David Thompson
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March 16, 2018

Comments

lotocoti

Yesterday's word was optics too.

Hal

She does this better than you do.

Um. See, also, hoop dance.

John D

The council at work.

I think that's *all* councils at work.

Sam

True.

Now being looked at for laughing on train.

David

Morning, all.

Cunning.

Via dicentra.

Clam

A caption seems in order.

'Nature takes its course'.

TimT

Art.

You may need a barf bag.

Lancastrian Oik

Douglas Murray in the USA:

I had hoped to visit the stunning new National Museum of African American History and Culture but the demand for tickets is so great that it is impossible. Instead I revisit the National Gallery to look at its Rembrandts. Later, in front of a Turner, a young black art history student strikes up conversation and explains a technical feat in the painting to me. His enthusiasm, knowledge, youth and at-homeness in the museum made me feel immediately more positive about everything. Everywhere in modern America, people of his generation are told they have to appreciate and enjoy things only in new, grudge-laden, tightly policed and essentially racist cultural lanes. To adopt the vernacular: screw ’em.
Tim Newman

"Hi! Is your mask edible? Are you a rock to lie on? Can I kiss you? Who's your friend"? Hey, there are MORE of you!"

https://twitter.com/fluffsociety/status/974072743552483328?s=21

Lancastrian Oik

Don't give them the secret of fire.

I think I must have been about ten years old when I was given an anthology of "Action Stories For Boys" or some such for my birthday and I read and re-read "Leiningen Versus The Ants", which never failed to scare me witless.

Pogonip

It’s a gas!

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

True.

Funny how it seems.

David

‘Nature takes its course’.

Not entirely unrelated:

Any takers, ladies?

David

A Guardian fashion spread.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Who the hell would pay those prices?

Governor Squid

I much preferred the optics from the Moon video.

Governor Squid

Any takers, ladies?

My word! It's like James Spader was given Warwick Davis' role in Willow.

twinkletoes42069

Re: 96k 24bit remasters - I am semi-reliably informed by some guy I don't know on facebook that the human ear can only pick up frequencies at a much narrower range than 96khz (no more than 20khz?), so the idea that you're really hearing a purer sound is mostly bollocks. It may be a placebo effect, or it may be that they've remixed it so it sounds better anyway (why most comparisons of remasters to originals are apples to oranges), or it may be that recording and/or working with digital sound at 96khz causes less digital distortion which might creep into the audible range when the file is compressed.

I don't know, it's all a bit above my pay grade, but my general opinion is that it's just snake oil.

David

It’s like James Spader was given Warwick Davis’ role in Willow.

See, now you’ve just ruined The Blacklist for me.

Killer Marmot

How's that working out for you, HuffPost?

Pogonip

David, I thought the person holding the sign was female. ☺️

Governor Squid

See, now you’ve just ruined The Blacklist for me.

Oh, come now. There's 30 or 40 things that should have thoroughly ruined it for you long before I came along. Not even a credit note for you, mon ami.

David

There’s 30 or 40 things that should have thoroughly ruined it for you long before I came along.

Heh. It’s true, the actress who plays Liz isn’t good, and the guy who played Tom was equally unconvincing. And Ressler is just dull. Navabi and Aram are okay, but the whole thing rests on Reddington. Oh, and I’m still trying to figure out why Harold never seems to have any lights on in his office.

It’s my only vice.

What?

Oh come on, it was worth a shot.

David

Ooh. Avengers: Infinity War.

Daniel Ream

See, now you’ve just ruined The Blacklist for me.

I'm in the middle of Season Three. At this point, replacing James Spader with Warwick Davis could only improve things.

The actress who plays Liz isn’t good, and the guy who played Tom was equally unconvincing. And Ressler is just dull. Navabi and Aram are okay, but the whole thing rests on Reddington.

I'm still trying to figure out if Tom is being CGI post-processed or if he just naturally has freakishly large anime eyes.

The Navabi-Aram thing was fun to watch for a bit, but they can't seem to decide if they want to do something realistic or a pandering-to-the-shippers fairy tale. My biggest problem with the show at this point is that Liz is the Mary Sue-est of Mary Sues to come down the pipe in a long while, and it's getting increasingly tiresome. I'm kind of hoping all of Season Three will end up being her dying hallucination.

Spiny Norman

Off topic, even for an Ephemera post:

A few years ago, either David or one of us readers posted a link to a Spectator article that required registration to access it. Registration was free, so I signed up. Ever since then, I've been getting regular emails touting the highlights of the latest issue (and Spectator Money, Spectator Arts, etc). Over this time, I've noticed something disconcerting, and I wondered if it were just me being a "colonial" and being "triggered". Does anyone else get a sense of smug, self-satisfied condescension from them?

David

I’m still trying to figure out if Tom is being CGI post-processed or if he just naturally has freakishly large anime eyes.

Heh. Don’t worry, he [ SPOILERS ] doesn’t survive season five. We actually watch the thing - while drinking, obviously - in the hope that Liz will bite the dust, leaving Red to team up with Navabi and Aram.

Yes, it’s a guilty pleasure and I’ll thank you not to judge me.

