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Quite a few of you seem offended at my postings. But I will tell you that I take perhaps an hour or more per posting. And it is taking a lot of valuable time. I would rather not do it if all I get is superscilious responses.

I can offer :

a.) Some physical and mathematial insight from GOOD education. If Jeffery Homes wishes to comment, he can describe my work of about 5 years ago. However, things have changed, and I have solved a few of my old problems. If he has no interest, he need make no comment of course.

b.) I am straight up, and honest in what I claim for myself. You can go for yourself and find in Google that Dean "whatshisname" is an MD of course, but some kind of wildlife MD. I suppose he treats hikers who are victims of snakebite, poison ivy, or stepping into gopher holes. YOU go look it up, I wont't give you the easy gift of a URL, I found it easily myself. This Dean person wrote me a very condescending posting. I think I answered it well. You all can be the judges. You will find on the net that he is no more than a teaching assistant of some kind at Wasington state, and that means nearly nothing. He called himself a professor, but that is a clear lie. If he wishes to extrapolate from MD to "scientist" that is a gross exacgeration, and to my mind, another lie.

I leave it to you.......... should I get off the line? I just finished a post to a person who was very clearly a schizophrenic. Many people on the forum are simply hobbiests or beginning shop keepers. I do not see evidence much for real craftsmen or experienced workmen. To me it is a waste of time to make points to these people. Then of course the occasional "pyramidloloogist" kind of schizoprenic. These require great mental energy to answer.

Another person told me to clean up my mind. (he was an economist in Washington..........)

Another told me to be "nice" in some sense or another.

So, I will accept a vote. Should I stay on, or save my time? If you want to hear what you want to hear, you can genrate that in your own circles.

If I have something of interst for you, I will gladly stay on;. please post your feelings on this subject. I will follow your wishes.

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"I will follow your wishes."

Well John, they say "First in is best dressed" so I'll take the plunge and be first to reply to you, without fear or favour.

My advice is: take 10 deep breaths, calm down and try to be more diplomatic in your responses to others.

You obviously have items of interest to offer this Forum with your violin making experience, but so too do many amateur Luthiers.

Good schooling and learning makes people more knowlegable in those things they have had the good fortune to study, but not necessarily any more intelligent.

I have known people who left school at 14 years of age with limited schooling, who were very intelligent and achieved great things in their lives. Conversely I have also known very well educated people with letters after their names who were basically very stupid people, I think that for day to day living and interraction with other people, that common sense takes precedence over all else.

So keep on posting but try not to alienate others who you may not agree with, a little politeness will be much better received than sarcasm.

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My opinion is that it doesn't matter how much you have to offer, if you're going to be rude to other members of the board then it would be nice of you to leave. I know and have known a lot of rude and abusive people who attempt to justify it by the fact that there is a greater advantage by their involvement that far out-weighs it - I don't agree with that thought process.

The idea that you give so much of yourself by the amount of time it takes to compose your messages is somewhat of a fallacy since it's pretty obvious that if you didn't feel that you were getting a certain amount of satisfaction from your posts, you wouldn't be posting here - that holds true for everybody.

I've read a lot of your posts and I think you have a lot of worthwhile input, but there are also a whole lot of others here who have just as much and even more valuable input and they are't rude. This is a public forum, and there are not only adults but also young people who visit here and I think it's up to the adults to set an example.

So in a nutshell, I think if you intend to continue to be rude in your postings you should leave, otherwise it would be nice if you stayed.


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John, I have but a brief moment to post, but I feel the urge,so hopefully I can make a few small points.

You obviously have much to contribute to this board. You are a valuable member, and I seek your posts. They obviously come from a deep knowledge of strings and things,as well as an eclectic mind. Keep up the good work.

It is, essential fitting and proper to disagree , as well as to take criticism.

In order to be constructive, however,in cyberspace, and (non-cyberspace too), inflections , attitudes,can spoil the soup.

