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Elk
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Re: Perception

May,

Nice to see you back.

Did you see my post of questions and comments in this thread? (last post of page 7).

I read what you wrote in the now-closed thread and am curious about a number of things you said. If you get a chance I would enjoy reading your responses.

Thanks!

Ehrich

May Belt
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Re: Perception

10 minutes Elk. I have just paused for a cup of tea.
Regards,
May

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
I say, if people want to talk about other aspects of perception, they should be allowed to. I can only hope that by doing so, they will encourage you to do as May seems to have done.

If we are all over the map on perception, we'll go everywhere and end nowhere.

Elk
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Re: Perception

Cool!

I didn't mean to push, just gently encourage.

Enjoy your tea.

(It is fun to have you here to chat with).

May Belt
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Re: Perception

Quote from Elk on Perception.
>>> "If our ability to detect these energy patterns was refined through evolution, why do people react so differently to such tweaks?" <<<

I am presuming in the same way that different people react differently to all manner of different things.
I freeze in my tracks at the sight of a spider - or even at the THOUGHT of the sight of a spider !! But there are millions of other people who do not !!

>>> "When you state "energy patterns" are you using the phrase in the conventional sense that there is actual physical energy that we somehow sense? That is, are you stating that there is actually a physical change in the environment or are you stating that the changes simply are pleasing or relaxing or somehow emotionally calming?" <<<

The quick answer to that is Yes but ............. !!!!
The problem is in defining what is meant as 'physical'. For example.
It is known that when a tobacco plant is infected with the tobacco leaf virus, it can send a warning to the other (unaffected) tobacco plants. How can it do that ?
It cannot use sound - by shouting "Watch out, there's danger about." If it could, then the tobacco plants receiving that warning would have to have some form of hearing mechanism.
It cannot use visual methods - using it's leaves to send semaphore signals or using flashing lights to send Morse code signals.

So, how does it do it ? How does it send a warning to other non affected tobacco plants ?
Would YOU, Elk, say that it is by a physical happening - i.e a physical happening in the environment? This is where we stumble over the word physical.

Let me quote from some of the work done at the Institute for Applied Physics at the University of Bonn.
>>> "When a leaf or a stem is sliced, the plant signals pain (or perhaps dismay) by releasing the gas ethylene over it's entire surface......... On bombarding these gas molecules with calibrated laser beams which make them vibrate, this effect could be heard after picking up the soundwaves by a microphone. The Bonn scientists tested a range of plants but were most surprised by the reaction of the cucumber. The vegetable appeared to be in good shape but according to the acoustics, it was virtually shouting in agony. A closer study showed that it had developed mildew, yet the symptoms were not visible........ By eavesdropping on plants it should be possible to develop an early warning system to detect pests and disease...... The team also thinks plants warn each other about approaching danger by an 'alarm signal' transmitted between individual plants." <<<

Now, is this a PHYSICAL happening ? Do the healthy plants, receiving those 'danger signals' receive PHYSICAL signals ? Is this a communication system not needing the five senses and a brain ? A communication system in existence and successful for millions of years - long before the five senses as we know them ever developed ?

>>> "Are you indicating that you know how to create these "energy patterns"? That is, it isn't simply trial and error but you can purposefully create objects that contain this capability?" <<<

Yes.

>>> "Do we as humans perceive these energy patterns outside of our use of the "normal" five senses of sensory perception?" <<<

In my opinion, yes.

Our story is well known but I will repeat some of it again. We had no explanation why our sound had been ruined after applying a chemical to a small stain on a coffee table - a coffee table which had been in our listening room over many years of listening experiments. Peter obviously could not continue with listening tests which the (spoilt) table in the room so the table was banished to the garage. After that, the sound was back to being good again.

However, months later I was reading an article on plants and one plant was described as producing the chemical A when under stress. We then realised that one of the ingredients in the chemical we had used on the stain was this very chemical A and here was this chemical now being described as a 'stress' chemical !!!! Peter then began to ask "Could it have been us (human beings) who had 'sensed' that 'stress' chemical and gone under stress ourselves - and THAT was what had ruined the sound ?"

Peter then did what all good experimenters do. He searched every cupboard, every shelf, every drawer and tried every chemical he could find on the stain on the table (now back in the listening room for these experiments). Some chemicals were not as bad as the original chemical A but none of them brought back the good sound - until he tried Chemical X. Not only was the good sound back, Peter judged it to be even better than previously. Peter realised that we must have been sensitive to something about the table before he had applied chemical A - applying chemical A had just made matters worse. So, he began to ask "What else in the room are we sensitive to without realising it ?" After applying the Chemical X to so many different things around the room he ended up with the best sound he had ever had in his life. The rest, as they say, is history !!!

Regards,
May Belt.

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception


Quote:
Ethan, turn on all the lights in a room and then place a tiny flashlight in one corner. Look at the flashlight's beam. You don't see anything?


I was very careful to say the extra 2-watt bulb will not affect the room's overall lighting:


Quote:
If you have four 500 watt halogen bulbs blaring in a small room and then plug in a 2 watt night light, nobody will notice the difference in overall room lighting. (Italics added for emphasis now.)


This is very different from looking into the beam!

--Ethan

BillB
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Re: Perception

My response to one rhetorical question/point in May's post: Yes, the changes (e.g., excretions or signals from the plants) would be physical. May not be visual or auditory signals, but would still exist in the physical world - whether chemical, electrical, or whatever.

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception


Quote:
I don't maintain that science can fully explain exactly how or why we respond to music the way we do.


Nor do I, and this is definitely not something I would ever address. The only thing I care about is if the sound in the room really changed enough to be noticed, or if it's placebo and all in the mind. Emotional stuff is outside the realm of science, or at least outside the parts I'm interested in and knowledgeable about.

--Ethan

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
Quote:
Ethan, turn on all the lights in a room and then place a tiny flashlight in one corner. Look at the flashlight's beam. You don't see anything?

-------

I was very careful to say the extra 2-watt bulb will not affect the room's overall lighting:

Quote:

If you have four 500 watt halogen bulbs blaring in a small room and then plug in a 2 watt night light, nobody will notice the difference in overall room lighting. (Italics added for emphasis now.)

-------

This is very different from looking into the beam!

That is correct, Ethan. Did you try the experiment?

I thought not. If you had, you might have noticed the tiger in the other corner.


Quote:
Music is easy to miss for the listener who thinks his job is to concentrate on the sound.
http://blog.stereophile.com/stephenmejias/

Elk
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Re: Perception

May,

Thanks for your response.

While I accept that there is variability in human behavior, I have trouble accepting that we would have such disparate in reactions to environmental changes which were supposedly honed by evolution to respond to danger. Such responses in animals of all types are immediate and strong. I appreciate however that your explanation is simply your reasonable hunch as to what may be happening - and it is a fun one.

In the plant example, the production and reception of ethylene gas is definitely a physical phenomena and is very basic to plants.

Ethylene gas is produced by all flowering plants as well as vegetables and fruits. The plants also have chemical receptors which bond atmospheric ethylene gas. Ethylene is produced by ripening fruit, when a plant is diseased, is injured, over-watered, when the plant gets old, etc. Its production and reception regulates many plant processes.

Ethylene gas is used in the fruit and vegetable industries to hasten ripening. The production of ethylene gas by fruit lying around on one's counter is what causes nearby flowers (especially orchids) to quickly lose their flowers. Neat stuff, but pretty basic to being a plant.

While we do not have the same type of chemical receptors as plants, one example I can think of that applies to us is how our bodies react to carbon monoxide. We cannot smell it or see it, but it can kill us. It bonds with the red blood cells' hemoglobin where oxygen should be bonding. The CO bonds are stronger than O2 bonds.

Thus, exposure to CO makes us feel drowsy and ill. It is not received through any of the five senses, but certainly affects how we feel physically. Perhaps your chemical example is similar.

(Info note: plant researchers are playing with molecular variants of ethylene gas which would bond with a plant's ethylene receptors like CO bonds with our red blood cells. The idea is that this would keep fruit from ripening past a certain point so that it would stay fresh longer).

I really like that you have concluded that you can create objects that contain the capability to influence what you are referring to as energy patterns. Cool.

You indicate that "our story is well known". Perhaps I should be embarrassed, but I don't. Are you selling your products?

