|www.ethanwiner.com - since 1997|
If you followed a link to this page, it's probably from my final post in a thread that became polluted by one or more assholes in an audio forum. Web forums tend to attract trouble-makers, who often hide behind anonymous screen names. Some of these people post insults and accusations because they think it makes them look superior. Others have no reasonable points to offer, but feel they must disagree anyway.
Most of the anti-Ethan sentiment in audio forums comes from my consumerist approach to audio equipment. Some people hate what I say about audio equipment quality versus price, perhaps because they bought expensive gear and need to justify their purchases. So rather than discuss the facts of audio science they attack the messenger.
Forum assholes are easy to identify by the following traits:
They rely on personal insults.
They have very strong opinions, but are unable to back up those opinions with logic or evidence.
They repeatedly call me wrong, but are unable to explain why I'm wrong or what is right.
They set up strawman arguments. For example, I discuss mostly how to measure audio fidelity, but they argue that you can't "measure" a listener's emotional response to music.
They are excessively wordy as they nit-pick to death every single thing I write, or repeat the same insults and accusations over and over.
They ignore explanations and proof, no matter how clear, and they ask the same questions, and demand the same proof, again and again.
They keep bumping threads with empty posts containing only angry or "facepalm" smileys, or more insults, just to keep a thread with their hostile comments at the top of the forum list.
Some typical hot-button topics that attract forum assholes include:
Why measuring audio gear is a more reliable assessment of fidelity than listening.
At what level audio artifacts such as jitter and truncation distortion are audible.
Whether inexpensive audio gear can give fully professional results.
I tend to attract these trouble-makers because of my pro-science and pro-consumer stance on audio. When I reply to questions I always explain as clearly as possible, and I often include graphs or audio files to prove a point. I'm never rude to anyone unless they're rude to me first, even if they've been rude to me in the past. The worst ones disagree with me about some aspect of audio, but rather than discuss the science they attack my company and tell others not to buy my company's products. That's not only disingenuous, it's just mean.
Although most of the assholes I encounter are in audio forums, they're all over the Internet. A friend of mine is active in sports car and photography forums, and he sees the same rude behavior, anti-science opinions, and excess testosterone in those forums too.
I'm glad to engage anyone in a discussion about anything, as long as they remain civil and try to understand what I say. Sadly, some people cannot remain civil, hence this little web page. When I post a link to this page, that usually marks the end of my participation in a thread due to my exasperation with these assholes. At some point it becomes clear that nothing will satisfy them, and the only reasonable response is to just ignore them and leave the thread. So congratulations asshole, you win. Here's your award:
This page was inspired in large part by the relentless online attacks against me by Eric Sarafin, a professional mix engineer known for his humorous book The Daily Adventures of Mixerman which recounts a series of problematic recording sessions. Rather than clutter this page with details of Eric's rudeness and technical ineptitude, I created this separate Mixerman page. It's very telling! Also see my related article The Trouble With Audio Forums.
Entire contents of this web site Copyright © 1997- by Ethan Winer. All rights reserved.