This probably expresses the argument in the "recorded authenticity" section of my dissertation better than what I actually wrote:
At our best, audiophiles are the selfless and generous custodians of a thousand small libraries, keeping alive not only music's greatest recorded moments but the art of listening itself. At our worst, we are self-absorbed, superannuated rich kids, locked in an endless turd-hurl over who has the best toys.
With maybe a little more of an emphasis on the latter half.
Speaking of my dissertation, you may be wondering why I paused blog publication of said tome way back in March.
Well, as it turns out, the internet is not a totally useless phenomenon. Among the three or four people who actually read what I did publish was a (very kind) professional literary agent, who contacted me with an offer to help get the thing published in book form.
And though I was, I guess, part of that dying breed of grad students who wrote a dissertation because I thought it was fun, I quickly discovered in the wake of this inquiry that the idea of trying to find a wider audience through traditional publishing channels (ironic though that may seem in today's digital world) appealed to me greatly.
So I am currently in the throes of editing and revising the thing in the hopes of making it into less of a dissertation, and more of a book. (And if, in the end, it turns out we can't get it published as a book, I will eventually finish what I started via the blog.)
Add to that all the work I'm doing to prepare the next edition of the IJG, to be unveiled on August 19, and this is turning out to be a busy summer indeed.