Spiny Norman

twinkletoes42069,

...or it may be that recording and/or working with digital sound at 96khz causes less digital distortion which might creep into the audible range when the file is compressed.

That's the theory, at any rate. The "less distortion in the audible range" concept is also used (touted?) in designing hi-fi speakers that reproduce frequencies beyond normal human range.

pst314

"That's the theory, at any rate."

The theory needs double-blind tests. But the last ones I read about failed embarrassingly for the golden-ear autiophile experts: When they knew what equipment was playing their music, they confidently identified the expensive audiophile CD players as giving far better sound. But when neither they nor the testers knew at any moment what equipment was being used, their golden ears failed utterly.

pst314

David, I thought the person holding the sign was female.

Sorry, she has Schroedinger's gender: You cannot know until she tells you.

Daniel Ream

Yes, it’s a guilty pleasure and I’ll thank you not to judge me.

I've seen all of Hart of Dixie. And I was sober at the time.

Daniel Ream

when neither they nor the testers knew at any moment what equipment was being used, their golden ears failed utterly.

I recall a test done in the 1980's where someone skeptical of high-fi audio claims demonstrated that audiophiles could not tell the difference between signal carried by the finest gold-plated speaker wire, and a coat hanger he straightened out and jammed into the connectors.

David

And I was sober at the time.

Oh, I couldn’t watch it without a fortifying beverage. As you say, Liz is badly cast and poorly written, and has always been the obvious weak link of the show. I’m actually surprised the producers pushed on with same actress and character. (As The Other Half says, “I don’t believe she’s an actress, let alone an FBI agent.”) The show has teased us, at least twice, with what seemed to be her final moments, only for her to recover the following week, thereby dashing our hopes. But despite its faults, which are numerous, it does have odd moments of charm, largely due to Spader and some faintly surreal scenarios.

pst314

and a coat hanger he straightened out and jammed into the connectors

That must have been humiliating. :-)

pst314

Correction: "Sorry, xe has Schroedinger's gender: You cannot know until xe tells you."

SumDumGuy

Liz is badly cast and poorly written

We used to placed bets on how long after exclaiming: "But after this we are done!" it would take her to change her mind.

Ten

Re: 96k 24bit remasters - I am semi-reliably informed by some guy I don't know on facebook that the human ear can only pick up frequencies at a much narrower range than 96khz (no more than 20khz?), so the idea that you're really hearing a purer sound is mostly bollocks. It may be a placebo effect, or it may be that they've remixed it so it sounds better anyway (why most comparisons of remasters to originals are apples to oranges), or it may be that recording and/or working with digital sound at 96khz causes less digital distortion which might creep into the audible range when the file is compressed.

I don't know, it's all a bit above my pay grade, but my general opinion is that it's just snake oil..

Some fallacies like to creep into that common progression - usually between the purported limits of amplitude sensitivity and bollocks - and usually end with flat charges of snake oil, they being technically as unfounded as the purported snake oilers themselves. The 96/24 phenomenon has nothing to do with audible range in terms of a 96kHz extremity but instead in subtleties like audible air, space, grain, and various subtler electronic artifacts in the reproduction of digital media.

The "less distortion in the audible range" concept is also used (touted?) in designing hi-fi speakers that reproduce frequencies beyond normal human range.

Speakers that reproduce an extra high octave - which certainly is beyond the commonly held limits of human hearing - also positively affect the phasing of frequencies within human range. However, in practice 40kHz reproduction is significantly less audible than is a simply lower distortion speaker. Other, more fundamental driver behaviors and the underlying speaker design are more important, especially the design. Class for class, we hear how the thing is designed and executed more than the sacred cow of frequency response.

The theory needs double-blind tests. But the last ones I read about failed embarrassingly for the golden-ear autiophile experts: When they knew what equipment was playing their music, they confidently identified the expensive audiophile CD players as giving far better sound. But when neither they nor the testers knew at any moment what equipment was being used, their golden ears failed utterly.

That old saw gets passed audio circles around a lot, typically by folks with axes to grind more than music to enjoy. Two problems with it. Double-blind work has the 1) interesting property of reducing virtually all audio to similarly dismal results because it 2) violates the way we absorb a musical event, which ironically, is by not actually listening. We relax and we take in a far longer perspective in far more open-minded, perceptive, visual states then when we're challenged and forced to produce a particular result. In one scenario you simply must taste a dozen "notes' in what turns out to be a bottle of $15 Vintage Ordinaire; in another you enjoy the heck out of a fine dinner over the entire course of an evening.

Guys into turning hifi into a competition generally prevail in showing one and all that that's all they've done while the rest of us go off exploring - through Kind of Blue or Sketches. It's funny how hifi is reserved for this kind of abuse, fairly uniquely among human experience for pleasure. Great audio ultimately isn't an aural experience, either. It's a far more involved sensory foray involving a historical time machine. Get it really right and you're not hearing Miles. You're there, watching Miles.

I recall a test done in the 1980's where someone skeptical of high-fi audio claims demonstrated that audiophiles could not tell the difference between signal carried by the finest gold-plated speaker wire, and a coat hanger he straightened out and jammed into the connectors.

