Sunday, February 06, 2005

J'accuse - Cringely frog

Why Cringely frog? Well, take a look of this fussy old toad's standing and you'll see how I approach high-end hifi: I swear by subjective reviewing. And by that I mean making judgments on the basis of experience.

As most of audiophiles, I've read and posted to online audio newsgroups, thinking they were places to share information and experience and perhaps learn from people who share the same passion. Re-wording Dan Gillmor (author of We are Media – a book about new media) one can say that grassroots, on-line hifi journalists are dismantling traditional hifi magazines’ monopoly on the news and reviews, transforming experience-based opinions to a highly biased chat. The intolerant, arrogant, and angry solderheads that frequent the newsgroups make online hifi conversations hostile and uninformative. Something good ultimately came out of it, but only at the cost of a great deal of unpleasantness.

Don’t take me wrong. I love new generations challenging the existing status quo and dismantling long held beliefs, but in hifi issues I prefer subjective opinions of Harry Pearson or Jean Hiraga rather than non-experienced views of representative from Star Academy, reality TV-show, MP3 generation. Nor I’m interested in opinions of an engineer who categorically maintains that since digital media is all zeros and ones, there cannot be any difference between CD-players.

Why is there so much bullshit on Internet hifi forums? Well, in New Media era it tends to occur that a person’s opportunities to speak out about some topic exceed his or her knowledge of the relevant facts. As communications of all kinds proliferate, those opportunities arise more often.

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