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piinob
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Perception

For a new start lets talk here. This meanders a bit but stay with me please. For several years in the past, the Dallas District Attornys have been getting 100% conviction rates. All of the sudden DNA testing begins to prove, in case after case, that the convicted and sentenced to death, are innocent. Even those who were convicted by eyewitnesses. They percieved the killer before them, but it just wasn't so.

I went to training one time where it was demonstrated to all present that three people seeing an event could easily give conflicting reports of the single event. In my time as a small town judge I observed this over and over again.

The point is that sometimes our perceptions, as real as they seem, can decieve us. Not that they always do, but they can.

I do not question anyones integrity, because what a person percieves is as real to them as anything can be. But I recognize that often we see and hear what we hope to see and hear. Nevertheless, I am a very strong believer that we do not know near as much as we think we do. In the future it may well be that we learn to measure things which we now cannot even prove exist.

May Belt
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Re: Perception

This is where a problem now occurs. I have just posted the following response to 'selfdivider' over on the "Acoustic effects and size matter." But which thread is it relevant to ?
>>> "You raise a valid point. But, the one problem with changing the title of the discussion to Perception is that all the back discussion is left behind in another thread !!

If the title of the new thread is Perception then it will not be very long down that discussion path before someone comes in with "Where are your measurements to prove what you are saying." AND "But you are not taking into consideration the real acoustic air pressure waves." - so starting the whole (previous) saga again !!

Whereas, in any discussion on Perception, I think I can safely say that no one is ignoring real acoustic air pressure waves, real reflected sound waves, real reflected and delayed sound waves - just debating that those are not 100% of the whole story." <<<

Regards,
May Belt.

RGibran
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Re: Perception


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...Even those who were convicted by eyewitnesses. They percieved the killer before them, but it just wasn't so.

Yes, and psychological tests in other areas of human perception

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception


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Even those who were convicted by eyewitnesses. They percieved the killer before them, but it just wasn't so.


Wow, that's a great analogy.


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psychological tests in other areas of human perception
Elk
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Re: Perception

While perception is fragile and highly variable, the observer experiences all of his perceptions to be absolutely and concretely real - which they are. To him.

One difficulty which derives from this is that even the pro-tweak perceiver cannot distinguish fact from fiction, bias from phenomenon.

As it applies to tweaks that cannot be shown to have any reasonable basis of efficacy, a tweak is still worthwhile if the listener finds the tweak to consistently be pleasing and the money spent is worth this perception.

May Belt
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Re: Perception

The one problem with Ethan's responses (all of his responses) is that he continually says that "perception and memory are so very fragile" - inferring that they cannot be relied upon so there is no point in discussing perception - that measurements are the only thing which can be relied upon. The conclusion from that attitude is that a reviewers 'perception' (ALL reviewers perception - you cannot select out one reviewer's perception as being better than another's) of how something sounds (particularly in comparison with what they are used to) cannot be relied upon. That is a very dismissive conclusion of so many people's experiences. Many of the very people who Ethan is dimissing could, quite easily, be far more skilled and knowledgeable of the laws of physics, of the laws of electronics, of the laws of acoustics and yet rely to a great extent - for the final judgement as to what 'sounds' the best - on their 'perception'.

Regards,
May Belt.

Elk
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Re: Perception

There is truth in what you say.

However, those on the other side of the fence can be equally as intractable. They can also be patently unreasonable. For example, to claim that the study of acoustics has not advanced to the point where we can measure, predict and to a great degree control our perception of sound in a room or in recording software is absurd.

I am a solid tweener. I am greatly impressed by the wonders of science, but readily accept that not everything is known.

Perhaps this is why I find both extremes untenable.

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception


Quote:
even the pro-tweak perceiver cannot distinguish fact from fiction, bias from phenomenon.


Ditto for the pro-tweak reviewer.


Quote:
a tweak is still worthwhile if the listener finds the tweak to consistently be pleasing and the money spent is worth this perception.


Yes, but that doesn't mean that people who post an honest question about the efficacy of such tweaks should be "shielded" from honest opinions by guys like me. That's one of my main objections to Jan. He said, and I quote:


Quote:
My only real issues have been 1) to discuss whether one person should be allowed to shut down the curiousity of another by relying strictly on their own limited perception.


I never try to shut down curiosity. I encourage curiosity. I wish more people were curious about why some of these tweaks are often reported as effective when logic and common sense say they should make no difference. All I can do is state the facts as I see them. This is not about censorship! Even though the Jans of the world would censor me, I never try to censor them. I do like to have my opinion heard too though.

Further, my audio perception is far more sophisticated than most people's, and certainly more sophisticated than Jan's. For many years I have played the cello and percussion in orchestras, played the guitar and bass in pop bands, and mixed and mastered all genres of music. And I know that comb filtering damages imaging, and I understand why, and I've heard it first-hand many times. I wonder if Jan has any acoustic treatment in his room. Has he ever stated this? I always laugh when I see an audiophile reviewer comment on the imaging of a loudspeaker, when the review's "associated equipment" box lists a ton of gear and BS tweaks but not one bit of acoustic treatment. If someone doesn't have at least the reflection points treated, they don't even know what imaging is. Really.

But for all of Jan's vitriol, I know he's not a bad guy. Misguided maybe, and overly aggressive and too personally involved, but not a bad person.

