This issue of Gardner's Beacon continues the context from the prior issue, GB XI, 1, with respect to accomplishments, continuations, and new beginnings.
See Vol. XI, No. 2 of Gardner's Beacon for ... Sources.
Remarks: Modified: 12/30/2021
This issue of Gardner's Beacon continues the context from the prior issue, GB XI, 1, with respect to accomplishments, continuations, and new beginnings.
See Vol. XI, No. 2 of Gardner's Beacon for ... Sources.
Remarks: Modified: 12/30/2021
TL;DR -- American Ancestor has proven to be a wonderful resource with regard to New England and beyond. As plans for the Plymouth 400th ensued and the time approach, more and more articles dealt with interesting details some of which motivated more research. One addition has been a look at the experiences year by year by R.C. Anderson of Great Migration fame. But, James W. Baker of long association with Plymouth wrote in the current issue about "popular culture" and mentioned a myth and included a reference for further information. That link went to the Nutfield genealogy blog. We have been noting more and more research articles providing URLs (or editors allow them). This indicates the potential for internet resources, when used right. We look at three organizations, two of which have a web presence. The third is of interest to us for many reasons and will be getting more attention.
One benefit of belonging to the NEHGS is having access to "American Ancestors back to 2010. That would be about the time that we got started with this work. We have gotten the print version since we joined, but it is nice to review the contents in a digital mode.
You know, as a reminder, the web was thought to be conducive to information sharing and more. That is, supporting research across time and space (disparately). And, it has done that, some what, as well as spawn a bunch of other things that will need ongoing attention. As with anything, it's good to see work from the past get attention in the present. That is scholarship, in part. But, too, there has been such an explosion that making sense of the whole deal (in about any context) is daunting, at the least, and virtually impossible, in the large.
BTW, the yearnings for things that might help control, such as we see with AI/ML/DL, is more hopeless than one might imagine and opens up many areas for unwarranted gaming. Actually, that phenomenon of mischief unbounded could have been foreseen. Was, in fact. We have mentioned this theme and will continue to do so.
Okay, after that prolog, what is this all about? James W. Baker, of the Plimoth Plantation and the Alden House, had an article in the Fall 2021 issue that was titled "The Pilgrim Story in Popular Culture." To us, it was instructive and represented a type of article that will be increasingly useful. That is, fleshing out history with information about people, their families and the local affairs. Usually, history squashes out such detail. The web will allow it to be brought back to attention. It's our choice as to whether this is a good thing or not.
Two things motivated this post and are mentioned in the second bullet. We add an older group in the first bullet since the organizations doesn't get much attention outside of New England. And, there are members all over. Then, while there are more to consider for each group, the second bullet is the focus of the post. Finally, we add one that has direct interest to TGS, Inc.
These bullets look at a group from the 17th, then another from the 18th, and finally, one from the 19th century.
|Old Colony Club|
Remarks: Modified: 12/20/2022
12/20/2022 -- Changed image for the Old Colony Club.
TL;DR -- Everyone in the U.S. knows of the crossing of the Delaware, at least by name. Some of the details may suffer, but the internet provides the means (if things are done right) to fill in as necessary. The New England Historical Society wrote of Moylan and the "United States of America" in a recent feed. We see that Washington had told Moylan to work with Glover. That latter name means something. The first two of a series of military articles in the Massachusetts Magazine dealt with Col. Glover's regiment. In these articles, the regiment, its officers and campaigns are covered. The officers have a little of their history mentioned which information is of interest to family researchers. By the time of the Christmas Eve crossing, Gen. Glover was there with his men who were boat handlers. One of their accomplishments had been to 'privateer' British vessels. In doing so, got nine.
Col. Glover has been mentioned three times in posts of this blog:
|General John Glover|
TL;DR -- In our research, we emphasize real people, their families, and events related to their lives. And, sometimes, one finds biographies that are truthful. There have been videos with the same characteristic. However, fiction reigns. So, getting more information about one dealing with areas around Yellowstone, we went to look at what we've researched the past couple of years and have listed the posts. As usual, the main theme is the long reach of New England across the U.S. and the world. And, Harvard fits in there, too, as its history is parallel with that of the country.
Frankly, as we mentioned in looking at Harvard, we want to see the influence across the great land of the U.S. and beyond. Harvard? For the pampered? Our note on John Gardner and the Merrimack surveying crew might provide a hint on our view. Perhaps not.
