THE ANSTENDIG INSTITUTE: HOW IT BENEFITS THE PUBLIC
© 1983 The Anstendig Institute
THE ANSTENDIG INSTITUTE is a research institute that investigates the vibrational influences in our lives. It researches sight, sound, and mechanical vibrations, and how we perceive and are affected by them. Although these phenomena are all basic to human life, adequate means of studying them in a scientifically controlled manner were, until recently, only available in the field of sight.
For centuries, there has been accurate research in the field of sight because it has always been possible to preserve and manipulate visual phenomena, and, by placing the preserved images next to each other, to study them by means of the only precise capability of any of our senses, direct comparison. This ability to compare adjacent visual impressions eliminates the undependability of our memory, which is the major problem in achieving accurate comparison and evaluation of sensory perceptions. Definitive treatises on the various aspects of sight and color have existed throughout modern history, but there are major misunderstandings that remain to be clarified in optics, photography, and television--fields that greatly affect every member of the public either directly or indirectly.
There is a conspicuous absence of definitive treatises on hearing because a sound, being a flow in time, is gone the instant it happens and the ability to reproduce sound-vibrations with adequate fidelity is very new. Prior to this century, it was impossible to repeat the same sounds exactly. The advent of recordings made it possible to repeat sounds, but those sounds were a gross distortion of the original. First insights into the peculiarities of our hearing, which proved the need for soundequalization in all sound-reproduction, were gained before 1940 in the famous Bell Telephone Laboratory experiments by Fletcher and Munson. But these insights were neither adequately pursued in further research nor incorporated into audio products because the means for further investigation--especially in meaningful, real-life test situations--were not available.
Research in sound and psychoacoustics has generally been limited to pure noise and artificially manufactured test-tones that have little relevance to the way we actually hear because they never occur in real-life. During the last decade, the advent of frequency equalizers and analyzers that can, at will, change and analyze the characteristics of sound have provided the means to reproduce sounds accurately and to manipulate them for research purposes. with the help of these devices, The Anstendig Institute has been able to conduct its research under circumstances that are the same as real-life listening. The results highlight many faults in current thinking in the fields of sound-reproduction and acoustics.
The Anstendig Institute's particular contribution to the fields of sight and sound is in pointing out that we are strongly affected physically by sight and particularly sound vibrations. But the unique contribution of The Anstendig Institute's research is in directing the attention of science, industry and the public at large to the fact that we are now profoundly affected by the vibrations from the machines and other man-made devices that have entered our lives. This is particularly timely because the public is becoming increasingly alert to the disturbances and dangers of various influences around them, as demonstrated by the recent interest in controlling noise-pollution and loud sound-reproduction, which are physically unsettling in addition to being dangerous to our hearing.
The Anstendig Institute wants to emphasize that many of its research findings have implications of particular importance for all of the fine arts and for aesthetic experience in general. We wholly concur with ~ Lincoln Center Institute that "the capacity through which people create and perceive beauty is one which people need to explore...and that understanding and valuing this capacity--in themselves and in others--is a critical part of learning and, in fact, of life itself." We perceive beauty through the senses, particularly sight and hearing. Our institute's work in these fields has enormous potential for improving the quality of aesthetic experience, and many of our papers are the first to provide explanations of the causes of important, well-known phenomena that make up the aesthetic experience.
THE ANSTENDIG INSTITUTE's research deals with basic, unavoidable factors of every human being's life: how we hear, see, or otherwise experience our senses and how external vibrations affect our lives. Any new insights into these phenomena that truly add to humanity's understanding of them will obviously benefit the whole public. In each field of research, new insights can illuminate four aspects of vibrational phenomena:
1) The sources of the phenomena: for example, the characteristics of sound sources (i.e., the radiation characteristics, the equalization, etc.), the characteristics of machines (whether they run evenly or erratically, coarsely or finely, etc.), the characteristics of lighting and picture-quality.
2) How ~ experience ~ phenomena: i.e., how we hear, see, or otherwise experience our senses.
3) How ~ ~ affected Qy ~ phenomena: the immediately apparent mental and physical responses that sound, sight and other vibrations call forth in us and how we are affected by the quality of these vibrations, i.e. their rhythms, intensity, coarseness, fineness, evenness, etc.