--Ethan

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception

Amazing! I post on "Charts and graphs ... "we could take a vote on beginning a new thread named "Perception". Before I know it and with only three votes cast here is a new thread called "Perception".

Even for a Texas judge this displays an impatience and a distain for the democratic process that is remarkable.

How many convictions were overturned did you say?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception

I'm afraid most of this is going to become quite confusing with overlapping threads that really have just carried those same old animosities to a new location.

However, ...

Naming this thread "Perception" and then laying out an example of "observation" seems the first problem to over come.

Perception; "A quick, acute and intuitive cognition"; "physical sensation intrepreted in the light of experience"

(Cognition; "the act or process of knowing including both awareness and judgment")

Observation; "an act of recognizing and noting a fact or occurence"; "a record or description so obtained"

Is it safe to assume anyone living with a partner knows the difference between, "I see you didn't turn down the temperature" and "Geez, I am burning up in here!"?

JA, is this fuzzy?


Quote:
The point is that sometimes our perceptions, as real as they seem, can decieve us. Not that they always do, but they can.

And so this thread begins by denying the efficacy of perception. Great, just great!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


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Perhaps we should start a thread on
Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


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Even those who were convicted by eyewitnesses. They percieved the killer before them, but it just wasn't so.


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Wow, that's a great analogy.

Well, no, it's not. See the definitions of "perception" and "observation".

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


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While perception is fragile and highly variable, the observer experiences all of his perceptions to be absolutely and concretely real - which they are. To him.

Can I stop you to ask why you believe perception to be "fragile and highly variable"? Because Ethan said it is? If we start this thread accepting assumptions as fact, we are headed toward another 40 page doodah where everyone talks past one another simply to get in their assumptions before someone else gets in their's.

I'd like some proof that "perception is fragile and highly variable". We have repeated instances where "perception" is similar between multiple parties. That should negate any concept that perception is fragile and highly variable. What's fragile about it? What's variable? That one individual doesn't wish to believe what they are being told? That would appear to be the case here.


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One difficulty which derives from this is that even the pro-tweak perceiver cannot distinguish fact from fiction, bias from phenomenon.

Please! How can you say this? Explain for me. This is speculation and not fact. So far in this thread we have speculated that anyone who perceives what we don't isn't playing with a full deck.


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As it applies to tweaks that cannot be shown to have any reasonable basis of efficacy

See! This is what I'm talking about. We've already established that tweaks don't work, they just fool people. Where are we going to go from there? Burn the witches?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
The one problem with Ethan's responses (all of his responses) is that he continually says that "perception and memory are so very fragile" - inferring that they cannot be relied upon so there is no point in discussing perception - that measurements are the only thing which can be relied upon. The conclusion from that attitude is that a reviewers 'perception' (ALL reviewers perception - you cannot select out one reviewer's perception as being better than another's) of how something sounds (particularly in comparison with what they are used to) cannot be relied upon. That is a very dismissive conclusion of so many people's experiences. Many of the very people who Ethan is dimissing could, quite easily, be far more skilled and knowledgeable of the laws of physics, of the laws of electronics, of the laws of acoustics and yet rely to a great extent - for the final judgement as to what 'sounds' the best - on their 'perception'.

Thank you, May. Can we begin this thread again with the premise being that perception is not fragile, it is not variable and it is not to be dismissed as permanently fallable and the purview of the ciminally insane?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


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However, those on the other side of the fence can be equally as intractable. They can also be patently unreasonable. For example, to claim that the study of acoustics has not advanced to the point where we can measure, predict and to a great degree control our perception of sound in a room or in recording software is absurd.

Would someone please show me where anyone has dismissed the study of acoustics? This is a fraud repeated on this forum over and over and no one can show me where anyone ever claimed we cannot predict what acoustic treatments will affect on a chart or graph.

The confusion is in believing the testing equipment "perceives" the change. Machines do not "perceive" anything! Why is that so hard to comprehend?


Quote:
I am greatly impressed by the wonders of science, but readily accept that not everything is known.

Perhaps this is why I find both extremes untenable.

Good for you, Elk! That makes you the sane one, eh?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:


Quote:
a tweak is still worthwhile if the listener finds the tweak to consistently be pleasing and the money spent is worth this perception.

Yes, but that doesn't mean that people who post an honest question about the efficacy of such tweaks should be "shielded" from honest opinions by guys like me.

"They can only work by way of placebo", is not an "honest" answer! It is your uninformed opinion. You write about these tweaks without ever trying any of them. You don't care what anyone hears or perceives, you have an opinion and it is the only opinion you will allow. That is dishonest! At least as dishonest as beginning this thread from the premise all tweaks do not work.


Quote:
I never try to shut down curiosity. I encourage curiosity. I wish more people were curious about why some of these tweaks are often reported as effective when logic and common sense say they should make no difference. All I can do is state the facts as I see them.

Read what I just posted above. I know you ignored it, Ethan.

We are driving one of those little clown cars with both left wheels removed. Circle, circle, circle ...


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Even though the Jans of the world would censor me, I never try to censor them.

You believe that and that all tweaks work by way of placebo.


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Further, my audio perception is far more sophisticated than most people's, and certainly more sophisticated than Jan's.

Uh, ... what?! I mean, Ethan, you've pulled some "arguments from authority" out of your butt, but really, this is too much!


Quote:
For many years I have played the cello and percussion in orchestras, played the guitar and bass in pop bands, and mixed and mastered all genres of music. And I know that comb filtering damages imaging, and I understand why, and I've heard it first-hand many times.

