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Why do we think about science on audio? - Page 3

post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
WOW, I can't believe that I am able to participate in a good thread with intelligent conversation, people thinking, intelligent people thinking, before it is closed.
Why so gung-ho, there? Even the placebo thread hasn't turned into a poo-throwing fest yet. Have a little hope.
post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerbie View Post
Have a little hope.
I have hope now.
post #33 of 85
It's just nice to see people relax the death grip on thier belief or even facts, just for the sake of conversation with one another, all the better that it's audio related.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by digger945 View Post
It's just nice to see people relax the death grip on thier belief or even facts, just for the sake of conversation with one another, all the better that it's audio related.
That was the hope when they created this forum. So far it seems to be working.
post #35 of 85
I can't help it: I'm going to add a philosophical footnote.

Now, "p is true" and "It is reasonable/rational to believe p is true" That is, the truth of a proposition and the rationality of a belief in said proposition are dissociable. Here's an example*:

Democritus believed that everything is consists of small discrete particles called "atoms." (Arguably), he was right. So, he had a true belief. But it was an unreasonable belief, given that he had insufficient evidence for said belief.

Another example:
It is said that Kekule "discovered" the structure of the benzene molecule as a result of a daydream of a snake biting its own tail. Again, Kekule hald a true belief (i.e., he had an accurate belief about the structure of the molecule), but it lacked justification. He had an irrational, albeit true belief.

This applies equally to evolution or global warming or audiophilia. Perhaps, Young Earth Creationism is true. Perhaps, global warming is bogus. Perhaps, recabling my D1001s make a huge difference. But, without the evidence (or with contrary evidence), it is irrational to believe in any of these propositions.

In the end, we don't have direct access to truth. However, we can discuss the rationality of beliefs. And we do do that in both science and philosophy.

So: Why do we discuss "science"? First, let's not confuse "science" for "electrical engineering" or some such limited thing. Scientific discussion is not co-extensive with a discussion over the technical aspects of hardware. The kinds of studies wavoman suggested (which, as an experimental psychologist, I whole-heartedly support) are under the rubric of science too. Second, and to answer the question, because we want to know whether it's rational to believe (for example) whether re-cabling D1001 makes a difference. Again, remember, it's not "to know whether, in fact, re-cabling D1001 makes a difference", but whether "it is rational to believe so." If it's irrational to believe that re-cabling works, then we shouldn't do it, even if it might work after all.

*The historical accuracy of my examples is irrelevant. They are merely for illustrative purposes.
post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by stewtheking View Post
Well, yes.

But if you ignore your measurements, and your specs, and your percieved "quality", and you still can't pick out what you think sounds better, or even different, in a blind trial, then your subjectivity seems like a pretty flimsy platform to me.
That's when things like price come into the equation. If you DBT two things, and you can't decide which is better, deductive reasoning comes into play and logically thinking, you'd pick the cheaper of the two.

-----

Alot of people ignore measurements and go based solely on sound. If you're the kinda of person who pays attention to specs first, SQ next, I can tell you who's spent more money on thier rig than they probably needed to.

Can anybody explain to me why Headroom sells more SE530's than any other IEM when compared to other IEMs, and have a SMALLER frequency range than most others? Cause specs don't mean **** to a lot of people....it's only a platform for people to start arguments on what's "better", even if it sounds comparable or even inferior. Then it's blamed on synergy, blah blah blah.
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
That's when things like price come into the equation. If you DBT two things, and you can't decide which is better, deductive reasoning comes into play and logically thinking, you'd pick the cheaper of the two.
What's the deduction being made? (Actually, are you using deduction in the way logicians use the word?)
post #38 of 85
Speaking as in "what would be the smarter choice if I can't decide on which is better? Should I spend 10 dollars or 100 dollars?"

Any right minded individual would pick the cheaper priced item...such is not the case in audio where you can see things before hearing them, as "prettiness and price equates to better sound", lol.

And I'm guilty of it at times. If something sounds really close to something else, but looks inherently MUCH better for a slightly higher price(key word: slightly), I'll buy the prettier one. Cause after all, I would be blindly listening to it if I'm BUYING it.

This sub forum is awesome.
post #39 of 85
Ah, I see. I'm not sure that's deduction, technically. Making that decision analytically might involve deduction, but not necessarily. It might involve some sort of inductive reasoning, for example. But I see what you mean.

