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post #31 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:


I hear you, "cable science" is far from that.  It's little understood I suspect, and if at all there's any science behind it--it's obviously not known science.  That's the gist of what I'm saying.  


I think it's too far a stretch to entertain the thought that there is some mysterious, unknown, and completely unmeasurable property that is conducted along a wire, that accounts for some people  hearing frequency and sound stage changes with different wires. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

sphinxvc, you are correct that undiscovered properties of such cables cannot be conclusively ruled out no matter how well the theories we currently have hold together.  I admit that and anyone who is intellectually honest should admit the possibility as well.

 

The real question is how likely it is that such properties actually exist.  The weight of the evidence suggests its not likely at all.  Of course everyone is free to think that they may exist or do exist and to try and discover and quantify these unknown properties.  I think its as likely as discovering real live gnomes, but if someone demonstrates I'm wrong I will happily change my mind.  I'd love to be able to make my headphones sound better with something as simple as a recable.  I'll shell out for fancy wire and sing its praises as soon as someone shows me it actually works.

 

What I (and I think most skeptics) have a problem with is the people who sell such things as if these properties had already been discovered.  Some retailers cross over the line into blatant fraud, but most rely on placebo induced testimonials in the usual manner of "alternative" medicine.  That's not as bad but its still far from honest.  If they were just sold for reasons like looks, ergonomics, or status I wouldn't have have much issue with it.  The problem is that they usually directly or indirectly make objective claims which they have not demonstrated to be true.


+1

 

post #32 of 122

 

Quote:
I think it's too far a stretch to entertain the thought that there is some mysterious, unknown, and completely unmeasurable property that is conducted along a wire, that accounts for some people  hearing frequency and sound stage changes with different wires.

 

I'm not too sure about that. Consider the examples of Dark Energy and Dark Matter. These phenomenon are specifically defined never to be detectable, only observable through their effects, but never observable directly. Yet we are told that dark matter and energy accounts for 96% of our known/unknown universe? Far fetched is far fetched but trust me, cables as having something unknown and immeasurable is far from being ridiculous when the leading physicists are all consumed by dark matter and energy. 

 

Furthermore, you have horrendous examples such as the discovery of the "Up Quark" and the attempts at finding Gravity waves. The Up Qark was discovered from a handful of "confirmed, detectable data," out of millions upon millions of runs. And by handful I assure you it was a handful. Less than 10 runs out of millions confirmed the existence of the Up Quark. And yet the existence of the up quark is a scientific truth!?

 

Additionally the real issue with any form of AxB testing or any type of test, blind, double blind, Monkey blind etc... is that science, or any known modern and or ancient methodology, cannot prove or disprove what one perceives. Unfortunately, perception is out of the hands of the scientist. Take for example a college student after a night of drinking claiming that he sees a blue elephant in his Psychology 101 class. Everyone else claims that they do not see an elephant and they all attribute his perception to his drinking and state that the elephant does not exist, rather is caused by his drinking. Take a second example when the same college student after sobering up still claims to see an elephant in the room. Now everyone attributes this to some fundamental problems with his psyche, perhaps he had been taking LSD or was simply mentally deranged and so they run experiments to find out what is going on with their friend. After some testing, they find that he was drugged by the professor. After the LSD passes through his system, the following week he still claims to see an elephant in the room. His colleagues test him for every drug known to man, check his mental state and find to be in perfectly normal condition. Yet he still claims to see an elephant in the room. So they all just call him crazy and proceed with the lecture. 

 

In the above story, notice that the best scientists/psuedoscientists can do is determine a cause for the individual's perception. They cannot tell the individual or more importantly prove to the individual that he cannot see an elephant in the room, they are limited to just determining its cause. And in the end when they cannot determine a cause for his "elephant seeing" state, they label him as a crock pot. And I claim that this is the same case for the audio testing. Do as you will to determine the CAUSE for hearing something different, you can never find a way to prove that someone either experiences or does not experience something. And in fact if you think really hard about the primary premise of any science, you should come to realize that it is observation. Science cannot deny observation because it is the very root of all empirical methods of acquiring knowledge. Deny observation and you deny all of science, (not that I'm saying that's a bad thing).

post #33 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdupiano View Post

Take for example a college student after a night of drinking claiming that he sees a blue elephant in his Psychology 101 class. Everyone else claims that they do not see an elephant and they all attribute his perception to his drinking and state that the elephant does not exist, rather is caused by his drinking.


