When thinking gets in the way

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When thinking gets in the way

I had to smile when I read this claim:

"The sound coming out of a DAC is not analog. The device just changes the binary digits data into sine waves leaving out all the other intricate waveforms making a pure analog sound."

Of course, this is a complete misunderstanding of how this all works. Which is ok and understandable. After all, this can be mind numbing stuff for those not immersed in the engineering of it all.

What's fascinating to me about this statement is delving deep into its origins. How did a little bit of truth get so distorted and out of whack?

I think the answer lies in human tendencies to take a small bit of information and magnify it to a logical conclusion—one that sort of feels right. Once we're happy about what we've come up with we tend to not only test it out on others, but over time, it can become fact.

A little knowledge, over thought and improperly predicted, starts to feel good enough that it just might be true. This is how conspiracies begin and fester.

Fortunately, at least in engineering, we can unravel these misconceptions in service of those who wish the truth.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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