Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › About beliefs and "scientific impotence"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

About beliefs and "scientific impotence" - Page 10

post #136 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post


I hate the new quote system. Regardless, I have no clue why "experientialists" should have a problem with dbt. 

 

You are generalising too much.  It's not about dbt's in general.  It's about how it's conducted to answer a particular question under a particularly set of artificially created conditions which introduce their own problems.  This has been said over and over again in other threads.  I wish not to go over it again.  At least, in the thread I linked to, the OP brought up a more specific query to start a more specific discussion.  

 

The point I am making is that if you have a problem with how a particular DBT sets up issues that confound results, does this mean you have problems with DBT's in general?  If you challenge scientific evidence on a particular issue, does this mean that you have a problem with science in general???  If, for a particular question, for which there's a proposed scientific answer based on DBT's, you choose to lean towards believing your senses rather than the evidence from DBT's because you have a problem with the DBT's and how they were setup in this instance, does this make you an existentialist?

 

It's this sort of generalisation that make these discussions inevitably break down into dismissive and unproductive banter.


 


Edited by aimlink - 6/1/10 at 3:34am
post #137 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post



 

You are generalising too much.  It's not about dbt's in general.  It's about how it's conducted to answer a particular question under a particularly set of artificially created conditions which introduce their own problems.  This has been said over and over again in other threads.  I wish not to go over it again.  At least, in the thread I linked to, the OP brought up a more specific query to start a more specific discussion.  

 

The point I am making is that if you have a problem with how a particular DBT sets up issues that confound results, does this mean you have problems with DBT's in general?  If you challenge scientific evidence on a particular issue, does this mean that you have a problem with science in general???  If, for a particular question, for which there's a proposed scientific answer based on DBT's, you choose to lean towards believing your senses rather than the evidence from DBT's because you have a problem with the DBT's and how they were setup in this instance, does this make you an existentialist?

 

It's this sort of generalisation that make these discussions inevitably break down into dismissive and unproductive banter.


 


It really does get tiring to say this, but your senses are not infallible, in fact, leave out DBTs and merely take into account audiological memory and the way in which the brain deals with sound data and that is enough to put into question things such as cables. Feel free to click on the Audio Myths workshop link in my sig for further details (it's presented by Ethan Winer - very informative).

post #138 of 150

@Danneq

 

That an interesting point you make about Wittgenstein, that he doesn't deny the existence of absolute truth, he just thinks that it is impossible to express. If this is true, it seems like Nietzche and Wittgenstein reach the same conclusion (actually, Wittgenstein was probably influenced by Nietzche). However, they interpret it differently according to what they view as important. Both view language as utility, as something with a practical usefulness. However, early-Nietzche is deeply disdainful of the practical because he think it obscures objective truth. Wittgenstein on the other hand, seems to have no objection to "practicality." So he doesn't reject language in the same way.

 

Western philosophy tends to be very dualistic, probably due in part to the influence of Christianity, where god is always unreachable. I think that this one of the reasons why many Westerners reject the possibility of a union between humanity and absolute truth. On the other hand, Eastern philosophy tends to emphasize unity and a more holistic approach to existence. Also, perception in Eastern thought is usually seen as imperfect, with the possibility to be refined over time. Western thought, on the other hand, tends to either take our perceptions at face value, or question them, but it typically does not recognize that our perceptive abilities may change.

 

I don't think Lao Tsu necessarily thinks that finding truth is only possible by leaving society (though he might take this as an expedient to experiencing truth). For the absolute truth to be truly absolute, it has to attainable anywhere. Also, Taoism tends to be very pragmatic.

post #139 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca View Post

It really does get tiring to say this, but your senses are not infallible

 

Who said your or my senses are infallible?  I know I didn't. Ponder this for a moment and then while doing so, reread my posts keeping this in mind, i.e., that I certainly do not consider my senses to be infallible.  See if you can get a different and likely, more accurate understanding from what I've been writing.  I know the written or spoken word can be tedious and that one's attitude/mind set can affect how one understands what he/she reads or hears. 

post #140 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post



 

Who said your or my senses are infallible?  I know I didn't. Ponder this for a moment and then while doing so, reread my posts keeping this in mind, i.e., that I certainly do not consider my senses to be infallible.  See if you can get a different and likely, more accurate understanding from what I've been writing.  I know the written or spoken word can be tedious and that one's attitude/mind set can affect how one understands what he/she reads or hears. 


