Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. I, No. 2

Scores of nations celebrate an Independence Day. We all know of our own Fourth of July.

The motivations for freedom run deep and long, however early settlers were instrumental in establishing the basis for the American independence even though they were 150 years early. Due to conflicts in the mother country, there was a lot of latitude allowed to the colonials which they used to work issues of self-governance.

All of this, we'll look at further, using the context of Thomas and Margaret and their kids as the framework.

In fact, from where I sit, Thomas seems to be exemplary. He came over here to an unknown situation with his family, raised his family to productive adulthood, contributed to the commonweal, succeeded in the commercial environment of the time, was well-respected by his peers, and left a legacy for all time. The ultimate citizen, in a sense. That is why I refer to him as an example of the backbone of the economy. As well, he is definitely one of the founding fathers.

For starters, see Vol. I, No. 2, of Gardner's Beacon. Expect that there will be a continuing thread on this topic.

Remarks:

08/31/2011 -- Vol I., No. 3

Modified: 04/23/2012

Monday, June 20, 2011

On blogs and other modern means

Actually, the topic is presentation of material via other than a structured format (think, pages, font, ink, etc. -- as if PDF did not exist?). Some methods (hypermedia was once used for the group), as the modern mind might want to explore, are feared.

We can see that some families have been using blogs, for awhile (see an earlier list). Here is one that I just became acquainted with (Miner descent).

Recently, I ran across a comment at a blog that I've looked at as reference. The blog's posts had been pruned, and the tone of the blog was changed due, in part, to a decision by some genealogical experts.

In short, these people said that scholarship means print. What? Ah, is it that some have not gone beyond what Gutenberg brought forward (well, do not genealogists look back?)? Do they not know that information/knowledge presentation is on a cusp?

We're all (at least, this old guy) anticipating how things will turn out. In brief, many types of presentation, available via computation, cannot be captured to print (actually, the trees are thankful for that).

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The Slovac Yankee has a lot of overlap with the families (collateral) related to the Thomas line. Hence, it was always interesting to see what had been written there. One particular page was this one on bogus claims.

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It turns out that even 'print' has propagated error (even the illustrious WSJ has its embedded little errors daily). Those experts, above, are going to tell us that reading a digitized book and its paper'd counterpart are not equivalent in many ways? Of course, the existential nature differs; does the conveyance of the content?

By the way, if scholars do not publish 'content' on the web, we face a future with the idiotic, content-free material overwhelming us. We all need to be thankful for efforts like the archive.org (love their on-line reader) for letting us peruse a wide range of books via the cloud.

Of course, it's nice to go to a library, like D.A.R's, and see the real thing, now and then.

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Needless to say, we'll continue. Now, about the experts. Their fear is due to what might be called the need to maintain 'truth' which becomes almost intractable when viewed from within the cloud (a type of vertigo). But, we may have 'print' in a collective sense that is verified. How well can we do on controlling the interpretation that is required? That is, 'print' is integrated within people's cognitive framework (hence, some want thought control). Of course, the issue of reading, and comprehension, is something that education has tried to deal with almost ad infinitum. Would not genealogy benefit from some type of language, proof system, and provers as would be possible with the appropriate computational framework? Anyone looking at that?

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A modern scientist, when looking at genealogical material related to his family, said that it looks like gossip. This person said that about another, etc. Where is the science and engineering?

I would propose that the engineering would need computational assistance. So, the argument may then be just about how to present the material. Anything in 'print' form will be a projection, not a lifting, meaning, of course, reducing to a lower-dimensional framework. Too, there may very well be some efforts at firming up the foundation'al issues. Having not been a genealogist, I would like to know more about this (and will followup).

How about this: avatar'd space?

Remarks:

10/17/2013 -- I read where a game is coming out that uses Anne Frank's life as the theme. To my old ears, that seems to be potentially callous, however, watching the general population's decline in ability to handle mental matters (neither a phile nor phobe - rather, balance of realism and idealism) brings up thoughts that trouble. Perhaps we'll expect more of this type of thing. Given their power (that seems to be ascending), do we need a Magna Charta (one could propose all types that would be as varied as the number (seemingly abundant) of situational concerns) for the gaming bosses and their crews?

08/27/2013 -- I still rankle at the notion that Gutenberg's technology is the forever means for publication. It may be that people are saying that fluidity is only one state of matter; as in, we need to solidify things (which is what print does) now and then, even if it just allows a snapshot of a point-in-time state of knowledge. What would Charles say?

08/21/2013 -- There is a remarkable amount of material on-line. And, as was the intent (in the beginning), the web supports research (unfortunately, a lot of other things, too). So, untangling knots will continue to make use of the modern resources.

02/15/2012 -- Ran across the page today, after an elapse of time and interest. Comment stands. The Internet, in the www sense, had science and engineering as motivators (consider ieee.org's involvement), as in coordinating efforts and presenting results. Hence, its media (despite all of the noise) are deserving of respect; actually, they will become integral to distributed knowledge states. I suppose that mention of ancestry.com (and others) as not being necessary is apropos. 

Modified: 10/17/2013