Phil made a good point in a comment at Zak Avery’s blog: it’s fine to admit that some people know more about some things than some other people. When we need to buy new gadgets or computers, we ring Bailey’s brother; when we want help with our German, we ask Boak’s mum; and, bless them, when our friends want advice about beer, they ask us. In those conversations, no-one is ‘lording it’ over anyone else. (We hope.)
Having said that, we’ve been on the receiving end of advice like this more than once: “If you’re not going to buy a system with separate components, you might as well listen to your music on a transistor radio. And you can’t sit your speakers flat on that shelf — you need spikes. It’s going to cost you several thousand pounds, or it’s not worth bothering at all. I can’t bear to listen to music on your current setup, actually — can’t you hear that digital distortion? Can’t you hear it? There! Listen! Argh!” &c..
Our sincere response? “It sounds fine to us.” We end up with a £120 all-in-one stereo from Curry’s and we’re perfectly happy with it.
Maybe some people simply can’t taste the difference between good and bad beer, however often they try? If that’s the case, it doesn’t make them idiots — it makes them lucky.
Our suspicion? We probably could learn to appreciate high-end audio if we really wanted to, but we don’t: it’s an expensive habit…
Picture by Jordanhill School, from Flickr Creative Commons.