Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Proposal to ban posts that question validity of DBT from Science Forum
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Proposal to ban posts that question validity of DBT from Science Forum

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
The Cables Forum bans discussion of DBT.

For the reasons given below.

'We do this not because DBT is or is not an legitimate means for decision-making. Rather, in our experience we find that these discussions repeatedly break down rather quickly into nasty circular arguments by competing camps of true believers. We've come to the conclusion that there's no particularly worthwhile end to be served by this line of discussion, and as such we're asking that the membership only engage in it in threads in the Sound Science fourum .'

Unfortunately this has moved said circular discussion onto the sound science forum.

As from a science perspective a properly conducted DBT is a trivial and proven analysis, I would like to propose a ban on posts that do not believe in DBT from the science forum.

Additionally claims of improvements gained by a piece of audio equipment should be discouraged without at least an intention to do a DBT or ABX.

With this I believe the sound science thread could become more credible and useful to those with a genuine science, electronic or engineering background. Or anyone else that wishes to understand the actual principles at work with their audio equipment through properly conducted testing, measurement and experimentation.

The improved credibility and less polarised views may also encourage additional members to join and take part in the head fi science forum.

Obviously, ultimately this is entirely up to the moderators and what their visions are for the sound science forum.
post #2 of 89
You mean something like this...Posting Rules at Asylum DBT Free Zones
post #3 of 89
Thread Starter 
No, not for the sound science forum.

I don't think Audio Asylum have a science forum, it looks like they use these rules on their Cables forum.

For the sound science forum DBT must be a generally accepted approach, for my reasons see previous post. I think the balance is wrong at the moment, but to throw all the eggs out the basket is not much of a solution.

I don't know how many others feel the same way I do.
post #4 of 89
I partially agree with you, but part of the scientific method itself is construction of new hypotheses & experiments. So while DBT is viewed as a valid approach by some, if it doesn't explain something to an acceptable degree to me, then I am perfectly free to come up with another hypothesis/experiment.

The direction I would take this instead, is to try to discourage claims made with no scientific approach whatsoever. Even if a listening test is badly designed and subjective, if it's presented in the context of the scientific method, then you can't in good conscience ban it from the sound science forum.

I have become pretty good at mentally filtering them, anyway
post #5 of 89
That would be enforcing very bad science. There's no proof that double-blind ABX testing is optimal or even valid for measuring the human sensory system. This forum would become yet another mockery of true science.

FWIW I don't think the connection between science and sensory perception are anywhere near developed enough to be able to prove anything one way or another. Keep the science strictly to the measurable electrical and acoustic aspects of sound. Don't try to traverse the cliff when there's no bridge yet.
post #6 of 89
On further thought, I believe banning BOTH double-blind ABX testing AND subjective opinions stated as fact, would actually be more in keeping with the title "Sound Science" than the OP's suggestion. Though I don't agree with such stringent restrictions in general - it all comes down to a judgment call by the moderators, anyways.

If followed, it sure would cut down on a lot of the noise floor here. Maybe they're be some actual science, for the areas of audio where it's really applicable, once in a while!
post #7 of 89
Arbitrarily declaring yourself correct, throwing the word "science" around and trying to silence those that "question" your opinion? That is the definition of bigotry, not open and robust scientific debate.
post #8 of 89
Head-fi is too stuck in its ways and too dependent on its sponsors to support true scientific discussion. Just go to HydrogenAudio.org where this is already a strictly enforced rule. Otherwise you're going to have to listen to people like mulveling every time you try to make progress.

It's not that ABX is perfect. But it tells you what it tells you, and the information IS useful. As long as people don't exaggerate what the data gained from ABX tests can tell you, there's no reason to be hateful of it. But there is a lot of reason to be hateful of people who post AB tests like they're worth anything, and then keep arguing when they have no idea what they're talking about. Honestly, people have to learn that lack of proof for something's non-existence doesn't make it likely that it exists. An ABX test that comes out negative just means there's no reason to believe an audible difference exists... So why anyone would spend money on something they know there's no proof is better is beyond competence and entering into the realm of stupidity.
post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
Head-fi is too stuck in its ways and too dependent on its sponsors to support true scientific discussion. Just go to HydrogenAudio.org where this is already a strictly enforced rule. Otherwise you're going to have to listen to people like mulveling every time you try to make progress.

It's not that ABX is perfect. But it tells you what it tells you, and the information IS useful. As long as people don't exaggerate what the data gained from ABX tests can tell you, there's no reason to be hateful of it. But there is a lot of reason to be hateful of people who post AB tests like they're worth anything, and then keep arguing when they have no idea what they're talking about. Honestly, people have to learn that lack of proof for something's non-existence doesn't make it likely that it exists. An ABX test that comes out negative just means there's no reason to believe an audible difference exists... So why anyone would spend money on something they know there's no proof is better is beyond competence and entering into the realm of stupidity.
But you just contradicted yourself: ABX tests tell you what they tell you, but AB tests tell you nothing? (I'm inferring this by your suggestion that they aren't worth anything.)