Should have said 'one's senses' not 'your senses' - wasn't meaning to single you out, have just been seeing this odd resistance to believing DBT results recently which I find quite annoying.

 

In fact, in re-reading your post, you are actually suggesting believing one's senses over a DBT based on how they are set-up, but I fail to see how the concept of setting up a DBT is difficult or problematic. I know you wish not to go over your reasons again, but would it be possible for you to summarise quickly why you find DBTs flawed?

post #141 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca View Post

Should have said 'one's senses' not 'your senses' - wasn't meaning to single you out, have just been seeing this odd resistance to believing DBT results recently which I find quite annoying.

 

In fact, in re-reading your post, you are actually suggesting believing one's senses over a DBT based on how they are set-up, but I fail to see how the concept of setting up a DBT is difficult or problematic. I know you wish not to go over your reasons again, but would it be possible for you to summarise quickly why you find DBTs flawed?


I don't disbelieve DBT results.  Why should I not.  Afterall, in this particular context, they are results of a straightforward execution and reading process.  What some, including myself would contest here, is whether or not the results provide valid information.  Validity is affected by how the DBX test is conducted.  Successful blinding is only one condition to satisfy.  The other condition is that all other environmental or procedural variables are accounted for and paid attention to.  Inattention to all variables will give results, no doubt, but they wouldn't necessarily represent what happens in different circumstances where the variables involved are different.  Now when you are of the opinion that the DBT design and execution is questionable, will you then take the results and proceed to conclude that your senses have been playing tricks on you?

 

Take one example:

 

I personally hear damning differences between some cables when used with particular cans.  I hear more differences between some cables than I do between 256Kbit and lossless files.  I hear differences between some cables while I hear none whether or not I use a P-51 Mustang with my IEMs or ATH-ESW9A's.  I am therefore suspicious of any scientific data that claims there never being a difference.  I've looked at and considered the study designs and execution of DBT's to answer this question and I'm not happy with the DBX tests. I wish not to get into why.  The thread I sited has it all there.

 

OTOH, I'm happy with DBX tests that are used to differentiate encoding formats and bitrates.  The DBX test design and execution are VERY different from that for the cables.  I therefore trust the results a lot more and willingly accept their validity over that of my senses. 

 

It's not the concept of a DBT that's problematic.  What's problematic is the careful consideration of EACH DBT on its own merit, and whether or not its design and execution will lead to results that can be considered valid and true in answering the question being posed.

 

The problem on this forum and which has resulted in this thread may be illustrated by this:

 

- a person posts asking about cable A vs cable B

- someone advises cable B

- another posts that one shouldn't bother since cables don't make a difference and demands of the poster recommending cable B, evidence to support his recommendation.

- DBT's are then sited refuting audible differences between cables.

- others chime in to support both claims that cables do or that they do not make a difference.

- some stick to the specific issue and the tests involved.

- unfortunately some begin to generalize and assume that those who have a problem with specific DBT's, have problems with DBT's in general and that they are always blindly trusting their own senses and assuming their senses to be infallible etc.  Things break down from there since it's a genuinely ridiculous generalisation with no real basis behind it.


Edited by aimlink - 6/1/10 at 2:04pm
post #142 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimlink View Post

 I hear differences between some cables while I hear none whether or not I use a P-51 Mustang with my IEMs or ATH-ESW9A's.  I am therefore suspicious of any scientific data that claims there never being a difference.  I've looked at and considered the study designs and execution of DBT's to answer this question and I'm not happy with the DBX tests. I wish not to get into why.  


