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From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Steven C Barr picked up on a thread concerned with the information content
of
material and our possibilities of predicting future needs. And among a lot
of
true things he said:

snip

 For example, if
> someone had been able to record the very earliest speeches of Adolf Hitler,
> and if those recordings had been in the hands of a trained psychiatrist,
the
> latter might have said "This individual must be kept out of public office,
or
> perhaps out of public life!" Chances are the replies would have suggested
that
> the psychiatrist, not Hitler, was the dubious one! Today, if we hear a
current
> politician sounding like Hitler, we can take steps, based on what happened
> 60-70 years ago.

----- this is a good example, however in the early 1980s I had enormous
local
problems with a Danish record collector who was also a historian, or
rather
an eternal student of history at university. He in all seriousness claimed
that the reason Hitler sounded hysterical like he did was entirely due to
his
being reproduced at a speed that was too high. He claimed that in order to
conserve energy during WW2, the German national grid ran at 45 Hz (cps)
rather than the 50 Hz we were used to. How do you disprove a stupid notion
like that? He was not an electrical engineer, so telling him that the only
conservation possible was during the actual winding down the system from
50
to 45, did no good. Telling him that all synchronous motor clocks in
Germany
(and there were a lot) would run slower, so working hours in industry
would
be 10% longer than usual and would be complained about, was no good,
because
the war effort would only be that much higher. I had to go through the
professional literature in order to find _no_ articles on the change,
however
fortunately I did come across an article from during the war, in which the
problems of frequency stability of hydroelectric plants was described
(frequency control was basically water valve control) - and lo-and-behold:
the target frequency was 50 Hz. That, however did not cut any dice with
him.
He knew what he heard from his soundtracks on film. Ah, film! Fortunately
the
Klangfilm outfit had a "portable" set of equipment, and they had a
synchronous motor drive for 24 fps run off a battery. And again "lo-and-
behold", the frequency converter was a centrifugal switch, target
frequency
50 Hz. By then I did not care about the disproved historian any more, I
had
enough to denounce him publicly if need be, which I have now done again,
although he later died of a brain tumour, which may have affected his
judgement, if not his hearing.

Kind regards,


George