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The diary entries of a little girl in her 30s! ~ Part 2

  1. vwinter
    I don't understand why one group of people's actions have to be explained by something to the depth of self fulfillment, which I think is a cop-out anyway because you can argue that for any and every action a person takes. It explains everything without explaining anything.

    Then someone like a_rec (sorry a_rec) understands that he likes to buy stuff, because it's thrilling. And that's the explanation that's given there? And that's your understanding on this end of it? And this is applauded? I'd like to meet someone here that doesn't like to buy stuff, either because it's thrilling or they have masochistic financial tendencies. That's almost a cop-out at the other extreme. It doesn't explain the underlying mechanism or motivation for such behavior any more than self fulfillment does to any useful level.

    But I still don't get why different methods and levels of "understanding" being used to describe different "samples". Why one here and why the other there?

    I think the urge to simplify in an attempt to "explain" more with less undermines understanding at some point and at the individual level. It's almost like an academic vs a practical implementation. Sure you'll hit upon generalities with a large enough sample or general enough reasoning. And don't get me wrong, I don't see anything wrong with that nor am I trying to say what should or shouldn't be discussed here. One of the best things about this thread is the range of conversations. I'm "just" questioning it's application and use here.
  2. drez
    Sometimes I get burnt out too.  The chase becomes too much, I am pulled in too many directions at once.  Sometimes you need a break, a holiday, a change of focus or something for a bit of perspective.
    Personally I find it completely foreign that people can do things without obsessing about how they are doing these things.  I guess I am driven to get the most out of whatever I am doing.  I think some people are more relaxed about things, more easy going or whatever.  
    I think that is a big part of it - we need some sort of novelty to hold our interest or soon our interest will be elsewhere.  Whether this is new music or new gear doesn't seem to matter.
  3. a_recording
    vwinter, I'm not actually sure what you are getting at :s But here's what I can say from my understanding of your statement.
    I don't think everyone understands their motivations completely, and I agree that being reductionist about it is not going to be particularly useful. But it might be interesting. Personally I don't think it's worth getting caught up too much in navel gazing about our hobby, but it helps to take a step back and say that, chyea, it's all a bit crazy. But we get something out of it, until we don't. And yes everything I just said was very facile and general.
    One of the things about any meeting place where a bunch of people regularly talk and philosophise is that at some point we will contradict each other, contradict ourselves, make retractions and apologise and generally talk crap. Because it's safe and everyone is comfortable enough with each other's viewpoints and respects everyone's intelligence.
    One of the amusing aspects about this thread is that I think about 25% of the time we talk about what we should talk about in the thread. That is seriously meta folks.
  4. Coq de Combat
    Do you think being strongly opinionated about something is fatiguing? I mean in the sense of getting burnt out? I am rather strongly opinionated about certain headphones, and I can honestly say that I find it tiresome that many people not only have very different opinions of said headphones, but more so to a point of silliness; stuff they say about certain headphones becomes so bizarre that it's just silly and ridiculous. This is IMO a bit tiresome.
    I think taking a break from whatever hobby you have is sane and perhaps even a must. 
  5. tomscy2000
    Oooh, looks quite nice for 3999 Yen (~$40?):
    From donya.jp, some online shop that specializes in importing cheap OEM stuff from China to Japan...

    This is both a cool and confusing apparatus: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/107650693/beastgrip-universal-lens-adapter-for-most-camera-p?ref=category
    So, you spend thousands of dollars on professional production equipment just to shoot on an iPhone? Okay...
  6. jgray91

    Man, this show is just amazing at making me listen to genres (or mashups of it) that I don't usually listen to. Well, I can't imagine this song out of context to the anime, but it's really beautiful.

    Hell, just listen to the whole album, f copyright (for now wwwwwwwwwwww)

    I should probably write about the composer/producer/music making guy thing, Iwasaki Taku.