RGibran
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Re: Perception

Again, from the excellent 1987 JGH Article

bertdw
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Re: Perception


Quote:
You indicate that "our story is well known". Perhaps I should be embarrassed, but I don't. Are you selling your products?

http://www.belt.demon.co.uk/

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
For self-styled golden ears to be claiming, and trying, to be "objective" is to deny reality, because perception is not like instrumentation. Everything we perceive is filtered through a judgmental process which embodies all of our previous related experiences, and the resulting judgment is as much beyond conscious control as a preference for chocolate over vanilla. We cannot will ourselves to feel what we do not feel. Thus, when perceptions are so indistinct as to be wide open to interpretation, we will tend to perceive what we want to perceive or expect to perceive or have been told that we should perceive.

Yes, those would be the "pools" of perception from which we draw when confronted with various situations. We may not be able to control our preference for chocolate over vanilla or the presence of "flight or fright" in the case of the clerk but we can choose which filter to relax in our data banks at any one time. But first the data must be made available and have made its way through our filters to be present in our data pool. Does a child who has never tasted both flavors of ice cream have a preference? I don't think so. They willingly allow data into their pool of perceptions without many filters. It is only as we grow older and "more logical" that we depend more and more upon those filters to keep us from making fools of ourself or harming ourself in some way. "Tweaks" often are more effective on non-audiophiles because they have none of the filters "grown audiophiles" have developed through their logical follow the leader of the pack's direction - someone telling them what "can't happen". When it comes to alternative techniques in audio non-audiophiles can be the willing child freely accepting data into their "awareness of what is" with few if any filters for "what can't happen".

What Holt is stating is nothing more than we all have allowed different data into our pools of perception. We don't all listen in the same fashion whether at home or at the concert. However, we have the ability to alter our perception once new data is made available. The clerk's perception is altered once he survives the robbery. Ethan's perception would be altered if he allowed himself to look at the lamp instead of focussing on the overall light levels and the distortion. Data is filtered on the way in and on the way out. We cannot "will ourself" to perceive something that is not available to our data pools. You cannot truly perceive of flying to the moon, you can only imagine what it might be like from any similar data you have in your perception pools. Perception is not and cannot be a "will of force" item. However, you can allow more data into your perceptive pools, but it would require some effort on your part to relax your filters and more and more effort as your filters become more clogged with "can't happens". The odd thing is, the more effort you put forth, the fewer results you'll obtain. Maximum data enters when our filters are allowed to relax. That's why I objected to the idea of "critical listening" in the "Charts" thread.

We can make new data available by willing ourself to relax our filters. Ethan can go ahead and try the experiment. Until he does, however, he can't allow any new data in his pool of perception because he's already filled it with "can't happen" and "can't happen" fills up way more space in an already tiny perception pool than the "awareness of what is" takes up. Relaxation is the key and "can't happen" is the lock to the ever expanding pool of "awareness of what is" possible. Your task is to find the key, if you want to. If you don't wish to have any more data, tighten the filters and don't try the experiment. You can always eat vanilla and you'll never try pistachio ice cream and you won't ever go outside of your house because it would require new data entering your pool of perception. As JA said in "Charts" if you are not open to new information, why bother to do anything? If that's where you prefer to reside, fine. Just don't keep the rest of us locked up with you.


Quote:
Thus, when perceptions are so indistinct as to be wide open to interpretation, we will tend to perceive what we want to perceive or expect to perceive or have been told that we should perceive.

No problem I see here with what May is describing. If our perceptions are indistinct, they are similar to a photo taken with a poor camera lens. Colors are off, shapes are fuzzy and space is compressed and/or distorted. You can continue to take photos with that lens or you can allow yourself to use something better, something that allows more "awareness of what is" or was when the photo was taken. The difference between the physical it-can-never-be-better-we-can-only-learn-to-look-more-completely camera lens and your "awareness of what is" would only be that your perception doesn't cost you $1k and it can always get better the more you can relax your filters. In many cases "awareness of what is" is free if you want it and know how to access it.

Do you believe before WP placed the Roland Kirk disc in his player he "wanted to perceive" or "expected to perceive" or thought he "had been told to perceive" the information that Kirk was a "big man"? If so, why was he so surprised by that perception and the observation/interpretation that it resulted from pressure waves launched by a pair of boxes full of purely electro/mechanical parts? I don't buy into WP "expecting" anything of the sort, he allowed his data pool filters to relax more completely which then allowed him to accept and release information on a perceptual level that does not relate directly to his five senses. Do you believe a performer "wants to perceive" or "expects to perceive" or "has been told to perceive" the feedback from the audience? If so, how do you explain the perception of the first time actor who experiences this "event"? If you think the performer wills this to happen, why doesn't it happen every time? I've been there when it was present at the matinee and gone at the PM performance and vice versa. It is a collective feedback of "energy" that exists between everyone in that space, everyone becoming "aware of what is" at the moment, that makes the production of ethylene gas look small other than when it doesn't work things stink. IMO it is relaxing the collective filters of the audience and performers/technicians to allow new data to enter and old data to exit. One cougher, candy unwrapper or crying child can slam those filters shut.

We do not will data into our data pools, we can only relax sufficiently to allow it to enter and exit unfiltered. The more data we have to draw from - the clerk lived, Ethan saw the lamp, WP perceived Kirk's physical size and the impact that had on his playing - the more we can allow to transpire. The more practice we take at relaxing our filters the easier it becomes to perceive more data each time we approach an identical situation - a pool of perception. Once we learn to relax the right filters we can listen with concert ears even in the basement of our home or a dealer's showroom. Why do things sound better at night? Because it's easier to take off the "dogs must be let in/neighbor's mowing his lawn" ears and put on our concert ears. The more practice we have at doing so the easier it becomes to do so.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
Emotional stuff is outside the realm of science, or at least outside the parts I'm interested in and knowledgeable about.

I can believe that.

Ethan, do you have any "rituals" you perform before you engage your "artistic" brain to play music? Do you play scales? Do you run around the block five times? How do you prepare yourself for a "performance"? Do you wear any sort of talisman? A chain necklace or the same shoes? What's the most creative activity you perform? Do you stall before you get started? Do you do other things rather than be "creative"? Get a cup of coffee? Read the paper? What do you do, Ethan?

piinob
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Re: Perception

I think I understand you now, and you make a valid point. Something I try to do when makeing evaluations based solely on my perception is to examine repeatability. When I make a change, or a "tweak" I will listen and observe, make notes, and then come back several days in a row and repeat the process. If I can hear some change consistantly, then I will trust my perceptions. There have been times that things were not repeatable and I had to conclude that initially I was hearing what I wanted to hear rather than what really was.

Awareness, energy patterns, I think you are refering to what I have called feelings, nevertheless all good terms. Sometimes you enter a situation and sense the feeling of something wrong although your eyes and ears do not detect anything out of the ordinary. Still, you can feel something is different. I think they used to call it "the vibes in the room"

I believe that we have be very careful when we start evaluating our own, and other people perceptions for the very reasons Jan and others have mentioned. More than just the five senses, more than just the feelings, but memories and home grown filters have an impact on perceptions.
The circumstance Jan refers to "My gosh, I thought, I'd forgotten what a big man he was. Wait a minute, did I just think about the size of a man because of how a few drivers in a box moved some air?". Did the drivers and the box cause him to percieve that Kirk was a big man? Or did the drivers and the box trigger that memory that Kirk is a big man? I am not so sure that any of us can be 100% certain about all of our perceptions. I am sure that all of the things that everyone has mentioned have some effect on each of our individual psyches, including the oft overlooked sense of smell. But we are all different psyches, with different memorys, and different experiences so it remains that our percetions will, must, always vary to some degree. That is only a bad thing if we choose to believe it so.

Part of my ritual when sitting down for serious listening is to light several scented candles, quiet the room, and turn off the lights. Maybe that is why I never enjoy listening as much in the afternoon as I do at night.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
We cannot "will ourself" to perceive something that is not available to our data pools. You cannot truly perceive of flying to the moon, you can only imagine what it might be like from any similar data you have in your perception pools. Perception is not and cannot be a "will of force" item.

Why do you discount this possibility? At least a couple of times people have posted here that they have perceived that uncompressed digital files sounded better than lossless compressed files. It is not generally disputed that both will produce identical music from the speakers so it is likely that the listener heard a difference because they expected to hear a difference. Possibly their knowledge that compressed lossy files sound worse led them to their conclusion?

Dave

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Re: Perception

I don't mean to speak for Jan, and I welcome him to correct me if I misinterpret what he's getting at.