Under "Logical Fallacies" taken from http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=38 which Ethan linked to in "Charts and Graphs ... "


Quote:
Argument from authority
The basic structure of such arguments is as follows: Professor X believes A, Professor X speaks from authority, therefore A is true. Often this argument is implied by emphasizing the many years of experience, or the formal degrees held by the individual making a specific claim. The converse of this argument is sometimes used, that someone does not possess authority, and therefore their claims must be false. (This may also be considered an ad-hominen logical fallacy
Elk
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Re: Perception


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Can I stop you to ask why you believe perception to be "fragile and highly variable"? Because Ethan said it is?


Nope, because perception is in fact highly variable. Human perception has been carefully studied for years and is highly variable not only between individuals, but within our own minute by minute perceptions. Our senses are easily fooled and misled.

We all have experienced feeling cold when the temperature and all other variables are the same as yesterday or even just a couple of hours ago, of two or more people describing the same brief event completely differently (he was wearing a blue dress shirt, no a green pullover), etc. Musicians experience that on some days it is easy to hear intervals, other days it is not - such as when tired. A single beer influences one's ability to hear high frequencies (a painful lesson learned while putting together a mix under time pressure - which probably also affected my perception). We can even hallucinate when exhausted, when frightened, etc. Perception can be honed and improved with experience and training, but we are not precise instruments of observation.

Perhaps you experience everything the same way each time, without variation and with precision. This is certainly possible. This would make you exceedingly rare however - likely worthy of study (no, I am not being insulting - this would be very cool).


Quote:
We have repeated instances where "perception" is similar between multiple parties. That should negate any concept that perception is fragile and highly variable.


I assume you are referring to multiple anecdotal stories that a certain tweak improves the sound in some fashion. If so, we also need to include those equal number of stories that the tweak did not. So who's perception is correct? They are equally real for each observer.

I do not discount anyone's perception. As I stated, it is real to the individual observer - regardless of whether there is a solid irrefutable explanation for the experience or not. I also give credence to both those that state that a tweak works and those that it does not. The most I conclude is "perhaps".

I then want to know what science has to say. Is there any known way that this tweak could work? You will note I ask a lot of these sorts of questions: why does vibration control work? is one of my more recent. I experience that it does make a difference and I am interesting in knowing why. There will be an explanation.

I do admit to a bias that all things we experience have a natural explanation without resorting to magic or divine intervention.


Quote:
So far in this thread we have speculated that anyone who perceives what we don't isn't playing with a full deck.


At least I have said no such thing. Rather, I have stated that perception is real to the observer. No one else can deny another's perception as reported by that observer.


Quote:

Quote:
As it applies to tweaks that cannot be shown to have any reasonable basis of efficacy.


See! This is what I'm talking about. We've already established that tweaks don't work, they just fool people. Where are we going to go from there? Burn the witches?

I made no such generalized statement that no tweak works. As an example, I have stated that vibration control works for me, even on solid state equipment.

Additionally, I know some Wiccans, very nice people who I would never advocate harming.

I am however suspicious of such things as the Clever Little Clock, Teleportation Tweak, jars of bright colored pebbles, taping three threads to the outside of a window. We live in world of natural laws - we have yet to find a phenomena that demonstrably violates those laws. Once this occurs, I'll buy into accepting such tweaks.

Additionally, let's examine my entire statement:

"As it applies to tweaks that cannot be shown to have any reasonable basis of efficacy, a tweak is still worthwhile if the listener finds the tweak to consistently be pleasing and the money spent is worth this perception."

I respect the reality of an observer's perception and that a tweak that "works" by pleasing the observer is worthwhile. He/she is not wrong in enjoying and even advocating such a tweak. I and others however are also not wrong in finding such tweaks ludicrous on their face.

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception


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Ethan, you are a true bone head!


Heck, and I just said you're not a bad guy. Oh well.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Perception


Quote:

Quote:
I am greatly impressed by the wonders of science, but readily accept that not everything is known.

Perhaps this is why I find both extremes untenable.


Good for you, Elk! That makes you the sane one, eh?


This is, in fact, my perception.

Elk
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Re: Perception


Quote:

Quote:
Ethan, you are a true bone head!


Heck, and I just said you're not a bad guy. Oh well.

--Ethan

It's not so bad, Ethan. I am a scientifically demonstrable bonehead. (I have no upper sinuses, the normal spaces filled in with bone.)

I probably don't float as well as other people...

michiganjfrog
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Re: Perception

Isn't one of the problems with DBT's that they require the listener to shut down the part of their brain they would employ when actually "using" their system?

Yes, I think it'd be fair to say that. The link I gave was discussing critical listening in classic terms, and not referring to the audiophile world's adoption of the term. In audiophiledom, "critical listening" is adopted for listening tests. "Casual listening" is what is referred to when you are not listening under test conditions (but it can also be used to refer to a listening test where you are not using blind methodologies). We may indeed be understanding these terms different ways, so I'm trying to explain how I understand them, and have seen them used in audiophile circles.