To wit. Meanwhile, the better audio scientists in the world generally work alone - either in geographic or experimental isolation or both - and yet consistently arrive at highly similar findings. Among them is the accepted empirically-founded view that extremely low reactance audio cables have the least sonic signature, an eminently logical view. The tip of that spear is held by ultra-fine silver monofilaments suspended in air dielectrics and the language to describe the non-sound of them is remarkably, even shockingly consistent. This is not to say snake oil doesn't exist; it does and it appears whenever there are dollars to be duped.

pst314

Two problems with it. Double-blind work has the 1) interesting property of reducing virtually all audio to similarly dismal results because it 2) violates the way we absorb a musical event, which ironically, is by not actually listening. We relax and we take in a far longer perspective in far more open-minded, perceptive, visual states then when we're challenged and forced to produce a particular result. In one scenario you simply must taste a dozen "notes' in what turns out to be a bottle of $15 Vintage Ordinaire; in another you enjoy the heck out of a fine dinner over the entire course of an evening.

There is absolutely no reason a double-blind test cannot be done in which an entire performance is played many times, each time by one of two randomly selected music systems, and the audiophile scores each performance for quality.

Sam Duncan

“Giant wearable woollen cat heads.”

Ethical!

“Stanford students demand Apple help them stop using their cell phones so much”

Just give me the best part of $1000 every autumn, instead of Apple, and before long you won't be using an iPhone at all. Surefire cure. Guaranteed. Also works for Macbooks.

“The museum of obsolete media.”

If you enjoy that, you'll like this guy.

“And finally, in specialist news, 'For a small number of individuals, farting isn’t just a taboo by-product of human digestion—it’s the primary focus of their sex lives.'”

Have they no sense of smell? I'm serious; I kind of get their explanations for it - kind of - but... the pong... no. Just no.

“A Guardian fashion spread.”

Somebody, somewhere, is clearly trying to see how far they can push a gullible public, quite possibly for a bet. (I'm convinced that this is also what's going on at BMW's MINI design department. It's the only rational explanation.)

“Re: 96k 24bit remasters”

Explanation, demonstration. (As far as I remember; I'm not going to watch the whole thing again to remind myself exactly what's in each one. Point is, yes, 96k/24-bit is snake oil. For final distribution, at least; it has some benefits in editing.)

David

If you enjoy that, you’ll like this guy.

Stuffed away under the bed or in a closet somewhere, beneath a layer of dust, there’s one of these.

Ah, the Nineties.

Ten

There is absolutely no reason a double-blind test cannot be done in which an entire performance is played many times, each time by one of two randomly selected music systems, and the audiophile scores each performance for quality.

There is absolutely no reason to conduct a double-blind test in which an entire performance is played many times, each time by one of two randomly selected music systems, with the audiophile scoring each performance for quality if the purpose is to replace simple, subjective, serial testing of one system or of one component in it by a reasonably perceptive listener. No other similar field expects such a presumption of odd, , conditioned, "scientific" rigor and in fact, no good audiophiles have expressed valid reason to question their own findings here than in, say, dining, drinking, or driving, among scores of other pursuits.

Put another way, without exception the finest, most authentic-sounding systems I've experienced in decades are assembled by this method while the objectivist camp meanwhile assemble loud, electronic-sounding hifi that either they express no perceptions about or that evidently never really please them anyway.

Ten

Point is, yes, 96k/24-bit is snake oil.

On its face, obviously higher resolution cannot be snake oil - objectivity expects that everything is audible; the question is to what degree and/or to whom. Such declarative presumptions about perception, especially another's, are hardly scientific and yet they are consistently part and parcel of the projecting, putative, "objectivist" class of audio expert wielding the assumed science. Given their real results, to what positive effect one has to wonder...

Spiny Norman

My mother (RIP) played the cello. For whatever reason, I have found that even expensive audio setups have difficulty in reproducing the sound and presence of a cello correctly to my ear. After a great deal of trial-and-error, listening to other people's systems, and lots of time of high-end retailers' "listening rooms", I found a setup that makes a cello sound genuinely lifelike to me. As a bonus, other string instruments sound beautiful, jazz, pop and rock music all sound great, and movie soundtracks sound far better than any "multiplex" surround sound. The gear would be considered obsolete by most younger people, and sniffed at by my-system-cost-more-than-yours "audiophiles", but I am happy enough with it that, after 25 years of service, I had the amplifier, pre-amp and speakers refurbished, rather than replace them.

lotocoti

The museum of obsolete media.

Back in the good old days, you could discuss tip penetration without being referred to HR.

pst314

I found a setup that makes a cello sound genuinely lifelike to me. As a bonus, other string instruments sound beautiful, jazz, pop and rock music all sound great, and movie soundtracks sound far better than any "multiplex" surround sound. The gear would be considered obsolete by most younger people, and sniffed at by my-system-cost-more-than-yours "audiophiles", but I am happy enough with it

Cool. In the end, that's the only legitimate test: Does it sound good.

pst314

There is absolutely no reason to conduct a double-blind test in which an entire performance is played many times...