I think folks in this thread have been using a confusingly broad definition of "perception". If one defines perception as the term is used in the neuroscientific vernacular, then anything that is not actually received by the senses cannot truly be "perceived".

In more common communication, "perception" is used much more broadly, and includes cognitive components that are not present in the strict psychological definition.

I retrieved a definition from an online psychology dictionary to illustrate my point:

Perception - A rapid, automatic, unconscious process by which we recognize what is represented by the information provided by our sense organs.

Now, here's a definition from dictionary.com:

the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.

The difference is subtle, but significant. The take-home message is that something that does not exist cannot be perceived, in the strictest sense of the word.

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Re: Perception

Bertdw, thanks for the P.W.B. webpage link. It's sort of a mechanistic Feng shui. May's postings have been a delight; open, non-defensive, positive, no attacks on what others might believe - a great example which all should emulate.

Jan, happened to inquire "Does a child who has never tasted both flavors of ice cream have a preference?". Perhaps surprisingly, but yes. Current research indicates that many of our preferences for taste are set while in the womb and, somewhat amusingly, are greatly influenced by what mom happens to eat. You want your child to eat veggies? - better down them while you are pregnant.

Rgibrain quoted JGH: "Everything we perceive is filtered through a judgmental process which embodies all of our previous related experiences..." This is a good point to keep in mind. We all approach every aspect of audio replete with out emotional, psychological and intellectual biases and expectations; the past informs and creates the present.

Erik B again pointed out that there are many uses of the word "perception" being bandied about. This is one of the difficulties with any such thread. Most of us are using the word to describe the act of sensing. Jan appears to use the term to include both sensing and subsequent processing, as well as emotional response. There is nothing wrong with either use, we just need to be sure that we each make clear what we are stating.

Shade's listening ritual is interesting. His deliberate acts to prepare himself to listen must greatly influence his listening experience. Removing light helps us to appreciate what our other senses are telling us (ever close your eyes while trying to find something solely by feel?). Additionally, the deliberateness of sitting to listen opens oneself to truly appreciating the experience. This type of focusing to listen is missing from the way many currently experience music as simply background. Thanks for bringing this out, Shade.

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Re: Perception

Just popping in during an interval of travel.

I was being too reductive talking about sense, there are many interractions we have with the universe that do not fit within the strict realm of what we call our senses.

I really meant to be machanistic rather than over simplistic.

Maybe after the kids go to bed tonight, I can come add some cool examples of what I mean.

We do perceive more than our senses can tell us. I apologize for over-simplifying.

We'll talk later...

May Belt
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Re: Perception

Quote by BillB
>>> "My response to one rhetorical question/point in May's post: Yes, the changes (e.g., excretions or signals from the plants) would be physical. May not be visual or auditory signals, but would still exist in the physical world - whether chemical, electrical, or whatever." <<<

Quote by Elk.
>>> "I have trouble accepting that we would have such disparate in reactions to environmental changes which were supposedly honed by evolution to respond to danger. Such responses in animals of all types are immediate and strong. I appreciate however that your explanation is simply your reasonable hunch as to what may be happening - and it is a fun one.

In the plant example, the production and reception of ethylene gas is definitely a physical phenomena and is very basic to plants." <<<

*******************
If two of you (BillB and Elk) agree that the 'stress' chemical produced by plants is physical and the plants receiving that information physically receive it then can we work from that point.

If similar 'stress' chemicals are present in our environment can we (human beings) physically detect those physical signals ? How we might be doing so is for later discussion. What I am trying to do is to get people to walk along a different path to Ethan's path (i.e his belief that if it is not doing something acoustic, then it cannot be changing sound). At any time along the path you can retrace your steps and get back to where you started !!!!!!

When I describe that we (human beings) have been programmed by evolution to be constantly
reading/sensing our environment for danger/predator/intruder I mean for the survival requirements of being able to 'sign off' our environment as 'safe' and to therefore relax. When I bring in references to 'stress' chemicals being present in our environment I am not meaning that we (human beings) will immediately react as your sentence Elk, "Such responses in animals of all types are immediate and strong" i.e 'freeze in your tracks at the sight of a spider or a snake or a lion' I am meaning it in the terms of "Is the very PRESENCE of the 'stress' chemicals preventing us from 'signing off' our environment as 'safe'?.

As in my example of the temperature of a room, it only takes a small amount of change for us to register something better or worse !! A 1 degree C increase in temperature is enough for someone to FEEL 'more comfortable' - a 10 degree C increase and the person will feel absolutely euphoric !! A 1 degree colder and the person will feel quite uncomfortable.

Sorry, Elk, but I am going to retell a story (a true story) which, again, is well known.

In the early 1980s, Peter had also discovered that different cables and wires gave different sounds. So, he investigated the sound of numerous metals used as conductors. He listened to the bare metals (no insulation) - to copper in all it's configurations (single solid core, many strands, multi fine stranded - bunched, plaited, twisted), to silver, to brass, to steel baling wire and the best sounding metal of all was Pure Lead (Pb). But, as soon as Peter put insulation material anywhere near any of the bare metals the sound was worse.
Knowing how different metals were made depending on what was required of them i.e cooled quickly or allowed to cool slowly, Peter tried another experiment with all the metals. He cooked all the metals in the oven (275 degrees F - Gas Mark 3, as Martin Colloms described Peter's work in his article Cable Controversies - Hi Fi News March 1984) and then allowed the metals to cool very slowly. All the metals sounded better after this 'cooking' but the sound was still worse when insulation materials were applied. Peter knew he could not 'cook' the plastic insulation material in the oven so he tried the opposite - he placed the plastic insulation material in our domestic deep freezer overnight and then allowed it to return to room temperature very, very slowly (by wrapping it in a towel or a blanket). After freezing the plastic materials, applying the (previously frozen) plastic insulation to the metal conductors did not have the same adverse effect on the sound. Because of this success with the freezing technique, Peter decided to do the same freezing/slow defrost treatment on the metals after 'cooking' them. Again, there was a further improvement in the sound. So the simple freezing technique using a domestic freezer was described to British audio journalists which they too tried with success. Simultaneously, with neither knowing each other or of each other's experiments, Ed Meitner in Canada was discovering that freezing things at cryogenic temperatures also gave improvements in the sound. The very cryogenic treatments which Ethan was also dismissing - >>> "magic hockey pucks, too-small room treatments that defy all that is known about physics, cryogenic products and processes," <<<

Way back in the early 1980s, we had no explanation then as to why all these treatments to the metals and plastic insulation gave such improvements in the sound, only that they HAD !! Then, a few years after, we had the Eureka moment with the 'stress' chemical and then the knowledge that the very chemical we had used, which had spoilt our sound, was a 'known' stress chemical produced by plants.

Many people in audio are aware that different insulation materials used on cables give different sounds. The explanation usually put forward is 'something to do with the dielectric effect'. But, yet again we have chemical mixtures controlling sound ! You can have the sound reasonably good, medium or poor, depending upon which chemical mixture (insulation material) you use. Here is a list of some of them - bextrene., P.V.C (Poly Vinyl Chloride) ., polythene., polyethylene., polystyrene., polyurethane., polypropylene., polyalkene., P.T.F.E., Teflon. the list is endless. And, these chemicals are present in our environment !!!

So, I ask the serious question "Are we (human beings) 'sensing' the different chemical mixtures in our environment (some of them as 'stressful' as the ones known to be produced by plants) and therefore not able to 'sign off' our environment as 'safe'?". In other words, we stay under tension, we cannot relax properly !!

Your quote Elk:-
>>> "I appreciate however that your explanation is simply your reasonable hunch as to what may be happening - and it is a fun one." <<<

I would, Elk, suggest that my explanation is presented as far more serious than as a 'fun one'.

After discovering the second chemical (Chemical X), the chemical which gave us the best sound we had ever had when applied to all manner of different things in the room, we revisited the original experiments with the bare metals and plastic insulation. We had begun to realise that as well as Nature programming us to constantly read/sense our environment for signs of danger etc, we must also be programmed to constantly read/sense our environment for signs of reassurance, so that we CAN 'sign off' our environment as 'safe - and that the second chemical must be providing exactly that - reassurance energy patterns, enabling us to be far more able to 'sign off' our environment as 'safe' !!!!! As with the example of the slight change of room temperature - it does not need much of a change to have an beneficial (relaxing) effect !!!

Now to really 'put the cat amongst the pigeons'. Many people involved in audio know that PTFE is one of the best 'sounding' insulation materials. Peter had also found it to be one of the best sounding insulation materials. The usual explanation given for this is that it is 'something to do with the dielectric effect'. So, here is an experiment you can try for yourself.

