3.931 dead Macs and cultural support (88)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Sun, 14 Jan 90 22:43:23 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 931. Sunday, 14 Jan 1990.

(1) Date: Fri, 12 Jan 90 08:18:10 PLT (28 lines)
From: "Guy L. Pace" <PACE@WSUVM1>
Subject: The Dead Mac and other stories

(2) Date: Sat, 13 Jan 90 00:46:00 EST (220 lines)
Subject: Re: 3.925 support (110)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 90 08:18:10 PLT
From: "Guy L. Pace" <PACE@WSUVM1>
Subject: The Dead Mac and other stories

The notes of late on the shortsightedness of departments in providing
a) computing equipment, b) computing resources, or c) repair funds for
existing equipment, displays a definite lack of sound budget management
on the part of university department administration. The same holds
for many of the departments at this institution, and at others with
which I am familiar. The story goes: The department can't seem to
find the funds for computing equipment and resources (but can find
the $$$ to send the chair to several major conferences per year,
all first class). Or the story goes: The department gets a donation,
in monetary form or in physical equipment form, for computing
equipment, but fails to provide funding to purchase software or printers
or other items necessary to make the donation useful. There's another
story, closer to me, that goes: The department is pretty smart when it
comes to providing the equipment, resources and maintenance for the
faculty and staff. However, the technical support person hired is far
from capable of providing meaningful hardware advice or support. So,
when its time to fix something, or time to upgrade hardware, he's not
much help.

Are there solutions to these problems? Probably not. Things have
gone on like this too long. You don't even have the option of canning
the poor technical support person. As anyone familiar with civil service
will tell you, it thrives on mediocrity. Once in, nothing short of
a nuclear blast will remove a civil service employee.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------226---
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 90 00:46:00 EST
Subject: Re: 3.925 support (110)

I have always hypothesized that there is something profoundly at work in
the psychology of processes that are temporal, in which one may place
the continuum of communication. Examples abound everywhere in the arts
and in other public institutions, and they manifest themselves like
this: if you want to raise monies for a building, a room, a dedicated
place, a decoration, a painting or a sculpture, something that the
donor or the the donor agency can put a plaque on, a bronze plate such
as we use for cenotaphs in Los Angeles, in lieu of gravestones, by law,
then you can find the monies. But--try a string quartet series, a poetry
reading series, concerts or whatever, unless they be big rock and pop
colosssals, and you wont find the money. Ask for a hospital room? You
got it. Solid things that sing the praises of the donor, but not things
writ in water, such as the life of the spirit. Is this merely vulgar,
as I long thought? Or is it an al/gelt/guilt contempt for the
evanescent? When books became cheap they were no longer THINGS, such as
the Clerke of Oxenford had, less than two dozen? at his beddeside. But
to raise 10K$ for a series of recitals, as subsidies for the to o-small
concert hall, which has not enough seat to pay for the Juilliard or any
other real quartet onthe basis of audience...it is to laugh. The same
10K$ can be found readily for an extra microscope in the blood lab,
maybe, but not the geology lab, as I well know here at UCLA. Solid
materialism is what it is and so it has longbeen. You can leave your
monument, but the song that is sung? without memory from mouth to ear?
But that is not what people give money for the ring givers nowadays.
They give it to leave their name on the bronze plate. Look at the
donors in the corners of the altar paintings. The word writers are
anonymous, no? Even Will Shakespeare didnt seem to care for putting
out his own book much, it seems. a monument of deathless verse? No,
take the proceeds from the Globe! Odd. Support is not visible
monies. I recall a member of the knesset lamenting to me in 1964 that
the billionaire Lever family was going to build a hall for the nations
concerts etc in Jerusalem, and she did, but didnt give a penny for the
janitorial upkeep. And the government, which is pauperish was rather
worried. Finally years later it seems she did endow a janitor fund. It
seems to be a rule. Let us take heed. How to solve that problem? I
ask you all . Kessler at UCLA