My humor, as an example, is dry, and cynical. Although I love it, I must be careful to not go "over the line" and offend my brother. I cannot judge my brother to be too sensitive, unappreciative of my humor. Many people have come to know me on this board,and I them,so I may offer up a larger dose of cynicism,AT MY OWN RISK.

You offer youth,ego, and stupidity, as reasons why someone misses your point. Don't go there. If you wish to study and learn why this man missed your point, fine. but you indulge yourself, at his expense(and Yours I might add).

Honesty ,in critical reponse,does not trump decorum, or the attacker will become the attacked.

Humility does, in the end, I have found (the hard way, I might add), trumps everything.

Perhaps you should edit for an additional hour to remove all traces of arrogance,and judgement.

This board , and life, are NOT contests. If you view it as such, or unconciously behave as such, the only competition is, in the end, is yourself

I vote you stay.

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I had half a mind to compose an equally stinging and insulting post. As best a psychotic schizo can.

Please don't call me names John, I was attacking your argument, not yourself and was quite shocked to see you come at me like that. As always there may be a cultural clash here... I am after all Australian, and it wouldn't be the first time an attempt at dry wit has caused unintentional offence.... always with the Americans.

The fact you are well read is in no doubt. The fact that I am also well read and have a GOOD education seems to have been missed, and I can't help but feel there was a certain degree of elitism in your posts. I was posing questions/objections for you which I'm certain you may not have considered before. Some of them are far fetched, but the point was that historically people believed in them. The fact that you don't, or haven't seen evidence of them, makes no difference... after all the thread was regarding the motivations of the cremonese makers, not yourself. These points were historically and anthropologically valid - refuteable by evidence, not by emotion, but certainly valid in context.

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I understand your thoughts/feelings. I have felt "slapped around" here in the past. I think you should stay. But, this is something I see quite often, people that are very passionate about their work can also have very passionate opinions. They may not be perceived as just knowledgable but belligerant or angry or rude or condescending. It only takes a small turn of phrase to have that happen. I think you have a lot of value to add to the conversation. But, I would say that you should keep in mind what is "worth" your time to post. Avoid conversations that invite you to wax poetically on philosophical and socialogical principles involving the fiddle. It's a trap, and usually a waste of time, because those people have usually made up their mind and just want to debate because that is what they like to do and are good at. "The facts maam, just the facts". Keep your answers short and strictly to the insightful violin making and experienced violin revelations that make you and other luthiers such a valuable part of this online community. Teaching amateurs (like myself) should give one a good feeling. This should be a source of information, not aggravation. Plese keep up the good work. Thank You

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I think it's obvious that you have a great deal to contribute here, but you should perhaps be more aware of how you come across in some of your posts. Suggesting that all who disagree with you suffer from mental illness or are imbeciles is not constructive. I doubt any reputable psychologist or psychiatrist would claim to diagnose someone as schizophrenic on the basis of a few posts here. Would you want to be diagnosed on that basis?

I am very happy for you that you have such a fine education. It has obviously served you well, and I read your posts regarding the physics of the violin with interest. But you sometimes seem to belittle others with different backgrounds. You say Dean's claim to be a "scientist" is a lie because he's only an M.D. Does a person need a physics degree to call himself a scientist? Last I checked, Leonardo da Vinci didn't have one, but I certainly wouldn't claim he wasn't a scientist.

Regarding the use of the word "theory," I understand how the word is used in a scientific context and try to use it only in that context myself for precision. But you have to accept that that's not how most people use it. It stings my ears when I hear someone confuse "compose" with "comprise" or say they're "nauseous" when they mean "nauseated." But correcting a person's usage when his meaning is clear does more harm than good, instantly derailing the conversation for the sake of clarity and precision which weren't really in jeopardy since the speaker was using the most commonplace usage to begin with, even if you and I know it's not strictly correct. Aside from that, it's generally considered rude.