But if you cover his ears and suddenly the elephant disappears, I think it's safe to assume it's not there.

 

Of course you can't tell someone he doesn't perceive it. That's not the intent. The intent is to show that what he perceives is not real. If there is no elephant then there is no elephant, no matter what he perceives.


Edited by Head Injury - 8/4/11 at 6:26pm
post #34 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


But if you cover his ears and suddenly the elephant disappears, I think it's safe to assume it's not there.

 

Of course you can't tell someone he doesn't perceive it. That's not the intent. The intent is to show that what he perceives is not real. If there is no elephant then there is no elephant, no matter what he perceives.

 

That's absurdly illogical. 

You intend to show someone that their perception is not real? If my perception of the world is false (as you believe it to me) and you "show" me that it is false, which perception am I to believe? The initial one of the elephant or of you telling me that the elephant is not real? Furthermore, it is illogical for you to show me reality if you already assume that my perceptions are faulty, its like believing I am a drunk and giving me your car keys to drive you home. It would be perfectly acceptable though if you were to make the claim that all the world except for your claims of truth are false. Its akin to the man claiming that "Everything is Relative," yet forgetting to utter the words "except this statement which I have just made for it is universally true, and this one." 

 

Sorry had to get that out of my system. You do realize that you stated that "you can't tell someone he doesn't perceive it" and proceed to state in the following sentence that you wish to "show that what he perceives is not real."  The reason that you cannot tell someone he does not perceive something is because it calls to question his notion of reality and for you to "show that what he perceives is not real" is to in fact do the same thing. So you actually stated that in the first sentence you cannot do one thing and in the following proceeded to do just that which you stated you would not do. 

 

That's a little sketchy to me. 

 

 

post #35 of 122

If you think your senses are infallible, then you've gotta be a hoot to get high with.

post #36 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdupiano View Post



 

That's absurdly illogical. 

<snip>

That's a little sketchy to me. 

 

 


You still selling cables?

 

post #37 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdupiano View Post

That's absurdly illogical.


Have you ever seen an optical illusion before?  If you ever have it should be pretty obvious that your perceptions don't always map to reality.

post #38 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post




You still selling cables?

 

Nope.

 

Edit (11:18 PM EST)

Attack my arguments, not me or my beliefs. I won't take offense to you question me or my beliefs, its just it won't get us anywhere and I would hope that you are searching for the truth rather than trying to make a point for the sake of making one.


 

 


Edited by pdupiano - 8/4/11 at 8:19pm
post #39 of 122

I think "undiscovered" science can be ruled out.  Cables are either paranormal or the result of human psychology.

 

If the paranormal is at work, then blind listening tests would demonstrate a difference.  If a difference was proven, you could assume it exists, even though we would not know what was making the difference.

 

On the other hand, if human bias/expectation/placebo is at work, then a blind listening test would show no difference.

 

Every test so far has come up with results no better than chance, so it's pretty safe to say that the differences are imaginary.  Further, that even if a paranormal difference exists, then it cannot be heard.

 

One thing for the believers to consider is that, in the highly unlikely event that a scientific difference is found, it will probably only apply to a very limited set of cables.  Even worse, it could probably be used to prove that 99% of the stuff out there is pure snakeoil.  This is just a very general discussion.  When you get to the particulars of all the cables out there, they have conflicting claims and construction.

 

Not all of them can be right.  But all of them can be wrong.  Proving that one type of cable "works" would also prove that the majority of believers have been listening to placebo and suggestion.


