[FoRK] Take a step back...

Gary Stock gstock at nexcerpt.com
Tue Sep 27 10:00:15 PDT 2011

Your question led me to capture general trends in acoustic instrument 
quality over the past century:


In short:

"The finest pianos in the world were built about a hundred years ago. 
Due to evolution in engineering, exhaustion of raw materials, and 
flagging business standards, we will never see their like again. Some 
people may build very good pianos; new forms of the instrument may 
exceed (in narrow ways) the magnificent machines built a few decades 
either side of the year 1900. But, from a musical perspective, there 
will never be a “better” piano than the typical concert grand of a 
century ago."

I end with the conclusion that a very good Steinway, built OVER A 
CENTURY AGO, may represent the pinnacle of this still evolving industry: 
"No /better/ acoustic piano will ever be built, at any time, ever again."


On 9/25/11 11:50 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:
> For thirty years, someone with the dollars could book a supersonic
> flight across the Atlantic.
> That stopped, almost a decade ago.
> Which would surprise most anyone in 1980, asked how commercial flight
> would proceed. The alleged S-shaped curve for technology delivered to
> the consumer proved, in this case, to be shaped more like a dromedary.
> Maybe it was marketing overshoot. Maybe a bit of regression due to
> exogenous constraints. And, yeah, shaving a couple of hours off
> crossing the Atlantic matters far less than the other unpleasantness
> now associated with flying.
> But I'm curious what there are other salient examples there are of
> "consumer technology regression."
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