November 29, 2021

Prove it to whom?

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By Paul McGowan From PS Audio

On several of my videos bringing the world of high-performance audio to a broader audience the inevitable questions of proof arise. Once someone is exposed to the idea that there’s a whole new experience in audio possible lines are drawn: I want to experience it, this can’t be true.

Prove it to me.

The prove it to me crowd can be further divided into two groups: disbelievers and experts.

Disbelievers are what I like to think of as closet experience seekers. They’d love to have a go at something new and cool but hold back for fear of ridicule or being wrong and loosely require “proof” to help them along. The new is unsafe territory and most won’t risk being suckered unless there’s a fallback of proof. Best to wait and see how things shake out. If there’s enough acceptance over time then perhaps it’s worth venturing out for themselves. They will go quietly over time.

Experts guard their belief system like the Crown Jewels. Proof is required before consideration begins. Yet, what is proof? From Wikipedia:

“In most disciplines, evidence is required to prove something. Evidence is drawn from experience of the world around us, with science obtaining its evidence from nature, law obtaining its evidence from witnesses and forensic investigation, and so on. A notable exception is mathematics, whose proofs are drawn from a mathematical world begun with axioms and further developed and enriched by theorems proved earlier.”

Perhaps an easier way to define this is repeatability. We prove that something is a certain way when we can repeat it enough times: I dothis and that happens. That’s proof that a specific action results in a specific reaction—at least until it can be proven otherwise.

I would ask a simple question. Prove it to whom? To the experts? Because if that is our goal in our many ramblings about the benefits of high-performance audio we’re likely wasting our energies.

Better to simply be open and ready with knowledge and experience when someone’s ready to learn.

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