Again, "critical listening" in this sense isn't about "critiquing" what you are listening to, per se. It's generally applied to tests (or at least when I use it, that's what I'm referring to). Not live performances or their venues, or the composition, or the quality of the recording, etc. If you apply "critical listening" to your listening session, you are judging -differences- between two conditions. They may be two different cables you're trying to assess, you may be testing whether or how coins on top of your speakers can change the sound. So you need to focus on what has changed from A to B, when playing the same selection multiple times. Therefore you are judging how the performance of the system changes. No one but a professional reviewer buys a system just to judge its performance, so you're just using it that way on a temporary basis, while you test things that may improve it! By the way, you can listen critically and still be moved by the music and enjoy it for what it is, at the same time. I do this all the time. In fact, this is one way I use to determine whether a change is an improvement or just a change. If its more -musical- (which makes me enjoy listening on a deeper level), then I have determined by critical listening that the change must be an improvement. By the way no. 2: you're not really judging the -system- during a critical listening test. Your system is just a tool to use for the test. You could use an mp3 player for the same purpose, for example (depending on the tweak you're testing).

I find this very germane to the thread. How do we advance? Don't we all have our own set of roadblocks that we move from one location to the next.

At this point in my audiophile career, my only roadblock is time and money. There is no (serious) audio tweak I can think of that I wouldn't try (yes, including amber beads), except I don't have the money to buy everything out there, and even if I did, don't have the time to try everything out there. So I have to pick and choose. And if I have to pick and choose, then I wouldn't give the more controversial tweaks the same consideration that I would give the more well-established tweaks. The controversial tweaks are the ones I'd want to try first. They're the ones I have the most to learn from, were they to have any effect.

One of the articles in my "May Belt" file discusses Peter's intial instant of "perception". As a well versed engineer he had a "Come to Jesus" moment when he perceived something he had not, until that moment, realized as existing. Whether you agree or disagree or fall somewhere in the middle of his concepts how he took that step over his own roadblocks must have some significance to this thread

As difficult as it must have been for a regimentally trained electronics engineer to overcome those monumental roadblocks that said "forget everything you ever knew about audio, THIS is what's really happening here, and there's no precedent for it!", I think the most difficult part of that experience, must have been what happened in the years following those discoveries -- getting others to overcome the same roadblocks he had.

This is what I meant by " "You're not ready to hear the explanation". I'd be wasting my breath trying to explain it to them, because I already know by the way they framed the question, that they would have to make a radical change to their mindset and perhaps gain some understanding of the process before they could begin to understand why my explanation might be valid."

Like I said earlier in the thread, a Linn LP12 on a lightweight support shelf - what fool first had the courage to put that in print?

I believe the fool in question was probably Ivor Tiefenbrun (because the LP12 suspension system was designed to behave sympathetically to a light, rigid support), but I'm not sure about that.

I know someone will find humor in this but I've sold systems to deaf listeners We carried out the entire transactions on bits of paper.

Damn. You really could sell ice to an eskimo. Ok, you're hired!

But I was really discusssing the "advanced understanding of audio" anyone is required to possess before they can be qualified to hear what's in the room. If we portray this "heightened perception" as a higher knowledge, aren't we risking loosing anyone who doesn't care to work hard enough to acquire more knowledge? If so, how is more knowledge and higher perception made palatable to someone with an inquisitive mind? You know, someone who asks about unorthodox room treatments.

Well first, I should mention that it's not black & white; that "advanced listening skill" may not be required before somone can hear the effects of advanced tweaks, or "what is already in the room". I say this because I've tested non-audiophiles on such advanced tweaks, and usually, they can hear their effects. We're talking people with no formal listening skills. I know when they've positively ID'ed a tweak when they describe in specific detail, the effect it has on the sound, and the description matches my own description of the tweak's effect. And yet.... I've had experienced audiophiles tell me they couldn't hear any effect of this or that tweak. I'm not sure why, but it may well be due to "Ethanetics" (that is, having preconceived notions of a tweak based on its operating principle, or lack thereof, before you've even tried the thing). That's a problem that generally plagues audio hobbyists, as non-audiophiles tend to be more open-minded, as they don't necessarily pretend to know whether something can or "should" work. That said, I do still believe that the better your critical listening skills, the more likely you will consistently hear nuances and differences between two conditions. It could well make the difference between "I'm amazed that this works!" and "I knew this was a silly crap I should never have wasted time trying!".

Any audiophile who doesn't care to work at doing critical listening tests and get what others may be getting, (and its frightening to me the amount of such people I've bumped into), is losing out themselves. The problem is they have no idea what they are losing because you can't miss what you never had. So they don't think they're losing anything, and may be perfectly happy with what they presently have. How is a more heightened perceptive skill made "palatable" to someone with an inquisitive mind? Listening. If they have an inquisitive mind, then they should be listening. I mean of course critical listening, where you try to focus on differences between A and B conditions in a listening test. So if they're interested in unorthodox room treatments, they should be spending time listening to unorthodox room treatments! Listening to any audio tweak/component/idea/device they're not familiar with, will help. There are a million ideas they could fool around with. Things people have around the house that may be used to tweak a system and maybe bring about a subtle change (hopefully an improvement!).

..both my degrees are in Theatre Arts and I would say most people have never been educated in the the various arts in school so they feel they "don't get" art.

Well, I did say "education", so I should get my ten credits.

Why do the football programs at most universities get the sums of money they do in the US while the entire arts programs at the same school would be consumed in the cost of the cheerleaders' uniforms?

Um, because there's money in football? And because if the cheerleaders had no uniforms because they couldn't afford to buy them any, it would be distracting to the players?

