Originally Posted by arnyk
That makes sense to me in the specific context. IME fundamental principles are very
reliable. For example, how many contradictions of Ohm's law does one expect to find? A highly probable answer is: none in your lifetime. If you find an apparent contradiction of Ohm's law, then there has to be a hidden influence that makes the situation different from a simple application of Ohm's law.
There is one strong contradiction: superconductors. As a conductor is cooled, one expects to resistance to keep going down. In superconducting material, there is a "critical" temperature where all of a sudden there is an abrupt drop to zero ohms:
Once there current can remain in the superconductor even when the source of power is taken away! Since the original comment came from a theoretical physicist, we see the appropriateness of of this example as this is a quantum effect.
Another example is the famous double slit experiment where photons in a light source travel as waves when we are not measuring them but when we do, they act as particles. As Einstein said, there is a duality here and both answers are correct.
So the comment from Dr. Krauss has merit in quantum physics. Prior to discovery of superconductive material around 1900, one would have said such a thing does not exist. But post that discovery by Heike Onnes, we had a different view of conductor resistivity than past that event. At quantum level all bets are off.
You might say that in everyday life you don't notice quantum effects so it doesn't matter. Yet something as simple as the GPS in your phone or car relies on such science to provide correct results. The reason is that the satellites are travelling so fast that they demonstrate Einstein's relativity theory. The clock onboard the satellite is measuring a "different time" than what we have on earth. Since location is computed based on differential of time from the satellite and "earth time" we must provide the compensation due to clock drift or we would be way off our target. Fortunately that correction is there in every GPS device so all is well. But the point remains that there are experiments and later discoveries that alter or downright invalidate what we think the reality is.
Over my life I've literally staked my life on physical laws like this again and again, and so has just about everybody else. For example, how many times have you pulled your car out into traffic where a failure of your automobile to respond predictably might have put you in danger of causing an accident?
Is this a trick question? Because I have and have so many others. Just a couple of months ago I was having some warranty work done on my car and they gave me a brand new $40,000 loaner. I was sitting at a light and decided to change lanes. There was traffic coming in the other lane but I thought I had ample time to pull into that lane. I pushed the gas pedal down the car started to go a few feet and then immediately lost power. The engine did not die or anything but simply decided that the accelerator pedal was not pressed. I thought this was a fluke. A couple of days later, I was making a turn in front of oncoming traffic. Once again the car went a few feet -- and put me at 90 degrees to the oncoming traffic -- and refused to move. I released the gas pedal and floored it and it fortunately got back to normal. This happened a third time before I returned the loaner. I spoke to service manager and he had some theory of what would cause that but I don't recall now.
How many times have you flown in a plane or ridden on a train? Each of those acts takes faith in a huge number of applications of a raft of physical laws working out exactly right.
Very little on trains except while in Japan. But have flown a few million miles on Airplane. All kinds of unexpected things have happened there. Once we arrived at the gate, the doors opened and we all got our luggage and lined up for our turn to exist the plane. All of a sudden, the plane lurched forward and we all nearly fell on top of each other. Captain got on the speaker and said that a brake was released accidently and that this was the first time it had ever happened to him. He stood by the door and apologized to each one of us as we left!
Another sad example. Was travelling on the plane to a conference with a marketing lady from my team. I saw that she was pretty nervous and I started to explain how rare it is for someone to die from plane crash. She said nothing until I was finished. Then in calm and quiet tone said she had lost both of her parents due to a plane crash when she was young!!!
However, the sensitivity human hearing is actually limited by the ear's ability to detect sound against a background of thermal noise and that woldwide ultimate background noise level isn't going to change because it is set by fundamental laws.
It is the case. But that sensitivity is adaptive which doubles our dynamic range to 120 db. There is an electromechanical amplification with feedback that is the source of that very high dynamic range. Your pupil dilating is a visual example of the same.
I get criticized for not backing down on certain points. However, once I can relate a certain question to familiar physical laws and well known performance limits, why should I ever back down? I've been doing this for decades and it always works out when the rubber hits the road. Just because other people don't know the physical laws at the same level of detail, and/or lack the confidence that comes from decades of experience with them related to how they work out in real world applications, why should I change my statements?
It all depends on whether you learn something new along the way or not. I used to think that since the sound of speakers were so different, one could judge them sighted without worry. Then I took a double blind test and quickly learned that I was biased in my evaluation of speakers due to their looks and technology within them. Indeed one speaker that I always thought was an excellent one, in double blind testing I rated it as very poor. So poor that I thought it was a "control" to see if we were suitable subjects. Imagine my surprise when the curtains opened and I saw what was behind it.
I don't know all of your life experiences Arny. But do know that you had such revelations in audio when you did your blind testing. And that turned your many ideas you had about audio. If we were debating the Arny's of the time before that event in your life, we would have very different discussions. I know I am a different version of me with respect to audio than I used to be 10 years ago let alone longer.
Now if you want to measure yourself post that realization as being a constant, then I would respectfully say you have stopped learning.
Edit: spelling errors