We'll have to relook at that, since Harvard started up, again, in 1640 after a bit of closure post the Eaton deal. So, at least, we can say that John was learning something as he worked with the older guys. Brings up a lagging bit of work which is looking at the classes through the generations. We'll start to sample that. One key one is the big gpp, Rev. John Wise (big in several ways).
So, expect the theme to continue that relates to the blue and red today. Those on the coast; those in the large interior; of course, with perturbations causing permutations everywhere. Now, we're about to the subject. It has to do with some fiction, on TV. So, we're not reading it; rather, it's the thing of having people extant now portray those of the past through events that might have happened. Or not. It's like the Games of Thrones; we find that very tedious and erroneous since those involved with what the theme is were real flesh and blood. Perhaps, respect of sorts might happen someday, maybe not.
The other side of this is that people then get a warped view since they are not get a true representation. But, so what? It's fantasy. Well, in the case of this show, they use a house that is real. We'll look at the owner who is out of New England. You see, folks, New England is the core, many ways. Yes, and in the Civil War, Massachusetts was prominent, especially in Gettysburg.
Finally, to the theme? Let's see. We're continuing this theme: Harvard, in the west. Nowadays, sure, there are students from all over. But, we're talking 200 years ago. And, Harvard was going through some changes that need some attention. As in, we can provide a mirror to lift up to the institution, perhaps.
As we come through time, we will note the changes in Harvard. Early on, the focus was on ministers or teachers. The Adams family can be a good example, say the two Johns (politician and the mountain man). The latter had no education (Grizzly, of TV fame). The former's father (John married to Abigail) went to Harvard. His grandfather did not, however a great-uncle did. There can only be so many preachers in a family. Someone has to do real work.
Grizzly's ancestors were of the sea which does not quite go with the terrestrial life on campus. There was no remote learning in those days. One might say that the potential influence of Harvard grew with them. The more students, the likely the remote touch. And, New England had a long reach, as we will be showing.
|Built for |
Howard Clark Hollister
and William S. Ford
In the below, we provide pointers to material and to our posts (in order) on the subject so as to pull them into one place. Oh yes, from the east, it's a huge trek to Yellowstone. From the west, accomplished by sea to the coast, it's no big deal. There was regular traffic (American Indians and the French and Spaniards).
Let's start with a map, that comes via Harvard.
Remarks: Modified: 04/07/2022
TL;DR -- While looking at Heads of Harvard, we ran across a lecture by a Dean that included a piece of a poem. So, we went and looked for this. Found it in the Harvard Graduate's Magazine. Also, we are tracing down the influence of New England on the west, that is west of the Mississippi River. And, as we find New England references, we like to follow them to know more of the people and their families. This is one current focus which we'll follow as long as it bears fruit. Then, we saw that a contribution has been made by the head of Meta to Harvard to study intelligence, natural and artificial. Sounds to be great news. We'll watch how this unfolds.
We have been looking at Harvard's influence on the U.S., primarily by getting to know the Heads of Harvard over the 400 years. The sampling (see History of Harvard) that we have done so far is interesting. The sample has been motivated by considering current affairs at different times.
Today, we thought to revisit the Western rivers that had our attention, for a while. Why? There is a TV show titled 1883. Also, it has to do with Yellowstone. So, that got our interest, though we have paid more attention, til now, on the earlier times (pre Civil War). One thing we looked at was Harvard names out west. There is a 14k footer with the name in Colorado. Many of Harvard have been in the area, like Henry Keyes, with other students, who did some mapping in the area in 1899 and wrote a journal.
While searching further, we found this poem given at a talk and looked to see where that came from.
One of our motives is to have Harvard included through time as we look at generations. For instance, the Fifth Gen was the core of the U.S. Revolution. We will continue along this vein after stopping to look at what we have accumulated so far.
At the same time, we are looking at the family history of those we consider. We have already followed some links related to collateral families. There is no end to this work which would not have been capable of accomplishment before the internet came on the scene.
On another note, we have expressed our intent to focus on technology as we consider the 400 years of New England influence. And, that would include Harvard's work, as well.
BTW, a pointer to the Officers and Deans page.
The Crimson has this article, recently: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Pledges $500 Million for AI Institute at Harvard. This is an institute-wide initiative with the purpose to study natural and artificial intelligence.
Hence, the inclusion of the poem relates to the several themes of this post.