    So far, every OST done by him from anime that I've seen has my mindblown, and even made me go "this **** is awesomesauce" for genres that I don't listen to much. I should put into words why.
  7. MuppetFace
    So I think I can finally talk about this:
    The Schiit Vali.
    A cheap tube amp... that doesn't suck! In fact, it's supposed to sound really good. Honestly, outside of DIY or really small-batch amp makers, there haven't been any tube amps other than Schiit's for under 700 USD I could easily recommend. This one is set to be priced at $120. Yes... $120.
    I predict this will be quite the "must have" item this fall.
  8. blueangel2323
    VERY interesting. I wonder how it compares to the Bottlehead Crack, especially paired with the HD600. If they're anywhere close in performance, I'm getting the Schiit. I'm not a DIY kinda guy.
  9. a_recording
    Now there's a hair eater if I've ever seen one...
    tomscy2000 and UnityIsPower like this.
  10. gelocks
  11. MuppetFace
    A continuation of the previous subject, and my exhausting myself...
    First touching on something a_recording said, all behavior has motivation behind it, but what I'm describing in this hobby isn't exactly reductionism. The reductionist would say something more akin to "we buy headphones because they trigger a release of pleasurable chemicals in the brain" or "we argue on the forums to assert our dominance." The reductionist has little use for nebulous and obtuse notions like self-fulfillment. On the contrary, I embrace the notion that we're complex and multifaceted enough to where reductionism is often missing the forest for the trees so to speak. I may be describing motivation, drives, and generalized behavior, but it's not my intention to reduce the individual to a mere packet of these things. Nor is it my intention to divide people into starkly delineated groups as in a binary based on those who hype things and those who rail against hyping things (I assume this is what is meant by "different samples"). I'm not talking about specific groups of people, but rather tendencies that are not mutually exclusive and cut across groups at one point or another, a social model with many facets to it. Overall, I'm a bit confused regarding vwinter's objections because he seems to be suggesting that the discussion of behaviors on the forum is fruitless, yet on the other hand repeatedly uses the term "cop-out" which suggests the failure to meet some sort of obligation to adequately do so. Personally I don't think it's remotely a cop-out to talk about self-fulfillment as a motivation that underlies human behavior. I don't think it's a simplification to say that at the heart of all our endeavors there's a desire for happiness. Perhaps in a more contemporary sense happiness has a cheap connotation---we tend to think of it as synonymous with physical pleasure---but historically it meant something much closer to wholeness or completeness as a person. Obtaining this was the original goal of Western philosophy. This is also as good a place as any to point out that I'm not saying these behaviors actually lead to self fulfillment either. To my mind it's more a matter of human beings striving for self fulfillment, and this hobby becoming a vector of sorts toward that end; any fulfillment someone derives from consumerism or online roleplaying is, at best, temporary and ultimately fleeting. That's why the striving continues unabated, why I refer to it in cyclical terms.
    The question then is why bother to describe these things in the first place? In vwinter's posts there's skepticism over any large scale change being affected through recognition of all this, and I pretty much agree with such sentiments. It was never really my intention to suggest reforms for the system. I actually think it serves its purpose, functions differently for different people but effectively enough. If folks weren't doing what they were doing on head-fi, they'd be doing it on bicycle-fi or telescope-fi. Why talk about it, then? Well on the most rudimentary level my explanation is "because I like talking about it." Motivation, desire, habits, belief... it's something interesting to discuss even if there's no express practicality in doing so. Talking about this hobby on a meta-analytical level is part of this thread's culture. Another part of that culture is relating our personal experiences, and as individuals posting on the forum we inevitably have some kind of relationship to the larger symbolic order at work therein. That's why I say I post in a "semi-vacuum," because even if I keep to this thread, I'm not really outside of the symbolic order so long as I'm posting here in any capacity. It's something that predates my presence here, something I entered into when I signed up to post here several years ago. It predates most of us, it's formed by peoples' shaping a society en miniature around common interests, and it's perpetuated by a network of various desires and roles. Every post we make is within that larger context. It provides a common language of sorts for us to discuss our personal experiences here even if we aren't fully aware of it. When I brought up this rigamarole in the first place, it was to cite why hype isn't so bothersome *to me* these days.
    As I stated before, I also feel there's benefit in recognizing these cycles and patterns of behavior both in others and ourselves. It can effect how one approaches this hobby, how one relates to others of the forums, how one prioritizes and plans purchases. I'm not sure I'd agree that everyone enjoys spending money, as I've known some individuals who become physically ill when they do so; there are individuals who prefer the security of holding on to it. Even assuming that were the case, I think it's safe to say we all don't necessarily enjoy spending it in the same way and for the same reasons. Sometimes we aren't aware of what those reasons are. Whether or not you agree with it, I don't think the idea itself is particularly alien: as humans we can lose touch with the motivations behind what we do, and sometimes we find ourselves in a state of frustration or unhappiness because we're engaging in a particular behavior without any context for it, or we find ourselves acting in a way completely contrary to what we actually want. This isn't just