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Thread: Mando Massage

  1. #51
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    I agree with this to an extent. Scientific results are only consistent while there is a consistent way of testing them and of measuring the results. The reason that the tone characteristics of musical instruments cannot be scientifically tested is that the woods and other materials involved are never exactly the same from one instrument to the next. And even if they were, there are still too many setup variables involved.

    That's not to say that no scientific test works on a mandolin. For example, if you apply a sufficient amount of pressure to the top and back of a mandolin, it will flatten. However the specific amount of pressure required to flatten a mandolin will differ from one mandolin to the next.

    The problem we all face as we seek better sounding instruments, and for that matter music in general, is that the sound we hear is always filtered by our emotions about it. No scientific test has ever been able to completely get around that.
    Well I agree it would be a challenging concept to assess but I don't agree with that view that can't be done. As I suggested before don't make perfect the enemy of the good.

    First, it is most likely that no scientific (or non-scientific) analysis of anything will ever prefect or associated with certitude.

    What we seek, using the scientific method of analysis, is the most probable answer and also we want some quantitative assessment of the probability that the answer that we have determined is indeed correct. That is true with every test.

    We seek the likelihood of an answer. The probability is incredibly low but it is possible that gas might flow someday happen to flow from a low pressure vessel INTO a high pressure one -- it is theoretically possible as a consequence of random molecular motion. But again the odds are massively low for this to ever happen.

    Models for the relationship of atmospheric characteristics (like CO2) to global temperatures contain REALLY hundreds of thousands of variables -- admittedly none of these models are currently predicting very well but very complex process can be tested -- this is certain.

    Scientific testing of mandolin tone (or sound or volume or projection or you name it) is not automatically and permanently an un-testable black art even if there are tricky or problematic variables (including human ones). Everyday we see organizations taking a scientific opinion polls on feelings, opinions, beliefs, or anything else. It is not impossible. It is done every day.

    Are there variables that need to be controlled? Of course. Do some of the variables involve difficult-to-control measures? Yes. But are they such that a valid test cannot be made and valid result at some known probability be rendered? Absolutely not IMO.

    Will the answer on the detectability of enhanced versus not-enhanced mandolin characteristics be associated with a certitude of p < 0.001? Most likely no. But if we would accept some lesser level of certitude (we would want to be wrong less then 1 time in 20 - i.e., p<0.05) going in. Then sure. We can then test to see if we can meet that level. That's what statistics is for.

    But just as the very eloquently designed Paris test showed on violins the answer to the question, "can musicians or critics distinguish the sound of a classic violin from an excellent modern violin if they can not use the sense of sight?" The answer was no.

    Because of the Paris test we know that with some level of statistical confidence. Is the answer absolute -- or could we say that no one would ever be able to perform the test and correctly identify the classic violin every time? The answer is again no.

    But we do know that probably most individuals will not be successful at it. I say yes that is what the test demostrated.

    It would be no different with mandolins.

    So of course these tests can be done! That is my opinion and I am sticking to it!!
    Bernie
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  3. #52
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    That is the curse of science - it is expensive to build absolute proof, and after you made the effort people will discard your proof and return to believing what they want to believe (my signature line is based on experience).
    Reminds me of a statement I heard recently: "facts do not determine what people will believe."

    The older I get, the more life I experience, the more I think about "science" (as discussed on this thread) and "facts," the more I believe this statement to be true.
    Chris Cravens

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  4. #53
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by ccravens View Post
    Reminds me of a statement I heard recently: "facts do not determine what people will believe."

    The older I get, the more life I experience, the more I think about "science" (as discussed on this thread) and "facts," the more I believe this statement to be true.
    There is a relevant quote from Richard P. Feynman:

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
    -- "Cargo Cult Science", adapted from a 1974 Caltech commencement address

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    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by ccravens View Post
    Reminds me of a statement I heard recently: "facts do not determine what people will believe."

    The older I get, the more life I experience, the more I think about "science" (as discussed on this thread) and "facts," the more I believe this statement to be true.
    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    There is a relevant quote from Richard P. Feynman:

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
    -- "Cargo Cult Science", adapted from a 1974 Caltech commencement address
    Those are true statements but in my opinion, the fly in the ointment is not science per se. If it were not for science we would all be journeying down much shorter, more arduous lives and we would have few opportunities or life paths to choose from.

    The problem is that all of us as scientists do not always live up to strict scientific protocols.
    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  6. #55

    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Those are true statements but in my opinion, the fly in the ointment is not science per se. If it were not for science we would all be journeying down much shorter, more arduous lives and we would have few opportunities or life paths to choose from.

    The problem is that all of us as scientists do not always live up to strict scientific protocols.
    Indeed, while pondering science's weaknesses it becomes all too easy to overlook the staggering accuracy and precision of most of our scientific results, as well their bountiful harvest in our lives.

  7. #56
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Massage

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    Indeed, while pondering science's weaknesses it becomes all too easy to overlook the staggering accuracy and precision of most of our scientific results, as well their bountiful harvest in our lives.
    Yes and power of science is staggering. The questions seem unanswerable can indeed be answered by the patient and careful application of scientific methods.
    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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