Remarks: Modified: 12/19/2021
TL;DR -- How could a study of Harvard only point to a foreigner? Even if it's Dickens? So, to balance that, we are picking Ralph Waldo Emerson for several reasons. He had a long-term relationship with the institution. Too, he was there when the Count Rumford monies came in and changed things. He was in the Divinity School. And, juxtaposing these two talents has a lot of potential for considering the U.S. and its roles: past, present, and future.
We got to Charles Dickens (1812-1870) from our study of the Heads of Harvard. On our first read of this material, we saw Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-182) mentioned. After looking at Josiah Quincy, III (1772-1864) whose biographer talked to Emerson, it is imperative that we give him some attention.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (WikiTree: Emerson-46) was New England to the core via both parental lines. On his mother's side, he has Mayflower lineage. Emerson was in Harvard in 1817 when he was 14. John Thornton Kirkland was the President, at the time. That was about the time that Count Rumford's impact on the institution with his Loyalist's donation. Though, Emerson stayed true to his calling in the Divinity School. The secularization moves would come later. This has not really been addressed in our research, yet, but is on the agenda.
With respect to Dickens, Emerson went to one of his talks and noted the obvious talent. That was during the 1842 visit. It was in the later visit by Dickens, in the 1860s, when the two had a chance to talk further. There were several commonalities, such as being abolitionists. And, they both had deep insights with disparate means of expressing these. Their two talents represent something that we have not learned to balance and must.
A few mentions of Emerson by Dickens are noted in an article on Dickens meeting with Edgar Allen Poe. We mentioned Poe, earlier, in a post on Magazines.
This is a cursory mention, mainly serving as a placeholder and reminder. We have been paying more attention of late to those who went west. Dickens bailed out at St. Louis. The travel was arduous. We really need to get the proper view back on what people did in the middle of the country to establish that part of the nation. With Emerson entering the picture, we can go back and look at the east coast over the same timeframes of the generations of the country.
Reminder: Emerson is of the 7th generation.
Remarks: Modified: 12/19/2021
TL;DR -- Dickens visited the U.S. twice. The first was in 1842. He liked Boston and Harvard. At a site that offers Dickens-related material, his view during the 1842 visit of some people of fame can be found. He noted the American ways, good and bad. His western jaunt only went to St. Louis. On a later visit after the Civil War, he mainly read his writings at eastern locales. The west was still too wild. Dickens's views will be more apropos than those of the aristocrats who visited, too.
We got to Charles Dickens (1812-1870) somewhat in a circuitous manner. We, briefly, looked at Cornelius Conway Felton as one of the Heads of Harvard in order to assess information about him. Neither Wikipedia nor WikiTree had much. Lots of these profiles seem to be ignored; so, we will table Felton until we look at a few other administrations.
On further search, Felton was mentioned in relation to a publication: The Harvard Book. The record on archive[.]org is only the Table of Contents. Dickens was included. On browsing the content list, it does look worth while for further reading.
So, that led to a search on Dickens and Harvard. One article was published by The Crimson (A Moist and Oystery Twinkle: Charles Dickens at Harvard). This visit was in 1842. The article mentioned that Dickens loved three things about Boston, "its literature, its oysters, and its Harvard men." And, the article mentions the people who entertained Dickens whose names we now know due to this research. Felton was mentioned.
When Dickens ventured outside of Boston, Felton went with him to some areas. Dickens went further west; that is something to look at. St. Louis was as far as he got in the 1840s. Travel was arduous. Wherever people had started to settle there and further west, but it takes time to develop facilities.
A wonderful site covers the authors two visits to the U.S. and his other ventures: The Charles Dickens Page. Technically, we really like the layout of the site which is loaded with information and will be using it as a resource for our work when Dickens applies.
|Dickens' travels, 1842|
The first trip was in 1842. Missouri was all of twenty years old. One thing about the above site is that Dickens wrote of his travels. The Dickens site has made these writings available. This is the page on Travels in America and Canada 1842. Sites up to St. Louis are on the list and covered. But, here is Dickens on St. Louis. As mentioned, that was his furthest point west.
On his return trip in the 1860s, post the Civil War, Dickens did not even venture out of the east. This is the article about his travels: Charles Dickens in America 1867-68. A table provides some detail about the itinerary with some notes. These are not as extensive as he did with the 1842 trip. He was older. Also, he was reading his works. He got to DC but the furthest west was Niagara Falls.
The following are links to related articles provide only for reference.