Edited by Uncle Erik - 8/4/11 at 8:15pm
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

If you think your senses are infallible, then you've gotta be a hoot to get high with.



Never stated senses are infallible, I agree that you cannot trust them (and hence the optical illusion comment shown above made by maverickronin). But the whole issue brought up was not a question of whether your senses lie, but rather whether or not you can prove or disprove that you actually sense something (ie. do you hear something from cables). Take for example the optical illusion comment. When you see something strange like the duck/rabbit image, you explain what causes the strange observation. In this case, it is an optical illusion.

 

Do you question the existence or non existence of the observation when you start to ask what did I just see? Or are you questioning what it is that you observe. In other words, do you question that you observed something strange, or do you question the strange observation? What I stated previously is that you dont question the act of observing something strange, but rather you question what it is that you observed. And when you get to the point that you shout out,"Oh! it was just an optical illusion!", notice that you have actually surpassed the point of questioning the existence of your observation but rather have spent the time questioning what the observation was. So the optical illusion comment actually does not apply to what I've stated. 

 

The real claim that I'm making is that science cannot prove or disprove that you in truth sense something. It can only question what it is that you observed. It can ask questions such as, what caused the observation, why did I have the observation and so on. It cannot ask, was the observation real or not. And be careful not to confuse asking what caused the observation with proving or disproving the observation. Because you cannot find a cause for the observation does not prove that you did not observe something. In fact, to be able to do any scientific testing requires you to assume that you made such an observation and are now questioning the observation it self. That's the reason why you do AxB testing with different cables, you assume "hey I heard something when that cable was in there, I think the cause of what I heard is in that cable" So let's say that you do an AxB test and you are in fact able to discern between cables, so much so that the great Randi actually pays you $1 million dollars! Did the test prove that you observed something? NO it didnt! The test simply showed that what you observed is caused by the cables, not that you observed ANYTHING at all. 

 

So then you should state that "Hey Mr. Idiot, FINALLY we get to the real topic at hand. All I really care about is that last thing you said, that the test could show if the cables were the cause of what you heard. So doesn't that disprove everything you said that AxB testing was useless, and is in fact usefull in skinning the snake oilers??"

 

Well if it were only the case that the anti snake oil folks would stop there. Unfortunately, they don't. They trespass on grounds that science cannot help them, and make claims believing that they are standing on the impregnable pedestal built by Newton himself while in fact are standing on the same ground as the snake oilers. They make the leap that because people cannot tell a difference between cables implies that they cannot hear anything different from different cables. Remember that all the AxB testing can do is show causality (do cables cause what you observed), the testing has no bearing on whether or not you heard something. 

 

Then you say "Well if you cannot hear something different in the cables enough to tell a difference between the cables, doesn't that imply that you did not hear anything?"

 

Unfortunately, no it doesn't. It just shows that the cause for what I heard is not in the cables. 

 

So you should then claim, "So its just some sort of placebo then, there's nothing wrong with the test. There's just something wrong with you"

 

Unfortunately, that's not the case either. The problem with the test is, no matter how perfect, no matter how precise it may be, it can never go beyond stating that either "Cables caused what you heard" or "cables did not cause what you heard." The test cannot then cross over the bounds and say "Therefore you did not hear anything."

 

And of course you should should, after such a long discussion, "Whats the POINT!?"

 

The point is, that when people claim that SCIENCE Tells us you cannot hear anything from cables, they're lying. That's not science. Science ended where you questioned the cause of what you heard. The arguments that the anti snake oilers make are therefore from the same basis as the snake oilers -they are beliefs. Not Science. 

 

 

post #41 of 122

I'm not going to read all of that by the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdupiano View Post

The point is, that when people claim that SCIENCE Tells us you cannot hear anything from cables, they're lying. That's not science. Science ended where you questioned the cause of what you heard. The arguments that the anti snake oilers make are therefore from the same basis as the snake oilers -they are beliefs. Not Science. 