What people are offended by is not your ideas. It is the tone you sometimes take, and your tendency to insult those who disagree with you. If you can tone down the personal attacks, I'm certain fewer people would feel the need to scroll past your posts and would appreciate your ideas as much as I do.

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Jmasters, I'm not going to argue with you about anything at all. I will just say that your posts have become so antagonistic and uninteresting that I've found, without even having consciously decided to do so, that I now just skip over anything you've written without even reading it anymore.

And you're the only one I've ever done that with on this board. You attack others personally, you argue about pedantic &*%$# that nobody gives a flying [censored] about like whether someone is properly using the word "theory", a topic you've managed to drag into quite a few wholy unrelated threads.

The attacking has got to stop. The inane arguments over the definition of some word someone used in their post has got to stop. The attacking has got to stop. Did I mention the attacking has got to stop? If not, then once again the attacking has got to stop.

Seriously man, you've got to find another way to participate.

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"Many people on the forum are simply hobbiests or beginning shop keepers. I do not see evidence much for real craftsmen or experienced workmen. To me it is a waste of time to make points to these people."

I would like to make a point for those of us who may be less experienced than others. Everyone must start some where. Antonio Stradivari was once a beginner with no evidence that he was a "real craftsman" and certainly not at the beginning an "experienced workman". I would bet that he even asked some "stupid" questions along the way. With the instruction and guidance of the master look what became of him.

Another point that I have made on this forum is that the old world Apprenticeship is for the most part a thing of the past and these electronic forums provide access to "the Masters" of our time and have become and electronic apprencticeship of sorts. Were it not for this forum I probably would not have access to the likes of Michael Darnton and the other Masters that regularly contribute here. For those of us who are eager to learn there is more information available today than probably in the day of Stradivari.

Craftsmanship is a trait of ones personality not just what comes from your workbench. I would venture to guess that most "craftsman" are detail oriented and it is reflected in other areas of their life. Our modern society has caused people to make their living in areas that may not satisfy the longing to create, so they look for outlets to fulfill that longing. Many of us have realized that we are very talented and with the help of the "masters" we can be schooled from afar and with our share of mistakes we continue to grow in knowledge and the end product improves over time.

Modern technology can speed the transfer of information across the miles but it cannot replace the need for experience. Only time combined with effort can take care of that.

To all of those who have tried to assist this "simple hobbist" with valuable information and experience, thank you so very much.

To those of you who feel that it is "a waste of words" to help those of us that are beginners, as you once were, please forgive me for my imposition on your valuable time and I would suggest that you not respond to any of my post in the future.

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Your content is often valuable and/or interesting. I'd be sorry to see that go.

But you write in such an offensive, abrasive, and sometimes insulting fashion that it's often difficult for people to see through the presentation to the content behind it.

And I'm speaking as one who *agreed* with what I believe to be the basic content in one of your recent posts.

- Ray

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How characteristic that this has become a discussion centered on you. My concern would never be whether you leave or stay, but rather whether you scare off the fine people who share their knowlege here so freely. I can skip your posts, but I can't replace theirs. The cost of participation here should only be the effort to push the ENTER key, not to have one's professional qualifications smeared. That said, this is a very mature group who probably would be very happy to get back on track, with you on board, and leave this discussion behind. I certaintly would (and I'm not even that mature).

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For what it's worth...

I have decided not to become offended or enraged by anything anyone says on the internet. I decided this quite a while ago, because I found myself occasionally grouped amongst those who reacted angrilly or emotionally, and it just wasn't worth the emotional cost.

As most of you know I have to dialyze three days a week, and I find that my free time is very valuable to me... I will NOT waste it playing stupid internet games in any case.

That said - I've met Mr. Masters and seen and played his work. He was then (about eight years ago) worlds ahead of me, and is probably even further ahead of me now, in his making at least.