There is no need to conduct such a test in order to please yourself, but there such a need if you want to credibly claim that the $15,000 CD player and $40,000-per-channel amplifiers are actually and significantly better.

Some years ago, French experts who dismissed American wine as "clearly" inferior, were asked to participate in a double-blind wine tasting. When they did know which wines were French they found them superior, but when the did not they found many of the American wines to be of equal or greater quality.

champ

You can't make this sh*t up:

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/03/the-reductio-ad-absurdum-of-diversity.php

“This is the kind of absurdity you get when you prioritize skin color over merit,” he said.

champ

In a time where sexism and racism, in their individual and institutional forms, are recognized and called out, those of us in positions of power and privilege – be it through whiteness, maleness, middle-class position, heterosexual-normativity, ability, or Christianity – must slow down, reflect, and listen to those who have been subject to systematic silencing, exploitation, marginalization, and exclusion.

Based on our Sisters of St. Joseph heritage and our deep commitment to social justice, in all its forms, my note today is specifically about our obligation, commitment, and responsibility to make room for everyone at the table.

And people are paying $47,000 annual tuition for this bullsh*t? Amazing...

R. Sherman

And in U.S. college basketball, the "wokest" take yet: Too many walk-ons are white. Pull quote:

The walk-ons — players who don’t receive athletic scholarships, pay their own tuition, room and board and do the dirty work in practice, all in exchange for a small role in big-time basketball.

It's an outrage, of course, and thus, we must destroy even that small role because. . .reasons which are too nonsensical to be believed.

Ten

There is no need to conduct such a test in order to please yourself, but there such a need if you want to credibly claim that the $15,000 CD player and $40,000-per-channel amplifiers are actually and significantly better.

Correction: to be given credibility by the equivalent of the art's unhappy social justice warriors, whose projections and forcings they demand account for all experience and comprise ethical standing at large.

You lodge an assertion for which I'm afraid there is little or no confirmation. I don't doubt your upshot on practical terms - that confirmation can be spotty or that fraud can exist - but that opinion is logically and functionally detached from the insisted, universal efficacy of AB testing audio which remains problematic.

Some years ago, French experts who dismissed American wine as "clearly" inferior, were asked to participate in a double-blind wine tasting. When they did know which wines were French they found them superior, but when the did not they found many of the American wines to be of equal or greater quality.

Sure, and the first experience with a new phenomenon can indeed change minds. But the dismal outcomes of audio experienced under the demands of AB zealots has become its own correlation and is commonly the inverse of your example, where presumed outcomes fall to widely correlated perceived real differences among individual, unassociated testers who later compare notes. To their aim, the most authentic, organic, realistic sound reproduction on earth is not only repeatable, it's predictable and typically rejects forced AB testing competitions and breast-beatings in favor of simple serial experimentation as a matter of course. The results, as they say, speak for themselves.

AB testing for audio is a theoretical abstract that poorly correlates with real listening for sensory and intellectual pleasure. It does, however, correlate well with the aims of those whose aim is to reduce the art to a lower common denominator, which it also does fairly uniquely among real human experience. This, however, is expected to stand just on its face.

You may test for placebo where medical outcome determines validity. However, professionals in fields logically show that testing for subjective experience typically violates the purported goal. That A simply must/cannot equal B according to C is an assumption or an assertion.

Chester Draws

Ten, once again, demonstrating that feels outweighs evidence for xim.

In most fields it is pretty easy to spot the charlatans and hucksters. They're the ones who say evidence, and particularly double blind evidence, doesn't apply in their field. Their field is, somehow,deeper.

I have a simple and deadly effective heuristic. If people won't accept blind testing, they have something that doesn't measure up.

This is not to say that subjective experience is unimportant, but the whole point of good trials is to even out the subjective part. An objectively better sound will also be a subjectively better sound provided the person is listening with their ears and not their wallets.

After all, acupuncture "works" in that people feel better for it. It just doesn't actually work in the way the proponents claim it does.

Pogonip

Happy St Pat’s Day! 🍀

Ten

Ten, once again, demonstrating that feels outweighs evidence for xim.

Now it's evidence, the last refuge of the putative. I haven't had this much fun since our recent hysterics about the inherent goodness of the public servant over in the vaunted education sector. Or had we extensively AB'd to prove such a thing because all I seem to remember was the anecdotal evidence.

In most fields it is pretty easy to spot the charlatans and hucksters. They're the ones who say evidence, and particularly double blind evidence, doesn't apply in their field. Their field is, somehow,deeper.

Or anecdotal.

I have a simple and deadly effective heuristic. If people won't accept blind testing, they have something that doesn't measure up.

Is that like the deadly effectiveness of ignoring the question about what inherently comes to public education's defense vis a vis liberty, choice, and outcome so convincingly that instead the personal anecdote must carry its day? Because that didn't quite measure up, if you don't mind me saying.

This is not to say that subjective experience is unimportant...