It's great to hear of Harvard and Dickens repairing the ties that bound the old and the new English cultures. After all, there were still some conflicts going on in the 1840s as Canada served as the means for friction. The boundaries of Oregon were not settled until 1846.
Too, in 1842, Dickens was meeting the upper crust Americans who really had no counterpart in England. In fact, that type of dynamic is still with us and motivates some of our work. Over the 400 years of the U.S., all sorts of social and cultural issues have been a hotbed of conflict some of which we still see as unresolved.
So, actually, it is great to run into Dickens and his two trips. There is a more real flavor to this than we saw with the visits by the French aristocracy (say Lafayette's Trail).
Remarks: Modified: 12/16/2021
TL;DR -- Henry Dunster is the 1st Head of Harvard, coming in not long after Nathaniel Eaton's tenure was ended. Dunster had fallings out with the Puritans, as well.
We have been adding Heads of Harvard to a list while taking an initial look at each with respect to time and affiliations, including family and New England. Our research started with a recent one, comparatively, and we have done a few more. But, we missed the first one and are correcting that oversight with this post. As mentioned, we mostly are using links, in our posts, to Wikipedia and WikiTree for the first pass and will be diving deeply into the term of each along with our review of U.S. history from the time of the revolution until the time that the frontiers were mostly settled. That get us from 250 years ago (plus or minus a few years) to the early part of the 20th century.History of Harvard. We were adding numbers to show where there are still gaps and noticed that we ought to include #1, Henry Dunster to anchor the list. Dunster held the position from 1640 to 1654. He took over after Nathaniel Eaton found himself facing the first American cancel culture. We need to discuss that and will, at some point.
Dunster came over in 1640 after teaching for a time. He earned his bachelor's and master's degree from Magdalene College, Cambridge. Dunster experienced some controversy in conflict with Puritan views which led to him leaving the position in 1654.
Henry Dunster (WikiTree - Dunster-36) requires a little work on his Profile. But, that there is a lack of interest in researching seems apparent for some of these profiles (we have only looked at a small set of the total).
We will get back to his term as we look at a few more profiles and establish a framework for our study. We started this review with Count Rumford's contribution as a key item. However, going back before the U.S. Revolution will require more concern about English culture and its influences.
Remarks: Modified: 12/15/2021
TL;DR -- Looking at Harvard goes from 1636 to now, and one could think about the before times as well as what's next. Our interest is partly personal due to having connections over the toto of the life of the country and the school. Too, though, the U.S. might have started on the coast, but it has filled in a huge continent (or part of it) over these centuries. It was a mere 200 years ago, when the carving of the middle was the vogue and had everyone's attention. Well, not, as most who left the busyness of the east coast became unknowns out here. The recent Head's life motivated this review which is intended to be a usual affair as we go along. BTW, us is the US and its folks.
Having started to look at Harvard and its ties to the U.S. (which is us, the people - not just the brainy who need to be fed and told how to move one foot in front of the other -- as the embodiment of that notion of Winthrop quoting the Bible about humanity needing a 'light' or two, whether on a hill or not is immaterial, though we love lighthouses and gaslights) that we all live in and try to know, from several perspectives, it appeared useful to consider the 32 Heads of Harvard over the almost 400 years of its existence. 32? The official count is 29, however we added three. Two of these were in an interim position, for more than a year. So, they count. Then, we have the first one who is mentioned already in this blog.
Note: There is a note that John Winthrop served as acting Head on two different occasions. So, the count would be 33 Heads. Winthrop is a descendant of the original Governor and taught Count Rumford in his youth. Other acting presidents are listed (Presidents of Harvard).
See this post, History of Harvard, for the list which has a few names on it as of now. Of course, an early one was James Bryant Conant. It was a New Yorker article that got our attention, so we went to look at New England and family ties. From that, it was easy picking from various areas. For example, an important time is when Count Rumford funded Harvard's efforts at becoming more secular. John Thornton Kirkland was there at the time, but we have other names to run down. It seems like the Pearce family was more involved with setting up the technical focus for the institution.
While doing this work, our principal modes of information are Wikipedia and WikiTree, both of which we support via editing and usage. But, we go to other sources, to boot. Right now, we look for and find New England connections, where we expect that later folks may have tenuous links in comparison with those from the early ages who would have had closer ties.
