I think your points are a strictly modern viewpoint. As long as humanity keeps moving in a direction
that produces extra wealth and extra time for at least some of us, then indeed efforts in "history"
preservation will be a place to dedicate finite resources and to discuss and debate as in this
forum. I definitely disagree with you about preserving a recording of some ancient Greek concert vs.
preserving data about the technological breakthroughs that led to their buildings and
infrastructure. The very fact that we are having this conversation, via the Internet, today, is
because mankind has respected technological advancement and preserved and built upon it for
generations now. During that time, which is almost a continual march forward in discovery and
technology since hand-tools were first fashioned and fire was harnessed, there have been ebbs and
flows in different places and cultures regarding the value placed on "arts" such as music. And the
idea of recording and performing music is less than 2 centuries along here, so this is very new to
the human condition.
As long as technology keeps advancing to the benefit of (most) humans, then there will be resources
available to preserve "luxuries" such as recorded music. But I would argue, if things start
de-volving (and some would argue this has already started), then these "luxuries" will be among the
first things tossed aside as survival takes precedence over joy and self-expression. Would that make
us less human? Not sure about that since until very recently in history, most humans had little time
for any joy and self-expression in the daily struggle to make it to another sunrise.
Finally, since even under the most ideal circumstances there are finite resources for the sorts of
activities we discuss on the ARSC List, this is the absolute correct forum for this sort of
discussion and for my people of my "sentiment." I'm just trying to look at things as they are, not
how I wish they would be.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Schooley, John" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The trials of trying to give away a record collection
"To put it briefly, I think the limited resources of
history-preservation are best spent very prudently when it comes to such
"luxury" human activities as commercial recordings."
This isn't really the kind of sentiment I would expect to see expressed
on the ARSClist. It sounds like something an administrator who is
cutting funding for audio preservation would say. There are a lot of
very boring documents out there being very well-preserved, while most
recordings are not. If it were possible, which would you rather have
today - a recording of some ancient Greek music, or a bureaucratic
report on ancient Greek aqueduct maintenance? We devote a lot of time
and money to the modern equivalent of the latter. There is also a lot
of art that was viewed as worthless at one time that is now priceless.
Van Gogh only sold one painting when he was alive. Good thing his
brother didn't pitch 'em all in the dumpster.
In the West, things like music are regarded as a "luxury." In other
cultures, music is integrated into everyday activity, is an important
social record, and isn't just considered an "idle pleasure." And many
of these cultures are much more impoverished than we are here the U.S.
If it ever gets to the point where listening to or creating music is no
longer viable for mankind, then I question whether mankind is worth