I don't mind confrontation, in fact I enjoy confrontation. I also enjoy discussion, regardless of whether or not the prson involved is being PC or not or agrees with me or not. I always have the option of answering, not answering, reading, not reading, responding in kind or not etc., so, I feel that whatever another poster feels like posting is their business. Everyone can read the exchange - and soon enough whoever posts will reap whatever it is they have sewn on line, right?

I can't control another poster in any case, and it is not my position to be a parent to anyone here, nor to have them parent me.

I hope you continue to post here, John, I enjoy your posts immensly, as I have already said via our email conversation (regarding which, I still owe you a repy - I've been attempting to get it composed and sent off - sorry about the delay).

Perhaps you should tone it down a bit, but then again I'm not your Mom, so, I'll just say that you should expect people to respond to you as you respond to them. If you don't like others taking a caustic attitude towards you then drop yours. If you don't mind it, then more power to you. Either way no one care whether you post here or not, it is here for you to participate in if you so choose because YOU WANT TO. If you don't want to don't participate. Just please don't be one of those posters who threatens to leave or who storms off pissed thinking that no one apreciated them...

Heh heh! You know the kind of poster I'm talking about, right?

Sorry if this is not as lucid as it could be, or if it is full of typos, I am running out the door and late for my treatment as we speak, but I did want to reply because this is important to me.

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"Speak the truth which is kind". I believe this saying originated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - he may have plagiarized it from ancient Vedic sources. I try to keep this simple idea in mind any time I feel tempted to speak ill of someone. As a result, I don't spread much gossip, and rarely speak about politics. This leaves most of my mind free to think about violins, violins, violins, and violins.

John - you seem to be an interesting person with a lot to offer. If you can share your ideas with an open mind and cut out the personal attacks, I'd like to see you stay.

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JM, since you invite these comments, I will say that I have seen you in action in several other forums in the past, and there you offended people just as you have here. You need to look to yourself for the explanation of this very clear cut trend in your life.

Yours are among the worst manners of any adult I’ve seen in a topical online forum. Barely veiled gratuitous slurs, ad-hominem attacks and protestations of your worth are not a sign of objectivity. You like to use psychological terms to describe some of your opponents–in all seriousness I’d suggest that you should consider getting the help of a psychologist yourself. It’s pretty obvious that you are so invested in your laboriously constructed view of your own worth that you will stoop very low to ‘prove’ it. In psychological terms, my guess would be narcissistic personality disorder.

It’s really rather grandiose of you to make an ‘event’ out of the question of whether or not you should stay. It’s all about you, isn’t it?

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I believe you summarize it best. I thank you for being blunt. I will keep tuned in, and perhaps make a comment at times. I don't intend to storm off, but there really isn't much to share, is there? You copy old patterns or else you experiment. If you experiment you do this in very small incerements. By the time you have spent the time and effort, if anything is learned there is no point to give it away.

I have often struck out from a sense of frustration. You and the others point out that likely I am the principle source of ther frustration.

"" In psychological terms, my guess would be narcissistic personality disorder.

It is really rather grandiose of you to make an event out of the question of whether or not you should stay. It isl about you, isn' it? ""

The physicians did not mention this, but I am sure they saw what you saw. I was raised in a family of 4 very competitive children, with a stage mother. I was the only one who rebelled and decided in the 5th grade to be a "scientist." Another poster said that life itself was not a competition nor was this forum. Somehow that was always lost on me, but it is certainly an optimistic point of view. I intend to keep it in mind and see if it actually does help my optimism etc.

Is it all about me? Maybe it is. I wanted a chance to apologize to a few people if that turned out to be the thing to do. It seems that it is. Some writers have been more gracious than others, and I certainly appreciate that. I thank them for it.

You seem more contemptuous than some. Another even "pities" me. I am dropping out of the "Debate society" and I mention above that I had mistakenly seen it this way. Because of what you have said, I believe your reaction would be "It is obviously not a debate society and only my narcisism would suggest that it is." That would be fair enough. jm

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The following people suffered from a form of mental illness (Bipolar, Unipolar or Schizophrenia).

