FINPROF

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About FINPROF

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  • Birthday 06/21/1950

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  1. I went to Christie's on Sunday with a friend who is also a player. There was a real professional who was trying out the "high-end" violins, including the del Jesu in the glass case by itself. To me, it looked more like an Amati than a del Jesu. It is much prettier in person than in the photos. The sound is not like an Amati, however. Of all the violins we tried, I liked the Testore (lot 250) the best. It was very open and clean. Its downside is inked-on purfling on the back. You can tell from the photo where the ink is missing from the bottom of the back. There weren't many people at Christie's which made it a really good trip for us. The only downer was that we didn't check whether Tarisio was open before we went to Tarisio.
  2. The best magazine shop is Avril 15 on Sansom Street near the University of Pennsylvania. It has a lot of more obscure magazines than STRAD. The Priceton Barnes and Noble carries STRAD, so I wouldn't be surprised if Philadelphia Barnes and Noble does also.
  3. Some German bows tend to the heavy side. Dollings usually run around 64. They feel strong, but not heavy. If your Bausch feels good that is all that matters.
  4. quote: Originally posted by: yuen Why anyone want to make a fiddle (or violin)? I got one answer from someone, "the shop charges too much". Is that a real reason? It is more the satisfaction of doing it yourself rather than saving money. Let's say it takes a skilled amker 100 hours to build a violin. That would mean it would take me 200 hours to build a violin and the results woudl be worse. If my violin is worth $1000, that means that my time is $5 an hour. I could do better by selling hamburgers in McDonalds. As a fly fisherman, I tie my own flies. It takes me 20-30 minutes to tie a fly that I could buy for $2.00, so I am making less than $5 an hour. But there is a special satisfaction to catching a fish on a fly that you tied yourself. I'll bet there is a special statisfaction to playing on a violin that you made yourself.
  5. More likely, the journalist who wrote the story had heard of Crimea but not Cremona.
  6. quote: Originally posted by: mom2olivia Her teachers is a conservatory trained, professional, Russian, violinist so her perspective is probably not mainstream. Wendy My teacher is also Russian, with a Masters from the Moscow conservatory, who plays with Spivakov's group Moscow Virtuosi. He said that he was not qualified to teach viola and can't read alto clef. One of the members of my quartet plays both viola and violin. He likes the flexibility but says that under pressure he will get confused in which clef he is in and start playing the viola in treble clef notes. Personally, I would get treble clef down cold before I tried to take on another clef.
  7. Regarding the ratio of price to bow and price to violin, it varies all over the place. I paid 50% more for my bow than my violin. I have a decent violin and a great bow. The disease was probably contacted from my teacher. He has a non-name, but pretty good Italian violin and a Simon bow. For a backup 3/4 bow, get a $30 Glasser or P&H fiberglass bow. If you want to splurge, a Glasser composite for maybe $85. Save your money for the 4/4 violin and bow, which is coming sooner than you think. Kids grow very fast while they are in the 3/4 size. Get her a really good primary 4/4 bow and another fiberglass backup. Right now my viola-playing stepson is using his backup Glasser fiberglass viola bow while the tip plate on his regular bow gets repaired.
  8. You might be able to get the stink out with some of the newer enzymatic pet odor controllers. Cat urine is one of the most difficult smells to remove, but this stuff works sometimes. A college friend just received a new Eddie Bauer Kara Koram goose down sleeping bag - top of the line at the time- and the cat sprayed it while he was taking it out of the mailing box. He got the smell out of the goose down eventually.
  9. Since you are looking for a viola bow, I would suggest looking into a Jon Vanderhorst. The viola players tend to like him. Like Sue Lipkins and her bass bows, Jon specializes in viola. My son's viola teacher has one. It is a very nice bow and cured her of BAS forever. Johnson String Instrument has one of Jon's bows for $2800. Also, do you ever get a chance to get to Taipei. There are a bunch of good dealers there, including now the Beckers. Most of the inventory is sold in both the US and Taiwan so prices seem to be similar.