More importantly, why don't people want to use live music as a reference? I'd always ask and most of my clients seldom if ever attended live performances. Isn't this where perception of what is available in the room starts?

Oh that's a whole other debate unto itself.

Oh, I thought we were avoiding "tests" at this point. I thought we were discussing the perception of what is present and not worried about whether we can "test" for any changes. I was hoping to keep this about perception and not necessarily about measurements.

I wasn't referring to objective tests, but subjective listening tests; aka critical listening. Which is what you employ to determine if you can detect changes made, that for example, might allow you to hear more of what is there.

Could have been but he was at least a likeable lunatic - with a uniform. Still his perception is my point. True enough there may have been no bunny poop to see (he may have carried it with him and pulled it out of his pocket at an opportune moment) and he may have never found water. So what does that say about who you want to learn from? Is everyone who perceives something different than the "normal" folk someone who should be ignored? The Ethans of the world seem to think so.

True, they do. I wasn't really making a serious point about the scout btw, but we all have to work within the confines of what we can perceive. (I suppose the trick is, not to dismiss too quickly what you can't). However, the willingness to try different things means that even if you can't perceive what the other guy says he can, you might get better just from trying, and eventually hear it yourself - with ease. I suspect this is the reason why some still think there's no differences to be had among different audio cables. I mean if they don't try, their ability to perceive (pick out differences that are there) will remain Ethanized.

No, you can perceive things that you have no knowledge of beforehand.

How about an example?

Well... if this is in context with what I remember we were talking about, the last test I did on others a few months ago was to draw a lemniscate on the CD logo of a few cd's that were in the listening room. Tested individually, a few people could hear a small improvement, one could not. (I'm not arguing the test was to scientific standards, so I won't try to defend it here). The point is, none of the participants had any knowledge beforehand what I did. (Even after I showed them, they still had no idea what I did, or why it should affect their perception of sound!).


I'm something of an expert at that, if I may say so myself. You start out with an open mind. The more open and willing mind will have the most to learn, the less will have less. Then you follow the right path.

Hmm, Kemosabee, that sound simple. Before I go galloping off into bad guys' camp while you sit here safe and cozy ... which is right path?

Well, as long as you can keep this a secret (I don't want it to fall into the hands of the bad guys lest they burn down the encampment), the right path is here: http://www.theadvancedaudiophile.com

Me, I would say to them "You're not ready to hear the explanation". I'd be wasting my breath trying to explain it to them, because I already know by the way they framed the question, that they would have to make a radical change to their mindset and perhaps gain some understanding of the process before they could begin to understand why my explanation might be valid. Otherwise, long before they get to my explanation, they'd be hitting the brick wall in front of them, they made of their preconceived ideologies. And won't know how to get around it.

Isn't that what Ethan was doing? Dismissing someone who he felt "didn't get it"? What's the difference in what you're saying?

Well, one difference is I'm not telling them what to think, nor am I trying to "speak from authority" and claim I'm right because "I swear there's a big guy behind me named "Mr. Science" backing me up (even if he's only in my imagination), and if you disagree with him, it means you're nuts. So ha-ha to you, Mr. Nutsy. "

In this example, I'm simply choosing not to waste my time trying to convince some hard-headed dogmatic know-it-all skeptic that I know what I'm talking about, whom I already know well in advance has no intention of changing his mind, based on anything I say. Like I said, The Ethans are all as predictable as the rain and the sun shine; I already know what they're going to say and how they will react, long before they even do. I've debated hundreds of them for over twenty years, on the internet. The only thing that ever changes are the names. When not a single one of these so-called "objectivists" ever reacts in any kind of a unique way, and -always- play out the same act over and over again, I don't need to be Karnac The Magnificent to know exactly what will happen if I try to explain to them what I have learned about audio. The word "placebo" to characterize what I'm describing, or one of the many variations of the same concept, will pop up within no time at all.

Plus, you're not even comparing apples with apples here, because I -do- get what Ethan is saying. Ethans sometimes get confused like that because they think I have no idea where they're coming from or what they believe, so they try to school me on this concept called "science", like as if they invented it. No, the problem is I know all too well where they're coming from and what they believe. They believe there isn't any, or enough, or enough credible so-called "scientific evidence" to convince them that some audio concept or other might actually work, nor any so-called "common sense explanation" for why it would; ergo it must fall into the placebo category. I'm not even saying that Ethan's conventional tweak doesn't work, for I believe there's every reason why it would (even if someone can't perceive it's effect). So we're not saying the same thing.

There's a lot still to know!

Agreed. I haven't even begun to explore the possibilities... ;-)

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Re: Perception

Eureka!

Folks, Michigan J Frog is a cool guy, who I may disagree with here and there, but he is a diligent seeker of his own audio truth and is a sincere audiophile.

Man, I can't believe how slow I was on picking this up!

Michigan, what happened to the discussion forums at your website? PM me if you like, you've been missed!

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Re: Perception

The most important thing to remember about measurements is they were designed by a human..and are INTERPRETED by a human. Thus their validity is limited by the idea of the measurement itself actually pertaining to the question at hand---and there's the rub.

Humans are still meditating and ruminating on the situation, and the idea of science itself still falls fully under that umbrella of human relevance to the issue at hand. And that, even science itself, with any sort of honesty, will admit that it does not know all, and it does not know the full model of human perception.

