Originally Posted by yepimonfire
Don't take this the wrong way, but what exactly do you mean by that?
The idea of "truth with a capital T" is what I'm getting at - absolutes. They don't exist, empirically. Science deals with "small truths" as a result. It's very much a philosophical argument, I know, but it's a distinction that I see a lot of people fail to make when talking about science. A great anecdote for this appears in Men In Black:
There is no "irrefutable Truth" unless we're talking about religious faith, which is called faith for a reason.
I regard my chosen field as offering a logical, objective, and mathematical explanation of the world around me
That's empiricism, that's science.
which remains constant and unchanging, if something does change and doesn't work based upon calculations and the theory behind it, then I'm the one who's made and error, not the fundamentals of science and math.
The difference is fundamental - one side is simply the construction of a philosophy of structured inquiry to observe and describe the physical world around us. The other rejects the ability of that philosophy to change, wants to carve it into stone, and says all problems stem from human flaw or failure (and because I don't know what your frame of reference is with respect to religion, this is VERY similar to Abrahamic tradition of accepting God as static perfection, and all flaw stemming from original sin and human failure).
In other words, science DOES change, that's part of the point. It's self-correcting and self-improving, you take what you knew yesterday and use it to try and explain why you're seeing today, in order to understand what might happen tomorrow. The "constant and unchanging" bit doesn't work at all - if that were the case, there'd be no scientific innovation, or engineering at all. It doesn't deal in absolutes, it deals in theory and law, both of which are fickle and transitive.
I think it applies to headphones and other gear in a similar way, but this hobby is subjective in some ways. For example, we could hypothesize that a sony mdr-XB700 has more bass than an audio technica AD700. we could test this hypothesis by having multiple people compare the two headphones, nobody is going to say the AD700 has more bass than the XB700, then, we could take multiple graphs of the two headphones, or even several copies of them using several copies of them, and if we continuously get people saying it has more bass, and the graphs keeps showing it has more bass, we can now say that we have a scientific theory that mdr XB700's have more bass than AD700's. But, if we hypothesize that everybody will think the MDR XB700's bass sounds good, we are going to fail to prove that, because some people will like it, some people won't.
Sure, but this isn't the same as "unchanging and constant" and it doesn't set-up an absolute. You never prove anything, you just support or refute a hypothesis with evidence. For example, what happens if someone DOES say that the AD700 is bassier? You can't pre-suppose the outcome, it's bad experimental design and you've already shot yourself in the foot.
We can prove that an accurate headphone is technically superior using measurements, provided our definition of "superior" is a headphone that reproduces a perceived response as close to the original signal as possible.
You don't "prove" you only "support" or "refute" - there is no "prove." You can postulate that a headphone capable of reproducing the signal with the least amount of deviation or distortion is more accurate, and then objectively measure a few headphones and find the one that has the least deviation in its results, which shows that it comes closest to meeting your original criteria. But you haven't "proven" anything. You can then take that and go talk to the perceptual and behavioral guys, and set-up your HSR to get an idea of what people actually like, testing the headphone you found to be least deviant against other options, and see what you get. And then crunch the math on the returned data and figure out if there's a strong correlation or preference, and what kind of confidence you have, and then present your findings as support or refutation of your original hypothesis. But you still have not "proven" anything. And any research design that sets out from day 1 to "prove" something is inherently flawed.
We can prove that a solid state amplifier is technically superior to tubes based amps based on our definition of superior being the one that again, reproduces the original signal as close to perfect as possible.
Again, see above. There is no "prove" there is only description, demonstration, observation, and so on. There is no Truth seeking here.
This is science, and this is objective, opinions are not objective, and people who try and place objective views on peoples opinions are doingitwrong.jpg
No, it's not. It's something else. Science isn't about "prove" or Truth, it's about description, observation, postulation, theory formation, and so on. And you don't ever stop that process just because your field-work is done, or your lab-work is done, there's interpretation, peer-review, revision, theory testing, and so on. External controls and regulation. It goes on and on and on. Some guy sitting in his basement with an oscope telling the world "how it is" is far from science.
The bit on opinion feels too heavily influenced by modern Western scholarship too - truly unfortunate that. Unfortunately there's a MASSIVE misunderstanding and general ignorance towards what actually constitutes objective or subjective, qualitative or quantitative, inductive or deductive, etc and the words get thrown around willy-nilly by a lot of people as meaning something they aren't. And it's from the rise of scientism (has anyone actually gone and looked this up as a philosophy? as in, can I assume that people actually know exactly what I'm talking about here? or do I need to provide more explanation?) in my view - not to keep hitting movies up for quotes, but:
And I see that as sort of the "trend" recently (without the dinosaurs (FUN SIDE NOTE: obobs has met one of the people who designed the animatronics for that movie)); a re-construction of the supernatural through "science" and "irrefutable natural law" (Natural Law being an Enlightenment era concept). It's unfortunate, because it does a dis-service to what science truly is, and I think leaves a lot of bad taste in its wake, where you get people who have no formal experience with science coming out of it with this vision as science as "yet another religion" and the scientismists (yes I know this isn't grammatical, but "scientist" and "scientologist" are both unrelated demonyms) thinking they're doing "God's work" (for lack of a better phrase) in proving Truth and showing the heathen-savages how wrong they really are (this being a hallmark of Western civilization for the last 500 years, at least).
Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Regarding whether or not I'm condemning the Sound Science board - I really don't care either way (I'm not "for" or "against" (well, I'm "for" inasmuch as it hopefully prevents board-wide drama)). There are plenty of bright people who post there, and some of their posts are very informative and interesting, but the whole "DBT as religion" and "science proves you wrong" kind of thing is where I really have to draw the line and say "no thank you."
If it took a more scientific tack, and was more interested in description, analysis, and interpretation - not prescription, prediction, and argumentation - it would be a far better resource imho. And that kind of information already sort of exists elsewhere on Head-Fi. The parts of Sound Science that are based on discussing science news or people talking about published findings are usually interesting though, but I see that as a minority of the content there.
Just saw your most recent post. Very insightful indeed, and I think you've probably hit it on the head. Online fora (like any other form of social interaction) have an associated schema, and accepted speech/image acts (lets see if I can for the hat-trick and mix a third discipline's concepts into one sentence, shall we!) - and that's where you see a lot of formulaic and structured interaction (BA-ZING!). It becomes routine.
Personally I agree to some extent - I can talk philosophy and theory all day, and it doesn't really bore me, but it doesn't excite me either. I like talking audio gear, and that's basically why I'm here, but I don't see any reason for that to spill into "haves" and "have nots" (be it knowledge, gear, money, whatever); I just like talking gear.
On a broader note, the social issues you're touching on are impossible to even characterize in a global manner (sure, the behavioral neuroscientists *say* they can do it, but fMRIs are expensive and that field is very much an infant), but within a properly framed lens, solution-focused applied projects happen all the time, but they're always one-offs. There is no universal "fix all" - and historically speaking everything that has purported to be such at best is just wishful thinking, and at worst usually results in atrocities being committed at some point (usually sooner than later). But I'm glad other people are thinking about these kinds of things.Edited by obobskivich - 10/26/12 at 11:13pm