"They are the only experts"

Expertise is unfashionable right now, partly because our society is not very good at understanding who is expert at what, so we give too much power to some people and not enough power to others. […]

Sadly, we don’t see residents as experts. This is a critical and corrosive mistake. Of course, they certainly are not experts in how to reduce greenhouse gases, or pave roads, or pick bike routes. They should not be picking beams for a bridge.

But citizens of a city do know how the built environment makes them feel, and how they would like to feel.

They are experts in how increasing taxes will stress them out. They are experts in hidden secrets of their streets and alleys. They are experts in the amenities they want for themselves and their family. They are the only experts. Their expertise should be respected.”

From Most Public Engagement Is Worse Than Worthless by sustainability consultant Ruben Anderson, August 6, 2018

Old Man Principles

Tyler Ruzich (with the mic), with Alex Cline, Ethan Randleas, and Dominic Scavuzzo — candidates for governor of Kansas. (Photo Jeff Tuttle/For The Washington Post)

Tyler Ruzich (with the mic), with Alex Cline, Ethan Randleas, and Dominic Scavuzzo — candidates for governor of Kansas. (Photo Jeff Tuttle/For The Washington Post)

‘You know, lots of people ask me, what can you, Tyler Ruzich, do for people my age?’ Tyler said, back in his car. ‘I say, we keep continuing these Old Man Principles that aren’t working. In [Alexander] Hamilton’s time, someone my age could be commander of a frigate. Did the Founding Fathers consider that a 17-year-old might be governor? I don’t know. Did they consider that a reality-television businessman would become president of the United States after losing the popular vote? Probably not.’
“Six teenagers are running for governor in Kansas…”, by Monica Hesse, Washington Post, March 3, 2018

"Do new technologies require us to rethink the purpose of American education?"

If the primary goal of school is to teach students to build products, the answer might be yes. But interviews my research team has conducted with educators and parents show that Americans maintain broad and complex aims for education. They want students to develop interpersonal skills and citizenship traits. They want schools to teach critical thinking and an array of academic skills. They want young people to be exposed to arts and music, to have opportunities for play and creativity, and to be supported socially and emotionally.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.

"The problems that do harm to public education…"

The thinking that if ‘only we can find the right school design model then all kids will have a great education’ disregards the fundamental problems that do harm public education: devastating funding inequities that disadvantage the poorest of the country’s schools; curriculum deficits; issues facing teachers, including training, retention, lack of diversity, low pay and lack of authority in their own classrooms; and issues facing students, including poverty, trauma, poor health, unstable family life and learning disabilities.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.

Not a charity

The U.S. public education system is not a charity. It is a civic institution, the most important, many argue, in the country, and it educates the vast majority of America’s children — the well-off ones and middle-class ones and those who are so poor that they turn up in class with flea collars around their ankles (as one superintendent told me). It is in some areas of the country a brilliant success and in other places a crushing failure, differences that reflect embedded inequality in the U.S. society and economy.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.

On the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans…

Here is the essential truth. We are better together than we are apart.

Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world? We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz, the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures. Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think.

All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity.

Remarks delivered May, 2017 by the mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, upon the removal of the last of the city’s several Confederate monuments. Transcript (NY Times)

A president read a book

After 1945, every subsequent president knew what nuclear holocaust looked like and thus to avoid it. How they did so can be instructive. For example: President John F. Kennedy’s thoughtful if lucky handling of the Cuban missile crisis, warding off nuclear war by ignoring his more trigger-happy military advisers. Having just read Barbara Tuchman’s book “The Guns of August,” about the madcap rush into World War I, Kennedy said, “I am not going to follow a course which will allow anyone to write a comparable book about this time, ‘The Missiles of October.’
Sarah Vowell, The Dangers of an Incurious President, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/opinion/trump-fire-fury-north-korea.html

Facts, precedents, and the courts

Listening to senators and an appellate judge extol the virtue of adhering to precedent, one would reasonably conclude that most fact patterns are identical, and finding applicable precedent a simple matter of reading the law. If that were true, we could indeed rely on algorithms to mine case law and apply the law.

In reality, however, the facts of a case rarely fit nicely into precedent. In fact, no two cases are exactly alike, and when the facts of a case fit into a particular precedent, there’s not much for lawyers to dispute or judges to decide. Reading any given case gives a clear understanding that a controversy may require a judge to wade through dozens of precedents in making a decision. Not surprisingly, judges applying the same precedents come to conflicting conclusions in the circuit courts; that’s how disputes get to the Supreme Court.
— From Robert Honig’s letter to the Washington Post, regarding the judicial concept of originalism and the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. Published March 25, 2017 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/examining-judge-neil-gorsuchs-statements-past-and-present/2017/03/24/b56893de-0f31-11e7-aa57-2ca1b05c41b8_story.html

17 examples of museum-ish social media for Alexandra Korey

Alexandra - -  here are some thoughts re: your question about examples of museum social media. (Posted here for easier sharing/linking and in case someone else was interested.)

Not a comprehensive list and not exclusively 2016, but perhaps useful/provocative. Note that I’m mostly interested in (and focusing on) examples that come from outside museums themselves.