It is the "F" of PTFE which is important - Fluoride. To be simplistic, it may be one of Nature's 'reassuring' chemicals.
In the UK one can get small dropper bottles of Sodium Fluoride (for adding to water to rinse your teeth) but I don't know if such a thing is available elsewhere. Add a few drops of Sodium Fluoride to (say) a litre of water. Have two identical vases of flowers. One vase to have just normal tap water (as the control) and the other vase to have the fluoridated water. Bring the vase with the fluoridated water into the listening room and listen for a short period of time - enough time to get used to that sound. Then take that vase out of the room and bring in the vase with the normal tap water and listen to the same music again. And, see if you can listen with the same pleasure !!!!!!

The only difference between the two experiments is the Sodium Fluoride !!!!

If you do experience better sound with the vase of fluoridated water in the room, then just imagine applying the same fluoridated water to the outer insulation materials of all the AC power cables in the room. By applying some of the fluoridated water to the outer insulation material of cables, you are superimposing one of Nature's 'reassuring' techniques onto what may be basic 'stress' chemicals involved in the manufacture of the plastic insulation for cabling !!!!!!!! Imagine even applying the fluoridated water to Ethan's Room Acoustic panels !!!!

The heading of the original 'thread' was "Acoustic effects and size matters".
In the description I have given you the SIZE of anything is irrelevant, because what I have described is NOT involving acoustics !! It is involving the human being and how the human being is reading/sensing their environment. Reducing the adverse effects of a hostile environment by just the 1 degree C can result in "Oh that is better. I feel much more comfortable." OR. "Oh that is much better sound. The sound stage is better, there is better separation of instruments, better resolution of the nuances in the music, I am enjoying it much better." As I point out in my articles on PFO. The (musical) information ABC through to XYZ is already there, in the room, we just cannot resolve it correctly because our brain is having to work so hard to 'deal with' the hostile environment we have built around ourselves.
Even reducing that hostile environment by the (hypothetical) 1 degree C will start the improvement.

So, to how the discussion all started. The Mpingo dots and the Harmonix discs CAN BE the size of a dime, Ethan. If they are providing the equivalent of the 1 degree C change, then they can be detected by us (human beings) !!!! If they are mimicing one of Nature's 'reassuring' techniques then they can be detected by us (human beings) !! And, many other seemingly inexplicable 'tweaks' can begin to make sense if you are prepared to 'think away' from the conventional - i.e that there are only two ways to change 'sound' - either have an effect on the audio signal travelling through the audio system or have an effect on the acoustic air pressure waves in the room.

Regards,
May Belt.

Elk
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Re: Perception

Thank you, May. I appreciate all of the work that is going into your posts.

BTW, when I describe your theory as "fun" I don't mean this in a disparaging way - I enjoy learning, discussing and considering - thus, this is all fun to me.

On what basis did you conclude that the reason that your various "treatments" (fair term?) work because they are triggering evolutionarily created survival requirements of being able to 'sign off' our environment as 'safe'?

With respect to cable insulation, is there a reason that you rejected physical interactions with the signal as the source of the difference in sound?

Regardless of the causal mechanism however I accept that any tweak, listening room color, lighting, full tummy, favorite lover - whatever makes you happy and relaxed - is going to increase your enjoyment of reproduced sound. Thus, I really like Shade's deliberate creation of an environment that is conducive to listening.

Cryogenic treatment of metals, especially iron, physically changes the material (of course this is much colder than freezing). I have the rotors for my car frozen prior to using them on a race track as they last much longer. I keep meaning to have them through in some of my interconnects and power cords next time. I read somewhere in the past that such treatments improves copper's conductivity by something like 7% but I don't know how this was determined.

(BTW, we can get sodium fluoride drops on this side of the pond. Thus, we can try your suggested experiment.)

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Re: Perception

>>> "With respect to cable insulation, is there a reason that you rejected physical interactions with the signal as the source of the difference in sound?" <<<

When you can treat the insulation of ANY cable in the room - including cables which are NOT carrying a signal - and gain identical improvements in the sound each time. Cables such as the AC power cable going to the table lamp, going to electric clock, going to the telephone, going to the video machine ( not in use), going to the electric light, going to the electric fire, going to computer games and so on !!!!! It is when you can 'treat' things which are NOT in any way associated with the audio system and keep getting improvements in the sound each time that you realise that there is something 'going on' which is NOT to do with the audio signal going through the audio system !!!

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
The circumstance Jan refers to "My gosh, I thought, I'd forgotten what a big man he was. Wait a minute, did I just think about the size of a man because of how a few drivers in a box moved some air?". Did the drivers and the box cause him to percieve that Kirk was a big man? Or did the drivers and the box trigger that memory that Kirk is a big man?

Here's how I would interpret that information. WP says he saw Kirk at least once so he would know his physical size. Information from the recording was made available to allow WP's "perception pool" to recreate the the sonic clues which said "big man". Those clues coincided with WP's recollection of similar clues he placed in his data pool when he actually saw/heard Kirk. A quick check between "what is" in WP's room now with "what was" in the room when WP saw Kirk perform live allowed WP to switch on his concert ears. "Yes, the effort of a big man is present. The dynamics and force of playing say big man. The reverberant information contained in the recording say big man." All those things are checked and confirmed and run through the filters of WP's perception of a past event. What comes back out of those data pools is that the present data is providing him stimuli similar to his past collection of data. A matching of sonic fingerprints in a way.

It would be interesting to know more about what in the recording or playback WP feels allowed him to match those perceptions. Did the speaker actually provide more information contained on the recording or did the speaker provide the same amount of information as other decent speakers but organize it in a manner that allowed WP to relax more completely thereby relaxing certain filters. Possibly lower distortion from the speaker or just a certain coloration that matched WP's recollection of the past event. Either way there was something that allowed WP to listen with his concert ears.

The perception of "big man" may have been primarily due to better resolution of height clues, something stereo recordings don't do all that well. What I find more interesting is the percpetion of the "atmosphere" within the space when the recording was made. Audience response and the level of playing would provide some clues but, if you've ever been aware of such "vibes" present in a recording, there's more to it than just the sounds of people enjoying themself - it becomes similar to May's examples of walking into a room and sensing the mood of those present and exists on a perceptual level before a note is played and is more than a response to crowd noise levels.


Quote:
But we are all different psyches, with different memorys, and different experiences so it remains that our percetions will, must, always vary to some degree. That is only a bad thing if we choose to believe it so.

Or if we cannot acknowledge the perceptions of others as being different than our own. Or if we no longer allow ourself to be surprised with new data.


Quote:
Part of my ritual when sitting down for serious listening is to light several scented candles, quiet the room, and turn off the lights. Maybe that is why I never enjoy listening as much in the afternoon as I do at night.

I use a similar set of "triggers" before I listen. I don't have time to discuss this now but my feeling is we are, if we choose to allow ourself to be, similar to actors preparing for a role when we sit down to listen. Just as a "method actor" employs "emotional recall" to get into character so too can we use triggers to relax our own perceptual filters. The "method style of acting" comes (in a somewhat disorted way) from the realistic style of stage work in 1920's Russia as taught by Stanislavski. At the same time another Russian stage director, Meyerhold, was working with "bio-mechanics" as an alternative trigger mechanism to emotional recall. Both styles played with the "fourth wall" between performer and audience, one with the emotion required being recalled by past events and the other with the emotions being recalled by the physical action that would accompany the event. Whichever technique an actor uses the desire is for the performer to arrive at the point where their filters are down and the character's filters are allowed in. In both techniques the desire was the ability to quickly switch on a personna and "be in" the character. In a very real sense lighting candles as a ritual is a trigger that empties "dogs need to be let in" filters and allows them to be replaced by "going to the concert" filters, in other words, the ability to listen as if you were actually at the concert and not your own home or a dealer's showroom. Each person use emotions or actions they can call up to relax filters pertinent to themself but the technique remains largely the same for all performers. With training and repitition an actor can learn to turn these filters on and off with ease and rapidity. We are merely becoming actors going to the concert instead of ermaining as shade listening to his hifi at home.

Also, if you have any experience with the concepts, think of pain management techniques. You are taught to choose between the filters that allow pain through and the filters that only allow walk through the forest perceptions.

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Possibly their knowledge that compressed lossy files sound worse led them to their conclusion?

Possibly their perception that compressed lossy files sound worse led them to their conclusion. Perception is everything. "Digital is perfect." "Analog is superior." "That little red Nano iPod is cute."

I would say this is somewhat like anyone's perception of a politician. You don't really know the person or their platform but you judge them on whether they wear a flag pin or confuse events. Not you personally, you are always protected by your own "personal self perception" which makes you acutely aware of the information required to assess Obama's patriotism or not get sucked into trivial matters in the first place. But those people who get polled always seem to perceive a candidate incorrectly for some ridiculous reason.

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Re: Perception


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In more common communication, "perception" is used much more broadly, and includes cognitive components that are not present in the strict psychological definition.

Yes, I'd say that more closely fits what I have been discussing. It is similar to May's example of body temperature. If you experience a physical change on a subtle level of not having your body work as hard to maintain its internal temperature, it is perceived as "better". Someone who has not had the experience is not "wrong" since their awareness of what is remains the only data thay have to pull from.

As I wrote in "Charts" letters alone are just letters. We can measure their number and their shape but it is only when we arrange them in meaningful patterns that they become words we can perceive and imbue with meaning filtered through our past perceptions. A child has no awareness of what is a parent's "love" as the parent experiences the word though what the child and the parent perceive is broadly similar.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Jan, happened to inquire "Does a child who has never tasted both flavors of ice cream have a preference?". Perhaps surprisingly, but yes. Current research indicates that many of our preferences for taste are set while in the womb and, somewhat amusingly, are greatly influenced by what mom happens to eat.

Wouldn't this be more similar to a "predisposition" rather than a "preference"? Here you are talking about the connection between the taste receptors and the brain which would be an inherited trait akin to brown eyes or a cancer carrying gene. The youngest child, IMO, would have no "preference" for chocolate or vanilla and would readily try both. Only as data is compiled and pooled over time will the child recognize a preference based upon perception.

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Re: Perception

Quote by Jan :-.
>>> "The perception of "big man" may have been primarily due to better resolution of height clues, something stereo recordings don't do all that well. What I find more interesting is the percpetion of the "atmosphere" within the space when the recording was made." <<<

I have tried to describe how we started along a particular path because we knew that conventional electronic theory could not explain what we were 'hearing', we knew that conventional acoustic theory could not explain what we were 'hearing'. I have tried to establish (with one example of the physical 'stress' chemical produced and detected by plants) that there could be 'something' physical, going on in our modern environment, which is NOT acoustic.

Now I want to return to the subject that started the original 'thread' in the first place. "Could small things such as the Harmonic Discs and Mpingo dots be doing anything and if so WHAT were they doing and HOW were they doing it ?"

I remember reading about Harmonic Discs over 15 years ago !! If you read what so many journalists have written about such discs over these 15 years, you will see that their individual surprise at what effect the discs had on their sound is practically identical. Their individual descriptions of the improvement in their sound are similar. You cannot keep dismissing all those people's experiences as 'placebo effect', as 'being mistaken', as the products 'being total bullshit with no foundation in science or anything else beyond wishful thinking' - which is Ethan's approach. At SOME point you have to begin to realise that there is 'something' going on which has to be seriously investigated !! Ethan asks "So how do you imagine these Harmonix doodads could possibly "eliminate boomy bass ?" He is completely ignoring (or out rightly dismissing) other people's experiences and descriptions such as :-

"Whiter, blacker, clearer, sharper, tighter bass. Bigger soundstage, more space, smoother and less fatiguing. More realistic."
"The bass got pushed into the background because it was less boomy, the rest of the sounds became more detailed."
"There were more transients than before and they were clearer, whiter, smoother and more distinct than before."

If after applying such 'discs' and the journalists describe 'tighter bass', 'bass was less boomy', 'more transients than before', 'bigger soundstage, more space, less fatiguing, more realistic', then where has this information come from which was NOW allowing these journalists to experience such improvements in sound ? Such small 'discs', in the room, cannot possibly be having any effect on the signal travelling through the audio system !! So, that means that all the information NOW heard MUST HAVE BEEN on the CD (the source), MUST HAVE BEEN handled perfectly adequately by the audio system, MUST HAVE BEEN presented into the room by the speaker system, MUST NOW BE in the room as acoustic information so, why did these people not experience the same information before applying such as the Harmonix discs, Mpingo dots and other but different, room devices ??? Why and how are these journalists now hearing such additional information so that they can all, similarly, describe those improvements in their sound ???

And, just as importantly, if they then remove all the 'discs' they had applied and listen again, those 'improvements' are gone !! Gone where ??? The 'tighter bass' is no longer 'tighter'. The 'bass' is back being 'boomy'. There is a 'smaller soundstage' and the sound is 'more fatiguing'. Why ? If the wealth of information MUST HAVE BEEN in the room all the time, even before the Harmonix discs, Mpingo dots, etc, were applied, then why can they not be heard now - without those things in place ?

Similarly Elk. Yes, of course all the things you describe below will affect your level of relaxation and your additional appreciation of the music :-
>>> "Regardless of the causal mechanism however I accept that any tweak, listening room color, lighting, full tummy, favorite lover - whatever makes you happy and relaxed - is going to increase your enjoyment of reproduced sound. Thus, I really like Shade's deliberate creation of an environment that is conducive to listening." <<<

But, when those things are not present in your listening environment and the 'sound' is perceived as 'not as good tonight' just where has the 'better' sound gone ? You see, Elk, if all the information was already in the room and you were able to hear it with 'good color', with 'good lighting', with 'a full tummy', with your 'favorite lover' etc, why is the sound not as good when those things are not there ?
Surely if you are playing exactly the same disc, through exactly the same audio equipment, in exactly the same room, with exactly the same acoustic information coming from exactly the same speaker system, why can't you hear exactly the same acoustic information as you had heard previously - which you enjoyed so much, which had given you so much of a thrill ? Surely, if there was information ABC through to XYZ, presented into the room when all the pleasant conditions were in place, then surely the SAME information ABC through to XYZ must STILL be there, in the room ? So, why is the 'sound' different !! Why aren't you enjoying it as much ?

The "Acoustic effects and size matters" was such an important 'thread' I still cannot understand why it was stopped.

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
It is when you can 'treat' things which are NOT in any way associated with the audio system and keep getting improvements in the sound each time that you realise that there is something 'going on' which is NOT to do with the audio signal going through the audio system !!!


That's interesting, but is the opposite of what I conclude. If you do something that cannot possibly affect the audio, like change the insulation on an unused lamp cord, and you hear a change, to me that literally screams placebo effect and flawed human perception.

--Ethan

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Here's how I would interpret that information. WP says he saw Kirk at least once so he would know his physical size. ...

So, now that you have been somewhat pressed on the issue, you have re-read the few paragraphs in their full context, and now acknowledge Wes possessed a wealth of previous knowledge regarding the artist and his music.

The possibility exists, that because of this knowledge, Wes wanted to hear, expected to hear, and/or thought he should hear certain things.

This then brings us to the question of where does perception end and imagination begin.

To someone who does not share the same feelings about the album as Wes, they would be more inclined to conclude much of what some may say Wes perceived would be more accurately described as imagined.

Not that imagination is a bad thing. After all, the reality is we are trying to create an illusion!

RG

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Re: Perception


Quote:

Quote:
It is when you can 'treat' things which are NOT in any way associated with the audio system and keep getting improvements in the sound each time that you realise that there is something 'going on' which is NOT to do with the audio signal going through the audio system !!!


That's interesting, but is the opposite of what I conclude. If you do something that cannot possibly affect the audio, like change the insulation on an unused lamp cord, and you hear a change, to me that literally screams placebo effect and flawed human perception.

--Ethan

Folks, please understand that nothing personal is meant by this post, which is going to hopefully be realized as being essential to understanding the post. The post, BTW, is EXACTLY on topic. How many will understand that, is entirely the question itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The thing that most scientists, physicists, and engineers need to get their heads around is that the act of measurements, yes- even the simple act of human observation collapses the quantum 'universal and multi-dimensionally interconnected' wave function of the true nature of reality...down into a mechanistic Newtonian consideration.

The science of acoustics and audio reproduction concerning electricity tends to fail to take into account the point that even though we can talk about audio measurements- both electrical and air pressure changes (acoustic)- that we..in reality.. know absolutely NOTHING about their true nature.

In essence, we talk about acoustics when we know NOTHING of what it actually truly is.

We talk about electricity all day long..and we know NOTHING about what it actually, truly is.

