Why do we keep seeking TOTL: explained by math!

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by earnmyturns, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    I will take this opportunity to drop a recommendation for The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, a great book that explores these kinds of questions. Two ideas that relate particularly to audiophile upgrade-itis:

    More choices make people less happy.

    The abundance of choices with varying pros and cons lead people to imagine a “best” option that combines all of the pros together, which of course doesn’t exist and makes people dissatisfied with what they have.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  2. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Almost "Made"

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    Because its a follow up to "comparing ourselves to various relative standards"

    and also because the comparisons are referenced to a relative standard rather than an absolute standard.
     
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    This probably fits a lot of people buying audio gear, but it doesn't fit my process or motivations. I have a vision in my mind for how I want headphones to sound. I can hear it in my imagination. And I want to make that vision a reality. No electrodynamic or electrostatic is capable of this vision. And no stock ortho that I have heard matches it. This is why I started modding orthos, because I hear potential to sound like this vision and I work to get them to sound like that, or as close as possible. I will have to make my own drivers to fully realize this vision.

    I'm currently cycling amps, not for the reasons in your post, but because I have a vision for what I want an amplifier to do with my headphones. I havent found one that fully does this, and I don't know what amp would, so I'm currently buying random lesser known amps used so I can resell them.

    The same with a DAC. I like the tone of the Yggdrasil A2 but my vision for a DAC is more resolving and has more realism and depth similar to the Wavedream but without the midrange suckout. I'm holding myself back at the Yggdrasil for now though...
     
  4. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    From the first sentence of the abstract it's clear that the comparisons in question are among existing things or conditions rather than against external or absolute standards. The subsequent instances of 'relative' are redundant.
     
  5. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Totally get this. Schwartz’s book is aimed more at the consumer/buyer side of things, not the engineer/inventor/artist striving for beauty or for a vision of something better or different.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    You are a different kettle of fish (or whatever metaphor you prefer) because you are willing to engineer a choice that is not available to you.
     
  8. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    He keeps trading in for the same model, just a newer year.

    Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 11.29.06 AM.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  9. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    I used to work in retail and the rule was never present more than 3 choices. Get them to eliminate one thing so then they only have two, then it's easier to choose A or B and feel good about it. Fuckup and show them 4+ things and it's decision paralysis and they buy nothing.
     
  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    The ex-leader of the disbanded "pussy posse" has the least incentive to marry of anyone I've seen really. He may hitch in his 50s when he wants a kid, but even that marriage is likely to be just for show and there is an agreement he is free to mess around to his heart's content.

    Those who can, do.

    Or as Chris Rock said, "men are only as faithful as their options."
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    We know we've reached maturity when we realize three things:
    1. It's different, not necessarily better.
    2. Even if something really is better, the old stuff is just as good as it ever was, or still has certain charms which the new better stuff doesn't have.
    3. We don't give a crap about new stuff anymore, even if it is better.
     
  12. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    THIS! is one of the best summarizations, concisely stating what happens when one has reached summit-fi and then reexamines the components visited on the journey.
     
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  13. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Also, what trade offs we are ready to live with.
     
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  14. Armaegis

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    Also, we get older. We get crochety and don't have the energy to keep trying new things every week. Our hearing ain't as good as it used to be and we grasp at increasingly nebulous words to stay relevant in the face of the things we know we can't hear anymore.
     
  15. Failed Engineer

    Failed Engineer Friend

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    I think it's also when you realize there is stuff that's "better" but not "better for you" and stop the chase and have contentment in the decision.

    But it takes a lot of gear cycling to arrive to that point in this hobby.
     
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  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    All of which tells us he's a habitual objectivist: he always selects the same topology and sets a low-pass filter with T=25.
     
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  17. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    The Tao Te Ching says a master doesn't seek fulfillment because it requires you to be unfulfilled, thus preventing you from being a master.

    Personally, when I stopped looking I found what I was looking for, which I always had to begin with. I don't think I'm happier with my current setup than those in the past. I did have fun hoping something out there was better. Like Seinfeld said, "in-between seeing the commercial and owning the thing, I'm happy." I don't regret the journey, even though it was a lot of money spent. The dream is part of the fun.
     
  18. joch

    joch Friend

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    Amen

    I’m also finding the French saying “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose” applies many times. (The more things change, the more they are the same.)
     
  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    The 37 Percent Rule. All we have to do is figure out how many pieces of gear we would own in our lifetime, then stop when we heard something better after we hit 37%. Guess this would apply to each component separately.

    https://plus.maths.org/content/mathematical-dating
     
  20. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    The big issue is unlike dating, gear break-ups are reversible and some test drives are costless. Therefore you're incentivized to try everything available.
     
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