Re: Paul Allen's Personal Museum
- --- In email@example.com, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
> Technology historians try soBill makes a kind of point that I kind of agree with. A more general point I'd make that Bill may agree with, is that there's a number of "disconnects" between academic historians and researchers of technology, and technologists who have their own collections, and museums of technology. In dealing with such folks, I find it very useful to know where their priorities are.
> hard to separate themselves from the actual devices, it's kind of
> funny. They must diligently defend and declare computer/tech history
> as "just another history" in order to cover up their technical
> shortcomings. Just pointing it out.
One disconnect is between using the collection (please touch) and just showing it - (please don't touch). Another is the deep knowledge of the technology, as Bill pointed out. Another is "institutional" - museums have to fuss about buildings and funding and varying degrees of support from their communities (either local or academic); individuals support their own collections; academics have to produce "publishable" results in some discipline.
I see such disconnects among the machine tool, tractor, and old-engine (steam, hit-n-miss, brand-name, etc.) collectors, dealers, and non-profit organizations. They are more numerous than corresponding computer groups, and decades older. But we have more in common with them than you might think.
And there's always a "disconnect" between rich and not-rich. And few people want to upset the rich by questioning their motives or dedication. (shrug) Having monied interests is good and bad.
I appreciate Bill calling these issues to attention.