Be a Beacon
of Beaudacity

                                 Wallace Stevens

I am pleased to announce that we are going to start the next century of the audio arts with this simple statement: for scientists, music simply doesn’t exist, because there is no scientific proof for music’s existence. It can’t be weighed, measured, or quantified.

(NOTE: this industry now employs thousands of scientifically trained men, all of whom are laboring in their laboratories to advance our experience of music)

You and I and billions of others know that music exists because we experience it in our body.... only. Out there is only noise...and it only becomes music when it enters our being. Music has not independent is only an emotion...and deeply feel concrete physical experience. But for scientist this, one of the world’s most common emotion, this experience doesn’t exist.... because music only exists within us, like love, hate, courage, and hope....and these experiences can’t be quantified. The most common and compelling human experiences, those which are at the foundation of culture, because they can not be scientifically measured, do not exist for scientists, in the way that God or any other spiritual force can not exist for the scientific investigator.

Oh how I love this paradox! One of the books on this paradox is THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME, Conscious Minds In A Material World, by Colin Mc Ginn.

It is also important to point out that scientists don’t have a clue how human consciousness was created. Can you imagine how tortured scientists are because they don’t have a clue how the force that created science was created? Does the human mind have an unknowable origin?

Are you aware that cosmologists, physicist and astronomers, a very sophisticated community of scientists, who play with "test equipment" far more sophisticated than the toys audio engineers use, are quite comfortable to admit that they only know about 10% about the reality of cosmos. They wonder..."Where is the other 90% of the cosmos...we know it is out there...but what is it?" Of course this science is hundreds of years old and compels an intellectual humility and honesty that has not yet developed in audio engineering? Let us not forget that this " quasi/art/science" is really less than one hundred years old and has not yet had time to mature...and develop a true intellectual humility.

Can you imagine the Audio Engineering Society making a public pronouncement?: We only know about 10%, or less of how audio circuits work, when they are doing their intended work..processing music.

Then what are all of those audio engineers doing for a living? They are measuring noise distortion with the intense blind faith. What am I saying? Yes it is a beautiful paradox. An audio engineer, who is attempting to be as scientific as possible is operating solely on the basis of faith..blind unproved conviction...a system of beliefs that claims there is a strong relationship between noise and music....which is completely antithetical to the scientific process of investigation...because they know that music has no independent physical existence.

The relationship between noise and music may be strong, but it can’t be proved scientifically and to many learned men, the relationship is as strong as Santa Claus to Christmas....fantastical wishful thinking.

On the other hand I want to suggest that the only relationship between noise distortion measurement and music is a paradox, because all reality is a paradox and music intrinsically is an expression of that paradox.

It is impossible to design audio gear without using the "standard" noise distortion measurement....but they tell us very little about the ultimate quality of our circuits, because judgments about music quality are as personal as my choice of what tattoos to put on my body. I have even gone so far as to suggest that there is an inverse law of audio engineering.....musical quality is inversely related to dependence on test equipment.

And then there is the issue of culture...because like our taste in food.....our taste in music is culturally a Swedish audio engineer is biased very differently than a Mexican audio engineer...

Now think about the intellectual integrity of the audio industry with decades of using distortion measurements to convince consumers that there is some relationship between distortion and music quality. Think of those thousands of articles in audio journals claiming "breakthroughs" in circuit design based on distortion measurement. Think of all the claims made for digital audio and its perfection.

Why do I keep on stomping on this question?

It is an essential element of my Presidential campaign: When I am elected, I will pass a law that is very similar to the "Cigarette Warning Act" and make it mandatory that all audio ads and all audio products have a label that says:



When the audio engineering community acquires the intellectual integrity to admit how little they know about the experience of music and how that relates to audio gear, then, and only then will the audio arts begin to advance to its true potential.

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