Judgment day

June 22, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

My mother always counseled me to never stand in judgment of someone for fear of being judged in return.

I believe she thought there was some kind of hurtful negative connotation to stand in judgment of someone.

What happens if my judgment is that they are wonderful?

According to the Oxford dictionary, to judge is the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

I like that definition because it doesn’t carry with it all that negativity.

And let’s be honest. We all judge pretty much everything all the time. We’re constantly evaluating what’s on offer in front of us, then placing it into neat little mental boxes: good, bad, wonderful, avoid at all costs.

When we go to an audio show we’re there for the camaraderie and to see all the cool toys but, inevitably, there’s that one or two rooms where we can’t wait to form an opinion.

To judge our likes and dislikes.

We can judge something as extraordinary. A real treasure.

Those are the good judgment days.

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60 comments on “Judgment day”

  1. I thought that it is the specific job of a judge to judge! based on laws? In contrast of course we all permanently (mostly unconsciously within some milliseconds) assess or evaluate things, actions and persons. That’s hard-wired in our brain by evolution!

    1. Laws are sort of like measurements. If they are good ones they help make decisions but both usually only cover a portion of the answers we’re looking for. So we have to go to other decision sources such as experience, etc. and hope they point us further in a good direction.

  2. One of the prayers Jews say three times daily ends with the well known phrase “guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully”. It is repeated elsewhere, but is a warning more about saying bad things, often because they can be said out of ignorance.

      1. On this subject, they do. The famous text was written published in 1873 (Chofetz Chaim) and is widely read. It was so popular that the author Yisrael Meir Kagan became known as Chofetz Chaim, as if J K Rowling were to become known as Harry Potter, which I suppose she is. There are laws against saying bad things, even if true, so I assume every audio reviewer has a copy at hand.

        1. Steven what do you mean by that last part. How can the law say you cannot say something bad even if you have proof that what you are saying is true?

            1. Some English translations of the Hebrew commandment use the verb “curse” in lieu of “speak evil of.” Curse can mean “uttering offensive words in anger or annoyance.”

  3. This positive view is definitely good and wise as a guideline in life!

    Regarding audio and music (or other for the moment “material” matters), with todays topic I think we’re coming from “reviews”. Reviews of music, gear, demo rooms etc. and judgements in this regards.

    Reviews is where I appreciate not being overly polite, but honest, not just writing nice things about any brand, not avoiding comparisons with other gear (may it be because the reviewer isn’t able to do them due to listening skills or doesn’t want to do the work, or likes to avoid confrontation) not to avoid questioning the own choice which is currently in use.

    Reviews shouldn’t be cameraderie among reviewers and manufacturers, they should be critics and praise where appropriate. That’s the judgement practice I expect of a reviewer and that’s also welcome for me when we talk about opinions on audio here.

    But I know there are for sure different opinions. Some will prefer just being confirmed in what they do or have or plan. That’s fine and fun, imo it just guarantees less progress and development.

      1. There you go using one of those fancy words. By sycophant, do you mean “a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage”? LOL

    1. I have long thought this about the reviews of almost any consumer product as well. Reviewers should be working for the consumer but so often they appear in cohorts with the manufacturer. They also have a tendency to be overwhelmingly positive. Last years positive isn’t now quite as good as was first thought and those previous negatives have now miraculously turned positive. Okay, that’s maybe a slight exaggeration but is a flavour of some of the things I’ve read.

  4. These days “sensible conclusions” are as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth…
    so treasure them like gold coins.

    Personally I don’t mind being judged by others, as long as the people judging
    me have got the balls to voice their judgement (opinion) of me, with me & then
    we can have a civil discussion about how they’ve come to that judgement call.
    Quite often we are only misunderstood, & sometimes it’s an ego thing.

  5. I admire the positive nature of your posts. I agree with the sentiment today and consider myself a positive person but, good judgment is not buying a lemon, unless you’re making lemonade. Judgement is often linked with a buying decision and there in lies another dilemma. Do you reach a rapid judgment, rush in and later regret or take a longer more thoughtful and considered view, by which time the opportunity is gone. Decisions, decisions.

  6. Regardless of how warm and fuzzy judging something or someone makes someone feel when that judgment is deemed positive, the opposite holds true and that’s where the ‘bumps in the road start’. Usually harsh criticism is what starts things and they quickly devolve from there.

