Completing the circle
What would our world of high-end audio look like if there were only active wireless loudspeakers? If even the half a million dollar mega-beasts were internally amplified and connected via wireless and controlled from an iPad?
No more boxes. No more wires and cables.
Would we have come full circle, back to the days when music reproduction systems were self-contained?
Would this mark the end of separates and their interconnections?
What would the next generation of sound reproduction systems look like? (Probably nothing because by then they’ll likely be invisible.)
If we look back over the past 142 years since Edison introduced the phonograph there is a clear pattern. All-in-one audio systems grow and grow until they explode into a multiverse of separates then contract back into a new version of the all-in-one.
The circle is complete.
Telling the future isn’t all that hard if you take a look at the past.
After reading yesterday’s post, I am reminded of my fascination with third-party endorsements.
We trust the words of disinterested parties more than the folks who actually have a deeper knowledge of a given subject.
We are suspicious of an audio or video designer’s enthusiasm because we fear he has an axe to grind.
This notion of distrust has its roots buried deep in our culture. The first mention I could find was from the early 1800s when author Charles Miner recounted an incident from his youth, where a passing stranger takes advantage of him and, by flattering him, dupes him into turning a grindstone to sharpen the stranger’s axe. Miner then uses having an axe to grind as a metaphor for having an ulterior motive:
“When I see a man holding a fat office, sounding ‘the horn on the borders’ to call the people to support the man on whom he depends for his office. Well, thinks I, no wonder the man is zealous in the cause, he evidently has an axe to grind.”
Stories of people taking advantage of other people abound, but I think we do ourselves an injustice by always taking the cynical view.
Not all people with direct knowledge are looking to wrangle freebies out of us. In fact, most aren’t.
I’ll share with you what I do to ferret out the truth. If a knowledgeable source is recommending their own solution I drill down to see how deep their knowledge base is. That tells me from where they are coming from: deep knowledge and experience or light fluff.
In today’s world of person-to-person connection, I think it’s important to readjust our barometers.
It’s easier than ever to dig deep into people’s knowledge and motivations.