August 2, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Defending my opinion

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Colin Wilson2webI wasn’t sure what to write about today – that actually happens a lot by the way – and then I read one of the posts I subscribe to from Paul McGowan.

Paul, like myself, is an Audiophile – we are both lovers of sound – audio. When my wife goes out to visit I will often turn the television off and listen to music. I have a good sound system – not the very best as I cannot afford that. But by non-audiophiles the sound they hear when I demonstrate my audio system they say it is amazing.

Paul, unlike me, is an audio engineer and he is head of PS Audio one of the top, if not the best, sound equipment companies in the USA.

Every day he writes about his favourite subject – audio – and I have even published some of his blogs when they haven’t been too technical. Paul tries to write and explain audio and the components that play audio as simply as he can. Unfortunately even the very simple is still off the charts for me but I do read them.

Ever so often he writes something that hits me smack in the face and today is one of them. Although he was writing about sound and the fact that ‘bits [of equipment] is bits’ and it ‘can’t sound any different’ he states, “And yet the empirical evidence suggests otherwise.” He then uses comparisons between Macs v. Windows together with other examples to illustrate his point. I leave you with the rest of his blog:

“Suggest to someone uncomfortable with the idea there’s more to digital audio than the simple voracity of the bits, that jitter matters, and they will tell you ‘yes, but not in audio’ and then proceed to point to tests proving the same, by means of sonic evaluators, ignoring all empirical evidence to the contrary. But why? Why do they persist and not see what I see? Then the answer occurred to me.

“People with strong opinions, me included, spend more time defending their beliefs rather than investigating the truth. Think that’s wrong? Have you ever tried to sway a staunch Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Tea Party member to switch platforms? It’s a fool’s errand to even try. Why? Because they do not wish to change, regardless of the facts. What’s important to most people, certainly those with strong opinions, is not assimilating a different viewpoint but defending their own.

“I too have strong opinions and work hard at defending them. My only saving grace, if I have any left at all, is that over the years I have become more open to learning more about other opinions, viewpoints and lessons – and increasingly less about defending my own. It’s been a tough switch and I have only begun to scratch the surface, but I recommend it for those not faint of heart.”


I could not have said it better myself.

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