1. Re: participation at scale, across the whole sector - - #askacurator@museumselfieday, #ilovemuseums - - via @mardixon (and see museumselfie info/paper here by Alli Burness http://museumselfies.tumblr.com/)

2. Re: giving control of the brand/trust relationship to users. @sweden - - http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pleasing-irreverence-of-sweden

3. Re: Civics/Governance in public institutions (demonstrating what is possible), “The Spanish Town That Runs On Twitter” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/technology/the-spanish-town-that-runs-on-twitter.html

4. Re: opening up to public interest in science, process, inquiry - - How to Tweet Like a Robot on Mars - - http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/how-to-tweet-like-a-robot-on-mars/381114/

5. Re: the relationship between global/local and not taking oneself too seriously, Orkney Library - - https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/real-talk-who-doesnt-dress-as-whitesnake-once-a-week [Note: Tumblr thinks the link is spam or evil, but it’s not, and it’s a good article. Copy/paste the URL into your browser.]

6. Re: cross-sector movement by museum staff - - #museumsRespondToFerguson. https://twitter.com/hashtag/museumsrespondtoFerguson?src=hash

7. Re: unusual and engaging telling of history - - @ReliveApollo11, real-time tweeting of ground/mission communication transcripts from original Apollo moon mission, from National Air and Space Museum (and in particular the numerous and poignant replies from the public)

8. Re: beautiful and surprising concepts, though not *exactly* social media, “Birdwatching” at the Rijksmuseum - - a meetup of birdwatching enthusiasts to tag/catalog images of birds in the Rijks collections. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/vogelen and http://www.wis.ewi.tudelft.nl/research/wude/digital-birdwatching-at-the-rijksmuseum/

9. Re: working with communities - - the beautiful way that Dr Meghan Ferriter supports and encourages the Smithsonian Transcription Center community.

10. Re: museum collections speaking for themselves: Museum Bots - - https://twitter.com/backspace/lists/museum-bots/members

11. Re: initiatives supported by users/fans on their own - - #bookstagram on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bookstagram/?hl=en and http://bookriot.com/2013/06/07/a-brief-guide-to-bookstagram/

12. And Instagram in general…

13. And YouTube in general…

14: Re: Collecting/curating *outside* of official channels. Pinterest - - https://www.pinterest.com/search/?q=museum&referrer=sitelinks_searchbox

15. Re: soliciting stories/content from the public, The Museum of Broken Relationships. https://brokenships.com/

16. Re: artists speaking for themselves - - @aiww - - the artist on Twitter. “Twitter is the people’s tool, the tool of the ordinary people, people who have no other resources.” (A little more on http://usingdata.tumblr.com/post/88281521008/twitter-is-the-peoples-tool-the-tool-of-the)

17. …And an enormous shoutout/kudos to all the museums out there who are just being good - - good to their audiences and communities - - on social media. It’s not a sexy story, but it’s a great one, and maybe the one that matters the most. 

To share a common life

Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share in a common life. … For this is how we learn to negotiate and abide our differences, and how we come to care for the common good.
Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, as quoted by Tom Friedman in This Column Is Not Sponsored by Anyone http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/opinion/sunday/friedman-this-column-is-not-sponsored-by-anyone.html?_r=0
I heard an interview with the renowned evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson in which he addressed why, as a senior professor—and one of the most famous biologists in the world—he continued to teach non-majors biology at Harvard. Wilson explained that non-majors biology is the most important science class that one could teach. He felt many of the future leaders of this nation would take the class, and that this was the last chance to convey to them an appreciation for biology and science.
Defending Darwin by James Krupa, February 2015

Millions called

Dial-a-Poem began in 1968 when New York artist, actor, poet John Giorno linked up 15 connected telephones to reel-to-reel tape players and made it possible for anyone to call a telephone number and listen to a poem recited by an established, often radical, poet or author…Millions called.
Dial-A-Poem Poets: Radicalizing space with the telephone by James Barrette https://medium.com/@JimBarrett/dial-a-poem-poets-radicalizing-space-with-the-telephone-bfb50cd8f36c#.rk9wob8su

Love letter to learning

Society is investing in you so that you can help solve the many challenges we are going to face in the coming decades, from profound technological challenges to helping people with the age-old search for human happiness and meaning.
— Math professor Alexander Coward, in a letter to his students. Berkeley to fire ‘love letter to learning’ professor, The Guardian, October 17, 2015

The article reports that Coward is being fired for his unconventional approach to teaching, despite its enormous popularity. 

“I used to think it was about (their) egos, but in fact it’s about keeping control,” he said.

Even wider destinies

A newspaper has two sides to it. It is a business, like any other, and has to pay in the material sense in order to live. But it is much more than a business; it is an institution; it reflects and it influences the life of a whole community; it may affect even wider destinies. … It plays on the minds and consciences of men. It may educate, stimulate, assist, or it may do the opposite. It has, therefore, a moral as well as a material existence, and its character and influence are in the main determined by the balance of these two forces.
CP Scott, editor of the Guardian newspaper, 1921, as quoted in http://www.theguardian.com/membership/2014/sep/10/-sp-guardian-editor-alan-rusbridger-welcome-to-guardian-membership