For people who take their existence and 'way of life' to be revolving around their 'security' within their 'position of knowing' about what exactly things are and how they 'place' those understandings for 'internal self security' to move forward in life or to simply exist. Ie, 'I feel safe because my fridge has food in it and I have $40 in the bank'.. this creates a difficult position with regards to overall mental security.

Personally, I see May as not having much difficulty with dealing with such complex issues concerning perception with regard to human reality and actual physical reality, etc.. One can tell --She got over herself ---long ago.

Ethan--I'm not so sure about your internal monkey (hindbrain) on this particular issue.

People should understand that thoughts are formed in the unconscious before they become the internal mumblings of the human mind. Ie, before they become the vocal internal voice that is reading these typed words, right now. Out loud, that is, in your head, right now!

Now..that internal voice is a creation of the mind, deep with in the emotions FIRST. The HINDBRAIN rules these creations FIRST.

This means that the part you all recognize is the 'voice'. The voice comes from the 'thinking ape', or 'thinking monkey'. The 'thinking monkey' comes out of the emotional child or proto-self.

The proto-self comes out of the emotions and the base drive system, ie the hindbrain and the animalistic and reptilian drive. Then the base system of nervous structure etc. To clear up one point, that when the organized brain begins to recognize the idea of time, and life/death, that's when the internal voice begins to appear in the young monkey/human. The voice rises into existence at the same time. Part of the self protect mechanism created to rule the fear of life-existence ending, due to the realization of time. About the age of 4+ in most folks. It should be clear at this point, that human existence in the individual internal sense, is a stacked, organized system, with some clear rulers that most folks are not even aware exists. Deep within them.('What is this dagger I see before me', etc)

The point, here?

That May seems to have little difficulty in getting past these sorts of points. Seemingly, her self security in existence is not rooted in needing to cling to a 'physical'
branch like a scared monkey. She can seemingly open her mind a bit to explore the larger realities, not just the poorly executed idea of current scientific methodology, which sadly is, at this time, grossly Newtonian in nature-which is quite wrong to utilize, at this point and level in scientific exploration.

To get there..in most people, it requires actual 'complete ego destruction', which in the human MIND, is an ACTUAL DEATH..and the base considerations of that construction will literally FIGHT TO THE DEATH..to avoid understanding new things, to the point that those 'mental innards' will tell you that what I've just written is insane trash, in order to self protect the internal creation.

Important point: We explore the unknown things in human existence with our EMOTIONS, not our logic. Emotions are the rulers, FIRST, when it comes to unknowns. Thus the idea of the self protect mechanism coming to the fore and ridiculing the new ideas, thoughts and observations.

In order to gets some of what May is saying, some of you are going to have to understand what I've just written.

What I'm saying is not that May does not have a handle on reality, observation and perception-and attempting to correlate that with things in general (quite the opposite), but that with regard to getting yourself around this..that your mind ...is absolutely full of it's own shit.

Another problem is that charlatans exist everywhere. They live in their own shit, just like anyone else. Self realization is key. We like to confuse the real seekers with being charlatans. Our internal monkey can continue ruling our little selves that way. Investment in things costs.. with respects to costing in fear, pain, etc. New - can be painful. Paradigms that exist in total animal comfort in knowing..can come crashing down. We fight it --right to the internal death..

I, in no way shape or form, see May as a charlatan. She appears to be an honest explorer. Nor do I see her observations as wrong.

What is wrong here, is to dismiss her observations due to incorrect considerations of what the true nature of reality is.

Dear reader: Exactly what the hell are -YOU-, anyway?

bobedaone
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Re: Perception

Ethan, I think I've finally found some common ground with you.

I'd better unplug the lamps in my living room...

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Folks, please understand that nothing personal is meant by this post


Uh oh, look out, here comes a bunch of off-topic BS and insults.


Quote:
we talk about acoustics when we know NOTHING of what it actually truly is. We talk about electricity all day long..and we know NOTHING about what it actually, truly is.


Please speak for yourself, okay?


Quote:
In order to gets some of what May is saying, some of you are going to have to understand what I've just written.


$100 says even you don't understand what you just wrote.


Quote:
your mind ...is absolutely full of it's own shit.


Ah, there it is - I knew it! As I always say, you can tell who knows what they're talking about and who is full of crap by seeing who has to resort to insults.


Quote:
Another problem is that charlatans exist everywhere. They live in their own shit


Yes, and they try to sell nonsense tweaks to people whose brains are so soft they'll believe that the type of insulation on the wire to an unused lamp affects the sound in their room. Sheesh!

Okay Mr. KBK, here's a serious Yes/No question for you. And hopefully you will answer Yes or No, rather than claim I'm asking the wrong question.

Do you honestly believe that the type of insulation on the wire to an unused lamp can affect the sound in a room?

Thanks in advance for your Yes or No answer.

--Ethan

KBK
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Re: Perception

Wave or Particle, Ethan?

We're not talking gross things here, Ethan. we're talking about the cutting edge and the cutting edge of perception.

I'm going to maintain my cool and not get into insults.

As I said --some probably would not 'get' the post. Much to their loss. Some say I should stop saying such things, it only irritates those who don't get it. How can one help them out of their quandary if one does not endeavor to help? It's a difficult point.

Do yourself a favour and look up 'the global consciousness project'.

http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

In all seriousness, reality is only barely connected to the idea of science. Barely. Just. A hair.

ethanwiner
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Re: Perception

As expected, you just can't answer Yes or No can you?

Also, for the record, I've seen you mention several times in this forum that you are a professional in the audio business. Most forums specifically require that people in the industry post using a real name and company affiliation. This avoids one vendor taking pot shots at another while pretending to be an unbiased bystander. Which I believe may have happened here recently. It also prevents a vendor from making positive statements about his own products or technology while hiding the affiliation. I don't know Stereophile's policy on this, or if they even have such a policy for this forum. But perhaps this would be a good time for you to identify yourself?

--Ethan

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Re: Perception


Quote:
So, now that you have been somewhat pressed on the issue, you have re-read the few paragraphs in their full context, and now acknowledge Wes possessed a wealth of previous knowledge regarding the artist and his music.

You are never going to get this because you don't wish to get this. Go back and read where I first suggested everyone read from this point to that point in WP's review. What makes you believe I had to re-read the paragraphs? What makes you think I was "pressed"? I can't respond to something you just make up which has no basis in fact. Neither statement is true.


Quote:
The possibility exists, that because of this knowledge, Wes wanted to hear, expected to hear, and/or thought he should hear certain things.

Then why didn't he have this perception before this time? Did you see him indicate this was the first time he played that disc? He writes, "Again I was struck by the power of this disc." Go re-read what's there.

WP did not "hear" Kirk's size. You are making things up and you are ignoring the very road map we've been following.
"Hearing" and "perception" are as distinct as "seeing" and "perception". If I'm mistaken and you really aren't getting this, then we can go back and retrieve what you've missed. But if you are intentionally being obstinate, then I have no response to your implausible suppositions.


Quote:
This then brings us to the question of where does perception end and imagination begin.

We covered that. You cannot have a perception of something that isn't in your data pools. Imagination pulls from your existing knowledge of what you perceive because that's all you have to work with. Your imagination is based on what you know. Just as an actor pulls from their data pools to find the emotional recall which can be used to play a role, imagination is still based upon your perception or your "awarenes of what is". You could consider imagination a product of perception but it is not perception itself. To the clerk perception is "danger/hophead". That's not imagination.


Quote:
To someone who does not share the same feelings about the album as Wes, they would be more inclined to conclude much of what some may say Wes perceived would be more accurately described as imagined.

You mean someone who only "listened" for what they could "hear"? You're not talking about someone who could perceive more than they can hear? There's no imagination involved here.


Quote:
Not that imagination is a bad thing. After all, the reality is we are trying to create an illusion!

No, you still don't get this. There's no "illusion" involved in the level of perception WP employed. You can discuss the "illusion" of two speakers creating what our mind interprets to be a replication of "soundstage" but that is a hearing mechanism not a perception of "what is present in the room". Observation - interpretation - perception. You are only discussing the first two which allow filtered data into someone's perception pool when you speak of the "illusion" of stereo. And the mechanistic auditory interpretation of stereo is not the "illusion" of mono nor of 7.1 surround. Do you suppose WP would have had a different "perception" of the size of Kirk in mono or surround? How would that be possible?

Perception takes the first two, observation/interpretation, and tries to create order from them. It is not replaced by either or both of them.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
If you do something that cannot possibly affect the audio, like change the insulation on an unused lamp cord, and you hear a change, to me that literally screams placebo effect and flawed human perception.

