Originally Posted by LFEer
You can do long term blind listening which nullifies the claim that listening while being tested somehow diminishes the listener's hearing ability.
What about when posting claims online?
Suppose I were to say:
I can run 100 mph. But only when I am not under the stress of being tested.
Now, what would every reasonable person say about that? It is exactly the sort of claim that people make about audio and their ability to hear. They claim to be able to do it as long as they are never properly tested. Since it is the same kind of claim, the same standards should apply in both cases.
It is funny, though, that those who do make a religion out of audio, to try to exclude it from the realm of evidence that applies to other subjects, often like to accuse others of what they themselves are doing.
I am glad that you are bringing up such issues, as it is a very strange thing that many people like to partition off some subjects and disregard evidence regarding them, but are interested in evidence in other cases. One wonders why people do that, instead of being consistent in the principles that are applied to claims and observations.
In my case, I have heard differences between CD players. At first, this seemed important, but then somehow I realized (I do not recall if someone pointed this out to me, or if I thought of it on my own; this was decades ago) that they were not level matched (not to mention, I did not listen blind), so them sounding different meant nothing at all. I am aware of the fact that human hearing is not linear, and that a difference in volume is subjectively perceived as a difference in tonal quality (this is why there are "loudness compensation" controls on a lot of vintage equipment), so one CD player sounding "better" under the conditions in which I heard them was meaningless.
Some of us are smart enough to not thoughtlessly trust our senses. Doing otherwise would be like believing a stick is bent when it is halfway in water. It looks bent, but that does not mean that it is bent. And so it is with other perceptions, like hearing; they are not to be thoughtlessly trusted, as they do not directly give one reality. If hearing did, then 2 channel stereo would never work at all, as otherwise one would always hear that the sound is just coming from 2 places, instead of sounding like it is coming from other places, too (like in between the speakers). Of course, the reality is, the sound is all coming from the places where the speakers are, but one does not perceive it that way with one's ears. So trusting one's perceptions to directly give one an accurate depiction of reality is quite foolish.
The upshot is (and I am far from alone on this), I would not trust my untested perceptions of things, as I know it is possible to be misled. This is particularly true in cases where it is something that no one has demonstrated the ability to hear, as it is rather doubtful that I have superhuman hearing.
But, there are many people who do trust their perceptions too much. It would be like someone saying, "I know what I see; look at the stick that is halfway in water; I can see it directly for myself that it is bent!" What makes this extra sad is that pretty much everyone knows that their perceptions cannot be so trusted, due to the stick in water example, and yet in other cases they stupidly and thoughtlessly trust their senses.