[vcf-midatlantic] Culpability and Provenance

Dean Notarnicola dnotarnicola at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 04:36:23 UTC 2021

I love tech for techs sake. It can be both art and science. However, the
provenance of a computer transcends its physical reality and breathes
another dimension into it, bridging the gap between human and machine. This
helps to gain understanding about the overall significance of them beyond
the merely functional.

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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