[vcf-midatlantic] Culpability and Provenance

Adam Michlin adam.michlin at vcfed.org
Fri Jan 15 04:31:02 UTC 2021

Dave brings up a very important point. We can't all be a museum of everything.

"Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do,
but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think
someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what
they did."

-Duke Ellington

Each organization has to make their own choices within their own
limitations. Isn't it absolutely wonderful that so many organizations
are prioritizing different things? Imagine how much we would lose if
everyone tried to do the same thing and everything!

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 11:14 PM Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic
<vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> On 1/14/21 9:54 PM, Bill Degnan via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > First of all, I believe (my belief) that one should try to leave a vintage
> > computer as-is if possible, to preserve it's providence.
>    That really depends on what you're trying to achieve.  Over at LSSM,
> our philosophy is a bit different: our focus is on the computers, the
> technology used to build them, and the software used to run them.  They
> are tools.
>    The work that Joe Shmoe did on this or that specific machine is
> irrelevant to all of that.  It may serve as an example of the sort of
> work that one might use such tools to perform, but that's about it.
> More often than not, it's just in the way.
>    If it were a museum of a different type of tool, say, wrenches, we
> likely wouldn't care about what (say) car engine this or that specific
> wrench was, at one point in its service life, used to work on.  We might
> have an engine in the museum with the wrenched posed on it, as an
> example of the tool being used to perform work, but expending effort to
> display the same engine (not the same kind, but the same ONE) that Joe
> Shmoe worked on with that wrench in 1962 brings little value to the
> exhibit or the point it's trying to make to the viewer...because it's
> about the tool.
>    If the focus is on the preservation of work performed with the
> computer, sure, I can see that.  But is that a common focus in efforts
> like ours?  I doubt it.  I'd have no problem with it if it were so, but
> still, I doubt it.
>    Just my USD$0.02.
>              -Dave
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA

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