On that note, it's not always irrational to spend more on a product even if it sounds the same as a cheaper alternative. One could argue, by induction that:

1. In general, more expensive items last longer and cheaper items deteriorate quickly with age.

Then, from 1., argue deductively:

1. In general, more expensive items last longer and cheaper items deteriorate quickly with age.
2. I should buy items that last longer, not those that deteriorate quickly.
Therefore, from 1. and 2.:
3. I should buy more expensive items (or, in this case, the more expensive set).
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanjong View Post
snip

Another example:
It is said that Kekule "discovered" the structure of the benzene molecule as a result of a daydream of a snake biting its own tail. Again, Kekule hald a true belief (i.e., he had an accurate belief about the structure of the molecule), but it lacked justification. He had an irrational, albeit true belief.

snip

The kinds of studies wavoman suggested (which, as an experimental psychologist, I whole-heartedly support) are under the rubric of science too.
I disagree with your logic. He had no direct proof but he had a basis for his "moment of inspiration" it was not as if he had not examined the various properties of benzene etc. Einstein is a perfect example of where thought experiments based on the available (or even abstracted) evidence allows the creation of theories which in his case were mostly right.

I also disagree with the other statement. Just because something uses the scientific method does not make it science. I say this because the findings from such studies are epistemological challenged (R^2=.6 is barely agreement much less proof). It's just my opinion though and I'm not a philosopher but a physicist (science) and engineer (which IS NOT science, it just uses it).
post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
I disagree with your logic. He had no direct proof but he had a basis for his "moment of inspiration" it was not as if he had not examined the various properties of benzene etc. Einstein is a perfect example of where thought experiments based on the available (or even abstracted) evidence allows the creation of theories which in his case were mostly right.
This is why I added the caveat at the bottom, that the history is irrelevant. I wanted to use the stories as hermetically sealed illustrations. I could have just made up a story, but I thought co-opting the Kekule story might be better. So, I'm not saying the historical Kekule irrationally believed that the structure of benzene was what it was. But this Kekule, in my story, is holding a true belief irrationally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
I also disagree with the other statement. Just because something uses the scientific method does not make it science. I say this because the findings from such studies are epistemological challenged (R^2=.6 is barely agreement much less proof). It's just my opinion though and I'm not a philosopher but a physicist (science) and engineer (which IS NOT science, it just uses it).
So...what's your principle of demarcation? Must a research programme lead to deductive proof to be scientific? That's an odd principle of demarcation. Certainly few working scientists and no philosophers of science would concede to such a definition. I don't think there can be a principle of demarcation that's more specific than "systematic empirical investigations of the natural world." So, we'll accept all sorts of methodlogies: observational, correlational, experimental. We'll accept all sorts of arguments: inductive, deductive, inference to the best explanation (or abductive). I don't see what R^2 has to do with it, really. R^2 is a statistic that tells us how much variance is explained by a given variable. What's not scientific about discerning from empirical research that 50% (say) of the variation in our intelligence (as measured by IQ, say) is explained by variation in our genes?

So, think long and hard about what you think the principle of demarcation is between science and non-science; then read up on some basic philosophy of science to examine arguments for and against your principle; then see what your principle kicks out of science (perhaps even much of physics will go); then come back and we can discuss whether the experiments we've proposed here are "scientific."

P.S.: Do your disagreements with me actually affect the main thrust of my post? I think they're red herrings, actually. All I have to show is (a) belief should be justified, (b) empirical evidence provides justification, and (c) the sorts of experiments we are proposing provide empirical evidence. You could object that those kinds of experiment don't belong in a "Sound Science" forum, since they're not "science", I suppose. Hmmm...well, show me why they're not science. I didn't get the fancy "such studies are epistemological [sic] challenged" argument. If you're talking about the under-determination of theory by data, well, physics is the King of Under-determination of Theory by Data.
post #42 of 85
I do not disagree with the experiments at all or their location in a "sound science" forum on Head-Fi (Physical Review Letters move over... )

I was responding to your fairly red herring example that I believe was so fallacious as to be flawed, and I believe incorrect lumping of the social "sciences" with hard science, nothing more.

I've read enough of the philosophy of science to know that there are very very varied views as to where the demarcation between science and not science is. In your response you appear to feel that your choice of demarcation is the the only one and I wish you luck and look forward to your treatise on the subject.

In the end I couldn't be happier if we organize DBT or other methods for testing these various theories and come up with some statistical probabilities. Everyone always wins with more knowledge. I try to apply as close to a scientific method in all my decision making (matching with SPL meter, switching back and forth etc, I can't convince my wife to do BT for me) but to call this true science to me is nuts.

P.S. Oh and you're right much of physics does go but it's worth it to keep psychological studies out of "science".
post #43 of 85
Who's to know which lasts long based on listening. Nobody that buys Bose speakers know they use crappy paper cones. After all, it's BLIND listening and price only after you hear it if you were wanting to purchase or know....would suck if the two things sound the same, and the cheaper one was actually of higher quality.

