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James Randi

  1. Oct 4, 2007 #1

    robphy

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    Slashdot is reporting
    "James Randi Posts $1M Award On Speaker Cables"
    http://science.slashdot.org/science/07/10/04/1354224.shtml

    http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-09/092807reply.html#i4 [Broken]
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/speaker-cables/7250-speaker-cables-turn-you-into-a-dancin-fool-302478.php
    http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_anjou_sc.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2007 #2
    There isn't any way to prove one is better than the other since sound quality is objective. However, as the owner of overpriced speaker cable (although not nearly this overpriced), an improvement in audio quality is very achievable by upgrading connections. Feeding a $50 speaker with a $7,000 cable or a $2 cable makes no difference, but if the speaker is say...$30,000 then there would be a huge difference. Not even Mr. Randi could dispute that.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2007 #3

    mgb_phys

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    "Human hearing has its limits, but gullibility has none"
     
  5. Oct 4, 2007 #4

    FredGarvin

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    Oh for the love of...$7,250 for cables? NASA doesn't even pay that price for wiring. There is a sucker born every minute. Whoever did those reviews needs to be shot.
     
  6. Oct 4, 2007 #5

    mgb_phys

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    The good ones are the 'power cleaners' that reconfigure your mains power!
    Of course you can't hear the difference straight away because your equipement has to relearn how to work on the clean power so you have to use them for a few weeks to hear any difference.
     
  7. Oct 4, 2007 #6

    FredGarvin

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    I can't say I have ever heard that one. You would think that claims like that would raise some red flags to pretty much anyone.
     
  8. Oct 4, 2007 #7
    although, the military would if it was labeled 'priority'

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aY5OQ5xv9HR8 [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  9. Oct 4, 2007 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I decided long ago that hard core audiofiles are all imagining things. :biggrin:
     
  10. Oct 4, 2007 #9

    Integral

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    while sitting on the couch with a laptop I lost control.. It (the laptop) went bonkers, when I got it all back the title to this thread hqd been deleted! I just barely saw it, I know it was about James Blandi. Sorry for the disruption!

    Ok, I now have my contacts in and have corrected my other error. It is Randi, not Blandi....sheesh Murphy has me by the....
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  11. Oct 4, 2007 #10
    I've bought Monster S-Video Cable, 30ft for $30 on ebay :)
     
  12. Oct 4, 2007 #11

    turbo

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    I have only owned one Monster Cable. It was a free upgrade for my fairly pricey vocal mike. No biggie, but it was a nice heavy cable that resisted tangling on stage.

    I have a pretty impressive stereo, and my speakers are fed through the largest-diameter zip-cord that will fit in the connectors. Having built, restored, and repaired quite a number of tube amps over the years, I can tell you that the speaker wire is about the last thing I'd lose sleep over. Much more important is the quality of the components early on in the signal chain, because signal degradation cause by such components gets amplified over and over again.
     
  13. Oct 4, 2007 #12

    mgb_phys

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    http://www.audaud.com/audaud/MAY01/EQUIP/equip1MAY01.html only $2000.
    They were even testing them on a CD transport!
    ( a cd player that puts out the digital data stream for the amp to turn into analogue.)
     
  14. Oct 4, 2007 #13

    Moonbear

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    I wonder if Randi considered that it would be cheaper to buy the $7250 cable and find out for himself if it's any better than to pay someone else $1 million for their opinion.
     
  15. Oct 4, 2007 #14

    turbo

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    Randi isn't a dummy. I think his money is pretty safe. Like I said, I've spent a lot of time and effort fixing up tube amps. Randi is safe and the chislers are dead.
     
  16. Oct 4, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    IMO, Randi owes the decendents of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen, one million dollars.
     
  17. Oct 4, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    That, or he's a partner in the company selling the cables and stands to make more than $1million if people are inspired by this scheme to run out and buy these cables just to see if they can get $1 million for just a $7250 investment. :biggrin:
     
  18. Oct 11, 2007 #17

    FredGarvin

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    I was laughing about this with an EE friend of mine from NY. He just sent me a link to this story from EDN news (make sure to press "skip add" if the story doesn't pop up):

    http://www.edn.com/blog/1700000170/post/1150015315.html

    They also mention a couple other dandies that have come from the audiophile ranks. My new personal favorite is the cryogenic outlets.
     
  19. Oct 11, 2007 #18
    "Imagination without knowledge is ignorance waiting to happen."

    Einstein et. al actually knew stuff and where pretty skilled at what they did. I find it hard to accept this here.
     
  20. Oct 11, 2007 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    My point is that entanglement might as well be called supernatural. We certainly don't have a mechanism to explain it, and I think it qualifies by any standard that Randi uses for his sham prize.
     
  21. Oct 11, 2007 #20

    russ_watters

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    I think you mean subjective, but in any case, you can always do a double-blind taste-test and see which tests better. I'd also be willing to bet money (not a million dollars) that the difference is not statistically significant.
     
  22. Oct 11, 2007 #21
    Except that it is not. Mechanism or not, it can be investigated and measured through experimental observations. If it can, it cannot possibly be supernatural, since that would, per definition, be outside the realm of science and its methodology of investigation.

    Actually, Randi is not the judge on attempts made to win the prize. It is an independent third part.

    http://www.randi.org/research/index.html
     
  23. Oct 11, 2007 #22

    Ivan Seeking

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    That is a completely arbitrary definition. In fact it is at the root of the sham. What you are are effectively saying is that any phenomenon that can't easily be studied isn't real. That, or you are arbitrarily defining what is and isn't real before you start.

    It just happens that entanglement is easily reproduced, but if it isn't magic, then tell me exactly how it works - describe the physical mechanism.

    And who selects the contestants?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  24. Oct 11, 2007 #23
    It is not an a priori assertion. I am saying that a phenomena that can be studied is a part of the natural world, and science is therefore applicable, thus not making it supernatural. I do not assert the inverse of this. Just because a phenomena cannot be studied right now says nothing about is realness.

    That is the point - it is not magic because it is easily and accurately reproduced without any deception.

    Anyone can apply to have their claim tested. No restrictions whatsoever. This public statement is just a way for him to ask if the proponent of a specific claim would like to apply.
     
  25. Oct 11, 2007 #24

    Ivan Seeking

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    So then you agree that we have no clear line between natural and supernatural, and in any given case, it may only a matter of whether or not a phenomenon is easily studied.

    It is a real phenomenon that has no natural explanation. Therefore, by any science that we have, it is supernatural.

    That doesn't mean a claim will be accepted for the challenge.

    I hereby challenge Randi and am making the claim that supernatural phenomena exists, and that entanglement is the proof. Do you think I'll be hearing from Randi? Or do I need to fill out a form? With whom do I get to argue my point if I don't hear back?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  26. Oct 11, 2007 #25
    Supernatural simply means that something is above nature.

    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/supernatural

    "of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe"

    Entanglement is not related to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe, since it can indeed be observed in a rigorous setting. We can currently not explain the exact mutation of avian flu into a global pandemic. We can (and have) observed it, but not explain it yet completely. Does that make it supernatural? I would say no.

    There is only one way to find out.
     
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