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Ban 'I hear a difference between X therefore the difference is caused by X' from Sound Science.  

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 

Since ABX and blind testing is banned elsewhere in this forum, we should have a similar ban on the constant subjectivist argument that they hear differences between all sorts of hifi kit and components from opamps to cables and that difference is caused by the hifi component itself.

 

Banning ABX and blind testing elsewhere removes one of the main planks of the objectivist argument, that if you cannot see what you are listening to you either really struggle to hear, or cannot hear a difference anymore. The conclusion from that is the difference is caused by sight and knowledge of the component, so influences such as image, reviews, cost become part of the perceived sound quality. That is a well proven conclusion that stands up to a repeatable, recognised testing method.

 

ABX and blind testing is a better evidenced argument than the subjectivist unproven, pseudeoscience non sequitur, 'I and my mates hear a difference between Supadoopa £500 cables over Elcheapo £5 cables and the difference is caused by the cable, where the Supadoopa cable maker claims that the reflective uber sheilding causes a reduction in static which realignes the skin effect molecules allowing a smoother transmission of the audio signal'. That is no repeatable, not proven and uses no recognised testing method.

 

Such claims then allow another subjectivist debate spoiler, the claim objectivists don't think they really do hear a difference. That is not true with those who are seriously asking how hifi kit works to cause sound quality differences. Some objectivists, such as myself still hear differences between cables. But we no longer think that the difference is caused by the cable, it is caused by us and placebo or whtever you want to call it.

 

We don't dispute that subjectivists hear a difference, we ask instead why do you hear a difference.

 

So I would ask that the main subjectivist argument of 'I hear a difference between X, so it is caused by X is banned'. It is used as a spoiler to ruin many a debate here.

post #2 of 71

I get where you're coming from, but I wouldn't go so far as to call for a ban. Chilling effect and all that. How about if we get a sticky note saying that "I hear a difference from X, so it is caused by X" is not a sufficient argument? I'd prefer that the Science forum has the high ground on freedom of expression and ideas.

 

 

I've been wondering about this: does the DBT ban apply to all forums except for Sound Science, or just the Cables forum? The only official reference to the ban that I recall seeing is in the title of the Cables forum itself. I didn't see anything about it in the TOS. (This paragraph is not directed specifically at the OP, just hoping to get an official answer since we're on a related topic.)

 

post #3 of 71

For those who haven't seen this it answers part of the "why do subjectivists hear a difference when there is no difference" question. Our brains alter what our ears hear based on what we know we're listening to. I discuss this, and several other points you make, further in my Subjective vs Objective Debate article. If you haven't watched this 3 minute BBC video it's very telling. Especially when the researcher explains it's involuntary, and even after many years of his research, it still affects him just as much as the next guy. We can't turn off our listening bias when we know what we're listening to but the subjectivists still think they somehow can:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0 (The McGurk Effect)

post #4 of 71

Although only explicitly stated in the title of the cables etc. forum DBT discussion is banned in all sub-forums except the Science subforum.

 

I do not think banning "I hear a difference....." posts would be productive. There are many ways to address them, one can ignore obviously provocative posts, or ask for more evidence/details when the post seems to be made in good faith (not always an easy call for either side)  and then make our own minds up based on how we perceive the quality or feasibility of the evidence provided.

 

 

post #5 of 71
Thread Starter 

You are right, I was annoyed at one of the regular subjectivist trolls who sometimes pops up in Sound Science with that very argument and then comes out with trite advice that we should just enjoy music.

 

 

post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Since ABX and blind testing is banned elsewhere in this forum, we should have a similar ban on the constant subjectivist argument that they hear differences between all sorts of hifi kit and components from opamps to cables and that difference is caused by the hifi component itself.

 


That's not a subjectivist argument. Please stop framing it as such.

 

But in general I agree. If blind testing can't be mentioned in the other forums, then it only makes sense for religion to be kept out of the science forum.

 

se

 

 

 

post #7 of 71
Thread Starter 

Sorry, but that is the defining subjectivist argument.

post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Sorry, but that is the defining subjectivist argument.


No, it is not.

 

No one making such an argument is a subjectivist. Such individuals are what would best be described as "pseudo-objectivists."

 

True subjectivists make no claims beyond their subjective experience. So please stop referring to those who do as "subjectivists." They are not. No matter what they may refer to themselves as.

 

se

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 71
Thread Starter 

OK, I see where you are coming from, cable etc believers it is then!

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

OK, I see where you are coming from, cable etc believers it is then!


Thank you.

 

se

 

 

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post




No, it is not.

 

No one making such an argument is a subjectivist. Such individuals are what would best be described as "pseudo-objectivists."

 

True subjectivists make no claims beyond their subjective experience. So please stop referring to those who do as "subjectivists." They are not. No matter what they may refer to themselves as.

