I has been a long inventor and supporter of the theory that majority of audio people have something that I call “Brain Inertia” in audio. The “Brain Inertia” is my colloquialism and it does not mean exactly what it means. The “Brain Inertia” was “discovered” by me in 1996 and I remember exactly how it was.
I was like many of you an “audio person” was twinkling something with my gear, listening something – there was nothing wrong with it. From my contemporary standards I was an audio idiot but there is nothing wrong with that as well. So, another day I was invited to hear a very sophisticated installation. I know exactly what it was and how it sounded but it is not important to mention it. It was over $300K installation, very nicely done and the part of the engagement was that I needed to provide a feedback about Sound I heard. Listening that installation I has absolutely zero feeling about it was better or worse, I just had absolutely no reaction and no opinion about the sound I heard. I need to warn that it was not the problem with the installation but pure problem with my mind, my expectations and my reference point in audio at that time. Nevertheless, I was sitting in front of those speakers, feeling absolutely nothing and literally was asking myself what I was doing here. Then I was obliged to provide a feedback. So I did and to my big surprise I did not make a lot of efforts to lie. In fact I did not lie at all and I was very honestly described what I THOUGHT I WAS HEARING. So, my listening habits imprinted in my mind some auditable differences and I perceived them as factual auditable differences. It was pure and simple inertia of audio experience as I knew that any listening experience would deliver different sentiments and I just enumerated those sentiments. It was sort of Pavlovian Dog reflexes and those sentiments were not related to any cultural or musical reference but were related to the fact that any sonic influence would create enumeratable set of differences.
I do see very frequently this reaction in audio people, including some of them who come into my home. I even learned how to re-arrange the presentation of sound for them in order to instigate more or less inertia of their brain or to navigate their reaction to one or another direction. This is the whole point – the Brain Inertia is not random by nature but a highly algorithmable subject. The most important is not the sad predictability or brainwashablity of that Brain Inertia but the fact that Brain Inertia has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Brain Inertia is pure motor reaction of mind and it has absolute disassociation with what persons actually feel or sense. Therefore the Brain Inertia must not be used for any judgments.
My feeling that over 90% of all interactions in audio happens under the spell of Brain Inertia mode. People experience audio juts because they feel that they are in circumstances in which they feel that they experience audio. They feel that they recognize the differences and they feel that one sound is more preferable for them then another sound. The truth is that the differences that they recognize are not factual differences but the overrides of their brain that suggests that the differences have to be there. It is like a person who sees a mirage in desert and feels that he is having a drink. This person can clearly distinct the differences between Coke from Pepsi in his hallucinational drinking but the differences is not factual but illusionary.
It is my very sober opinion that over 90% of high-end audio practitioners out there do practice audio by relying upon those hallucinationals audio differences or the differences inspired by Brain Inertia.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche