Except for people that suffer from a specific disease, all the above statements are pure unadulterated BS.
See the issue with that quote is what it really applies to is this:
I also remember well the first time I told my friends that changing a power cable in an amplifier made a significant difference, and not only that, you had to break in the cable for a couple of months and the sound got even better. They were about to take me to see a Psychiatrist. That is, until I gave them a demonstration and they all immediately heard the difference.
Namely, this is total BS. And the fact he doesn't realize it is BS calls into question the entire article - despite the fact that some of his points are in fact quite true everything he says, especially his observations must be called into question when you've read the above quote. There was an argument about analogy. This is in fact a vital analogy. By analogy to his "audiophile" perception we understand he cannot objectively evaluate things. He suffers from placebo effects and bias. And he's not alone - we all suffer from them
. The key is to understand they exist and how to control them, not to ascribe these flaws in human perception to a $700 power cable. He is not a reliable observer, evaluator or tester. He does not understand his own (everyone's) basic limitations. He is, intentionally or not, a complete fraud in this regard. No one should put any
value in his visual observations or trust any
experiment or demonstration he publishes. That simple. He has devalued himself as an evaluator completely
Someone said he's rich, I suppose that is why he hasn't taken this claim to the Randi foundation and collected the $1M prize money currently held in escrow for any "audiophile" who can distinguish an expensive power cord from home depot power cord in a independently run double blind study. Maybe some of the friends he "proved" it to aren't as rich as him and would like the million instead. Keep this in mind - his power cable claim is of the same veracity as those who claim paranormal powers. If he or is friends are right, and not simply deluded by the complexities of human perception in the face of bias and placebo effects, there is $1M out there for the taking. Neither he nor anyone else has taken it. That speaks volumes. If you believe what Mark is claiming then you should go consult your psychic for lottery numbers. His claim is really that ludicrous.
Mark may have degrees, and he may have passion, what he fundamentally lacks is knowledge
of human perception. He waxes poetic about how "everything matters" and he is in fact wrong. Many things don't matter at all. Yes, human perception is impressive - but it is not unlimited
and it is definitely corruptible
which is why we have double blind studies of which Mark is completely ignorant apparently. Mark obviously willfully ignores this and as a result I sincerely believe his article is a net negative addition to the community. It does not add any value, in fact it probably detracts. It is sloppy, misleading and misguided. And this is sort of sad, lost in the ridiculous claims and flawed demonstrations are some salient points. They aren't novel or new points, we've all seen them made before, but they are worth repeating and could be woven into an interesting article. As written it smells of Ken Rockwell swill just meant to generate controversy by being passionately wrong.
Writing and teaching on subject means understanding it, not just being passionate about it. Being passionate and wrong is not a virtue. I have trouble understanding why anyone here would defend such a position.
Please, Michael, if you want this site to degrade into "Stereophile" magazine and be a laughing stock invite Mark back to write on technical matters. Otherwise I suggest you let him find another outlet or at least apply some sane editing to his articles. If someone thinks this is "passion" and is "admirable" I'm going to suggest that they consider "passion" applies to "art" and not to observable quantities.
Perhaps a positive solution would be to direct Mark to write some passionate articles about the art of photography? He clearly is passionate about things and photography is one of them. I suspect he could write something about composition, or photographic inspiration, or interpretation of a scene that would be passionately presented and even if "controversial" would generate some positive and useful discussion. Or since he likes MF so much I'd suspect a great article would be on how shooting MF changes how you shoot and perceive the scene. In my opinion cameras really do matter to how photographers interact creatively with the medium - I bet Mark could write an interesting and passionate article on that subject. I have no doubt he gets better images from his MF work - even at small reproduction scales - but that probably has everything to do with how he shoots with MF compared to how he shoots with a smaller camera. That would be very interesting to explore and write on. I don't think anyone would call into question his qualifications to do that. But really, leave the ridiculous claims of paranormal abilities on the editing room floor - they degrade the relationship between the author and the audience.