Meh....all good though.
post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
I do not disagree with the experiments at all or their location in a "sound science" forum on Head-Fi (Physical Review Letters move over... )
OK, that's good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
I was responding to your fairly red herring example that I believe was so fallacious as to be flawed, and I believe incorrect lumping of the social "sciences" with hard science, nothing more.
Isn't this just physical-scientific imperialism? You seem to think that "social science" isn't really science. But why? Why does physics and chemistry deserve the moniker more than psychology and biology? Furthermore, why was my example "so fallacious as to be flawed"? What does that phrase even mean? If it's false, it's false. But how can an example be false? It's either a good example of an abstract concept, or not. And I used it as an example of a person who believed something true without sufficient justification. And I don't see why it's a bad example of that. It might not be a historically accurate example, but so what? I never claimed it was. And why are you using the phrase "red herring" here? Do you know what it means?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
I've read enough of the philosophy of science to know that there are very very varied views as to where the demarcation between science and not science is. In your response you appear to feel that your choice of demarcation is the the only one and I wish you luck and look forward to your treatise on the subject.
But noe you have misread me. I didn't propose and defend a principle of demarcation. I agree with most philosophers of science that there is no such straightforward principle to be had. It's not naturalism, it's not falsification, it's certainly not verification. So, I'm not sure what you're saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
...but to call this true science to me is nuts.
Again, mere assertions and aspersions against what you deem unscientific without justification. And this might illustrate my point: It's possible that you're right, and that you're holdng a true belief, but you seem to be doing so without reason. If so, you have a true belief without rational justification.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
P.S. Oh and you're right much of physics does go but it's worth it to keep psychological studies out of "science".
Once again, where's your definition of "science"? And where's your defense of said definition? Is this what physics has become? A set of assertions that are not justified or perhaps not justifieable? Hold on...String Theory, M Theory...
post #45 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
If you refer to the M & M study your statement is not true. In the M & M study it was not a matter of averaging.

There were well over 500 trials and over 50 subjects.
Nick -- Look at the sentence just before the one you quote and you will see that they did make a statement integrated over the whole population. That is what I meant by "averaging" ... and they did do it, honestly. Then they call out the few subjects who did well, and state (correctly) that this is still explainable by chance (under the hypotheses that no one can identify correctly which is which)

But I can fit other models to their data (or I could if they really published all their data), including ones where certain people can correctly identify the high-res signal.

In fact my models will fit the data better (in the sense of having higher likelihood under the model, or lower lack-of-fit measurements like chi-squared).

But the way classical statistics works is to assume the null hypothesis is true (that no one can correctly identify the signals) and not move off it until there is compelling reason to. Classical statistics refuses to abandon the null hypothesis if it could be true with high probability given the data.

More nuanced approached began in WWII -- if you're in a submarine, and assume there is no enemy sub nearby, and wait to reject that null hypotheses while assembling sonar data, the odds are very high you will die underwater. Considering the loss ratios of your correct and incorrect actions, you should get outta there as soon as there is the hint of signal in the sonar noise.

Later these methods began to take individual subject differences into account, and there are now lots of subtle ways to test and separate consumer panels. D & D did not use these; however there is no question that they did get their classical statistics correct, and their conclusion is most likely corect.

But the conclusion supported by the data is not the point they want you to take away from the article. They want you to believe that "no one can hear the difference", but that is false IMO, and not proven by them in any way.

They have most likely proven something real about A/B/X testing of hi and redbook resolution. Who cares? I don't care that you can't tell whether X is A or B ... that is very hard, given the way our brains recall music.

I believe strongly -- I'm about to piss a lot of people off -- that the foundation of A/B/X testing is intellectually bankrupt. The stereo magazines find the same flaws I do, and use it to attack blind testing. They are just as wrong.

With no chance of knowing which is hi-res and which is redbook, I want to listen to two signals A and B over and over, as I like, switching when I like, as often as I like. This is one trial. At the end of the trial, I will say one of the following:
  1. "they sound the same", or
  2. "they sound different but I have no preference", or
  3. "they sound different and I prefer A to B", or
  4. "they sound different and I preder B to A"

We then take a break. Then I do another trial. And another. And another. The scientist leading the experiment changes which is A, which is B, sometimes makes them the same (and then sometimes hi-res and sometimes redbook), throws a joker in the pack now and then (the signal degraded on purpose, etc.) and so on. Twenty or thirty trials.

If I pick the hi-res as my favorite most of the time, then we have proven that I can hear the differrence. No placebo effect or memory effect or hidden cues possible, unless the scientist running the tests tips me off with body language, and we can guard against that. We can also examine his record of assignments -- we need a third person to insure fairness, or better yet, two people who have different opinons about this matter up front.

It is interesting, but speaks only to the economics of equipment manufacturing, how many people can do this. But I don't care. I only care if I can do it. If I can, then I record in 24/96.

That's tesing. Listener-blind (DBT not needed). Single subject. Air tight. No one else around. No peer pressure.

We want to know if we can hear a difference. So we test that. We do not want to know whether we can identify a particular signal as one of the two (A/B/X). That is nothing we care about.

It will take a year to get this all together, but (some of) the NJ meet crew has stacked hands and said we are going to try -- although in truth many were not interested at all.
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