4) How we can control the phenomena: how we can recognize and evaluate the important vibrational influences around us; and how we can improve or eliminate erratic or otherwise undesirable influences that have a negative effect on us.
The work of The Anstendig Institute includes all four aspects in its fields of research. It has already:
1) added substantial new knowledge and insights;
2) made available important facts and insights that were generally unknown or inaccessible;
3) clarified crucial misunderstandings, the ramifications of which permeate all of society;
4) offered specific instructions for the general public, including individuals and organizations, on how to remedy and control the problems covered in our research, as well as how to utilize those of our findings that are appropriate to their lives.
The following are a few examples in each category:
I) NEW KNOWLEDGE
We are the first to emphasize specifically that research and explanations of hearing must be built on the fact that we do not hear the source of a sound; we hear the vibrating of our own bodies after our bodies have been stimulated and caused to vibrate by the vibrations from the sound source. In other words, hearing is first and foremost a physical, not a mental, phenomenon. This principle holds true for sight and the other senses.
We have found that our hearing not only changes in relation to changes in overall volume level, but that it changes over a period of time, and that these changes are in relation to the relaxation of tensions of the body.
We have made new discoveries in how we perceive changes of volume level that have important implications in understanding how we hear.
We have discovered factors other than the loudness of sound that can cause hearing loss.
We have found that we hear the emotional content of recorded music in a distorted manner if the sound-reproduction is not equalized
2) ALREADY EXISTING INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE MADE ACCESSIBLE
Our papers in the photo-optics field all belong to this category. Much of the information was the research of Mr. Anstendig, in collaboration with the inventor Joseph Dahl, during the 1960's, at which time the effects of absolutely focal-point-exact focus were demonstrated for the first time - effects that make necessary a whole new approach to photographing. Mr. Dahl and Mr. Anstendig worked out the solutions to the questions that arise when one can finally focus with absolute precision, questions such as: what part of the subject does one focus on? and, what is the relationship of the impression of depth-of-field to the point of absolute focus?, etc. This material is being made available to the public for the first time by The Anstendig Institute.
We explain that all reproduction of recordings has to be equalized in relation to the overall volume level. This fact is implicit in the results of the Fletcher and Munson experiments, but we are the first to draw the obvious conclusions and perfect a means of achieving the necessary equalization in a form that can be easily demonstrated.
We have made available clear explanations of the factors of acoustics, some of which were known but not available to the public in non-technical, understandable form.
3) CLARIFICATION OF PREVALENT MISUNDERSTANDINGS
Our paper Stereo: A Misunderstanding clarifies gross misunderstandings which are among the great ironies of our time, including the fallacious reasoning upon which the whole concept of stereo is based.
We explain the misunderstanding about depth-of-field. This misunderstanding dominates the whole field of photography, both amateur and professional.
We clarify and explain the grave misunderstandings in the field of acoustics that have already resulted in the construction of multi-million-dollar concert halls based on wrong principles and impossible concepts.
4) INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CONTROL THE VIBRATIONAL INFLUENCES IN OUR LIVES
All of our papers offer specific instructions for improving the quality of our lives and our sense of well-being by controlling the vibrational influences around us.
Our paper on focusing explains how the picture quality of photography, cinema, and television can be immeasurably improved and why it should be.
We instruct the public in simple means of inspecting their surroundings and eliminating disturbing influences, means which can make distinct, even vast differences in their lives.
We will be supplying the University of Massachusetts Medical Center with pre-equalized music for their Department of Educational Resources Inpatient Education Program and will advise and help them technically in their Video Program For Inpatient Education.
Papers instructing the public on how to equalize recordings and how to correct the vibrational problems of automobiles are already in progress.
We refer the reader to our papers themselves for complete explanations and for a complete idea of the scope of our work.
The benefits to the public of scientific research can be direct or indirect, immediate or eventual: direct, through dissemination of the information directly to the individual and through the individual's application of the information to his own personal and business life; indirect, through the incorporation of findings into products that the public uses or concepts and planning that the public is affected by; immediate, through prompt understanding and implementation; or eventual, i.e., long term, through the incorporation of new understandings and insights into future thinking, development, and products, in which case the benefit to the public would come over a period of time.