How is it problematic to design and execute a test to verify if this sighted experience holds up when you're not sighted? In fact, an ideal scenario is *exactly* that context in which you did hear the difference (in your room, with your cables, with your gear, the tracks that revealed those differences to you before).  The only difference is that you do it all over again except you don't get to see the cables.  So a friend gets to change the cables for you and you sit in a chair facing the other direction.  And you test if you reliably hear this difference again.  You hear it correctly 10 out of 12 times and the effect is real.  

post #143 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

How is it problematic to design and execute a test to verify if this sighted experience holds up when you're not sighted? In fact, an ideal scenario is *exactly* that context in which you did hear the difference (in your room, with your cables, with your gear, the tracks that revealed those differences to you before).  The only difference is that you do it all over again except you don't get to see the cables.  So a friend gets to change the cables for you and you sit in a chair facing the other direction.  And you test if you reliably hear this difference again.  You hear it correctly 10 out of 12 times and the effect is real.  

 

I agree!!


The K702's would be nice since it's an easily detachable cable configuration and the cable could be switched with the headphones remaining in place.  One thing though.... there's an obvious volume difference that I'd love to compensate for, but I don't have one of those meters to equalize the volumes.  

post #144 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post
[...] and the effect is real.  


most probably real. :D

post #145 of 150

@aimink 

 

Can you explain why you distrust dbt cable tests? I don't feel like reading that huge thread. I find that most reasons for ignoring dbt tests by cable believers are weaksauce.


Edited by Antony6555 - 6/2/10 at 11:57am
post #146 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post

@aimink 

 

Can you explain why you distrust dbt cable tests? I don't feel like reading that huge thread. I find that most reasons for ignoring dbt tests by cable believers are weaksauce.


He posted some reasons in post #141, some of which I agree with some of which I don't.

 

I do not believe that the DBT tests for cables that I've seen are flawed in any way.


Edited by Draca - 6/2/10 at 12:25pm
post #147 of 150

I would be far more convinced by a post which said I would recommend cable B as it is prettier, i am loyal to that make and it is cheaper than cable A. Or a post which stated I have ABX tested A and B and identified B as the better 100% of the time. Or cable makers conducting ABX tests and then advertsing their cable is better because it was rated the best 100% of the time. But neither of the latter ever happen, the recommendations are actually the former. 

post #148 of 150

My post #141 covers what relates to this thread.  I will certainly not be entering yet another cable related discussion here.  This thread is dealing with the basis behind some of our attitudes and why we can't have amicable conversation about our differences.  Too much generalisation and the dismissive attitudes that follow.

post #149 of 150

@aimink

 

Actually this thread was, at least originally, about why people tend to view things as out of the scope of science, and how this affects their mindset. Personally, I think that there are things that science can't really weigh in on, like religion or metaphysical philosophy. But I don't think that audio equipment, since it consists of physical objects, should be considered one of them. 

 

Anyway, I'm not interested in cables so much as whether dbt should considered valid, and I have yet to see any persuasive evidence that it shouldn't be. The statistic of a dbt may be debatable (for example, not enough people in the study). However, at a simply personal level if you cannot verify a difference through dbt, there IS probably no difference (for you).

 

If believers refuse to even attempt to verify their experience, of course others will be dismissive.  

post #150 of 150

@Anthony6555

 

I agree with you on pretty much all your points.

 

I do think that that duality is somehow built in to the human mind. Perhaps something left from our more primitive days when time was of the essence and quick decisions were needed. Then a "harmless/dangerous", "good/bad" dichotomy works very well. Now it is not needed as much, but still I feel that most people (me included even if I try to rid myself of such thinking) are in many ways very influenced by that way of thinking. So the duality of the mosaic religions (let's not forget Islam and Judaism) might be a creation of that dichotomy type thinking instead of the other way around...

 

I know that the sage in Tao te ching lives in society and still acts according to "the way", but in reality it can be difficult. When I was younger and more influenced by taoism, I tried that approach more and it was quite difficult to live your life detached but still present.
 

How this whole mess of a thread got started was with my insistence that even if science can be used on audio equipment, it cannot be connected to how people perceive that said equipment. Of course there are degrees of quality that will make certain equipment sound better than others, but to some people equipment which does not do very well in tests can still sound good. What does this depend on? Are these people not listening correctly? Do they lack that "golden ear"? My whole point was that, yes equipment CAN be measured, but can people's perception of that equipment be measured? If so, is there any perception that is "better"?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › About beliefs and "scientific impotence"