  10. The bowmaker that I use warned me that long hair could put pressure on the button side of the mortise. Then, when the button is tightened the frog eyelet could bottom out on the back of the mortise. Short hair is something she never warned me against.
  11. quote: Originally posted by: yuen PS. By the way, a brand new Steinway grand is very expensive. How much is it? My daughter was looking for a Steiway last month but ended up a non-Steinway. She did not tell me how much. About 8 years ago my wife and I bought a four-year old Steinway M for $16,000. It is still indistinguishable from new and has a great action and terrific tone, very nice, even among Steinways. We found a couple in the process of divorcing who was getting rid of their jointly owned property. Look for a motivated seller. There are probably some affluent folks whose kids have gone off to college or who are downsizing into a smaller home.
  12. Hi Miles; It would be a bit tedious to respond to all nine questions, but I hope that I can clarify my position and yours, while responding to some of the questions in a roundabout way. The basic premise you present is that capitalism is flawed because capitalistic decision makers ignore social costs in their decisions and create negative externalities. For those netters who might be reading this, here is a nice Wikipedia quote: "Environmental pollution is an example of a social cost that is seldom borne completely by the polluter thereby creating a negative externality." That is, the polluter has an incentive to pollute because others suffer the costs of that pollution while teh polluter avoids most of those costs. My position is that ignoring social costs and creating negative externalities are not limited to capitalistic decision makers. I gave couple of examples of externalities created owner/workers in atomistic industries where decisions made by individuals also tend to ignore social costs as well. You responded by claiming that the farmers and fishermen were forced into this behavior by large corporations. Then I gave some examples of negative externalities presented by my own behavior, which were not forced on me by some mega-corporation. I gave some examples of my behavior only to show that individuals frequently create externalities through their own behavior. If you want to know why people behave like that, perhaps the best answer comes from quoting Bill Clinton: "Because I could". If we knew more about you we could probably find examples of negative externalities created by your behavior, or anyone else's for that matter. I believe that ignoring social costs is endemic in human behavior and certainly not a product of the capitalistic system. Humans were creating externalities when we lived in caves and we will be creating externalities if we return to living in caves. You are correct in stating that ignoring social costs is reflected in the decisions made by corporate managers, but fail to realize (apparently) that ignoring social costs is also reflected in decisions made by most everyone else as well. If capitalism is replaced by some other economic system, human behavior won't change. This is a rather depressing thought for those of you who believe that socialism will cure all of the world's ills. It is also why I believe that there is no natural linkage between capitalism and environmental problems. To answer some of the other questions in a roundabout manner: You indicated in an earlier post that you have become a naturalized American citizen and perhaps presumed that I am one. Although I expect to take out US citizenship in the near future, I was not born in the US and am not a US citizen. My wife is a US citizen, but she was also born outside the US (Taiwan) and graduated from university there before coming to the US for graduate study. We are both college professors, which allows us to take advantage of a large network of former colleagues and students all around the world to take junkets and visiting positions all over the world. Americans tend to be in the minority in our field, which is somewhat technical and requires a lot of math and stat, so we work primarily with non-Americans. We also live in a community that has a high proportion of recent immigrants, albeit highly educated and high-income immigrants. The mayor is also from Taiwan and the high school is about 30% Asian and Indian. My wife feels very comfortable in this community and so do I. Not that it matters to anything. We have both seen how people live outside the US. In our travels I was somewhat aghast at the pollution in some of the Eastern European and Asian countries that I consider to be strongly influenced by socialist philosophy, although you might not consider them to be true socialist countries. Please note that I didn't ask any questions and refrained from quoting any previous posts. I hope my position and yours are very clear.
