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An escapist therapy?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Am I the only one who sometimes feels this addictive hobby of ours is some kind of escapism?

I am not saying my life is meaningless.

Not at all. I love most parts of it.

I love my fiancee, I love my dog, my cats, etc.

I make a decent living. I have a nice house.

Yet, somehow, when I sit at home  listening to music, wondering what might be IF I only bought THIS or THAT amazing piece of gear to make things better - nothing turns me on more...

I NEED it. Bad. Now.

Like sex, but stronger.

I become competitive.

Fierce.

Makes my life more meaningful somehow.

I know, a dark subject; most of you will shrug it off. But most of us must feel it at some point or another...

Why do we NEED these things?

There was a time when listening to ANY music, be it through the crappiest of sources and the most questionable pair of speakers only ignited our imaginations more and nonetheless sounded amazing - if only helped by a joint or two...

Those days are gone. I get it.

But why the passion, the hunger, the NEED now?

Whence this evil ghost, that I may rid it from my sight?

i don't feel so dissatisfied with my life as to claim immediate "compensation" methods, but I don't feel like my life is complete UNLESS I have these things I suddenly feel, at any given time, I need - however impractical or unfeasible. 

My significant other has thus far been very understanding (a tiny blessing - a beautiful, nagging blessing, but a blessing nonetheless) and I've gotten things more or less under control - but a similar scenario has gone down differently in the past.

There were days, years ago, when I'd spend all of my free time literally staring out the mailbox waiting for gear I'd ordered off Audiogon or wherever, and it cost me more than one relationship...

Is this normal?

What is, really? 

Is it better than getting a hot-rod? A new car? A huge HD 3D TV? A cottage?

Why are these considered a better investment?

Somehow, many people can't understand spending over a grand for speakers, yet no one would for a second doubt a 3k tv purchase, a 40k car, a 100k cottage for a nice weekend getaway...

What if this hobby is MY cottage? My joyride in the country? My night at the movies?

Is it so wrong, then, that I want more, better, more lifelike?

I truly wonder.

How do some of you justify it?

IS it some escapist therapy? Is it more?

Do some of you suffer from this hobby, that one may also classify as an addiction, or are most of you happy with your addiction?

More importantly, how do your partners feel, for those who have them?

post #2 of 7

First off, praise for your openness. You don't see these kind of subjects too much around here so I find it pretty courageous to speak out. I must respond because I can see it's from the heart and the man needs a little support.

 

My take? All hobbies are escapism. From A to Z. We want relief/distraction from what's on our mind so we dive into something. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e does it. What I get from your words is that it seems you're diving pretty deep which is cool because you might get to see things others won't but.. you are pretty low on oxygen. Time to re-surface? What I'm saying is, eventhough you enjoy what you do you're clearly not comfortable with the present situation so especially in the longer term you might want to change your game a little bit. What that is, is for you to figure out.

 

I can imagine that it's somewhat important to you to at least get any answer on some of your questions:

 

-Am I the only one who sometimes feels this addictive hobby of ours is some kind of escapism?

*You're never the only one :D

 

-Why do we NEED these things?

*It's a frikkin' buzz. That's why.

 

-But why the passion, the hunger, the NEED now?

*Your ''controller'' is malfunctioning

 

-Is it better than getting a hot-rod? A new car? A huge HD 3D TV? A cottage? Why are these considered a better investment?

*They aren't a better investment. What they are is generally accepted goods. The hobby that we're in is quite specific and just a tiny group of people cares on the audiophile level. I can imagine that this is frowned upon as was frowned upon the guy who told us the earth isn't flat. The mainstream cares for mainstream things mostly.

 

-What if this hobby is MY cottage? My joyride in the country? My night at the movies?

*There you go. To each his own 100%.

 

-Is it so wrong, then, that I want more, better, more lifelike?

*Perhaps this is the rootcause question of your story. What I find interesting is if can you honestly and objectively say you are (still) gaining in SQ? Or are you making sidesteps and is there nothing to gain anymore?

 

-Do some of you suffer from this hobby, that one may also classify as an addiction, or are most of you happy with your addiction?

*Not this hobby in my case but in all honesty I am definitely suffering from x-form of computer addiction. In the sense that I have not developed as much as could have been in other areas of life. Tell you one thing, depending on the severity there are worse addictions than whatever it is we both may be suffering from.

 

 

Hope this gives you some food for thought. 