Sadly, if associations are a clue in this our proof-by-anecdote realm, it's exactly to say that the pleasure of subjective experience erecting a believable facsimile of an historic auditory event is unimportant, at least relative to arguing subjectively and quite wrongly about it - because the arguing Objectivist has no evident or even claimed sensitivity to such finely tuned arts - or as it invariably turns out, using his own strict scientific rigor to vigorously produce relative mediocrity.

Why, now that you mention it, it's exactly like miring the world in bad academy because because.

...but the whole point of good trials is to even out the subjective part.

You'd think, except that that premise simply remains as logically flawed as its real outcomes. The reasons are myriad but the logic of real, end-of-the-day evidence refutes the theorizings of folks who take a dime store level view of what they think blind testing is and does. Either way, real results rarely appeal to the hidebound assertion nearly as strongly as its agenda shall. To wit:

An objectively better sound will also be a subjectively better sound provided the person is listening with their ears and not their wallets.

But there can be no objectively better sound because sensory input is, by the Objectivist's own miserable metric, so uniquely fleeting and defective among the senses that we need equipment to witness it for us, not unlike how we need their social expertise to determine our ethics and moralities out in the messy world of race and gender.

Secondly, of course to any reasonably experienced audiophile there is no such one-bucket term as "best" that applies to so wide a set of aural stimuli as great hifi delivers. As noted, witnessing the reproduction of an original event involves a number of apparent senses plus the imagination at some added degree of stimulation. You'd think the hair shirt, Objectivist, signal justice warrior would realize from his experience that this broad, dimensional sphere of experience wouldn't ever condense into a number or a chart or a nomenclature like "best" or even "objective" - the point of the thing is to engage the subjective. But then the signal justice warrior's never allowed such an event so as to actually witness it or he'd not carry on like an unenlightened boor about what he only assumes constitutes the experiences of others.

After all, acupuncture "works" in that people feel better for it. It just doesn't actually work in the way the proponents claim it does.

After all, so do outright fallacies, to take your meaning. Good thing Objectivist fallacists never permeate education or anything...

Thomas Fuller

@Spiny Norman

Inspired by Killer Marmot's Alexa ranking of HuffPost:

https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/spectator.co.uk

I cannot explain the recent uptick as I do not subscribe, but the overall numbers look grim. At one time they were more generous with their articles-per-month allowance, and even earlier one could get round the paywall by using a private window.

Newspapers and magazines these days are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Spectator (est. 1828) is doomed, like its stablemate, the equally anodyne and often ridiculous Telegraph.

pst314

the equivalent of the art's unhappy social justice warriors...You'd think the hair shirt, Objectivist, signal justice warrior...

Step away from the crack pipe, Ten. Your use of such hysterical, insulting, and politically charged terminology merely calls attention to your irrationality and dishonest crackpottery.

pst314

Ten, once again, demonstrating that feels outweighs evidence for xim.

Chester Draws, I fully agree.
That was quite a large bowl of word salad that Ten aimed at us. But of course it was mere blather, an extended emission of bullshit whose purpose was to obscure the issue at hand: Are there perceptible differences between, say, a a thousand-dollar receive and fifty thousand dollars worth of separate components? Between a speaker priced at one thousand dollars and one priced at ten or twenty thousand dollars? Audiophiles tell us that the differences are real and important, and that if we care about good sound we should shell out the big bucks. Maybe we won't be sure today, but we will thank them in the end. There is a lot of money involved in this, and a lot of ego.

Another example of audiophile fraud: Salesmen have told me that I must have power cables which are made with extremely heavy gauge pure copper and which have gold-plated connectors. This is laughable but few people know anything at all about electrical engineering and will accept whatever the salesmen tell them.

An entertaining parallel exercise in bullshit: Racists who are absolutely certain that blacks are all intellectually inferior to whites. They can tell, soon after starting a conversation with a black, that the black is not really smart. But if they are not allowed to speak only by phone, or to exchange letters, they cannot detect that ineffable inferiority.
Another: psychics who can connect your astrological sign to your personality, but only after they know when you were born. If given an incorrect birthdate, or no birthdate, they make fools of themselves.

WTP

WWII Historians here might find this guy interesting

Joseph R. Beyrle (Russian: Джозеф Байерли, tr. Dzhozef Bayyerli; August 25, 1923 – December 12, 2004) is thought to be the only American soldier to have served with both the United States Army and the Soviet Red Army in World War II. Born in Muskegon, Michigan, Beyrle graduated from high school in 1942 with the promise of an athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, but enlisted in the army instead.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Beyrle?wprov=sfti1
Ten

Afraid you've gone off the deep end over there pstdramaticeffectsyndrome314.

Reversing your string of fallacies, actually when you think about it the whole world is defective when it comes to your own personal "issue at hand"; if they're honest EEs will always tell you all transmission lines possess reactance - whether they or you care to hear the effects in audio electronics is another matter; your irrelevant, spontaneous ejaculation about blacks is evidently just that - a word salad if we will; and your astrology is Daws's acupuncture is Clinton's election paranoia is somebody's UFO abduction-logy.

And this applies to tuning the Ferrari or seasoning the sauce how?

