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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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The British have guts! They always did have!

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  • The British have guts! They always did have!

    I apologize for posting this link, because it has to do with politics and the British standing within this "new European Union" the latter being not at all anymore promising... Congrats for their integrity and for keeping up the pound alive as their national currency. Wish to carry on and keep it strong, for the difficult times coming...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxXyJ...layer_embedded

    Cheers,
    Thanos
    Last edited by Thanos; 02-03-2010, 01:55 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    WOW.

    That's all I can say!

    Edit:

    I found this on the BBC site here

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8544651.stm

    Edit:

    And more now

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8544904.stm

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the current that runs underneath this self-evident frustration goes something like this ... we, the Allies, fought two world wars in defence of freedom of speech and thought. It financially bankrupted us in doing so, as standing up for ones principles often does. Now, so much of our daily private and corporate lives are monitored, controlled and shaped by unelected persons that somehow, mysteriously, gravitate the the centres of power. I am not by nature 'Eurosceptic' as I do believe that we in Europe share far more culture than ever divided us: but I do wonder who these faceless bureaucrats are, what their credentials for telling you and I how we should live are, and whether they are or ever were employable in the real world of industry.

      I ask myself this question of the political class ... 'would I employ you to mind the corner store for a week?'
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        I ask myself this question of the political class ... 'would I employ you to mind the corner store for a week?'
        Maggy Thatcher certainly wouldn't - and she was raised in a corner shop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I wouldn't be all that impressed. "Who are you?", "How did you get your job?" and "What qualifies you for your job?" are all fair and legitimate questions. But saying that "you have the charisma of a damp rag" and "the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk" is, while entertaining, pure gratuitous abuse and makes it clear that this is just political theatre designed to impress a domestic audience first and foremost. Well, mission accomplished, I suppose. But it was apparent to me that Farage aims to get something out of this other than a principled defence of democracy and Britain.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree. Gratuitous abuse, and playing to the gallery.

            Supporting BBC material says this unelected official is earning more than the President of the USA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Labarum View Post
              I agree. Gratuitous abuse, and playing to the gallery.
              Absolutely true, but just another symptom of the gladiatorial style of debate. He lives; he dies - thumbs up/thumbs down, he's through/he's eliminated, instant heroes and instant villains. Does anyone have time or intellectual curiosity to study the facts any more when others can and do willingly interpret them for us? What are the facts about Europe? What are the fact about OFC cable? Or mains conditioners? Or interconnects? Has the information superhighway actually presented more facts or just more choices, less certainty and more confusion?
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm reminded of a quote by an American lawyer who has argued many appeals of death penalty cases: "the facts matter, but the story matters more". He wasn't approving it, just saying in his experience that this is how it is.

                And I think this is true: I think human beings structure their understanding of the world through narrative. I think this is how we evolved, how our brains naturally function. And for most of our evolution, when life was relatively much simpler, it probably worked quite well: which plants are good to eat/which will kill you? where do I find good hunting/good pasture? who's a friend, who's an enemy? etc. That essential knowledge of the world was passed on through storytelling.

                But now we live in a far more complex world, and though we still need a narrative to make sense of things, the narrative we're given isn't always or necessarily the right answer.

                I think a lot of hocus-pocus, including audio hocus-pocus, is really premised on a narrative appeal. OFC copper is better because microscopic air voids won't get in the way of the signal. Super-exotic speaker stands will "drain" vibration from the speakers and they will therefore sound better. Whether or not these premises are true, one can visualize them and imagine how they might work. It might (or might not, you never know) be completely codswallop scientifically - but scientific understanding is the product of a completely different kind of thought process, and one that does not come "naturally" to anyone (and not at all to far too many).

                The same is true in economics, politics, you name it: a good story (nearly) always trumps, because facts are hard, rational thought is hard, and a good story is just always so very appealing.

                Ideally, of course, the story (because we can't do without one, we need a "frame" to fit the facts into, which is what a story is) and the facts will be congruent with each other, it just isn't guaranteed to happen that way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And, naturally comes the disappointment...

                  Europe became aged. It produced culture and civilisation and gave birth to the strongest, such as U.S., U.S.S.R. and then Russia, and then the Arabs and the Chinese and the Hindu... They all shaped up to the "Western model". Then they surpassed us (or heading this way). Then, this new stupid capitalism and the "profit for profit" religion came on stronger, forgetting the balance that a "smart" capitalism should obtain, so to achieve a human status and preserve the human dignity...

                  And now we react like Assimov's robots. No, I'm afraid that individual voices, independently from their motivation, will get drowned. There's no luck for those who don't sign this surrender. Populations' control is the ultimate goal for the "few" that think they hold the wisdom, the wealth, the secrets, the fate of us -the many... What an arrogance! And we mostly stand there just watching...