Possibly if you ever tried any such "experiment" with an open mind, you would have some ground to stand on. You won't even go turn on all the lights in your room.

More importantly the idea that you get to decide my perception is flawed is beyond belief at this point. You are now 55 pages behind where most of us have travelled. You only have the ability to criticise your own perception, Ethan, no one else's.

Ethan, you haven't answered my questions about your "rituals' and talismans" employed before a performance. Answer please.

piinob
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Re: Perception

Disclaimer---This post is directed to everyone not just Jan. Though the post is headed as such that is just for convenience.

Much of what is being mentioned in the last several posts border on metaphysics, or are related to the same. Those who have not spent time with these things tend to blow them off as hokum, just as people who have not spent time with science tend to treat a great deal of that as hokum. It does not change what is, only what we chose to acknowledge and use. I don't want to redirect the subject here, only acknowledge that it is drifting.
I came home from a concert last night and spent the rest of the night listening to my stereo. I was amazed at how, for no apparent reason it sounds incredibly more open with a wider, taller soundstage than I have heretofore been able to achieve. I can see no change in the room, the system is just the way it was two weeks ago when I turned it off. There is some newspaper on the floor at the back. And there are some school books and ungraded papers laying on the loveseat at the far end of the room. Why did the sound change? Is it me? Is it garbage in the room. Garbage is always there in some configuration or another. (Sorry, we are not as domestic as some folks, a bit messy at times.) Maybe it was the fact that my cat was not there as she usually is. I could say it was that I was listening differently after the concert. But coming from a loud rock concert ot a low level (volume) listening environment I would have expected to not hear as well. Nevertheless I was able to consistantly get lost in the music on side after side until 5:30am. I would add that I came home expecting everything to be as it has been for the last few months so I don't think this was expectations on my part.

Rather than attacking each others ideas why don't we just explain our own thoughts of what might have caused this shift in my perception/sensory input. I hear ideas on all sides that merit thought and investigation.

KBK I get what you are saying about each of us dealing with our own ideas and preconceptions at a level we often fail to realize even as the ideas and preconceptions are rampant in our conciousness.

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Re: Perception

Matthew 7:6.

Anyway.

I like the topic, but fall short of the necessary suspension of dubiosity with regard to things in the realm of three threads in the window sill position.

However, I do believe that we can perceive things withour perceiving them, and can obviously "perceive" things that are not in our data pool.

Whoever said, "You cannot have a perception of something that isn't in your data pools."

Nonsense.

On this perceiving without having knowledge of perceiving things, I give you the simple (but amazing) phenomenon of "menstrual synchronization."

Put a bunch of girls/women together in shared living quarters, and after a few months, they all start having their periods at the same time.

It's not like they discuss it, or conciously decide when to menstruate, but they obviously all perceived something in order for this to happen.

Pretty damn cool.

When you fight off a cold, your body perceives the presence of something as small as a virus and responds to it. On top of that, your body even remembers what it saw, so the next time that certain bug tries to settle in, the infection is thwarted before it can set up shop.

Immunologic "memory," as it is called.

Even when we do consciously perceive something, it is frequently evanescent, in that we accomodate quickly to a state of not consciously perceiving what we did only a minute or two earlier. You can perceive that your socks are being put on, and what it feels like to hacve socks on, but it's not like you walk around all day actively perceiving the fact that you are wearing socks. We actually have rather advanced skills at utilizing "selective perception," too!

When we swim, we call this phenomenon "getting used to" the water." What we really did was accomodate to that initial sensation - the water is the same temperature, but we no longer feel it as chilled.

I know tweak sellers hate this next part, but we are also so good at perceiving, that we can even perceive things that are not really there. We need to relax about this a little more. False perception is real.

Almost no (I'm not saying "never") audio reviewer, salesperson, or "subjectivist" has ever, to my recollection, admitted to being suceptible to being fooled.

Jan's foundation of his infallible auditory skills notwithstanding!

Remember those optical illusions I posted? Imagine how fun it would be to try and convince a "visual subjectivist" that the lines in an optical illusion weren't really curved unless we had a friendly neighborhood objectivist along to put his straight edge to use.

Without the objectivist, we'd have a flock of harpies telling us that they know what curvey lines look like, and you damn well better accept their perception of those line as being true!

_

So, we are messy creatures with the ability to perceive without perceiving, who can tune our perceptions on short notice to suit our purposes, yet cannot admit that our auditory aparatus can be fooled - and we reference or auditory impeccability within a hobby that uses two independent sound sources to fool us into not hearing them as independent sound sources.

The whole purpose of our hobby is to create a lie, then we argue about its truth.

We're lucky non-audiophiles talk to us at all!

Can I get a "Hallelujah?!?!"

piinob
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Re: Perception

Hallelujah...Hallelujah

Have two, they are small.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
Rather than attacking each others ideas why don't we just explain our own thoughts of what might have caused this shift in my perception/sensory input. I hear ideas on all sides that merit thought and investigation.

Concert ears. You had not yet allowed your filters to be put in place.

RGibran
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Re: Perception

I had forgotten what a wise man he was!

RG

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Re: Perception


Quote:
However, I do believe that we can perceive things withour perceiving them, and can obviously "perceive" things that are not in our data pool.

Whoever said, "You cannot have a perception of something that isn't in your data pools."

Nonsense.

You'll have to give an example. IMO, you cannot perceive or imagine anything that doesn't draw from your data pool. As my example of such, consider the public's reaction to Stravinsky's Symphony #4, Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty or Picasso's cubism. All caused riots because they were so different from what came before, the general public had nothing to fit into their data pools that matched such works. I can conceive of nothing which I could perceive that doesn't match some part of my already existing data pool. Give an example, please, of perception beyond our data pools.


Quote:
On this perceiving without having knowledge of perceiving things, I give you the simple (but amazing) phenomenon of "menstrual synchronization."

Put a bunch of girls/women together in shared living quarters, and after a few months, they all start having their periods at the same time.

It's not like they discuss it, or conciously decide when to menstruate, but they obviously all perceived something in order for this to happen.

Pretty damn cool.

? There are numerous explanations for the mechanics of this physical synchronization. I don't believe anyone has finalized the explanation for such reactions to actually pin this to "perception". That doesn't mean perception is not a part of what is happening but it is the sort of perception that exists at a much lower level, a subliminal level of what we here have been calling perception.


Quote:
I know tweak sellers hate this next part, but we are also so good at perceiving, that we can even perceive things that are not really there. We need to relax about this a little more. False perception is real.

I think you're confusing false "perception" with false "interpretation" of data. The clerk's response is based upon his "perception" of danger. If he misinterpreted the data presented to him, then it is that part of the process which has failed. The perception of danger is still real based on the observation/interpretation of the data.

Perception is everything and perception is always - due to your choice - true.

If you are in a situation where you perceive danger, stimuli (data) which feed that perception are weighed more heavily than those stimuli which negate the perception. As data sifts through your filters either you perceive higher degrees of danger or you choose to consciously select those bits of data which confirm no danger and your perception turns to "safety". How does a daredevil overcome their innate sense of danger? By choosing to ignore any perception of danger and choosing to focus on the "safety" of jumping a motorcycle over sixteen burning school busses. The daredevil's task is to get us to perceive them as able to manipulate danger to their advantage. An actor does the same when they choose to over come the nervous energy called "stage fright". Listen to actors discuss stage fright and you find they use it just as they use the subliminal energy they receive from an audience to fuel their performance.


Quote:
Almost no (I'm not saying "never") audio reviewer, salesperson, or "subjectivist" has ever, to my recollection, admitted to being suceptible to being fooled.

Once again I believe you are confusing perception with interpretation or more likely the mechanics of hearing. I have one album that consistently places a tambourine to my left and well behind me. I've heard this effect done on several systems both in my home and elsewhere. It is not my "perception" of this event but the mechanism of hearing that alows me to recognize the tambourine in that location consistently on several different systems. I don't "perceive" the tambourine in that location, I hear or observe the tambourine in that lcoation. And I am not aware of what else is in the room to convince me that tambourine should be outside of and discrete from any other location of instruments within this album. It is my hearing mechanism responding to out of phase information which allows this to happen. My perception informs me it is unnatural in the context of this disc since no other instruments are located in this or a similar position.

