Bits of bits

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Bits of bits

There's an interesting misconception about analog vs. digital. One is continuous while the other is broken apart.

At a certain speed, that is simply not true. Go fast enough and everything is continuous.

For some reason, once folks get it in their heads that digital is a group of discrete bits and analog is not, there doesn't seem to be much anyone can say or point out that can change their worldview. So why try? Because it's been my experience that when you see misconceptions it's incumbent on us all to try and help straighten them out. Else, how would any of us progress beyond the darkness? If I can shine a light for even one person with these posts then it's all worthwhile.

Here's something to contemplate. The notion of continuous anything is incorrect. Taken at the quantum level there is no such thing as a solid or continuous. Nothing. Nada. We, and the rest of the universe, are cobbled together out of molecules, atoms, Leptons, Quarks, Gluons, bosons, Photons, Qubits, and Plancks (to name a few of what we sort of know).

Continuous is an illusion. 

The trick is in the fineness. When you're running PCM at 44.1kHz your 20kHz musical signal is represented by only 2 discrete states—that's pretty crude. Move up to DSD running at 11 million discrete states per second and you're now continuous by any stretch of the imagination.

Continuous, unbroken analog is as much a fairytale as is the idea the world is made up of solids.

We're all bits.

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Paul McGowan

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