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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 25, 2013/ 17 Tamuz, 5773

MP3, Camera Phones and the Price of Convenience

By Dennis Prager





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was in high school, I went without lunch for a month in order to pay for my first stereo system.

When I was in college and graduate school (late '60s and early '70s), my friends and I would brag to each other about the stereo systems we had just purchased.

Friends would come over to hear our latest amps, preamps, speakers, record players, and even cartridges and needles.

"Listen to that bass!"

"Pretty clear sound, huh?"

Our love of stereo was a result of two factors:

First, nearly all of us had listened to live music. And we wanted to approximate that experience at home.

Second, you had to own a stereo system -- meaning at the very least, a record player, speakers and a receiver (a unit that combined a radio tuner, amplifier, and preamplifier) -- in order to hear recorded music.

Neither of these factors exists today.

With regard to live music, it is likely that most Americans under the age of 35 have never or nearly never heard instruments that were not electrified; they have probably never heard instruments other than acoustic and electrical guitars, drums and electronic keyboard. They therefore do not know what most musical instruments really sound like. So why would they care about getting a sound system that sounds "real?"

Moreover, the music on which this last generation was raised does not consist of much melody. Its appeal lies in beat, loudness and lyrics. And since the music is often electronically synthesized, it hardly demands sophisticated playback equipment. Those who were weaned on The Beatles, on the other hand, wanted equipment that enabled one to hear all the inner musical lines and, of course, the voices of The Beatles themselves.

Regarding the second factor: With the advent of digital music, the iPod and smartphones, few young people even know of the existence of stereo systems. An iPod or iPhone and ten-dollar ear buds is their musical reproduction universe.

Moreover, MP3 files compress music. The typical MP3 file is a recording of 128 to 192 kilobytes per second (kbps). The typical compact disc is recorded at 1411 kbps. One gets many times more "information" from a compact disc than from an MP3. When you also consider the awful earphones through which young people listen to their music, the difference is so great that even those who have never heard a quality recording can tell the difference when first hearing music on a good system. They are amazed. That's why it often takes just one hearing to convert many people into "audiophiles." But few have that experience.

Think of listening to an MP3 file on an iPod device with cheap ear buds -- compared to listening to an uncompressed file (even on an iPod) with good headphones, let alone listening to a good stereo system -- as looking at a black and white photograph of a color painting.

As a music lover, I treasure the ability to approximate the sound of live music, of all types, in my home. I therefore attend audio shows to see and hear the latest equipment and talk to fellow audiophiles. But I am always sad to see virtually no one there under the age of 50. The young people who are there are those who design and sell stereo equipment, not prospective buyers.

A similar movement toward mediocrity is taking place in photography. Even though even inexpensive cameras are getting better and better, camera stores are reporting a decrease in camera sales -- for the same reason that people prefer inferior music reproduction: Convenience trumps excellence.

Smartphones certainly take better pictures than they used to, but their virtue lies entirely in convenience. And this is not to be dismissed. When my son sends me a video of my grandson, I am thrilled to watch it no matter what the quality.

But unless one is shooting a still subject in daylight -- and most pictures of people are taken indoors in low lighting -- a camera phone usually takes mementos, not beautiful photographs.

The prices paid for convenience, in both music and photography, are excellence and beauty.

No one is at fault here. There are no bad guys. But people need to be aware of what is happening. Young people are paying a price. Phone cameras are to photography, and MP3s and cheap earbuds are to music, what texting is to writing.

They are living a convenient life. But not a deep one. And they don't even know it.


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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.


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