something I've pulled out of my rear end either (though there are plenty of other things I say that could qualify), as I've talked to people over the years who were unhappy or feeling burned out or confused as to what direction they should take, people who invest a lot of time and effort getting to a particular point only to realize they're still not satisfied with what they have. I actually fit this description myself back before I gained an appreciation for the song and dance itself, before I realized much of my enjoyment was derived from the actual pursuit and from the experience of trying new things. Sometimes others shy away from embracing these sentiments because they're perceived as consumerist and frivolous, as being antithetical to so-called hardcore audiophilia. They drift from one big ticket item to the next in the hopes of finding "it," that special something they feel is missing in their lives, often putting a lot of stock in the next big thing, the next peak on a mountain range that never ends. As soon as they get it however, it is no longer "it." The hype and fervor is often just a byproduct of this process, the manic upswing that results from a perceived end to a journey that will inevitably start back up again. When people seem especially keen on convincing you of a product's superiority, it often seems as thought they're really trying to convince themselves of this fact.
    To reiterate, I don't find anything particularly wrong with the process itself. Really the trouble comes in when folks don't recognize it for what it is, both in themselves and in others, and put too much faith in sources whose motivations and preferences are largely unknown to them. Before I was more familiar with the forum landscape, I made several costly mistakes and ended up with major cases of buyer's remorse. Hype can indeed be a dangerous thing when folks like the 'silent majority' (ie. lurkers) turn to it to try to suss out definitive answers. These days however I can embrace the fervor and excitement without depending upon it in any deeply informative sense. For that sort of thing, I consider myself fortunate to know individuals whose tastes I can calibrate to my own, persons with experience I've come to rely on for well informed opinions. I'm not looking for applause. Nor is a_rec I imagine (though perhaps he wants to reenact the original ending from Evangelion...). The reward doesn't come from social recognition that we figured out some secret, but rather from our being able to enjoy our hobby without any false pretenses. Not better, not worse. Just different. On the other hand some individuals just want a stable solution, and for them the cycle of consumption is something to be avoided altogether. Recognizing it for what it is then is an important step in breaking free or avoiding it entirely. That just seems like common sense to me. On the other hand---as I've admitted in the past---I tend to have an unfortunate psychoanalytic bent, and I think making 'forgotten' or 'hidden' motivations known can alleviate pressure in and of itself. 
    We're all participating in a common network when we involve ourselves in this hobby in any social capacity, something that extends from the terminology we use to the way we comport ourselves to memes and rituals at meets. We come to develop a certain identity through that participation. Being a prolific reviewer or a vocal critic are two roles in that sense. Perhaps they stem from a genuine desire to help people, or maybe it has to do with a desire to appear knowledgeable and credible. Whatever the motivation underlying it, I'm not really interested these days in participating, but despite that I generally don't begrudge others who want to do it. There are some exceptions however. I know of one manufacturer who is an upstanding person, runs an honest business, and makes what I feel to be genuinely great products, yet he is currently under attack from someone well-known in this hobby who always uses a false banner of accountability to further his own agenda; said person nitpicks and blows things out of proportion, distorts facts and figures in such a way as to make it seem as though the products he attacks are unsafe and their manufacturers are unscrupulous. He's fashioned himself into a veritable messiah figure over the years, so he strives to maintain the fantasy at all costs. This is why I say it's the other side of the coin to consumerism, because people often use such roles for self satisfaction. I feel it's something to watch out for just as much, if not moreso, because it often comes under false pretenses that are far more insidious than those of zealous consumers. Again: an extreme example. Most of the time it's harmless enough, and at times it's even sincere I'm sure. In either case, I find the social entanglements fascinating but often beside the point when it comes to my enjoyment of various pieces of gear. Plenty of hyped gear is genuinely good. A lot of good gear is genuinely overrated. I often try to bracket off the surrounding context, but that's not entirely possible, and at the end of the day I've just replaced it with my own context that is partially interwoven with the old. 
  12. a_recording
    Well, maybe the clapping and the happy bits. Not so much the erosion of everyone's ego border.
    Fresh of writing that 1Plus2 review I almost feel like you are talking about me >__< I know you aren't though because I haven't being this for a number of years. Please curb my self aggrandizing when you see it though...
    As far as hype goes there are some things that I will almost invariably end up buying just because. Like for instance, anything made of magensium alloy or some kind of anodised black metal, I will tend to gravitate towards just because I think it looks incredible.
    I actually ordered one of them new Onkyo's from Accessoryjack but obviously they didn't have stock because someone silently cancelled my order and didn't tell me. That is actually enough to make me never order from them again because that just seems rude and careless.
  13. ardgedee
    I don't, and we've had civil conversations here and there before which, I hope, made that clear.
  14. Mimouille
    That is were you are wrong...I am indeed a moron :)
  15. Mimouille

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