    There is also a large difference between judging inanimate objects and judging another human.
    Paul wouldn’t like it if someone responded here and pointed out every negative nuance of every piece of PSA gear, the recordings at Octave Records and the way things at PSA are run. In fact he would turn out right defensive. So when passing judgement on whether something is great or right or the ‘cats meow’ for you, and you alone, then that’s fine. When passing judgement on SOMEONE because of their beliefs or choices, then that may not be so fine. (Criminality as deemed by laws excluded) Mom was probably correct.

  7. Seeing as how a lot of variables in audio are quite subjective I think judging is very normal and acceptable behavior to form an opinion for oneself. 😉

  8. Obviously this is about life and not just about audio. Judgement in the legal sense is scary at best. Arrest, trials, juries, justice, judgement, guilty or innocent, all of this is very scary stuff.

    Being a very judgemental person where you judge everyone can be very exhausting and isolating. People do not like to be judged for how they look, how they speak, how they dress, etc. Unfortunately, sometime we all have to do this. We are in a situation were we have to decide if we are going to interact with some or not based on very little information. To avoid this it again means being very isolated.

    OTOH, we are all evaluating, comparing, and then judging so that we can make choices everyday, every hour of our lives ( except when we are asleep ). It is how we decided what to eat, what to wear, the cars I drive, the music I buy, the audio system I have, what I watch on TV, etc, etc, etc. We all make judgements ( big ( who is my wife ) or small ( do I want raspberry or cherry jam on my toast ) ) everyday. It is just a part of life.

    1. Tony – Raspberry! I’m picking black raspberries now by the bucket in north east Missouri. Good in pancakes, icecream, jam, or eat raw like popcorn and turn fingers blue and get on my white guitar – LoL 🙂

    2. Speaking of the jury system, if you want to get out of jury duty, just tell the judge:

      “I would make a good jurer because I can easily spot guilty people”–
      paraphrase George Carlin

      Or, “He must be guilty because he hired the best, most expensive lawyer in town.”

      Or, “Whatever Juror #5 says is okay with me.”

      Or, “I like jury duty because it’s the only place my opinion matters to anyone.”

    3. There’s nothing wrong with being judged Tony, as long as the person being
      judged has the hutzpah…the balls…the intestinal fortitude to just shrug it off.
      It’s like ‘free speech’…say what you like & those who hear it & don’t like it
      must just ignore it & move on.
      Personally I couldn’t give two sh!ts what people think of me.
      They either like me or they don’t…life goes on.
      I don’t have a need to be liked by everyone.
      Open discussions, acceptance & big balls are the key
      to a healthy society…in my not so humble opinion ✌

  9. Do not judge and you will not be judged, forgive and you will be forgiven. For the amount you judge others you too shall be judged. Your Mother is a wise woman Paul. She must be religious because those are the words of the Lord. God Bless her.

        1. Joe,
          No they’re not.
          Some mothers are down-right evil.
          You can’t make sweeping statements like the one you have
          made at 11:54 am, unless you’ve met every mother on this planet.

          1. Was referring to Pauls Mother whom he thinks highly of, my Mother and the others whose Mothers they cherish. I try not to think negative. Do you have to dissect every word literally as if we are in a court room? LOL. 🙂

            1. You say, “Mothers are the best religious or not.”
              Best what?
              Best murderers?
              Best drug dealers?
              Best naggers?

              You’ve made a general statement & you have not qualified
              that it refers exclusively to Paul’s mother or your mother
              or the “others whose Mothers they cherish.”

              No, I just want to bring some balance
              to your biased statement, that’s all.
              ✌-out 😉

              1. I was referring to Paul’s statement about his Mother and it was kind of a conversation between me and Paul about our Mothers which he understood. I don’t need to be corrected and I stand by what I said. Feel free to tell us about your Mother FR. If anyone is biased all of your statements are how evil Mothers are. Not one positive thing said about your Mother or any Mother. If you’re going to chime and and say I’m biased at least let’s hear the good and bad. Happy Mothers Day to all the lovely Mom’s who bust their asses raising fat rats. Lol. You must have been a handful for your poor Mother. Lol.

                1. Lol…indeed!
                  You are just showing your ignorance whilst
                  trying to be defensive Joe.
                  I don’t comment about your mother because
                  I don’t know her, so please don’t comment
                  about mine, as you have never met her.

