Writings on AI from 17 years ago....

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Mon May 31 13:24:11 CDT 2021

On Mon, May 31, 2021 at 11:27:40AM +0000, P Gebhardt via cctalk wrote:
> >
> >Don't trust that museums will abide by your wishes when you donate an item.
> >They almost never will no matter how secure you think your agreement with
> >them is.
> >
> >I believe that enthusiastic and competent individuals will look after
> >valuable items much better than most museums can.
> While I have also observed this in the case of a few (former)
> museums in Europe, I think that there is no perfect solution to
> either individuals or museums unless items are considered national
> heritage and "enjoying" a different state of protection than what is
> typifally seen in computer museums (In France, a very early Bull
> system has that particular protection). No matter the individuals or
> museums, if circumstances change in ways that were unforseen
> (individual dies and heritage is not taken care of as panned, or
> museum shuts down and collection needs to get "disposed of" ASAP),
> then things will usually not end well for the majority of a
> collection - again: no matter if it is a museum or from private
> hands.
> Cheers, 
> Pierre

I really wonder how things related to old tech / engineering are being
done in the world. I think certain things need to be financed by
someone who has a steady income and can afford to have a decades-long
mission to do this or that, usually for the good of humanity.

So, private persons are unfortunately out, and museums which depend on
donations from private persons are in the picture as long as they can
have attention from wealthy sponsors. Other possible curators for
something which should last more that individual life are governments
and... churches. While of course governments are corrupt and churches
are satanic (or the other way around), but so are wealthy donors (both
ways)... I think it is very rare that a person is both engineer
(working engineer, hobby engineer, someone who makes things from dead
matter rather than from other people like mba-s and hr-s do) and
wealthy enough to fund a museum from his own pocket.

As I see, majority of folks here is from US and the only thinkable
option is wealthy engineer. The rarest creature on this pitiful
planet, and very short living.

Think about it. How many cathedrals would have been built if the
building process was in the hands of merchants (or politicians - but
fortunately there were also kings when most of cathedrals were being
built, so a politician, and a bishop, could have their heads severed
off and those were good times) ? Ten years later, all stones sold to
biggest bidder. Perhaps to their own relatives.

Perhaps collectors on this list should rethink their options. Maybe
start a church.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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