Occupy Hi-Fi Part III: The Mission, The Music, and Worthless Distractions

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Michael Mercer writes: I wasn’t going to write this piece until Tyll Herstens – a founding father of the personal audio community – wrote and asked to read my mission statement. I was psyched. Especially, because the request followed Tyll’s recent essay, “Mission Trumps Bias”, published on Innerfidelity, a brilliant response to a blog post by a younger member of the personal audio community.

In this aforementioned blog post, entitled Review Units Kill the Audio Industry, the member personally called-out Tyll, and it wasn’t exactly a complementary mention – but that’s not the point. Besides, I think the whole premise is nuts. Do the test drivers at Road and Track buy the Porsche they’re test-driving? I could go on for days there, but the bottom line was that a younger reviewer, with far less experience than Tyll, was taking a big chance in writing a shit-starting essay about how gear review kills the industry.

Let me be clear: I don’t believe the author had any malicious intent with this article. However, I don’t think he thought long-term about the way he shared his work. He didn’t just post in on his own blog, of which he is completely free to do. He also posted it as a thread in a forum at Head-Fi.org – the largest personal audio community/forum-based website. The other person he wrote about? It was the founder of that very website, Jude Mansilla! And Jude is another pillar of the personal audio community. Now, I don’t want to get involved in the personal and petty matches that crop up on the Internet amongst the press. Why? Because it’s self-absorbed bullshit, that’s why. As music and audio writers, I believe it’s our job to try and turn our readers on. Serve the readership. That’s the only priority.

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