                  All that I’m saying is that mothers are NOT
                  always the best…that’s all.

                  By the way, if you want to make comments or have a discussion privately with Paul then don’t put your comments on a public forum where anyone can reply to your biased comment…you’d be better off sending Paul an e-mail & then no one can reply to your comment.
                  Free speech, remember ✌

                  1. I never said a bad thing about your Mother. Only said that you must have been a handful for her from what I witness about You here. You started this FR just as I have witnessed you starting trouble with other people here. You called me ignorant so in return I will say you are what we call in the USA a troublemaker, an instigator. Lol. I used to be a MSN Money moderator for 7 years on their message boards. If I were a moderator here you would be gone. And please don’t email me anymore. Not saying it was you but someone from Australia has been trying to hack into my computer and I’m cutting off all communications from Australia.

                    1. Wow!
                      Again you make assumptions about who was a handful…you have no idea what you’re talking about.
                      I’m not hacking anyone’s computer.
                      I wouldn’t have the first clue about computer-hacking.
                      I haven’t e-mailed you in ages.
                      How’s your paranoia?
                      I started this?…What?! Are you 5 years old?
                      When people attack me & insult me of course I’m going to react; it’s called defending oneself.
                      You post a comment on a public site & when someone disagrees with you you get all defensive…how old are you?

                    2. It’s not really the way you are spinning and painting this FR. You are a troublemaker and everyone knows it. I didn’t accuse you of anything. Do you always interpret things in a way to create trouble? See things only through your lens? I said not to contact me because I’m not taking emails from Australia since my account has been hacked by someone from Australian. You seem to be a bitter and troubled man full of hate and resent.

                    3. Joe, apparently you have serious short-
                      term memory problems.
                      You say that you didn’t accuse me of anything & yet you accuse me of being a “troublemaker”…WTF?
                      You contradict yourself.
                      You are like a child who can’t admit when he’s made a mistake & then deflects the narrative…so sad 🙁

                    4. In the beginning before you started the hate, the name calling and labeling I did not attack you. As this BS started progressing yes I accused you of being a trouble maker because it’s the truth. You do this all the time with others. I held back as I have seen you do this to others including Paul but you went after me and now I’m calling you out. Americans worth their salt are not intimidated by bullies. Anyone with half a brain can see that my conversation between me and Paul was an exchange between us that really didn’t need a reply. Everybody of course but you. You are a screwball who replies to every damn thing with insults or sarcasm. A buffoon.

                    5. What the hell are you talking about? Admit I’m wrong about what? A short conversation I had with Paul that anyone with intelligence could see it was a personal issue between me and Paul that only an idiot like you would butt in on. You’re nuts. You jump around this board literally dissecting every word. Pretty sick the things that bother you. You need help dude.

                    6. My divorce was mutual and civilized so I do reject what you said that was deleted. The important thing was our children. My ex wife is a wonderful Mother and I have been a great Father though you might not agree with either. I wouldn’t assume that you’re not divorced because you have intimidated your wife into staying with you. God bless her and I pray for her. I wish your marriage well. Why so mean spirited and bitter? Praying for you as well.

                    7. Calls me a troll when he posts more than anyone else in this forum and half of it harassment, insults and slander. He has the potential to be a decent poster in here but it’s overshadowed by being an asshole. You didn’t let me get the last word FR. I took it. And I doubt you will ever shut your big fat mouth. You don’t have that in you.

        1. Doctor please some more of these outside the door she took 4 more. Mothers little helper by the Stones describing the little evil rug rat brats driving them crazy…lol.

  10. I think it is so much easier to be find negative things to say than positive. I had a roommate in college and one time I was ranting on about some piece of crap popular song on the radio, and he said, “But listen to how they go to the G minor chord instead of F maj. at the end of the bridge” I think it’s important to search for quality and make comparisons, but my roommate reminded me that there is always something good in everything and everybody.

    1. My grandmother rarely had anything positive to say about anything. When asked if a meal was delicious, the most complimentary thing she ever said was, “Well, it’s tasty.”

      1. My daughter’s father-in-law will order something and when someone asks how his meal is, he’ll say, “I’ve had better.” I guess that would be similar to deciding you’re not going to listen to any recordings because you’ve heard the best.

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