 

se

 

 

 


Guys (and gals), let's not get ourselves in a useless circular argument here...

 

Nobody here is claiming here that tweak believers are subjectivists in the classic philosophical sense.  Nobody's mistaking it that way either.

 

Obviously "subjectivist" is a useful term for describing people who hold such thoughts here, and although it may not be the most technically correct use of the word according to one field, that doesn't mean it it can't be used in other ways.  It is hardly the first word to have more than one definition...

 

In fact, Merriam-Webster lists this as one of its definitions: "a theory that stresses the subjective elements in experience", and thefreedictionary.com lists this as one of its definitions: "A theory or doctrine that emphasizes the subjective elements in experience," which is more or less exactly what we're dealing with here.  Plenty of tweak-believers don't bother with any attempt at explaining their experiences in a science-y manner, and those that do always trump the subjective experience over the objective listening test.  The pseudo-science that is used by some to explain such subjective experiences always follows the subjective experience, and as a result of being misleading or just plain unfounded/wrong in scientific terms, has nothing to do with objectivity in the "repeatable in a controlled environment and every attempt to remove human personal bias removed" sense.  There's no attempt at being objective by anyone except the very few that do actually try to perform serious experiments.

 

So I would say that we're dealing with "subjectivists" and "subjectivist psuedo-scientists".  But you can call them whatever you want, because we all know what we're talking about.

 

Anyway, I think a sticky explaining that subjective experiences are not valid evidence in this forum, and you are not going to be taken seriously if you do post as such, would be appropriate.


Edited by BlackbeardBen - 7/18/11 at 1:06pm
post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbeardBen View Post

Anyway, I think a sticky explaining that subjective experiences are not valid evidence in this forum, and you are not going to be taken seriously if you do post as such, would be appropriate.


I second the above. That's essentially the rule at Hydrogenaudio and it's worked reasonably well there for years.

 

As for defining what a subjectivist is, I also agree it's probably not realistic, or terribly useful, to try and apply a strict definition in this case. Just like there are many flavors of Democrats and Republicans I think the same is true for audio subjectivists and objectivists. I'm sure many of you have seen this page, but Doug Self took a stab at some definitions that some here might find useful:

 

http://douglas-self.com/ampins/pseudo/subjectv.htm

 

post #13 of 71
Quote:

Originally Posted by nwavguy View Post

 

As for defining what a subjectivist is, I also agree it's probably not realistic, or terribly useful, to try and apply a strict definition in this case. Just like there are many flavors of Democrats and Republicans I think the same is true for audio subjectivists and objectivists. I'm sure many of you have seen this page, but Doug Self took a stab at some definitions that some here might find useful:

 

http://douglas-self.com/ampins/pseudo/subjectv.htm

 


I'm not looking to apply a strict definition. Just a rational one.

 

If someone attempts to pass off their subjective experience as something more than that, effectively making an objective claim (i.e. that their subjective experience was entirely due to some actual audible difference), then that person simply isn't a subjectivist by any stretch of the imagination. But it is precisely these people who are routinely called "subjectivists" by the objectivists. 

 

Thanks for the link. Need to have a little talk with Doug. biggrin.gif

 

se

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 71

I have to agree with PRM about banning the so-called subjectivist argument from sound science.  I don't really think that its a "good" idea per se, but given that they can troll this forum with their "best" argument and we're not even allowed to respectfully mention the opposing idea in the cables sub-forum it seems a little unfair to me.

 

I would be happier if we were allowed to discuss things freely in all sub-forums but if we can't this would be the next best thing.

post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post


I'm not looking to apply a strict definition. Just a rational one.

 

If someone attempts to pass off their subjective experience as something more than that, effectively making an objective claim (i.e. that their subjective experience was entirely due to some actual audible difference), then that person simply isn't a subjectivist by any stretch of the imagination. But it is precisely these people who are routinely called "subjectivists" by the objectivists. 

 

Thanks for the link. Need to have a little talk with Doug. biggrin.gif

 

se

 


 

Ah, but you are trying to apply a strict definition.  When one says that subjective experiences trump or in fact are objective evidence, we could be said to be dealing with a subjectivist according to the not-so-narrow definition of subjectivist.  When one of these people makes a claim based on these subjective observations that they say is objective, that doesn't make the claim actually objective in the scientific sense.  Perhaps in the philosophic sense, but again we're talking science here and not philosophy (remember, this is the Sound Science subforum, not the Sound Philosophy one).

 

 

The fact of the matter is that we still all know what someone referred to as a "subjectivist" here is, and as such it still serves as a perfectly useful term for getting across our points.  Because that's what words are, right?  Representations of ideas.  If there's no confusion - and as far as I am aware of there is none - then there is nothing to worry about.  Words are a man-made construct and we can adapt them to see fit as long as they serve their purpose effectively.

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