I'd argue that both tests are what they are, and you are free to interpret the data as you see fit, in either case.

Some will draw different conclusions than others, and in this comes scientific debate. In both cases, a test was performed and data was gathered. The interpretation and validation of that data is where different opinions can be formed, but don't throw out set of data because you don't "like" the test.
post #10 of 89
Example: I want to perform an experiment to determine which hurts worse when used to poke one's stomach: a baseball bat or a knife. My hypothesis is that since the baseball bat has more area, it won't penetrate the skin as much as the knife, and will therefore cause less pain for the same poking force.

Now, are you telling me that in this case an AB test would be "useless" because the subjects could see what they are being poked with? True, an ABX test would eliminate any "bias" based on sight of the already subjective nature of how "painful" it was. But would this bias make any difference? Both sets of data would probably result in very similar conclusions by any who interpreted it.
post #11 of 89
I think that true double blind testing is something that is out of the reach of most people as it is prohibitively expensive and fraught with logistical errors. Large sample size composed of "audiophiles", music lovers, laymen, etc. Multiple copies of headphones per person to account for driver variability. Established controlled conditions with only one variable...The list just goes on and on.

But I do think that ABX testing is a great thing for the individual. Everyone hears differently and has different equipment. And really, as long as the ABX test is performed properly, the only thing that matters is whether you do/don't hear a difference; and whether that difference matters enough to warrant concern or change. Again, this assumes you've performed an ABX and were not just listening with your eyes.
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniamyen View Post
Example: I want to perform an experiment to determine which hurts worse when used to poke one's stomach: a baseball bat or a knife. My hypothesis is that since the baseball bat has more area, it won't penetrate the skin as much as the knife, and will therefore cause less pain for the same poking force.

Now, are you telling me that in this case an AB test would be "useless" because the subjects could see what they are being poked with? True, an ABX test would eliminate any "bias" based on sight of the already subjective nature of how "painful" it was. But would this bias make any difference? Both sets of data would probably result in very similar conclusions by any who interpreted it.
Sometimes, under extreme pain, the subject will actually feel nothing at first. For example, if shot. If the stab wound produces a similar effect, then the ABX test will be the only valid one, because with the AB one even though the subject feels no pain they still know they got stabbed by a knife.

Sort of a silly example, but so is the consideration that differences between a stab wound and a poke from a bat could be entirely subjective.

On the note of silly and equally silly, I think banning everything not involving blind testing from the Science forum is silly, but so is banning the discussion of blind testing from the Cables forum.
post #13 of 89
I for one think that debate and discussion is healthy. If someone's position is sound, it should stand up to criticism.

But it does get a little tiring have to re-explain the fundamentals any time someone new logs on as to why one 'I hear a difference' is not enough to settle any issue. Perhaps a better idea is to have a sticky outlining the tenets of hypothesis testing (much like headphone faqs) so discussions don't return to first principles every fifth post.

I think the bigger problem, that led to a DBT ban in other forums and also to your suggested ban, is a lack of civility. So if we institute any rule, it should be that people use their frontal cortex: exercise restraint, have empathy and translate emotions into a cogent argument.

The true stand of science is to not proselytize, and be ready to abandon any accepted idea with enough evidence. If someone discovers tomorrow that penicillin does more harm than good, doctors would immediately stop prescribing it, despite it being one of the most important medical discoveries of the last century.
post #14 of 89
Banning any topic, IMO, degrades the forum and re-enforces the perception that head-fi operates for the benefit of its sponsors and not its members. Nobody's time is so valuable that they need to be protected from misinformed opinions. Of course the answer would be to remove the dbt restriction from the cable forum, but that will not happen.

The problem in the sound science forum (again IMO) is assertions of fact without citation or based only on an individual's subjective experience. But that usually prompts some rhetorical beat downs, so self-policing seems to work better than a ban.
post #15 of 89
Knowledge is built on the basis of multiple studies. Although not all of them may be perfect (drop outs, researcher bias etc) that is how knowledge and Science advances.
Open discussions and valid criticisms regarding merits and flaws of each study are helpful and to be encouraged.
Biased posts against the scientific method and results of DBT are just that: gibberish.
Anything less than that, from personal anecdotes to personal impressions holds some value but it is what it is: unscientific and biased.
I am all for a real discussions but against subjective bashing of science without real merit.
Long life the Scientific Method. You have my vote.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Proposal to ban posts that question validity of DBT from Science Forum