                  Alan, you are so rational, balanced and just... Yet you're in danger to be spotted as a dreamer, an individual with ideology and principles. Of course, all these are characteristics of a healthy evolving human. But they will probably be "red alert" for the days coming in this continent. Am I such a pessimist? I don't know, but somebody show me a way to resist, not alone, and I'll follow.

                  To study facts and understand, has a prerequisite: You have to be free thinking and choose your life and leaders. I don't see this getting better day in/day out. The similarity of not studying and understanding facts (so to react) applies as well as to politics, media, mis-information and -of course- consumption. Hi-fi is part of the latter.

                  I still pay my respect to Mr. Farage, and any Mr. Farage who dares to stand up in public, a kind of behaviour that tends to disappear. To raise your voice is something. To be silent is nothing.
                  Regards,
                  Thanos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    More of the story

                    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8544904.stm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And here .... well balanced I'd say .... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...cs/8545565.stm

                      Just think, we could have had His Excellency Anthony Blair in that slot.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The EEC has nothing to do with culture or civilisation it is just a massive 'gravy train' for semi-retired politicians. It costs us a fortune and is ruining our country, the sooner it goes down the toilet the better off we will all be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                          The EEC has nothing to do with culture or civilisation it is just a massive 'gravy train' for semi-retired politicians. It costs us a fortune and is ruining our country, the sooner it goes down the toilet the better off we will all be.
                          So resign, and come join us here in the North American Free Trade Zone! True, you're a bit far away, but you're an island nation anyway so what does a little extra water between us matter? We get cheaper Harbeths, and we'll send you cheaper Brystons and Simaudios in return. A win/win all around. You also get easy access to huge natural resources, a powerful military (the American not the Canadian, which is of high quality but too small to be of much practical use), and the world curling and hockey champions (winter sports, something Canadians are actually good at). How could you refuse?

                          As for Farage, once you have him quoted as saying "I did not do this as a publicity stunt" that's pretty much all the proof you need that that's exactly what it was.

                          (Not that I disagree with our good friend Thanos: I too admire the prickly integrity of a certain kind of Brit, when that integrity does manifest itself. It's a wonderful thing, and to be cherished.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                            The EEC has nothing to do with culture or civilisation it is just a massive 'gravy train' for semi-retired politicians. It costs us a fortune and is ruining our country, the sooner it goes down the toilet the better off we will all be.
                            Thank You both friends,

                            Strangely you and Eric are both right...You because now you express what the EEC has become. It was intended, when founded and was dreamful, to behold its incredients intact. Each nation had an ID, a culture, a History & tradition, as well as a contribution too. Up to this. But it went down. Smashed them all. They try to fix a new order, where the incredients' characteristics get vanished and a new "organ" arises. No, we don't want this, it isn't in a healthy DNA. It's like mixing up oil & water. They'll separate sooner or later. That's my belief.

                            Eric, you very well know that Canada became a victim of the U.S. Canada was -or hopefully still is- the best combination of the two worlds, the old one and the new one. An excellent "Hybrid"! But this tends to disappear as well. (Yet, in stereo equipment it surely presents excellent stuff). I remember when passing through Montreal, it was early 80's, Canadians had started to complain for loosing control of immigration. A disease coming from their southern border... And Canada is a marvel of nature and resources. Do they respect this to the degree they should? I think the U.S. is trying to "detonate" its problems partially to Canada. Europe gets inefficient to handle its own produced problems and passes them to its members. U.S.has serious problems now and cannot anymore deliver opportunities.

                            The whole thing resembles to marriage. You can make well balanced compromises, but, if you loose your own characteristics, both magic and creativity are gone... I don't admire Farage because I don't know his motif. I admire what he did, in a surrounding of almost blind obedience. Brits have got this. They surely should use it, 'cause most European nations are becoming "clockwork oranges".
                            Best regards,
                            Thanos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EricW View Post
                              So resign, and come join us here in the North American Free Trade Zone!
                              That would make far more sense to me. And I would much prefer so see the United Kingdom federated to the USA than to a "United States of Europe" - we could do that as number of states established from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and English county-groups (Wes***, Mercia, Northumbria, Londinium etc) - I guess we would need about 10 new US states to do the job equitably. It would be interesting to see which way southern Ireland would jump!

                              No, the traditions of the Angles, Saxons and Celts have always been based in local democracy building up to National Parliament whereas (Switzerland excepted) the European tendency has been the grand plan imposed by bureaucracy.

                              Edit: Alan. Slapped wrist. Your over zealous forum software censures Wes*** (Wess ex)

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