Those incessant appeals to self-evidence are amusing, if also obviously self-defeating. The use of such hysterical, insulting, and politically charged terminology, if I may, merely calls attention to, say, arrogant hysteria and fallaciously palpable dimwittery, since we're trading compliments. You don't mind me borrowing some of that, do you old boy?

I aim to obscure? No, that's the transparent intentionalism talking. I intend to do just what I have: protest the myths that uniquely spring up around a pursuit the most ignorant and least accomplished in the field feel compelled to ruin, thus saving countless innocent lives from their built-in biases and prejudices. All that framing and projection doesn't suit the deeply objective, scientific image Objerktivists try to cloak themselves in. Accept it: Good hifi is at its core a subjective experience that as such doesn't much care when presumptions like theirs are thrown at it. The pursuit is simply too serial and linear and faceted to take well to their mindless interruptions. It no more responds to their left field demands than a diner does to their shrieking through the glass from the curb that he simply must be overpaying, the insufferable fool, when Chef Boeuf around the corner makes what absolutely everyone has scientifically proved is the more accurate Wellington for four dollars less.

Don't be a joyless scold, is my motto. You can hook all sorts of telemetry up to your red wagon and hack it into your GameBoy before rocketing around the neighborhood with your stopwatch, telling it loudly that you're a race car engineer and the only honest one at that, or you can just DIY up a reasonable mix of tech and go enjoy the afternoon on a nice twisty two-lane, stopping here and there to re-dial this or damp that or adjust something else.

How very novel, the idea that you can think and experience for yourself without some nanny pissing all over your day for your own good.

Pogonip

This electronics discussion is so exciting and stimulating that it has tired me out. I will celebrate St Pat’s Day by taking a nap. ☘️😴

We were going to go out to lunch at a restaurant that serves no booze, as is traditional in Ireland, but there was an ice storm and the back roads are still icy. (This place has such good food they can afford to be out in the middle of nowhere.). So we had Tuna Sandwiches a la Pogonip and will hit the restaurant Monday.

David, did you ever find another Chinese restaurant?

Quincy Adams Wagstaff

@R. Sherman

If I understand correctly, a "walk-on" in American college sports is a player who enrolled as a fee-paying student through conventional academic channels, and then tries out successfully for a sports team. In the parts of the world that haven't gone insane about college sports, it's just a student athlete.

The author thinks it's scandalous that walk-ons are more representative of the student population than the misleadingly-named "scholarship" athletes recruited under lax academic criteria and excused from fees. Of course walk-ons are more representative of students - they are students. There's a mismatch there alright, and it's not where the author thinks it is.

pst314

This is for you, Ten:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp6LT2MdaPI

R. Sherman

@Quincy

Your understanding is correct. The author's thesis is one of the most absurd things I think I've ever read. I keep trying to imagine something similar, except with the thesis that too many scholarship basketball players are black. I wonder how that would go over?

twinkletoes42069

Oh god, what did I start?

Ten, just out of curiosity, how many 96/24 digital remasters on 180g vinyl do you own?

Daniel Ream

I aim to obscure? No, that's the transparent intentionalism talking.

I think my irony meter just redlined.

pst314

I think my irony meter just redlined.

Dave used to have this on the blog's masthead:

PiperPaul

Is "blow harder" equivalent to Ten, or does it go to eleven?

Darleen

Meanwhile in the Cultural Studies of Science Education

Squires

As a kid my parents had one of those old wood-and brushed aluminum sound systems, the sort with that great, heavy knobfeel.

In my early to mid twenties I worked in the outside broadcasting industry, and so had the opportunity to listen to engineers testing million-plus dollar digital studio setups in the mobile production units.

I like the sound of records played on systems like my parents had better.

I know if you tried to broadcast an event using audio piped through one of those, however, you would be kissing your contract with the client goodbye.

PiperPaul

"great, heavy knobfeel"

The weekly allotment for cock jokes was used up in a previous post, so I won't speculate as to why that word was italicized.

R. Sherman

@Darleen

Trofim Lysenko called to say, "Dudes!?! You've gone off the deep end!"

Squires

https://knobfeel.tumblr.com

Spiny Norman

PiperPaul

so I won't speculate

It's actually an old (but sadly, only briefly popular) DavidThompsonBlog joke (prompted by David posting the link in Squires' comment, as I recall).

Spiny Norman

R.Sherman,

Trofim Lysenko called to say, "Dudes!?! You've gone off the deep end!"

The best part is that the primary author repeatedly quotes herself in the third person as a source.

David

Meanwhile in the Cultural Studies of Science Education

It’s extraordinary. Practically every other sentence amounts to an absurdly begged question, or several absurdly begged questions. The thing seems to fold in on itself, curling away from reality or even the pretence of coherence.

A person capable of writing this unhinged poison should not be given car keys or left near children.

Nikw211

A person capable of writing this unhinged poison should not be given car keys or left near children.

Let me see here ... [Slips on spectacles onto nose ... Googles .... starts reading]

Oh, my God.

What the fuck is this that I'm reading?