Edited by moriez - 10/24/13 at 1:38am
post #3 of 7
We are taught to achieve more, it's ingrained as development. Desire is human nature and we have been programmed for the profit of others. How it's satisfied is each person's solution. As you get older, the desire isn't as intense and you find a point of satisfaction for most areas in your value system. For some, satisfaction isn't the goal or they can't ascertain a value system, so they use other's values and amass as much as they can and make it a competition.

As for better audio satisfaction, the reference changes as we become more experienced. I have some desire to tweak what I have but the chase is over.

The value of an object is dependent on the subject determining it. I wouldn't pay $50k for a perfect Camero. I paid what I have for my headohone rig (over time) because it's worth that value to me. To my brother, a perfect Camero has that value, and my headphone rig he doesn't feel has the value I put to it. Yet he drops as much money in an audio system for those cars as I have a headphone rig so go figure. wink.gif We both have common values in other areas but our passions are different.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, thank you both for your replies...

I was going through a sort of crisis when I wrote this.

To be honest, I still am, but anyone who understands the nature of crisis knows this. Knows about how one can talk a situation like it was a thing of the past.

The thing is, I see myself seeking and needing and wanting, throwing caution to the wind - and I am always stuck with buyer's remorse. Not because the purchase itself is bad, but because, in most cases, it was unnecessary and careless. As a consequence, I feel others around me suffer.

I've taken note.

I am definitely trying to fill a void and using any convenient excuse to justify it.

In this case, it's a desire for better audio reproduction.

But it's SUCH a great excuse, especially when one actually hears the improvements that makes the music so much more like music...

But there will always be better.

I believe I convinced myself it was always around the corner; the next purchase would justify it all. Even the skeptics would HEAR it.

But that's never how it works out...

I've managed to convince myself to approach it more stoically, or rather objectively: I will take a random step, every now and again, when the means are there and the as the situation presents itself, without seeking to make it happen. As circumstances materialize, I will try and see what new path I am lead onto, knowing there is never an absolute better, never an ultimate worse; there is only known and unknown, pleasant and unpleasant, at any given time for any given person...

I feel this approach (not only toward audio) will be a more fulfilling overall experience.

Perhaps I may stop searching peace and let it come to me instead?

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Hehehe...

post #5 of 7
This site is also a HUGE enabler. They count on it to keep the gravy train rolling. When you first get on here, it's impossible not to be at least curious about what all the fuss is about. Then you find the value to improvement to be other than expected and for some, every turn of the screw makes improvements and you turn cynic.
post #6 of 7
The entire internet is escapism. For the first time in human history, you might be able to say what you want to a worldwide audience with little chance of repercussions. It's why the idea that companies or the government might be able to track you is so intensely feared and hated by a large percentage of the population. Why those that continue to want to remove the veil of anonymity can't see this or don't care is hard to understand and is a major source of conflict between those that wish to freely use electronic communications and those that wish to control it.

As far as headphones being unique in this? Far from it. Go to any hardcore hobby forum on the 'net, and you will find pretty much the same thing. It doesn't matter what it is - cars, boats, planes, electronics, computers, coins or gardening - there is always a hardcore crowd that takes it far beyond any kind of casual passtime. Kooks are everywhere! I think it's built-in to the modern human psyche. It makes me wonder if back in history, perhaps there was a Mr. H. Habilis that knew everything there was to know about flint axes. He knew all the best locations for finding the very best flint stone, and he was absolutely POSITIVE that a flint axe made with five whacks to create the edge was FAR superior to the flint axes made with 6 whacks. He could tell the difference in the way they cut and he was astonished when someone else said that it didn't matter, and that testing had shown that a 5-whack axe cut no better than a 6-whack axe. Mr. H. Habilis countered that just because *they* weren't able to measure the difference, didn't mean the difference wasn't there.

At that point, the feces hurling across the fire started and the head of the tribe invented the term "Ban Hammer" by picking up the nearest rock...
Edited by billybob_jcv - 10/27/13 at 2:34pm
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
You know, Billybob, I really do agree with you that internet changed everything.
Not enough to change who human beings are at their core, but the extent to which each one of them (to not say "us") could express, imagine, invent and/or remake themselves at any given time, anywhere, at anytime and for whatever reason... and to every single person who would hear/see/read it.
And still I agree that the basics are the same: marketing is not of the internet age. It has existed since the dawn of civilization, at the very least.
Though I have a hard time hearing caveman 1 convince caveman 2 his tools and methods are better without some massive testosterone-filled deathblow from one or the other...
Edited by Saturnine Clown - 7/21/14 at 10:52pm
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