Foolishness comes when one states anything other than that as a fact. Here's one for Ethan: How many times have you installed something in a space that exceeds the known theory of absorption, in the recorded results? I've seen the theory blown out of the water more times than I can remember. Methinks there's something wrong in acoustical theory land.....

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Eureka!

Folks, Michigan J Frog is a cool guy, who I may disagree with here and there, but he is a diligent seeker of his own audio truth and is a sincere audiophile.

And I hear he can jump like a mofo!

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Re: Perception

Well you know Jan, if everything was cut and dried there wouldn't be much reason to discuss all this would there. Unfortunately life is not all black and white but infinite shades of gray. Like Elk I believe that truth is somewhere in the middle.

I have lost count of the overturned convictions at something like eleven. I heard the new DA on the news recently say that many more are being investigated. All of these were not eyewitness convictions but several were.

I was not aware that a vote is required before starting a new thread. Nor did I expect you to discontinue your own because I did. I only wished to focus a discussion on perception.

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Re: Perception

Thanks for posting the URL for the Advanced Audiophile site, great fun.

I was pleased to find this tidbit:

"It does not matter in the slightest whether you are fooling yourself or not. It does not matter in the least how an audio device works. All that should matter to the true music lover / audiophile is whether you can hear differences, and continue to do so."

I made exactly this point on the other thread. If it works for you and is worth the money paid by your estimation, keep it.

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Re: Perception


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... and I just said you're not a bad guy.

No! You did not!!!


Quote:
I wonder if Jan has any acoustic treatment in his room. Has he ever stated this? I always laugh when I see an audiophile reviewer comment on the imaging of a loudspeaker, when the review's "associated equipment" box lists a ton of gear and BS tweaks but not one bit of acoustic treatment. If someone doesn't have at least the reflection points treated, they don't even know what imaging is. Really

What a bone head! Stop playing these games.

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I have lost count of the overturned convictions at something like eleven. I heard the new DA on the news recently say that many more are being investigated. All of these were not eyewitness convictions but several were.

If we can, please keep this away from politics but George, if you remember back in 2000, said he knew all of those convicted had truly had justice served. He knew what he knew and no one was going to move him off his perch. Says something about "Certainty" - which could become a third thread if we're not careful.


Quote:
I was not aware that a vote is required before starting a new thread. Nor did I expect you to discontinue your own because I did. I only wished to focus a discussion on perception.

I know that. But now we have two threads with overlapping discussions. A major problem I see is keeping the threads intact. Frog has just lifted my entire post in "Charts" over to here for his reply. Responding to a comment made on "Charts" is dificult enough when I can stay within "Charts" to find a reference, say, JA's comment on perception. It also leaves "Charts" with a whole that should be there if that thread is to continue at all. Now I'm reading two books at the same time after someone has "Cut" and "Pasted" them together in bits and knowing that "A" was in this one and not that one becomes needlessly more difficult.

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Re: Perception

I think we can handle two threads.

An invitation to Jan, May, and Mr Frog:

I certainly do not claim that you have exactly the same beliefs, but you do appear to occupy at least the same region of thought.

Instead of everyone taking potshots and being offended at what others have posted, lets start with some positive statements of position.

What do you view perception to be and how does it relate to experiencing sound reproduction?

Of course, please reframe the question if I have not presented the issue in a way you find meaningful.

It appears to me that each of you has a point that you would like to make. I, for one, am quite curious.

So far I have gathered that each of you does not accept that all we can hear and how we hear can be measured. Jan additionally makes the point that a machine's measurements are not human perception.

Is this a good point to start?

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Re: Perception


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I am however suspicious of such things as the Clever Little Clock, Teleportation Tweak, jars of bright colored pebbles, taping three threads to the outside of a window. We live in world of natural laws - we have yet to find a phenomena that demonstrably violates those laws. Once this occurs, I'll buy into accepting such tweaks.

Excuse me! Excuse me. Everyone, this is important!

If, as Elk suggests, we cannot count on science and the laws of nature to pull us through these difficult decisions regarding whether any tweak might work effectively - other than trying them, of course, which is strictly not allowed, then what can we rely on?

This would appear to be a "premise" upon which much of this discussion hinges. So here's an answer.

Here, folks, are several instances of science proving science is wrong! The most famous of these is as follows; "The physicist Erwin Schr

Jan Vigne
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What do you view perception to be and how does it relate to experiencing sound reproduction?

See my post here; Re: Charts and graphs were prepared for the sceptics ... [Re: Elk] #39844 - 04/29/08 12:09 PM, and the post that immediately follows on "Charts".

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showf...=0&fpart=37

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Here, folks, are several instances of science proving science is wrong!

This is not what is going on here. Schr

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But the experiment is real. Photons can exist in two locations at the same time. Something thought inpossible.

Pretty cool, eh?

But your point is well taken. Laws are not always irrefutable laws. They fail at some point. But the experiment was real.

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If, as Elk suggests, we cannot count on science and the laws of nature to pull us through these difficult decisions regarding whether any tweak might work effectively - other than trying them, of course, which is strictly not allowed, then what can we rely on?


Huh?

I said no such thing. I stated that we have yet to find a phenomena that demonstrably violates the natural laws of the world around us.

However if, hypothetically, we ever find such a ground shaking phenomena I'll consider outlandish tweaks, such as the teleportation tweak.

OTOH, while I am not interesting in trying such things anyone who is tempted absolutely should do so. If you perceive it to make a positive difference and it is worth the price - keep it and be happy.