Winston Chruchill, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Lord Nelson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oliver Cromwell, Mao Tse-Tung, Alexander The Great, Robert E. Lee, Edwin Landseer, Michaelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Francesca Goya, John Turner, Peter Paul Rubens, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gaugin, George Romney, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Sir David Wilkie, William Blake, Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Chopin, Elgar, Handel, Holtz, Lizst, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Rossini, Schuman, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Noel Coward, Stephen Foster, Hans Christian Anderson, Honore' de Balzac, James Barrie, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barret Browning, John Bunyon, Thomas Carlyle, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Grassic Gibbon, Maxim Gorsky, Kenneth Graham, Graham Greene, Henrik Ibsen, William James, Samual Johnson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Thomas de Quincy, Tenessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Wolf, Charles Baudelaire, Rupert Brooke, Lord Byron, Robert Burns, Samual Tayler Coleridge, T.S. Eliot, Oliver Goldsmith, Victor Hugo, Samual Johnson, John Keats, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Lowell, Boris Psternak, Edgar Allan Poe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, James Watt, Christopher Columbus, David Livingstone, Peter Cook, St Francis of Assisi, Joan of Ark, Peter Gabriel, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther, Madonna, Spike Milligan, Liza Minelli (and her mum), Florence Nightingale, John Ogden, Nocola Pagett, Robin Williams, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Patricia Cornwell, Aldous Huxley, Ray Davies, Lenny Dee, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Queen Elizabeth II, Gary McDonald, Lou Reed, Syd Barrett, John Nash, my mother, my grandfather...

Irrational clowns, the lot of them.

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I witnessed your aggressive behavior on another forum. I simply don't like you. I pity you as well. You are an unhappy man. Get some help, for your own sake. And of course it's all about YOU, isn't it. Do you have any kind thoughts about anyone, anywhere?

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Goodness, all we need now is a good Republican/Democrate political arguement, some blatent sexual innuendo, and things at maestronet would be just as they used to be.

I can't comment on specific arguements here, because I really haven't been following them.

What I will say, though, is that the pegbox is the most informative forum that I have ever come across on anything.

The diverse discussions and ranges of ideas are always fascinating to read, whether or not you agree with them.

Healthy discussion and disagreement is good, personal attacks probably don't add much to the forum.

Now put your gloves on, your mouth guards in, and continue as you were.


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I can tell two things about how this started. There had been some mention for and against "science type" ideas for violins and their tone etc. Also, I totally misread the nature of the forum. and I did that with another past forum.

Complicating thing is my nature whcih has a tendency to be defensive and a bit paranoid. I will admit it. I can keep my attention on that, but don't wish to excuse it or make excuses. It goes way back.. Originally I wanted to uphold a standard for some kind of science, and I actually disagreed with many of the investigations that had been done. That was because the whole problem is too complicated to lend itself to intuition. I think the slow evolution process sorted out what worked for two or three generations or two of the Cremnoaschool. Actually I agree with Michael Darnton's feelings about trying to see what was REALLY done and not badly repeated by later makers.

But also said that I think that there is a good role for a properly asked question. The nature of a "theory" is not relevant because this is not really a science disucssion. It is one of craft, and I myself work at the craft leel (Because the science is intractable. Perahaps I was trying to reapture lost youth to jump and defend physics like Don Quixote.) I still thnk that there is a bad confusion of "theory" and "my opinion" but that is not relevant here. Nobody is doing any investigations of that type.

My major problem other than my personality was assuming that this was a forum about investigations of good vs bad violins. I see tha this is not what is going on. It is a discussion group with people with a similar interesst.

My entry was as I had said, and complicated by a sense of competition, which was the criticism of another writer. I am answering your letter because you put it on the tbale. Yes. I now can see that I made a lot of bad initial assumptions. Thanks for being bold in what you have said. I have always admired that sort of thing.

So if you will accept apologies, I will continue to write in when it seems useful in a craft sense.

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