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Opening Arguments

Music in the dark

You know any of those wine snobs who sniff with disdain at your bottle of $10 California cabernet? Give them this article to read:

Ten world-class soloists put costly Stradivarius violins and new, cheaper ones to a blind scientific test. The results may seem off-key to musicians and collectors, but the new instruments won handily.

When the lights were dimmed and the musicians donned dark glasses, the soloists' top choice out of a dozen old and new violins tested was by far a new one. So was the second choice, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Ditto for the people who buy $12,000 watches when you can get a watch that keeps perfect time for $20 or less at your neighborhood drug store or those who think $200 shirts and &800 fountain pens make them special. We are learning how to make better and better stuff more and more cheaply all the time. It's called "utility," and those who live by any other standard are revealing something about themselves they would probably rather keep a secret.

Posted in: Current events, Music