    Whiteness embraces White ideology, and because Whites are at the apex of the racial hierarchy, whiteness becomes normalized and is invisible to those who benefit the most from it (Matias, Viesca, Garrison-Wade, Tandon, and Galindo 2014). This is particularly troubling because the normality of whiteness means that Whites do not believe that they are actively investing in White supremacy or racism, which keeps oppression intact. Ricky Lee Allen (2001) reminds us that with the globalization of White supremacy, we cannot rely solely on issues of classism and must work to decenter White voices and explore possibilities that form radical alliances with White people and people of Color to fight oppression. Thandeka (2009) asserts that the silence of whiteness stems from the expectation that White children adopt a colorblind ideology even though they do recognize racial differences as children. For Whites, whiteness operates in subtle, and yet, at times, not so subtle, ways to maintain White supremacy [ ... ]

    Take for example the emotionality of whiteness. Matias (2016a) describes how in her urban teacher education program that seeks to train teachers with cultural diversity the emotions of the mainly white female teachers when talking about race always shut down the learning and dialogue. Too often the emotion, themselves, become a strategic tool to silence racial dialogue and progress. As such, whiteness can be the everyday enactments that promote white hegemonic ideology.

In that example of "the emotionality of whiteness", why is that I seem to be getting a mental image of something like army recruits undergoing a hazing ritual as part of a counter-insurgency interrogation resistance training programme?

    Problematizing whiteness in science education allows us to understand the White imagination [ ... ] If we are serious about an anti-racist science education, we must be critical of our own conceptions and emotions and how they stem from racist ideology [ ... ]

    This means that our White science educators must consider the following:

    1. Recognize different forms of racism beyond the commonplace of explicit racism. Even though there have been decreases in blatant racist acts, humans carry many unconscious biases that allow racial disparities to exacerbate [ ... ]

    2. Understand the importance of White heritage by acknowledging what it means to be White. For science educators beginning on this journey, we recommend Peggy McIntosh’s (2001) article on White privilege, which identifies common acts that Whites may take for granted. [ ... ]

    3. Actively reject dominant racial ideologies such as deficit thinking, essentialism, and colorblindness. [ ... ]

    4. Reimagine what science education spaces can look like [ ... ] Those committed to racial equity need to identify and understand their own whiteness and consider alternative views of science education in the creation of spaces that validate our students of Color. Within this re-imagination, we believe it is also important to consider that students of Color who decide to leave science are just as successful of those who continue. For example, students may be attracted to other disciplines during their studies and decide to pursue interests other than science (Strenta, Elliott, Adair, Matier, and Scott, 1994).

Can anyone explain how point 4 works? What do they mean by the idea that students who do not study science can be as successful at science as those who do? And how does that not undermine what I assumed to be the whole point of the article - namely to improve participation and achievement rates of students of color in public science education?

David

What the fuck is this that I’m reading?

Indeed. And that “what-the-fuck” quality – i.e., dogmatism and incompetence – is actively encouraged. These are the expected assumptions, mouthed in the expected way, and this is the expected standard of thinking.

In entirely unrelated news, departments of Education and Angry Studies attract students with some of the lowest SAT scores, while offering the most generous grading.

Ten

how many 96/24 digital remasters on 180g vinyl do you own?

None, but then I know the subject.

I think my irony meter just redlined.

My mistake addressing ptsd314 impersonally. I should have written, no, that's your transparent intentionalism talking.

R. Sherman

Matias (2016a) describes how in her urban teacher education program that seeks to train teachers with cultural diversity the emotions of the mainly white female teachers when talking about race always shut down the learning and dialogue.

In other words, the participants objected to being labeled as racists by some soi-disant intellectual, and promptly told Matias to bugger off.

PiperPaul

"the primary author repeatedly quotes herself in the third person as a source"

"I insist that you remain silent while I lecture you, flatter myself and virtue-signal. I'll let you know when I'm done and then you can leave."

David

In other words, the participants objected to being labeled as racists by some soi-disant intellectual,

But that’s the standard way of doing things. It’s a woke tradition.

David

Here’s a thing.

Yes, 91 ads. On one page of a phone tech site. Can anyone top that?

Geezer

We have been here before. My advice remains the same.

pst314

We have been here before. My advice remains the same.

Yeah, you're right; I'd forgotten what Ten was.

David

I spoke too soon.

Same page. As I type, it’s at... 140.... no, wait. 152.

Pogonip

Wow.

David

Wow.

I left the page open and it’s still cycling through the repertoire of crap that I’m not interested in. Last time I checked it was at 304. But even allowing for cycling, there were close to 100 ads aimed my way in just over a minute. And that’s with my adblocker set to allow through some of what it considers non-intrusive ads.

pst314

David, what site is it?

David

It’s AndroidPit.com.

pst314

Thanks, David. I asked in case it would be helpful to be warned.
I've noticed that some tech sites are particularly obnoxious offenders, in number of ads, in bandwidth consumed, and in the intrusiveness of the ads.

PiperPaul

Are you sure you're not accidentally at AdDroidPit?

Darleen

Another entry into the annals of Stupid Politicians.

R. Sherman

Meanwhile in American Lit class . . .

WTP

Meanwhile in American Lit class . . .

