Thursday, 20 March 2008

Authority again

I wanted to make a note to myself about Beler, Borda, Bowen and Filippini-Fanton's comment that 'museums should not just be seen as custodians of knowledge, but part of a wider exchange.' My first reaction, following on from my comments last week about negative perceptions of resistance to the freedom provided by Wikis, was to view this as a criticism of museums as authorities on certain subjects. Admittedly, the word 'just' shows that they're not saying that museums should not be the custodians of knowledge, only that should not exclusively be this. Which I think I agree with. I think I'm just still not wholly won over by the current trend for 'bottom-up' rather than 'top-down' information and the power of the crowd. I think that's probably why I quite like the Mitchell and Webb quote that a few people are quoting:

"Are you personally affected by this issue? Then email us. Or if you're not affected by this issue, can you imagine what it would be like if you were? Or if you are affected by it, but don't want to talk about it, can you imagine what it would be like not being affected by it? Why not email us? You may not know anything about the issue, but I bet you reckon something. So why not tell us what you reckon. Let us enjoy the full majesty of your uninformed, ad hoc reckon, by going to, clicking on 'what I reckon' and then simply beating on the keyboard with your fists or head."

As Oliver Burkeman said last year: 'if you heard it and laughed, it's probably because you share some of the ambivalence it exudes towards the idea of a world in which everyone is a creator of content' - so I'm not the only one!



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