In Reply to: Re: 21st Century Science posted by May Belt on April 6, 2007 at 02:08:37:
You speak of a real phenomena common among most academics I have dealt with, it is the result of an “intellectual purchase”.
At several times at Intersonics, I (not having a formal education) was directing the efforts of a number of scientists and engineers working on new electronics for experimental hardware for NASA.
My old boss used to say an advantage I had in technical problem solving was that I didn’t already know what didn’t work and so I was free to think in any direction.
Highschool was terrible for me, took 5 years to get through taking every shop class I could and while taking a “work study” class that let me work at a TV store.
I had been interested in speakers and electronics since I was little and that was my hobby all my life. I survived foolish young adulthood and at 24 decided I would try to learn more of the scientific parts of things and ugh, some math which was the worst.
I got a Commodore Vic20, taught my self GW basic and how to do some math and the world of LF horns began to open up.
About 12 years later, after doing electronics repair and building speakers, I got the Job at Intersonics.
I don’t know if that is true but how Roy Whymark my old boss described the general scheme was dead on most of the time. His perspective was from a WWII acoustician who worked on the Sonar and radar systems at Mullard labs in England.
Anyway, the point is that the act of going to get a formal education gives one confidence in being equipped with the tools and knowledge to deal with nearly anything.
Most people embrace that feeling of confidence and apply it generally to areas they don’t have specific knowledge in and then make reflexive judgments and fail to consider that there are often complications which makes the case not the one considered in the class examples..
Roy loved the idea that out of all the scientists, engineers, 17 out of the 18 Patents the company held, were originated by a 5 year High school grad.
At that point, with the Servodrive speaker division running, I guess I felt like I had finally overcome High school.
Anyway, everyone makes intellectual purchases, they invest in some idea or direction and then also become partially blind to the possible minutia which may invert / alter the image.
May, I have read a number of your posts and you are totally serious about sound.
Yet, we are clearly on two different parts of the planet so far as the concept of how things work. Also, nothing I could say to you or you to me will cause us to significantly alter our positions, largely because of the “purchase” we each made getting here but your willingness to respond here shows the door is not nailed shut.
I would say the greatest danger anyone interested in all this faces is that most of the technical understanding of how hifi products work, come from the people who make them or help sell them. This places a high probability that this “information” will be shaped or even contrived to most effectively “sell” the product. Those who profit are of course fully able to claim anything and go full BS or reality or anywhere in between.
I don’t know if you were around when the power wars were going on but an old example of manufacturers totally lying by orders of magnitude.
Business is math if you make a wood block (or knob) that cost 60 cents to make, 2 dollars to package slickly and sell it for 350 bucks, you don’t have to reach a significant slice of the market to have a profitable cottage business.
Wild improbable claims don’t need to be proven in areas of human perception and discretionary spending and while they only appeal to a small percentage of the whole, that is enough to make money.
Business is a science, it is a plain fact that a dollar spent marketing an image of technology has more return that spending a dollar on real R&D.
Look to the biggest, most profitable audio companies, then think of how there products rank and yes I mean they stink.
Sadly, if you really want to know how things work, you have to start with what is known from a science perspective.
As with all areas of science human perception is too weak and subject to influence to trust entirely, removing potential non experiment related influences is the solution seemingly everywhere but hi end hifi.
As with the PEAR labs example, it is possible to do everything right. “prove” a result with blind testing BUT if an experimental proof isn’t universally reproducible, even by people who might not want it to work, it still doesn’t go into the “big book of science”.
This is why starting with what is “known” and measuring is a good place to start but keeping in mind, this usually has nothing at all to do with the retail hifi business or magazines say and while science information is mostly complete, has some holes and may have thin coverage in places due to simplifications..
Once you get a good understanding of the principals and have built / measured enough to imagine systems of principals in your head, then you can come up with systems of new things, invention.
Thankfully, what ever you think you hear, it is often possible to remove the knowledge of what your hearing and then one is left to judge with ones ears alone.
If anyone selling something or helping to sell things tells you about some cool new thing that sounds improbable, there should be a little robot off the corner of your mind saying “ Danger Danger Will Robinson, its Dr. Smith again and he is smiling”
Keep in mind some things work because of that mental purchase, a non hifi example is the famous Gas line magnetizer.
It has no effect at all on the gasoline or combustion but most people get better mileage. Subconsciously, the act of investing (consisting of both a $ purchase AND putting it on yourself) is a mental message of expectation which then subconsciously alters there driving habits. In audio, dare I suggest the little wood blocks, speaker wire towers, magic chips fall in this category too? That is, they cause a change that is unrelated to the physical operation of any of the gear, that probably would not be detectable in blind test.
On a clear disk….You can seek forever…
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Topic - Middle Section of article, "20th and 21st Century Science" - geoffkait 07:50:42 04/04/07 (19)
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- I subscribe... - Wellfed 17:52:22 04/06/07 (1)
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- all good thoughts - tunenut 17:25:48 04/06/07 (0)
- I'm on vacation... - Wellfed 14:13:12 04/06/07 (0)
- Re: 21st Century Science - May Belt 02:08:37 04/06/07 (8)
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- Re: 21st Century Science - tomservo 09:00:02 04/07/07 (3)
- Re: 21st Century Science - geoffkait 11:45:35 04/07/07 (0)
- Re: 21st Century Science - May Belt 10:43:56 04/07/07 (1)
- Re: 21st Century Science - tomservo 12:27:25 04/07/07 (0)
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- "strange creatures" - tunenut 13:31:51 04/04/07 (0)
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