Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Weekend Cyber Ramble ~ Cables & Earplugs & Eloi - Oh my! (No astro).

Come with me on a cyber ramble.

There is available at Amazon a set of speaker cables (makes a change from Wikileaks cables about which trillions of words are being written as I type) for the knock-down price of $6,800 “eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.” Ye gods! For that price I'd expect the cables to be delivered within hours by helicopter, landed on the front yard, brought to the front door by Sam Elliott.

Simple souls, like me, will be thinking, what could cause cables to cost so much?
“Dielectric Bias System (DBS) (US patent 7,126,055): Greatly improved performance is made possible by a constant 72 volt charge on all K2’s insulation. Similar to how the earth’s magnetic field makes all compasses point north, the AQ DBS system creates an electrostatic field which causes the molecules of the insulation to all point in the same direction. This minimizes the multiple nonlinear time-delays. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast.”
What is to be found in a review of said cables is the gem in this though. It was posted by "Patrick" and is too good to be buried in the Caverns of Amazon. It warrants inclusion in a book of science fiction mini-stories!

We live underground. We speak with our hands. We wear the earplugs all our lives.

PLEASE! You must listen! We cannot maintain the link for long... I will type as fast as I can.


We were fools, fools to develop such a thing! Sound was never meant to be this clear, this pure, this... accurate. For a few short days, we marveled. Then the... whispers... began.

Were they Aramaic? Hyperborean? Some even more ancient tongue, first spoken by elder races under the red light of dying suns far from here? We do not know, but somehow, slowly... we began to UNDERSTAND.

No, no, please! I don't want to remember! YOU WILL NOT MAKE ME REMEMBER! I saw brave men claw their own eyes out... oh, god, the screaming... the mobs of feral children feasting on corpses, the shadows MOVING, the fires burning in the air! The CHANTING!


We live underground. We speak with our hands. We wear the earplugs all our lives.

Do not use the cables!.

Wonderful! Thanks "Patrick" wherever you are.
If we ramble on a little further, there's more.

On the forum, (Making Light),where I had somehow run into Patrick's tale, a comment followed it:
"Somewhere in our brave new century, somebody actually pays nearly $1,000 a foot for speaker cable. And somewhere else, people toil anonymously to write things like that review. One can see the rough emerging outlines of Eloi and Morlocks—but not which is which."

This led me to refresh my memory of H.G.Wells' great novel The Time Machine.
By the year 802,701 CE, humanity has evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi are the child-like, frail group, living a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth, while the Morlocks live underground, tending machinery and providing food, clothing and infrastructure for the Eloi. Each class evolved and degenerated from humans. The novel suggests that the separation of species may have been the result of a widening split between different social classes, a theme that reflects Wells' sociopolitical opinions.

The main difference from their earlier ruler-worker state is that, while the Morlocks continue to support the world's infrastructure and serve the Eloi, the Eloi have undergone significant physical and mental deterioration. Having solved all problems that required strength, intelligence, or virtue, they have slowly become dissolute and naive. They are described as being smaller than modern humans, having shoulder-length curly hair, chins that ran to a point, large eyes, small ears, and small mouths with bright red thin lips. They are of sub-human intelligence, though apparently intelligent enough to speak, and they have a primitive language.

While one initially has the impression that the Eloi people live a life of play and toil-less abundance, it is revealed that the Morlocks are attending to the Eloi's needs for the same reason a farmer tends cattle; the Morlocks use the Eloi for food.
And I thought ........ Mr. Wells over-estimated that date at 802,701 CE. We seem to be heading rapidly in the direction of the outer reaches of what he described, even now as we come to the end of 2010. It's fun to decide who will, eventually, be the eater and who the eaten.


anyjazz said...

Fun stuff tws.

Never in the history of mankind have we been so simultaneously educated and mystified.

Wisewebwoman said...

Do not mock, do not laugh. My friend S who died last year (I did a post on him) had such cables, or the precursor 2010 edition.
Nay, verily, I do not enjoy the tiny burps, breaths and possible farts of the conductor or singer diluting my hearing pleasure.
Bring on the heathen Bose.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~ I thought so too. :-D

Oh, I'm not sure about that - I think man has been mystified ever since the first humanoid looked upward. We're just at a more advanced chapter of the mystification manual. ;-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Good heavens, did he? Oh my!

I'm a dum-dum when it comes to the finer things in sound. I have trouble distinguishing mono from stereo to tell the truth, and I never did think that cds were any better than audio tapes or LPs - though all do have an advantage over 38rpm records I grew up with 'cos they don't break. :-)

Kaleymorris said...

I discovered you can also buy uranium from Amazon. The review threads for that item are very amusing.

R J Adams said...

Oh, audiophile simpleton you, are you not aware that cables are the most important ingredient in the high-fidelity chain? There was a time we all used bell-wire and blamed the shrill treble and rumbling bass (if any at all) on the amplifier or recording medium. Then, some enterprising, criminally-minded, individual stole a load of heavy copper wire from the local scrapyard, connected up his speakers and we all fell over backwards with shock at the amazing clarity. Suddenly, Callas stopped sounding like an old tabby on the tiles at mating time, and Mick Jagger didn't really have a permanent head cold after all.
The hi-fi industry always did have its silly end of the market, though. $6,800 for an eight foot pair? That's $425 per foot length. The source recordings aren't sufficiently good to warrant anything so exotic. And who said CDs were superior to vinyl? Whoever it was, they were wrong.
If the Morlocks want to eat me, they're welcome. They'll find me mighty tough.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~~~ I can well imagine! Thanks - I'll go there and give it a whirl later. :-)

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Nope! Had no idea.
Thanks for the quick and entertaining lesson in audio though. :-D.

Those criminally-minded types have their uses after all. I bet that on his way from the scrapyard he stole all the lead off the church roof too - for what nefarious purpose I dare not guess.

If an LP is in "as new" condition I don't suppose it could better a cd, soundwise - but they used to warp and scratch easily as I recall.

And cassette tapes would stretch and tangle themselves around the equipment. So on a purely practical, non-audio level, cds have to come out best. Thumb prints are the worst that usually happens to 'em, and easily rectified. :-)