In fact, our last two Heads were related, with Samuel Willard being the great-grandfather of Joseph Willard. We have been picking people by name and noticed the two Willards. Will there be others who relate more closely than New England cousin? As well, we expect to follow threads especially as we consider the frontier. Too, Harvard ties will hit all over the place and ought to be interesting for several reasons.
One of these is U.S. history as it relates to its future. We have been dealing with the frontier for two years now (U.S. Interior) with respect to families. Many were new arrivals; lots of patriots were 1st or 2nd generation in their family. New England patriots were mostly the fifth generation.
|Presidents of Harvard|
However, our net will be cast wide. The U.S. has many aspects of its history that never got attention. Part of this was technology. However, part of the oversight is due to the ruling mindset. The internet will allow more freedom. Actually, it'll allow more effective means for research. We already see that with the genealogical and historical approaches with family data. That is both good and bad.
But, like with brainstorming, we look at things in order to get sufficient material to make those assessments that are necessary for maintaining society and sanity. What follows might seem wide-spread, or too unfocused, but it is not. Rather, it represents a mere scratch on the surface. Digging deeper? That is always a choice for which decision theory, hopefully, will be helpful.
So, this post is motivated by noticing that Nathan Pusey was the next Head after Conant who was a descendant of Roger Conant of Cape Ann and Salem. It looked like Pusey's heritage was principally from Pennsylvania and the south. Then, the family moved west. Pusey was born in Iowa. His extended family was scattered around in that area west of the Mississippi.
When did the family arrive? On a closer look, we can see that his paternal ancestors were with William Penn in the late 1600s. Some have done genealogical work on Pusey's; we will be looking into this further at some point. We had noticed that some of the Heads have very slim information about them, as if there is some popularity aspect that determines interest.
Well, all of these Heads will be important, as we step through the many generations. Fortunately, we have family involved with Harvard, as well as in-laws and friends. So, personal motivation will help fill in the historic look.
Let's consider this little tie. Pusey taught at the Riverdale School in New York City early in his career. He is mentioned in the 'Notable staff' section. Looking at the 'Notable alumni' section brought up several names that are of interest. President JFKennedy and his brother, RFK, are on the list. The school started in 1907, so the names are fairly contemporary. Others of a wide variety are Ratan Tata, Carly Simon, Cesar Romero, Steven Mnuchin, and others.
But, so was Lawrence Ferlinghetti an attendee of the school. He is well-known for his literary work and his book store in San Francisco (City Lights Bookstore). Given our focus of late, what caught the eye was that his wife was the granddaughter of Edmund Kirby-Smith. Families went south and then west. Some came in and went west, like Pusey's. And, when west, there was the huge U.S. Interior involved which took over 100 years for a frontier experience to not be the norm.
His folks were from Connecticut, but Kirby-Smith was born in Florida. After attending a military academy in Virginia, he went to West Point and served in several military campaigns. With the start of the Civil War, he was a superior officer. By the time of Bull Run, where he was wounded, he had held several positions of General Officer. After the war, he had several positions, ending up as professor of mathematics and botany.
According to WikiTree (Smith-39301), his tree is fairly well filled in with lots of Connecticut connections. However, there are Massachusetts connections, as well, including Essex County. This is an example of a New England family from the north going south. Many had done so much earlier.
One might wonder about the Harvard association as it seems fairly weak. But, it is not, just like the reference to West Point is there constantly when we look at the military history. Harvard is part of that long-arm of New England which threads heavily from one coast to the next across the large middle. And, then, of course, U.S.ers were very much active overseas from the beginning.
Lots of things to look at and ponder.
Remarks: Modified: 12/11/2021
TL;DR -- Continuing with the look at the Heads of Harvard, we chose the one who succeeded James Bryant Conant in the role. Conant started the testing focus. Pusey continued the work. Pusey also was of the time of the student unrest which grew faster than anyone expected. His decisions as Head may have not been popular. We look at Pusey and his heritage. Is he an example of being cancelled?
There is a lot of motivation for this review, as there have been thirty-two Heads of Harvard if one considers that a couple were not counted as they were considered interim for a few years plus we have the first one who was run out on a rail, so to speak. Those not counted were Samuel Willard and Eliphalet Pearson, both of whom we have looked at, briefly. We have noticed that some of these folks are ignored as seen by sparsity of their information on Wikipedia and WikiTree. This can be corrected. But, too, we can discuss the 'cancel' culture which is really nothing new (witch hunts, for instance, and their hangings).