The potential number of people who could benefit from The Anstendig Institute's work is in the multi-millions. The following are a few examples.
For decades, there have been millions of cameras manufactured per year. Since a camera is usually owned for many years, the present number of camera owners has to be well above 100,000,000. If only 1% were interested in real precision, that would be more than 1,000,000 people. To comprehend the benefit of precise focusing, one need only contemplate the questions that would have been answered if the film of the Kennedy assassination had been sharp. The same benefits would apply to all other uses of photography, including those of science and art.
Owners of some type of sound system or TV who would benefit from our sound research probably outnumber camera owners and the number of people suffering hearing damage, particularly from using headphones, is fast becoming epidemic.
The entertainment industry depends upon photography and sound reproduction; all of the fine arts and the humanities depend upon photography and most of the arts use recordings, whether of music, speech, or other sounds. Accuracy in photography is impossible with current focusing devices. It is universally acknowledged that sound reproduction does not yet sound natural. Equalization is the missing step to make modern recordings sound natural.
The greatest recordings of the past, even those of 50 years ago, can be immeasurably improved. The Anstendig Institute knows how to retrieve these treasures. It is making the necessary instructions available to the public. It is preparing a list of finest quality performances and offers programs of such recordings free of charge to the public.
Good acoustics are necessary in the entertainment industry and the live arts. New concert halls with bad acoustics are ruining the aesthetic experience for whole generations of people. The Anstendig Institute's papers explaining acoustics are unique in that they offer the public, in easily understandable form, professional analysis of concert halls and insights into the defects in acoustical concepts hitherto unavailable to them. The papers detail many basic fallacies in current professional acoustical thinking.
Modern industry is also dependent on photography and sound-reproduction. For example: it uses both media in testing techniques, advertising and documentation; photography is used in product packaging; recordings playa large role in conferences and correspondence; background music is used to establish better working conditions, etc. In photography, The Anstendig Institute is making known the only absolutely exact focusing system in existence, a system that makes it possible to achieve a dependable precision in the informational content of photographs. Modern industry depends on the amount of information that can be retrieved by means of photographic processes and an easy to use, dependably accurate focusing system would revolutionize such industries as advertising, microscopy, etc. In sound-reproduction, the discoveries of our institute are the key to improving the use of music as a sound environment because they show how to eliminate irritating frequency imbalances and to make recordings sound natural. Our discoveries also contribute to an understanding of how we are affected by sound, which is important in order to control the effects of noise pollution from machinery.
The greatest potential benefit of our research lies in the number of people who could improve their everyday lives by learning to control the quality of their vibrational environment. How many people own erratically running refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, ventilating systems, washers, dryers, etc.? How many people own cars that do not or cannot run evenly at idle, and how many of those cars do not even smooth out under gas? (Up to 1982, our institute found only two motors with smog controls that could idle evenly. One model was discontinued in 1980.) All of these cars would benefit from better adjustment if the owners knew it were possible. How many people would buy a car that runs unevenly if they understood that evenness in their bodily rhythms is important to their health and that these rhythms are affected by the way their car runs, or if they knew that it is mechanically wrong and reduces the life of the car if a motor runs erratically? Consider that people ride to work in these erratically running machines, absorb their erratic rhythms and are then expected to perform fine workmanship. They are lucky if their surroundings at work do not contain more vibrational influences just as erratic as their cars. And what does all of this do to their health and feeling of well-being? It is time that the public was made aware of the potential dangers and disruptions of erratically vibrating surroundings.
Considering the important role in all human life of sight, sound, mechanical, and other vibrations that affect us physically, amazingly little is known about how we are influenced by them and what is known is generally not available to the public. Since there have been major activities in these fields long before adequate research was possible, the knowledge that is available is shot-through with misunderstandings, false theses, wrong beliefs, and misrepresentation, which our Institute exposes while supplying the necessary explanations. We at The Anstendig Institute are convinced that clarification of these basic fundamentals of life can do much to improve the world. We feel that we have already made worthwhile contributions to the world's fund of knowledge. This knowledge is available to the whole public with no obligations or exclusions, and we are hard at work at continuing and expanding our research and endeavoring to bring the results of our work to the public.
A listing of all current papers is available upon request.
All papers of The Anstendig Institute are available to the public free of charge.