[Themaintainers] Question from a journalist
AaronA at livingcomputers.org
Fri Apr 19 12:21:41 EDT 2019
I was recently talking about a phenomenon known as solder migration with a computer engineer. In essence, repetitive use of computer equipment causes the metal in solder to ionize and migrate on circuitry, leading to system failure. It’s a years’ long process, but it is a real problem for legacy systems.
I am happy to connect off-list to make the introduction if you think it would be helpful.
Aaron Alcorn, Ph.D.
Curator | Living Computers: Museum + Labs
From: themaintainers-bounces at lists.stevens.edu <themaintainers-bounces at lists.stevens.edu> On Behalf Of Lee Vinsel
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 8:20 AM
To: Lynn Berger <lynn at decorrespondent.nl>
Cc: Themaintainers <themaintainers at lists.stevens.edu>
Subject: Re: [Themaintainers] Question from a journalist
I'm sure others will have other examples, including examples that should be coming to my mind (it's Friday!), but what first comes to me are some examples that David Edgerton highlights in Shock of the Old of bicycle and radio repair sectors in, I think, Japan leading to the birth of new (innovative) industries there, including the much larger electronics industry. My copy of Shock is at home rather than here at my office, but I can get you a citation if needed.
I'm very interested generally in repetition, or how I think about and teach it more often as . . . human habit . . . as well as organizational routines. Both habits and routines are central to the history/sociology/economics of maintenance, I think.
On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 5:25 AM Lynn Berger <lynn at decorrespondent.nl<mailto:lynn at decorrespondent.nl>> wrote:
Short version: I'm a journalist working on a story about the value of repetition and why we usually overlook it because we're more interested in novelty. I draw a parallel to how we tend to prefer innovation to maintenance and want to point out that this is silly, not least because maintenance is often a condition for innovation. And now I'm wondering: do the people on this list have some examples of when maintenance work led to new insights that led to innovation?
Slightly longer version:
My name is Lynn Berger and I've been on this list for some time. I have a PhD in communications from Columbia University (I studied 19th century photography and the law) but for the last six years I've been working as a journalist at De Correspondent, an online journalism platform based in Amsterdam. I cover technology and culture there; a few years ago I wrote a piece about the rediscovery of maintenance, with pride of place for the maintainers. (Those who read Dutch can find it here<https://decorrespondent.nl/6816/he-innovators-gamechangers-en-disrupters-vergeten-jullie-het-onderhoud-niet/227102304-f476506a>, and a short followup I wrote on repair, here<https://decorrespondent.nl/7414/waarom-het-recht-op-repareren-ons-allemaal-aangaat/247027066-a9e9bbdc>.)
Currently I'm working on a story about the value of repetition and how we tend to overlook it because we're more interested in novelty. I draw a parallel to how we tend to prefer innovation to maintenance and want to point out that this is missing the point, not least because maintenance is often a condition for innovation.
And now I'm wondering: do the people on this list have some examples of when maintenance work led to new insights that led to innovation?
I'd be grateful for a few good and concrete examples. And for your time, of course!
Thank you in advance and keep up the good work (!)
1013 NJ Amsterdam
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