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HPSCHD-L  May 2018

HPSCHD-L May 2018

Subject:

Re: FB versus the list: some thoughts

From:

David Pickett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 May 2018 21:37:55 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (109 lines)

Dear Chris, and others!

At 20:30 07-05-18, Chris Vandekerkhove wrote:

 >When I was young and beautiful (hey, I'm still all of that!), we had a
 >"harpsichord list" in Flanders which was distributed by snail mail. Mark I
 >said "Flanders" not "Belgium". For those who are not in touch with our
 >confusing local politics: Belgium is so small that we thought it very
 >necessary to divide it into at least 2 regions: a Flemish (not Dutch!)
 >speaking region and a Walloon (not French!) speaking part. There is also a
 >lesser known German speaking part (yes, they speak German!). Going into
 >details will give everyone a headache including me.

Ah! The consequences of regular adjustments to the position of the 
eastern borders!

 > So to make a long story
 >short: at the time when birds were still capable of speech, I approached the
 >lady who was responsible at that time for the Flemish Harpsichord List
 >(updated every 3 months, I've you'd paid your allowance for the stamps,
 >basically 3 harpsichords on sale and always the same ones) and I proposed to
 >create a much broader list: the World Wide Keyboard Bank on the
 >INTERNET(!!!) were anyone could put his/her instrument for sale, for free
 >and visible from all over the world (don't forget we used relatively
 >expensive dial-up modems at that time). This met with absolute horror:
 >"Strangers will buy _our_ harpsichords!!!" When I pointed out the we could
 >also buy the harpsichords of the "stranger's" as well, I met with a wall of
 >silence. Up to this day, the dialogue with this person is a bit difficult
 >:-) To conclude my rant: consolidation is not a bad idea!

We have all encountered such people. They were very obvious at that 
time, which was when I wanted to explore Johann Krieger, who worked 
in an obscure and remote place called Zittau, in Germany, but very 
close to the Polish and Czech borders (which were probably somewhere 
else when he lived there). I found at that time an internet site with 
some information about the place. I think it was put up by an 
individual. One of their links (I think it was to the library) went 
to a page that said something like "When we asked them for 
information to post here, they said that people who use the Internet 
are not likely to be interested in them!"

 >Anyway, FB is top notch when one wants to show what one has eaten lately and
 >share this info with grandma/pa/whoever. In other words: ongoing discussions
 >which have no value over time but are fun the share on a very short time
 >span.

This illustrates the danger of FB: people think that nothing can be 
deduced from the trivial details that they share there; but I often 
read about historians being excited to have discovered the remains of 
an ancient privy, that enables them to analyse what the local diet 
was hundreds of years ago.

 >The List (capital L) is different as it keeps an archive of the
 >conversations and these archives can be searched. In my opinion, the List
 >can be made even stronger by compiling useful knowledge into a single
 >topics. Surely nowadays with "Big Data" being all around there must exist
 >useful algorithms than can do this fully automated?

I agree. Maybe Dave K knows people who could help.

 >My biggest complaint when searching the archives is that I have so many hits
 >that I can't find the relevant information I'm looking for. Bill complained
 >about people not looking through the archives and up to a point he's 100%
 >right. But please go to the search engine and type: jack design => 253
 >matches. Really: do we need to read 253 articles to get to the point of a
 >well-made jack design?

I think the mistake you make in suggesting a search on "jack design" 
is the assumption that the two words are usefully associated in the 
postings we make. Google et al may be able to find something helpful 
for you, but they have a much more sophisticated algorithm for doing 
so. I do not recall anyone actually writing about "jack design"; they 
are usually more interested in the details of the subject. What one 
has to do is to guess what actual words are likely to be successful. 
I would suggest "jack" in conjunction with one of the following: 
"spring", "damper", "tongue", "beech", "holly", "oak", "fruitwood", 
"pearwood", jig, saw, etc. In truth there ARE so many valuable 
postings on jacks that it is not a trivial task sorting through them 
to find those that are of interest. When I first joined the list 
(both I and the list were much younger in those days, and the task 
was less onerous) I went through every posting in turn and copied 
those that I found of potential interest. I would be too daunted to 
try this now, with so many words having been spilled on the subject; 
but I have always kept all the emails that I might want to search -- 
in the last 15 years I have kept more than 4000.

 >There should be some topic e.g.: Jack design. With the subtitles: Problem
 >shooting, Which wood is good/not good, etc. not all these separate unordered
 >thoughts.

But perhaps artificial intelligence is not yet up to this task.

 >End of rant. FYI: the weather here in Gent was extremely nice this weekend.
 >As a consequence I hardly played on my harpsichord but I did hit the organ
 >at a (cooler) church. This count as a redemption I hope ;-)

It is hot here too, but stable, so I tuned both my instruments 
thoroughly on Friday evening and am having great pleasure in playing them.

Best wishes to all -- happy hunting in the archive,

David

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Note:  opinions  expressed on HPSCHD-L are those of the  individual con-
tributors and not necessarily  those of the list owners  nor of the Uni-
versity of Iowa.  For a brief  summary of list  commands, send mail to
[log in to unmask]  saying  HELP .
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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