  13. Hi Banzai: The sustainability of capitalism is not at issue here. There still hasn't been any evidence shown by anyone here linking capitalism to ecological problems. There are lots of environmental problems, but I am not going to blame them on CEOs. I commute 45 miles each way to work in order to live in a town with good schools and low crime. That commute and that of my neigbors, many of whom commute farther isn't helping the environment any. I put all kinds of chemicals on my lawn to keep the trees and grass nice. Those chemicals will eventually wind up in the ocean as will all the chemicals that my neighbors use. It would be nice to blame everything on those CEOs, but the combined activites of 4 billion people affect the earth much more than 500 CEOs. You mention FDR using the New Deal to save capitalism during the depression. You must be aware that Hitler rallied Germany out of worse economic problems by rallying his countrymen against the Jews and the bankers. It is always easier to blame "those other guys - not us". It worked in Germany and it might work again, except this time against the captains of industry, as you predict. Don't you think it is ironic that you quote Ray Anderson, who is a CEO himself and one of those "captains of industry who will be regarded as criminals"? Perhaps also that Bean quotes Hawken, another CEO and entrepreneur? Will they be strung up alongside Ted Turner and Warren Buffet? The thing that I can definitely agree with you is that it is reprehensible to kill sea turtles in order to make an attractive luxury. Or an elephant for their ivory, or bears for their paws that are believed to be an aphrodisiac in some cultures. I also think that buying attractive luxuries from dead sea turtles or ivory from dead elephants or paws from dead bears is morally reprehensible as well.
  14. quote: Originally posted by: miles[ Agreed, but the point is still missing. Putting species on the protection list is only a band-aid, not a solution. I wonder whether you checked out the links bean_fidhleir and I put up in this thread. q} After reading both articles I must be still missing the point because I still fail to see any linkage between capitalism and the environmental problems discussed in either article. The LA Times article is pretty explicit about the problems caused by over-fishing and by fertilizer runoff into the oceans. However, the fishing industry and the agricultural industry are Karl Marx's idea of economic justice, where the workers own the factors of production. Fishing is primarily done by an individual who owns a single boat and works on that boat hauling in the nets. Likewise farming is primarily done by someone who owns a piece of land and works that land every day. Both the fisherman and the farmer are in a very dangerous business that is not highly profitable, so it isn't too surprising that they are more concerned about survival than their contribution to fertilizer runoff or overfishing. But blaming their actions on capitalism, or greedy CEOs is entirely incorrect. In their business the worker and the owner are the same - Karl Marx's dream come true.
  15. quote: Originally posted by: bean_fidhleirCapitalism as practiced is based on the belief that the world is both an inexaustible garden and an uncloggable sewer. As Paul Hawken among others has illuminated, capitalism refuses to account for all its costs. The costs expressed as pollution are ignored, but pollution cleanup is considered a positive value, which is crazy! q] Thank you for clearing up the confusion on the original post. As Miles indicates, the intent was to criticize capitalism generally rather than the US specifically. We live in a very global economy and a very global environment that has eliminated many of the sharp distinctions in economics and/or culture that might have been present at one time. As Tom Friedman indicates, the world has become flat. There is still some confusion, however, in the quote from Paul Hawken. It is not capitalism, per se, that refuses to account for all of its costs but rather the standard system of national income accounting practiced by capitalist and socialist countries alike. GDP is calculated using exactly the same metrics in the US and Russia and China and Sweden and India and Venezuela. The means of calculating GDP does not imply that leaders in any of these countries completely ignore pollution effects in decision making, since the President, or dictator, or Prime Minister or House of Commons, or whatever is not charged solely with maximizing GDP. Furthermore it would be difficult to develop any clear relationship between pollution levels and the form of governance or ownership of production. It would be intereststing to find such a study. Anecdotally it is easy to find socialist dictatorships that are very polluting and that are very "green" and democratic capitalist countries that are very polluting and that are very "green". Prohibition of importation of sea turtle shell and of ivory is shared by capitalist and socialist countries. I believe that the US and most of the European countries have banned importation of these items.