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But the photon exists in two locations at the same time.

What you state above is merely semantics.

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But the experiment is real. Photons can exist in two locations at the same time. Something thought inpossible.

No, Jan - the mirror "experiment" is another thought experiment. It was not built.

However, we have known that photons can exist in multiple places at one time for a long while. They also exist simultaneously as energy and as particles. All of this is why light travels in waves.

But your point is well taken. Laws are not always irrefutable laws. They fail at some point.

No. On the macro level Newtonian physics rules; on the sub-atomic, quantum. No rule violations here.

Instead of dabbling in these concepts I suggest some study. It's fascinating stuff.

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Please keep in mind that we all arguing over the "reality" of a hobby that is based on creating an illusion.

Sensory perception is famously fragile. One of the cool things about objectivism is that it realizes this and tries to find ways of "evaluating" a phenomenon that tries (and sometimes fails or falls short) to circumvent our perceptual flaws.

Perceptually, the sun and moon may appear to be the same distance away. A balloon full of helium seems to defy the law of gravity, etc...if we trust only our senses, we are not being "accurate" in any way other than describing our reported subjective experience - we are NOT describing "reality."

We are all engaged in the pusruit of (to steal from the coolest company name, ever) an audible illusion.

Anyway, as to the fragility of perception, how about some easy examples:

Subjectively, that bottom "arrow" looks longer than the top arrow. As a subjectivist, I am automatically correct about "my perception?"

What if an objectivist disagrees and wishes to measure the lines?

If the onjectivist declares the lines identical in length, am I wrong? Do I get defensive and declare he couldn't measure the length to a fine enough degree and that my line is, in fact, longer by some amount I can can detect but he can't measure?

In the example below, I subjectively see black dots. Can an objectivist prove I don't?

Next, I see curved lines in this example.

So, when we intentionally fool ourselves with audio reproduction, we (all of us) are subjectively describing an illusion, something that is obviously not really happening.

If anybody here says that the senses provide all he needs to know, that's fine - he's trying to preserve the illusion. Whenever we say that we don't hear two speakers making noise from discrete locations, we are buying into a fraud. So, spare me the BS about how we are perceiving reality.

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Re: Perception

Eureka!

Folks, Michigan J Frog is a cool guy, who I may disagree with here and there, but he is a diligent seeker of his own audio truth and is a sincere audiophile.

Man, I can't believe how slow I was on picking this up!

Nor can I. C'mon, who else would write messages this long? "Geoff"?! Ha!

Michigan, what happened to the discussion forums at your website? PM me if you like, you've been missed!

Thanks, I wish someone would have told that to the #@$! at AA, who clearly violated their own rules to keep me from participating! So you mean you actually wandered into my forums? I thought it was a good idea at the time, but I was never able to get any discussions going, but then I didn't really try to advertise them, so besides the pharmaceutical spammers, you're one of the few who knew my audio forum existed. Then one day it really stopped existing, because the developer / forum host disappeared without warning (the largest of its kind, I believe), causing my entire forum and that of many others, to disappear along with it. Thing is, I never had the forethought to keep a copy of what I created, and never developed the courage since to recreate it. If it had got off the ground, I think it would have been unique in being the most open forum on the web for the discussion of tweaks and other audio issues. One where discussions are not stifled, censored, prematurely killed, or otherwise. One in which the actual participants have more control over what goes on in their community than the moderators do, and every opinion is valid, with no one having an inherently greater voice than another (this is why I encouraged the use of aliases in my forum!).

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Quote:
A major problem I see is keeping the threads intact. Frog has just lifted my entire post in "Charts" over to here for his reply. Responding to a comment made on "Charts" is dificult enough when I can stay within "Charts" to find a reference, say, JA's comment on perception.

Actually, I had originally posted my reply in "Charts", and then I saw an entire new thread had been created, following talk in "Charts" on creating a new thread from it, called "Perception". Though I did not think a new thread was warranted, since we were discussing perception, I assumed my reply should be in the new thread called "Perception". I also assumed that the old thread, "Charts", would just die on the vine, and we were moving to new digs. I don't see the point in continuing the old thread myself, if it's already been decided to create and contribute to a new one, and its confusing to keep shuttling between the two.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Please keep in mind that we all arguing over the "reality" of a hobby that is based on creating an illusion.

...

So, when we intentionally fool ourselves with audio reproduction, we (all of us) are subjectively describing an illusion, something that is obviously not really happening.


Yes. We engage in willing and active suspension of disbelief.

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Re: Perception

Serendipity strikes me in the forehead and says, "Pay attention!" I finally had some time to catch up on reading ...


Quote:
What do you view perception to be and how does it relate to experiencing sound reproduction?

If you have the May issue of Stereophile on hand, read the paragraphs beginning on page 93 starting with, "I wanted to ... ", through to page 95, " ... and definitively."

That's perception on many levels.

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Quote:
Sensory perception is famously fragile. One of the cool things about objectivism is that it realizes this and tries to find ways of "evaluating" a phenomenon that tries (and sometimes fails or falls short) to circumvent our perceptual flaws ... Subjectively, that bottom "arrow" looks longer than the top arrow. As a subjectivist, I am automatically correct about "my perception?"


Yet another great analogy, and yet more proof that perception is flawed and that the believers will handily ignore.

