance and the inability to accept the fact that others simply have different opinions.

Personally, I don't get the whole obsession with some people and objective measurement of audio gear. I'm trained as both an engineer and an experimental psychologist, and while I understand and quite frequently use objective means and logic chains in my work and thoughts, something like listening to music - which I had always thought of as something to be done for enjoyment - seems to be turned into a battleground of groups arguing over what they think is true and what is not, rather than a community of people who get together to discuss their enjoyment of music and the gear they use to enjoy music. As a casual listener - and that's everyone except musicians, sound engineers, and people actively involved in producing music - it seems that bringing objective arguments into the realm of music takes it from an activity done for personal enjoyment to an activity done to try and prove the superiority of the group one aligns oneself with. Too many people listen to the gear and not the music - I guess that's one reason why so many people on here who have dropped enough money on audio gear to buy a brand-new 335i or Corvette seem to unhappy with their gear sometimes, while people who only have a single mid-line amp and set of cans absolutely love listening to their collection of music.

Ah well. I'm probably the odd one out here anyway, but I always have been.
post #7 of 180
Science is generally based on presence/absence of statistical significance given variability in responses displayed by a group of experimental subjects. Audio, and especially headphone audio, is an individual thing, and when n=1 all the statistics in the world based on a perfectly randomly drawn group of test subjects with a whole bunch of controls don't change what you experience personally.
Not that I'm opposed to DBTs and stuff, but I think your argument against subjectivity is flawed. Science and subjectivity are not mutually exclusive, especially when we're talking about people.

*edited for sleep-deprived self-contradictory absent-minded content.
post #8 of 180
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
It gives you a place to complain, so that's a good thing. It also keeps you from complaining everywhere else.
May I ask you what you view as complaining?

USG
post #9 of 180
Should be fun!
post #10 of 180
Aaah it should open already. Not that I would be such a "scientist" but the discussions in a good manner will be informative and enjoyable.
post #11 of 180
I made a similar point when this idea was first proposed.

The only reasonable way to do this is to have the forum in which discussion of DBT and such is allowed be the "default" one, with a special one reserved for people who don't want their faith challenged specifically marked as such.

Keeping the "don't talk about science" forum as the default is pretty silly indeed.
post #12 of 180
Quote:
To force the scientific method into a single forum and allow "burn in" and "Cables" to be discussed freely and openly, without allowing the concurrent discussion of Scientific Measurement or Double Blind Testing encourages Scopes Monkey Trial thinking on Head-Fi and pushes the forum back into the dark ages before scientific enlightenment.
The debate between objectivists and subjectivists in audio was, is, and always will be endless. Neither side will ever, no matter what they say, brow beat the other into submission. Anger and hard feelings between members is usually the end result when these sort of endless, circular arguments dominate.

Head-fi is not snopes.com. It's not a scientific journal. It's a hobbyist website where people who share in a particular hobby, congregate to enjoy and share information with like-minded people about their hobby. The biggest part of this hobby is centered around the various components needed to reproduce sound .... the equipment. Most threads in most of Head-fi's forums are about equipment. Some of this equipment is at the center of the never-ending subjectivist/objectivist debate ... a debate we've all heard, over, and over, and over, and over, again.

The problem has been that some in the objectivist camp ( it only takes one to derail a thread) feels the need to ruin and side-track threads started by subjectivists wishing to discuss a topic with like-minded members, by repeatedly jumping into their threads to tell them they are stupid for even discussing such a topic....turning their hobby enjoyment into yet another endless argument. Despite all the self-righteous, we're correct and subjectivists are wrong, gotta-save-people-from-themselves reasoning objectivists might use to justify their assumed right and obligation to ruin other's threads and discussion, this is wrong and unacceptable.

Again, this is an audio enthusiast forum .... not a scientific journal.

The solution we've come up with will allow those who wish to discuss subjective/objective-sensitive parts of this hobby (and like it or not, this is a big part of this hobby because we all hear with different ears and brains, and cannot possibly know exactly what someone else is or isn't hearing) with other like-minded individuals, to do so without hecklers regularly ruining it for them....while at the same time, providing objectivists with a forum to present their thinking and arguments. Of course the majority of threads and forums will be devoted to discussing the hundreds of audio products out there because again, this is an audio hobbyist forum where most people come to have fun and discuss products both specifically and generally .... not snopes.com. The important thing is that both sides get to present their arguments if they wish ... allowing everyone to make up their own minds, and more important, allowing members in the subjectivist camp to enjoy their hobby with other subjectivists, without their discussions being ruined and taken off topic.

Every cable thread is not supposed to be a reverse-Scopes Monkey Trial, but unfortunately history has taught us that that's what happens when we allow objectivists to disrupt and derail any and every discussion they feel like.

This is not about head-fi choosing one side over the other, despite whatever some may wish to think. It's about allowing members to start threads and have equipment discussions without them being turned into a subjective/objective debate by those who are essentially thread crapping. If there were some better, easy, solution that would allow a high end cable or amp or source or accessory discussion to continue between folks who get enjoyment from owning, using, and discussing these things, without their discussions continuously being derailed by those who feel it their duty to tell them how wrong they are because they can't back up what they hear with scientific data, we'd love to hear it.

And before anyone starts up with any accusations of bias, be advised that I am an objectivist myself.
post #13 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbriant View Post
.....
The avatar fits the post so well :x
post #14 of 180
Quote:
Every single person perceives sound differently, and due to the physical differences in the anatomy of the ear structure from person to person, there is no way, whatsoever, to make any type of objective statement about whether things like cable burn-in, $2000 power cords, and the like actually make a difference.
Things like ear anatomy and even brain differences only apply to headphones and speakers, which have frequency responses and actually interact with the ear, not amps, cables, and the like. How could they?

I would say that, using the same listening equipment in each evaluation, if one amplifier sounds noticeably different from another, it isn't because there is something better about it, it is because something in its design is fundamentally flawed, because a good amp would never impart any characteristics of its own to a signal, at least none that are audible.

As for cables, let's not even go there.

Quote:
The only reasonable way to do this is to have the forum in which discussion of DBT and such is allowed be the "default" one, with a special one reserved for people who don't want their faith challenged specifically marked as such.
I agree. In a reasonable forum, this is the way things would always be. People who seek the truth and desire free inquiry should be free to do so; people who choose to remain in the dark ages and don't want their bubbles burst should be segregated from the main populace.
post #15 of 180
Too bad that listening to music is experiential and the vast majority of music listened to here isn't a live recording so "accuracy" in such a context is meaningless.
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