The constant reference to creating a poor mix only to discover the error later is not "perception" as much as inattention or poor interpretation of data. Perception shifts between "danger/safety" and "good/bad" but that does not imply "false" perception. What you perceive can only be true - as far as you're concerned. Your self perception as utterly logical and truthful would have it no other way. You can choose to refocus on other data pools which allow a secondary choice but what you choose to believe in that case is as true in all circumstances as the daredevil's perception of safety is true just before the jump. Listen to the interviews of the daredevils in the hospital after something has gone wrong, they never deny they felt they were safe at the time they began the performance. Their "manipulation" of danger says they can perceive danger to a higher degree than the mere mortals who watch them perform. What they recall is new data entered their awarenes of what is (the tire didn't lift/something caught their attention/the wind took them off course) and their perception of safety/danger was made by external forces and their interpretation of the data.


Quote:
Without the objectivist, we'd have a flock of harpies telling us that they know what curvey lines look like, and you damn well better accept their perception of those line as being true!

With a different operation to the mechanics of how we see, those illusions wouldn't exist at all. I believe you are still confusing the physical, mechanical act of "seeing" with the subliminal function of perception. As I said, we cannot train the visual stimulus centers of our brain to not see the curved lines. However, the overlap of what we perceive is to be found in the ever changing vase/faces illusion. We cannot train the mechanics of our brain to see one and not the other but we can choose which data pool from which to pull to shift our "perception" between the two shapes. And we can do so quite rapidly like a well trained actor switching emotional recall between characters.


Quote:
So, we are messy creatures with the ability to perceive without perceiving, who can tune our perceptions on short notice to suit our purposes, yet cannot admit that our auditory aparatus can be fooled - and we reference or auditory impeccability within a hobby that uses two independent sound sources to fool us into not hearing them as independent sound sources.

I don't believe that statement is completely true for the reasons I've stated above.

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Re: Perception

KBK:

Thanks for your post, full of intelligent, provocative and astute observations. I concur with the limitations of current methodology being, sadly, Newtonian. Just wanted to say, as a "real seeker", I did not find myself going through any "ego death" before accepting, as valid, the phenomenon that May has been alluding to. I simply opened up my ears, and I don't know that it ever occurred to me to not listen. But I can testify being witness to countless examples of what appeared to be a "fight to the death" (not just within themselves but with me!) to avoid understanding the phenomenon; which can certainly be classified as "a new thing" to most hobbyists, and maintain their security (self-protect mechanism). I see a lot of fear (emotion!) as well, in many of the reactions. (If I choose to use a moniker on a forum, I also consider those who go out of their way to ask questions of my identity as being ruled by their emotions of fear. Another basic human instinct when you're feeling under threat of attack, is to quickly and desperately try to identify and assess the source of your attacker, to try to understand the nature of the threat).

BTW, contrary to our mutual friend and long-standing member of the intelligentsia (gotta protect the internal creation!), I got that you weren't trying to denigrate anyone by using the word "shit". That you were using the word "shit" in "your mind ...is absolutely full of it's own shit" as a catch-all term that might refer to "delusions", "anomalies", or something else, within the context of self-realization and the individual's mind overcoming the self-protect mechanism. So don't worry, your words weren't lost on everyone, and don't worry about irrating those who don't get it. God knows I don't. If I did, I wouldn't have much to say, except talk about the weather. Maybe Big E should read your sig one of these days?

BTW, what do you plan to spend the $100 on?

>>Exactly what the hell are -YOU-, anyway?<<

What the bleep do I know?

Erik B. wrote:

Ethan, I think I've finally found some common ground with you.
I'd better unplug the lamps in my living room...

Before you do so, try listening to your system before you unplug the lamp, then after, and see if you can register a change in the audio. I'm curious to know if it makes a difference (especially if its not on the same line).

May Belt
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Re: Perception

My speed typewriting skills were honed many decades ago but my skills on the computer do not yet extend to me being able to 'do' smiley faces in my postings so I will have to use words :-
"With a smile on my face", Buddha, you have put me to shame !! If ANYONE should have known the example of a group of women eventually synchronising their menstrual dates it should have been ME - !!!! One good example, Buddha, of 'something' being sensed within the group - resulting in physiological changes - without any realisation that something was 'being sensed' !!

Regards,
May Belt.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow ... Motel Money Murder Madness
Let's change the mood from glad to sadness
http://home.att.net/~chuckayoub/LA_Woman_lyrics.html


Quote:
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
http://home.att.net/~chuckayoub/Riders_on_the_Storm_lyrics.html


Quote:
Jim Morrison read poet William Blake who said "if the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite." He was also influenced by author Aldous Huxley who referred to the same line when he titled his book on drug experimentation The Doors of Perception. "There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors"

I have to agree that egos are not put to death in most cases (unless forced to die by means of torture or "brainwashing" whether that is accomplished by torture or by a mechanical means such as a lobotomy). Since this subliminal perception we have been discussing is in some cultures also considered an energy force, it would be impossible to kill it. In those cultures all perception is still available to us for our use for all eternity, we simply must make the choice to tune into those energies. However, we can choose to place our perceptions on the shelf so we can then open the doors to new perceptions. Or, we can choose to allow no new data into our pool and we can never have a new thought or new perception of what is in the room. A tiger in the corner perhaps?

To get back to shade's experience after the concert which I think is a quite valid and important issue here. The thought had been placed in front of him by way of this thread that he listens in a different manner at the concert and then at home. Consciously or unconsciusly he chose to leave his concert filters in place when he got home from the performance. He chose to preceive a safe environment when he got home. He chose to listen with a door open that had previously been closed. He remained "in character" as a participant in the event and not just an observer. And, as a result of these choices, he perceived improved sound quality? No, just an increased awareness of what was already in the room two weeks ago. I would guess that had the concert experience been bad, his choices would have been different and his perceptions at home would have been negative rather than positive.

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Re: Perception


Quote:
Do you honestly believe that the type of insulation on the wire to an unused lamp can affect the sound in a room?

Ethan, you are asking the wrong question. And the fact that you don't want to be told you're asking the wrong question is just further proof of what May and KBK have said.

Do you need to be told why you are asking the wrong question or can we conclude you know why and you simply chose not to face the perceived implications of asking the correct question?

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Re: Perception


Quote:
KBK:
So don't worry, your words weren't lost on everyone, and don't worry about irritating those who don't get it. God knows I don't. If I did, I wouldn't have much to say, except talk about the weather. Maybe Big E should read your sig one of these days?

Allow me to quote the great DR. Seuss:

Jan Vigne
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Re: Perception


Quote:
Even when we do consciously perceive something, it is frequently evanescent, in that we accomodate quickly to a state of not consciously perceiving what we did only a minute or two earlier. You can perceive that your socks are being put on, and what it feels like to hacve socks on, but it's not like you walk around all day actively perceiving the fact that you are wearing socks. We actually have rather advanced skills at utilizing "selective perception," too!

Now that we've introduced several new elements to this discussion of perception, let's consider what they mean to us in this thread on the Stereophile forum. Whether we wish to use the term "selective awareness", "awareness of what is", "subliminal" or "conscious/unconscious perception" they all refer to more or less the same thing. We are making a choice to pull our perceptions from a specific data pool which we already have acquired and which has been filled with data drawn from our previous experiences. We can choose to take advantage of what is the awareness of our socks. Go ahead, try it. What are you aware of? That they feel snug? That they feel comfortable? Or that they make your feet work less hard at maintaining a constant body temperature? Probably not the latter because it has been pushed down into your subliminal perception levels. Those same subliminal perceptions that allow for "a quiet room, the clock ticks, your heart beats". You can choose to raise your awareness of what is. That, IMO, is the point of this thread as it relates to our perception of the event of music. If you choose to relegate your music listening to mechanistic endeavors and you cannot shut that door to perception on one level and open another which allows for perception of music as an event which occcurs at the moment, as if you were perceiving the event at a concert, then you can never be free of your too simple mechanisms and your perception of the event unfolding before you will be minimized to some degree. When you choose to open the door to the awareness of what is happening instant to instant as music - not an acoustics test or an evaluation of your system's performance - you will have a new found perception of what is in the room.

How many of you sit and listen to your system while playing music? How many of you sit and play music while listening to the performance of your system? How many of you sit and listen to the performance of the performers?

Jan Vigne
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Jan Vigne
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IF someone wants all things to be equal to prove a point as either valid or not, then they're going to have to start with the same premise. pg. 15


Quote:
And so this thread begins by denying the efficacy of perception. Great, just great! pg. 1

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