--Ethan

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Quote:

Yet another great analogy, and yet more proof that perception is flawed and that the believers will handily ignore.

--Ethan

On the other hand, what are the roots of "objective acoustics?"

Were these phenomenon not first heard, and then empirically experimented with?

Lots of great concert halls and acoustic spaces were created before the ability to measure anything was developed.

They did it all by ear for centuries, mon frere.

If someone had not subjectively heard one space as sounding different from another, we'd never have developed to the point of creating "objective" acoustics in the first place.

I really just meant to point out the lack of "infallible" veracity with regard to any claim made subjectively.

Subjectivism is not always wrong, just fallible.

I seem to recall some great examples of objective acousticians making some terrible sounding concert halls, too!

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I seem to recall some great examples of objective acousticians making some terrible sounding concert halls, too!


Definitely. And some abject failures prior to the development of the science of acoustics.

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If anybody here says that the senses provide all he needs to know, that's fine - he's trying to preserve the illusion.

Are you saying someone has said that? If so, I'd like you to show me where rather than just assert that someone is attempting to do so.

What has been said is, "Almost everything you know, you learned from someone else." What you are describing with the optical illusions are the meachanisms of vision, they cannot be altered nor imporved upon by intent. I can measure the lines and assure myself they are still the same. I will always see them as slightly different even when my brain says, "Don't do that!", since I cannot improve my visual mechanism of perception beyond a certain limit. You'll have to show me how that translates into perceiving the effects of a tweak. We can throw a stereo signal out of phase and have it appear unlike how it entered the playback network. That is not an explanation for how an isolation device under a power amplifier alters my perception of a vocalist center stage. I can learn to identify the timbre, texture and ambience within a piece of music. That is something I can learn to do. Looking at "illusions" is meant to fool my visual mechanism. They are toys not tools. You'll have to explain how that relates to me identifying timbre.

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But your point is well taken. Laws are not always irrefutable laws. They fail at some point.

We can agree to agree on that fact.

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They did it all by ear for centuries, mon frere.


Of course, and the earliest known bass traps were hundreds of clay pots placed around the amphitheater. Note the key is "hundreds" and the pots were large. Not three tiny magic pieces of rare wood placed under the stage.

They may not have had test gear, but they probably weren't foolish tweak heads.


Quote:
Subjectivism is not always wrong, just fallible.


Agreed fully and I'd never say that. All of this stuff begins with subjective impression! The next step is to try to confirm. Today this is done with test gear. Back then it was done by consensus:

"Hey guys, do you hear the difference?"
"Yes, that sounds much better to all of us."


Quote:
I seem to recall some great examples of objective acousticians making some terrible sounding concert halls, too!


Yep, that too - and not that long ago either!

--Ethan

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Re: Perception


Quote:

Quote:
But your point is well taken. Laws are not always irrefutable laws. They fail at some point.

We can agree to agree on that fact.

Jan while you are making it look like I wrote the first paragraph, you are quoting yourself!

I already explained to you that quantum uncertainty exists only on the sub-atomic level. This is a law of sub-atomic physics - well described by the applicable mathematics.

On the macro level, where we live, Newtonian physics applies. These laws are similarly consistent and well-described by the applicable math. Quantum superposition simply does not exist on the macro level. You do understand that The Matrix is just a movie, yes?

You cannot change the way the physical world works through semantics.

Physical laws are physical laws because there are no exceptions.

I appreciate that you wish it were different. It may help if you re-read my post describing how this works. I am quite comfortable with the topic.

If the math would help you understand, just let me know and I'll make it available to you - but this strikes me as getting too far off course. Moreover, and I do not mean this as an insult, if you would be comfortable with the math then you would already be very conversant with these concepts and would not be taking the positions that you appear to be taking.

Again, I invite you to set forth your position in a concise, clear positive statement. While you cite to other writers and to long, convoluted posts of argument against others you have yet to actually state what you believe perception is and why it matters.

Please take a shot at this rather than trying to trip others up.

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Quote:
Of course, and the earliest known bass traps were hundreds of clay pots placed around the amphitheater. Note the key is "hundreds" and the pots were large. Not three tiny magic pieces of rare wood placed under the stage.


Good one! Regardless of one's position in this discussion this was a clever quip.

I wonder if they considered WAF? Did the pots have to be painted a certain color, covered with fabric?


Quote:
All of this stuff begins with subjective impression! The next step is to try to confirm.


Yes! Another step is to examine, analyze and test in an effort to understand why the world is as it is.

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Yes! Another step is to examine, analyze and test in an effort to understand why the world is as it is.


Not to pat myself on the back, but at least "objectivists" like you and me are trying to learn why, rather than smugly saying "I know what I hear and that's the end of it." Not only do I try to learn what really matters and what doesn't, I also try to learn why people think they hear something that I'm certain is not real. The optical illusions Buddha posted earlier are one good example of that, and THIS article I've posted a few times now is my best explanation. Likewise shade's analogy of how frail eye-witness perception can be. I once watched a TV documentary that faked a purse snatching in front of a number of witnesses, and the unreliability of their observations was proven to be sorely lacking.

--Ethan

Jan Vigne
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Likewise shade's analogy of how frail eye-witness perception can be. I once watched a TV documentary that faked a purse snatching in front of a number of witnesses, and the unreliability of their observations was proven to be sorely lacking.

You got it right the second time. Eye witness observation, not eye witness "perception". Games, Ethan, you're playing more games.

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