The beauty of measurements

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We are an arrogant lot believing our science can measure all that our senses can. Our machines cannot yet measure beauty. There are no devices, instruments, or algorithms that can say this one is X amount more beautiful than that one or even if it is beautiful or ugly in the first place. In fact, we can measure beauty. It's our technology that cannot. But it doesn't follow that because we cannot measure beauty it does not exist. That's as absurd as the claims against subjectivists. (Isn't it odd that we even have a name for people who use their senses? a name that often has negative connotations). As we dig deeper into the mystery of our great divide between subjectivists and objectivists it's helpful to simply state the obvious. Technology has yet to catch up with our abilities. At least in some areas. For the longest time, no machine could recognize faces, something our senses found easy. Now machines can. And the same can be said for any number of human abilities technology struggles to catch up with. Including sound. The crude measurements we have cannot and do not adequately explain what we find relatively easy to measure with our ears. Though sometimes it takes training. Cables are among the hardest for measurementists to swallow, and for good reason. No existing measurement standard exists to explain audible differences in cables. That doesn't necessarily follow that they do not exist. Galen Gareis, chief engineer at Belden Cables, is trying his best to bridge the gap between what we hear and what we measure. And while he has uncovered a great deal of measurement data explaining audible differences in cables, he has yet to invent a measurement system with metrics quantifying audible changes. I suspect it may be only a matter of time. If you are interested in learning more, there's a fascinating three-part series in Copper Magazine. Start with the first in the series here. If you're brave, you can wade into the many comments crying foul! Have fun and let's hope we can push the education bar forward just a bit.
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Paul McGowan

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