Science asks "Why?" Science doesn't tell us we cannot hear anything. Science tells us that there are no physical audible difference. Why? Because from the decades of knowledge of electricity, backed by years of cable measurements and general electrical use, we know that the known properties of electricity do not allow for audible differences in cables that aren't totally falling apart. Unless a cable does something beyond the known electrical properties, there won't be a difference.

 

Science is now asking "If there are no real audible differences, why do people hear differences?" The answer, so far, is placebo. This is supported by the many blind tests performed and failed. The "If" clause is in there because, if someone does discover an unknown electrical property, the real audibility of cables may change. As Uncle Erik pointed out. At that point science is able to correct itself. Until then, there is NO evidence to support real audible differences, only psychological ones. To suggest otherwise without evidence is "absurdly illogical".

 

Science ended when we questioned the cause? What is your definition of science?

post #42 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I think "undiscovered" science can be ruled out.  Cables are either paranormal or the result of human psychology.

 

If the paranormal is at work, then blind listening tests would demonstrate a difference.  If a difference was proven, you could assume it exists, even though we would not know what was making the difference.

 

On the other hand, if human bias/expectation/placebo is at work, then a blind listening test would show no difference.

 

Every test so far has come up with results no better than chance, so it's pretty safe to say that the differences are imaginary.  Further, that even if a paranormal difference exists, then it cannot be heard.

 

One thing for the believers to consider is that, in the highly unlikely event that a scientific difference is found, it will probably only apply to a very limited set of cables.  Even worse, it could probably be used to prove that 99% of the stuff out there is pure snakeoil.  This is just a very general discussion.  When you get to the particulars of all the cables out there, they have conflicting claims and construction.

 

Not all of them can be right.  But all of them can be wrong.  Proving that one type of cable "works" would also prove that the majority of believers have been listening to placebo and suggestion.


Well put, and did so without long winded arguments. But I'd like to point out that most cable companies do not make claims to be "the best" but rather have claims to changing certain characteristics meaning that your conclusion that "not all of them can be right" may not be a valid conclusion. It would definitely be a valid conclusion if several companies made the same set of claims (eg. This makes the tampini sound superbly bright and powerful on the low end -I have no idea what that means so please don't ask) while using different construction methods/materials, but by in large I think they play it safe and make different promises, usually vague ones. So they could also be all correct, all wrong, some right and some wrong. 

 

post #43 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

I'm not going to read all of that by the way.


Science asks "Why?" Science doesn't tell us we cannot hear anything. Science tells us that there are no physical audible difference. Why? Because from the decades of knowledge of electricity, backed by years of cable measurements and general electrical use, we know that the known properties of electricity do not allow for audible differences in cables that aren't totally falling apart. Unless a cable does something beyond the known electrical properties, there won't be a difference.

 

Science is now asking "If there are no real audible differences, why do people hear differences?" The answer, so far, is placebo. This is supported by the many blind tests performed and failed. The "If" clause is in there because, if someone does discover an unknown electrical property, the real audibility of cables may change. As Uncle Erik pointed out. At that point science is able to correct itself. Until then, there is NO evidence to support real audible differences, only psychological ones. To suggest otherwise without evidence is "absurdly illogical".

 

Science ended when we questioned the cause? What is your definition of science?

 

Short and brief:

 

Science can only question causes (what causes what I heard, what causes what I see, what causes the booger from my nose falling on the ground).

Science cannot question observations. It relies on observations. And you agree to this from your statement that "Science doesn't tell us we cannot hear anything" << That is all that I was after. That means that no amount of testing can SCIENTIFICALLY conclude that you do not hear anything. Meaning that 99.99999999999% of anti snake oil arguments claiming "Oh science states that you cannot hear anything" is false. and I just wanted to show that the anti snake oil folks are arguing without science just like the snake oil folks, and neither party is better than the other.

 

long and longer:

You cannot (well you can, but you should not) use tradition or long held beliefs as truth because I am quite certain that the decades of knowledge of electricity are surpassed by the centuries of knowledge about the aether, which is no longer around by Einstein's decree. 