Remind me again the purpose of education? Perhaps ignorance, relatively speaking, is actually less expensive.

David

I’ve noticed that some tech sites are particularly obnoxious offenders,

If you’re curious, I tried the same thing with Android Authority and Android Central, which managed 3 and 18 blocked ads respectively. Again, with ‘non-intrusive’ ads allowed.

I’ve previously mentioned following a link to something at the International Business Times, which wouldn’t allow me to read anything but headlines unless I disabled my adblocker. (Just a few seconds scanning headlines resulting in 23 blocked ads.) For once, morbidly curious, I did disable the adblocker, and even with a fast internet connection, the site took almost 30 seconds to load all of the auto-play horseshit, the Facebook extensions, and all the distracting and irrelevant crap that no-one wants to look at. Including, of course, auto-play videos with audio on by default.

Darleen

Meanwhile in American Lit class . . .

FTA:

When Ms. Haugaard pressed them for more of their thoughts, she was appalled to discover that not one student in the class was willing to say the practice of human sacrifice was morally wrong! She describes one interaction with a student, whom she calls Beth:

“‘Are you asking me if I believe in human sacrifice?’ Beth responded thoughtfully, as though seriously considering all aspects of the question. ‘Well, yes,’ I managed to say. ‘Do you think that the author approved or disapproved of this ritual?’

“I was stunned: This was the [young] woman who wrote so passionately of saving the whales, of concern for the rain forests, of her rescue and tender care of a stray dog. ‘I really don’t know,’ said Beth; ‘If it was a religion of long standing, [who are we to judge]?’”

“For a moment, I couldn’t even respond,” reports Ms. Haugaard. “This woman actually couldn’t seem to bring herself to say plainly that she was against human sacrifice. My classes of a few years before would have burst into nervous giggles at the suggestion. This class was calmly considering it.”

At one point, a student explained she had been taught not to judge, and if this practice worked for them, who was she to argue differently.

Appalled by the student’s moral indifference, Ms. Haugaard concludes, “Today, for the first time in my thirty years of teaching, I looked my students in the eye and not one of them in my class could tell me that this society, this cultural behavior was a bad thing.”

People don't seem to understand how radical Judaism was/is in the ancient world and how the diminishing of Judeo-Christian principles is undercutting the foundations of Western Civilization.

If ritual human sacrifice is merely opinion, then what arguments can be marshaled against Sharia? FGM? Slavery?

Toby Wing

This woman actually couldn’t seem to bring herself to say plainly that she was against human sacrifice ... a student explained she had been taught not to judge, and if this practice worked for them, who was she to argue differently.

The half-educated always think everything of education. That is not a fact that appears on the surface of the social plan or ideal; it is the sort of thing that can only be discovered by experience.

When one of these people begins to “improve himself” it is exactly at that moment that I begin to doubt whether it is an improvement. He seems to me to collect with remarkable rapidity a number of superstitions, of which the most blind and benighted is what may be called the Superstition of School.

He regards School, not as a normal social institution to be fitted in to other social institutions, like Home and Church and State; but as some sort of entirely supernormal and miraculous moral factory, in which perfect men and women are made by magic. To this idolatry of School he is ready to sacrifice Home and History and Humanity, with all its instincts and possibilities, at a moment’s notice. To this idol he will make any sacrifice, especially human sacrifice.

Let none mistake this for a sneer at the half-educated; what I dislike is the educated half. But I dislike it, not because I dislike education, but because, given the modern philosophy or absence of philosophy, education is turned against itself, destroying that very sense of variety and proportion which it is the object of education to give.

G.K. Chesterton

WTP

Basic problem as I see it is that we've replaced Religion with Education. Seemed reasonable at the time because Religion was failing miserably at explaining God, falling way behind Science. So we've fallen over to use Education to explain Science. With parallel results. IMNSHO because whenever man makes progress, he fools himself into thinking he's made great progress when really the road is much, much longer than he can imagine. There's also a "skip ahead" fallacy involved but, eh. I'd be here all day.

David

Meanwhile in American Lit class

It reminded me of the Guardian’s Madeleine Bunting, allegedly a “leading thinker,” who denounced modernity and Enlightenment values - on which her own livelihood, status and safety depend - as “an ideology of superiority that is profoundly old-fashioned – reminiscent of Victorian liberalism and just as imperialistic.” We must “learn to live in proximity to difference,” said she.

By Ms Bunting’s reckoning, our own values must be “reworked” in ways never specified - and by which she seems to mean surrendered - so as to accommodate newcomers. Specifically, those newcomers who, rather than adjusting to infidel notions such as free speech and gender equality, instead prefer to transform their adoptive country by rendering it more fearful and primitive.

Given Ms Bunting’s infamously flattering Hello-style interview with the Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi - a man who insists that “disobedient” women should be beaten, albeit “lightly” - perhaps we should assume that she would be prepared to accept similar chastisement, all in the name of the moral relativism that she claims to hold so dear?

Darleen

Meanwhile in Canadian Lit

R. Sherman

Re: The Lottery

As Glenn Reynolds is fond of remarking, "The Return of the Primitive" was not a "how-to" manual.

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