Thursday, May 13, 2004

The burden of knowledge

At the most recent pub quiz I attended, my team was leading going into the final question, but got stuck on the question: "What 1940 film was the first to have a stereo soundtrack?" The answer: "Fantasia."

So why was this so hard? Well, genius that I am, remembered that classical music hadn't been released on LP in actual stereo until the mid-1950's. However, as it turns out, the sountrack was not recorded in stereo. Instead, the illusion of a stereo recording was made by recording different parts of the orchestra onto separate tracks, and then mixing the results to produce stereo effects for the speakers. As it turns out, many people did not actually get to hear the stereo recordings, because of the expense of the system required to create the effect.

So, in other words, we have ourselves a classic example of a "hose," in which those burdened by too much knowledge forget or simply overlook the "obvious" answer which a team less aware of the field might get more easily.


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