TAS reader and frequent AVguide commenter ScottB submitted this piece, originally in response to a thread that developed around a USB cable review. I though he eloquently summarized a reasonable view of more broadly polarizing issues. This won't stop the food fight, but for those who actually want to think about what we know and how we know it, I thought it was a though-provoking read.
Here's Scott's piece:
Some relevant information about me: I'm an MSME who spent most of his career in software, culminating in 6 years as CTO of a F500 software company. I'm hardly a credulous subjectivist, either by training or by temperament. But a lot of the righteous certainty expressed (often hyperbolically) by the "objectivists" on this thread – and more generally, in this forum and others - is just plain fundamentalist ignorance, borne of oversimplification, misapplication of technical knowledge, and failure to think curiously and creatively.
The criticisms of the review fall into two camps that one often sees in other threads and comments: 1). You can't possibly have heard any differences, because it's impossible for cables to change the sound, and/or 2). the only valid way to determine audible differences is a double blind test (DBT).