We picked Nathan Pusey due to his name which we have seen in the New England milieu. Nathan does have a WikiTree profile (Pusey-1124) which is very sparse. Even his wife's heritage is an empty bucket. However, from the Wikipedia profile, we see that a great-uncle of Nathan was William Henry Mills Pusey (WikiTree: Pusey-111).William's WikiTree profile has information about his paternal ancestry which would then be the same as that of Nathan's. The Pusey family came into PA in the early 1700s. William was born in PA but went to IA after being admitted into the bar in PA. Nathan was born in Council Bluffs, IA. So, this was a great find for several reasons which will be explained, over time. Meanwhile, this task is very finite; albeit, once we organize the material, there will no end to showing how the 'lights' of New England are transcendental yet very much pertaining to the U.S. and its history and future.
Nathan's time at Harvard coincided with the rise of up rest in the 60s. He was not a fan of student advocacy. So, his life and times need further elucidation from the perspective of Harvard and the 400+ years of the U.S.
Remarks: Modified: 12/11/2021
TL;DR -- Samuel and Joseph Willard were kin while both being Heads of Harvard. Samuel was first and the great-grandfather of Joseph. With these few samples so far, we can look for Harvard to illustrate its role in the unfolding of the U.S. which is one of our chief themes.
So far in our look at the History of Harvard, we have considered four. Today, we pick two who are related: Samuel Willard and Joseph Willard who are descendants of Simon Willard, an early entrant.
Remarks: Modified: 12/11/2021
TL; DR -- Before, we talked of the 100th, 200th, 250th, 300th, and 400th coming forward from Cape Ann. Where the 250th deals with the U. S. start. The 400th involved New England and more. Now, we can talk 400 years ago, 200 years ago, and now. 400? The forebears crossed the sea. 200? The waves of immigrants crossed the prairie and other areas of the U. S. interior. Now? We are all sailing the seas of the cyber and virtual and more due to the computationally-framed new world.
In the latest issue of Gardner's Beacon, which was Vol. XI, No. 1, we mentioned one of our continuing subjects: U. S. Interior. In part, the subject of the U. S. interiors deals with history, however we add in the family aspect with the same intent as groups focused upon historical and genealogical topics (say, the NEHGS). We have called the period of over hundred years in which the interior expanded to be the Frontier Century.
While browsing today, we ran across a map that looked interesting which is given below. However, let's take a moment for reflection. The map was in a collection of other images related to why the U. S. has been successful, in the world, which is a debatable subject. There was no attribution, so we used the facilities of Google's image search to find the source for the map. It showed several similar maps, however PInterest had the map and pointed to where it got the map. So, that was nice to see.
The site is run for teachers. Here is the map which provides a timeline for acquisition as well as some indication of the geography. We have had several posts on this subject which are list below (such as, All that Louisiana brought, which is first on the list).
Remarks: Modified: 12/03/2021
|small example of the|
array of modern devices
This issue of Gardner's Beacon provides an overview of things accomplished in 2021 and before, plus commentary on what we are doing and why. Reports on our work have mostly been done by blog posts. The occasional issue of Gardner's Beacon provides for a structured review. Also, we have presented material by way of The Gardner Annals, an issue of which will be published in 2022.
TL;DR -- Considering technological issues related to computer systems some of which are exhibiting, supposedly, behavior that might be considered intelligent. Some of these systems handle language interchange with humans, somewhat. On the other hand, we have the example of educated humans who grasp lots of material with an understanding that is apparent in effective action. Versus, the more focused modes that we see with computer systems. The debate continues. In the meantime, we can see slow progress with respect to computer-based information. A long-time example is provided.
We have had several posts on technology over the years in a general sense. We have also taken up the them of History, Culture, Technology. And, we have several times remarked about content versus configuration in terms of knowledge management. The computer has really changed the landscape.
We started in 2010 using Microsoft's Office Live. It was two years later that they switched to Office 360 and pruned out lots of small business systems that had developed. We are to where we want to incorporate an ecommerce flavor, of sorts, but our focus is research. WikiTree is sufficient to support our genealogical needs. How to handle the rest of the requirements is a recurring them? Associated with this is the issue of what are the requirements.