 

Suggesting something without evidence is not illogical, in fact that is how the greatest physical theories have come about. The theory of Special and General relativities were constructed (the paper for special relativity is short, I recommend it its a good and quick read), by making an assumption and following it to its logical conclusion. There were no evidences for a great deal of the assumptions from the theory, but the theory could solve problems that arose from standard Electromagnetic theories and so it was worthwhile fleshing out. Einstein did, and lo and behold we have the special theory of relativity. To suggest anything without evidence is not illogical, to suggest truth from perceived evidence while claiming that:

 

 

 

Quote:
If you think your senses are infallible, then you've gotta be a hoot to get high with.

 

Now that, is absurdly illogical. But hopefully you are not suggesting truth, rather a "good for now" sort of "truth".

 

 

 


Edited by pdupiano - 8/4/11 at 8:55pm
post #44 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdupiano View Post



>

Suggesting something without evidence is not illogical, in fact that is how the greatest physical theories have come about. The theory of Special and General relativities were constructed (the paper for special relativity is short, I recommend it its a good and quick read), by making an assumption and following it to its logical conclusion. There were no evidences for a great deal of the assumptions from the theory, but the theory could solve problems that arose from standard Electromagnetic theories and so it was worthwhile fleshing out. Einstein did, and lo and behold we have the special theory of relativity. To suggest anything without evidence is not illogical, to suggest truth from perceived evidence while claiming that:

>

I promised myself that I was staying out of this, but I can't let this bit pass. The theories of special and general relativity were solutions to observed phenomena. Einstein didn't pull them out of thin air. It was his insight that brought together theoretical and empirical work by Albert Michelson, Hendrik Lorentz, and Henri Poincaré. There was evidence, just no good theory to unite it in satisfactory way until 1905.

Science can most certainly question our observations and perceptions. You should go over to the thread with the TED talk, where scientists showed how when people thought they were drinking expensive wine, pleasure centers in their minds lit up that were not affected when they thought they were drinking plonk.
post #45 of 122

To admit you don't know everything is the first step on the road to wisdom.


I would have had more respect for my collage teachers if they would have acted that way. I have a lot of respect for my teachers and they somehow learned much more about some subjects than I will ever learn. I guess their job is undermined by statements showing where mankind is not filling in all the blanks. All day long students are getting one step ahead of the teachers and trying to stump them on their very own subjects.

The truth of the matter is in 60 years collage text books will say different things. Have you ever looked at a textbook from the 1920s?

Funny that we think we understand everything about electricity. I would guess we know about 1%.IMO

Placebo is another interesting subject. I would guess we know very little about placebo too.


Don't try this at home. Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away.

This is the placebo effect: somehow, sometimes, a whole lot of nothing can be very powerful. Except it's not quite nothing. When Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy carried out the above experiment, he added a final twist by adding naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of morphine, to the saline. The shocking result? The pain-relieving power of saline solution disappeared.

So what is going on? Doctors have known about the placebo effect for decades, and the naloxone result seems to show that the placebo effect is somehow biochemical. But apart from that, we simply don't know.

Benedetti says, but one thing is clear: the mind can affect the body's biochemistry.

My first day with my new amp I tried the expensive silver cables and the sound was too bright!
Did I know in the back of my mind  that people said silver makes sound bright? Did I feel I had spent too much already and thwarted my next purchase. I went back to the $10.00 Monster cables for about a year. Later I found that other copper cables made a lasting great change in my system.

I have stopped looking for reasons but I do know when the reasons for changes in cables are found there will be more great scientific improvements.

Higher Education says that something does not exist if it can not be proved. This technology saving mankind from superstition and myth. The superstition and myth have held us back all these years. Most of my teachers did not believe in God and were very open about it. It seems that science has taken care of that superstition too. We do not need God anymore as we have all the answers to everything.

To admit you don't know everything is the first step on the road to wisdom.

I would have had more respect for my collage teachers if they would have acted more wise.

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