Breaking the law
It's probably not a good idea to run red lights. The consequences can be deadly. But most rules or laws that attempt to explain our physical world are open to both interpretation and breaking. Take for example the two yardsticks, THD and IM (Total Harmonic Distortion and Intermodulation Distortion). We care because if these distortion measure beyond a certain level, sound suffers. Ergo, if too much is bad, then the lowest possible amounts should be good. Only, that's simply not true. Remember the distortion wars of the 1970s through the 1990s? Major efforts were mounted to not only reduce levels of distortion, but to market the idea that extreme amounts of less is more, forever poisoned the truth for music lovers. Mathematics and its best friend, measurements, are intended to build models that explain what we often already know. Newton didn't need to write his law of universal gravitation to understand an apple falls from the tree. Instead, his work built a model that explains why and how what we know to be true, happens. So the next time someone tells you "it can't sound that way because the measurements prove differently", you can smile and be understanding of their error. Rules, laws, and measurements help us understand and manipulate the world, but they are meant to be challenged, questioned, and eventually broken.
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