Since the introduction of the smart phone 14 years ago, we have watched the evolution. 'apps' were one major enhancement (for better or for worse is to be discussed) with wide-spread ramifications. We just got our first smart phone a couple of weeks ago which will help hone our research. That is, the platforms for interface are several, but we have three as a focus, at the moment: mobile, tablet/laptop, desktop. Other platforms? The whole of the gaming theme, including the 'meta' dreams of Facebook. 5G and IOT as frameworks for the future are a big deal. At the upper end, we have the huge systems doing massive computing. We have to mention the cloud which is not to be without huge farms of computers dealing with distributed systems in disparate areas and across a never-ending landscape of information.
Got the drift, yet? I may have mentioned this once, but the Gairdner Foundation was an inspiration when first seen years ago. It was started in Canada by a Gairdner gent from Scotland. Their focus is medical research for which they support work and offer prizes for results. This is a huge domain.
Computing? It's larger, for several reasons. For one thing, it's supportive of everything. Like IEEE.org says, their members have been involved intimately with all advances in technology of the past century. Then there are all of the issues related to 'smarts' with respect to computing. I already mentioned the 'smart' phone. Another topic would be AI and its association with knowledge and autonomy of artifacts. Of note are the discussions currently looking at the various subjects. Lines are being cast.
Our focus is the U.S., principally, with New England a key topic. A large part of our history has been technology as it evolved in our timeframe. The past few decades saw an acceleration where American ingenuity influenced the world. Of late, China has made inroads which will be discussed. For now, this image is from the Communications of the ACM, Nov 2021.
There are several articles to discuss, such as this one reviewing NLP with respect to the historical work plus enhancements that accrue to applying modern techniques: Knowledgeable Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing.
In the larger picture which deals with complexity and thereby limits to computing, technical perspectives article provides and overview and arguments for MIP* = RE. This has direct implications related to the need for management of expectations.
One might argue that AI AIn't. In the general way of progress, hype has been let loose of its restrictions. Mind you, much misinformation is out there. Where does one go to find any type of truth? Well, that is one thing that we can help with. Our little portal is meant as a means to define, discuss, and determine matters that go to the core, even with regard to our very essence as humans.
So, let's put here a little bit of text from a discussion. This from a post by Prof. John Baez with regard to thermodynamics as seen from an introductory framework (Composited thermodynamics).
I'm sure there's much more to be done. But I feel happy to see modern math being put to good use: making the foundations of thermodynamics more precise. Once Vladimir Arnol'd wrote:
I'm not sure our work will help with that---and indeed, it's possible that once the mathematicians finally understand thermodynamics, physicists won't understand what the mathematicians are talking about! But at least we're clearly seeing some more of the mathematical structures that are hinted at, but not fully spelled out, in such an elementary course.
How this relates to the above is that thermodynamics has been studied for a few centuries now. Count Rumford was an early researcher. AI? Modern to its core. Most classical views that might relate are not consider. Or, have not been for several reasons. But, the computer and changes to cognition can be observed. We are too new to this game to know as much as we are assuming.
Be that as it may, finally we can get to the gist of the post. Favorite site? It has been mentioned several times in posts (Culture, History, Technology). Prof. Baez started blogging in the 1990s using the blogging mode in vogue at the time which was the minimal type of framework. He kept at it until about ten years ago. Reminder, this blog dealt with advanced mathematics of the highest order with embedded images and many equations written out in a textual format. The message got conveyed.
When he transitioned, he left his old blog that was full of content which is one of our themes. And, he went to WordPress (Azimuth) which we have been using, somewhat. Seeing him work with both the old and the new is encouraging.
Right now, we have two sites. We will transition to using the new (https://TGSoc.org) while we work issues with regard to re-configuring and adding in new facilities, such as ecommerce functions.
Remarks: Modified: 12/10/2021
12/10/2021 -- Added the TL;DR line.
TL;DR -- We continue our look at the History of Harvard by featuring another Head. In this case. Eliphalet Pearson served in an interim role for a couple of years. The information on him is sparse, so we can look to fill that in. But, his pedigree is shown on WikiTree, starting in Newbury, MA which is of Essex County.
So far, in our look at the History of Harvard, we have featured three Presidents. Today, we add another. Eliphalet Pearson (1752-1826) was acted in the role between the death of the 12th (Joseph Willard) and start of the 13th term (Samuel Webber). Eliphalet served from 1804 to 1806 (see Heads of Harvard). Prior to his stint at Harvard, he was Head of Phillips Academy which has an illustrious list of notable alumni.
Remarks: Modified: 12/11/2021
12/11/2021 -- Added link to Heads of Harvard.