Monday, October 31, 2022

Derek Bok

TL;DR -- As we look at the twenty-fifth President of Harvard, we take note that the end is nearing. At that time, we will begin filling in our research remarks since this exercise is very much associated with four hundred years of history that encompasses the totality of humanity, even if that impact was indirect. 


With this post (Derek Bok, #25), we are nearing the end of a series that started in August of 2021 with a look at James Bryant Conant. There are only two to go as we leave current situations until a later date. With only two to go (#26, Neil Rudenstine; #27, Lawrence Summers), we can start a continuing effort of analysis across time and space with respect to New England's (and Massachusetts') long arm. 

Derek served twice in the Head of Harvard role (1971-91, 2006-07). His second term was interim, prior to that of Drew Gilpin Faust. The author of several books, he had a "concern for the quality of pedagogy employed at research universities like Harvard and its peers around the world" which continued throughout his life and work.  

We will follow up with more research and post more about Derek's life, doing so only summarily, since there is plenty of contemporary material at hand given the gift of the IP (protocol) which occurred after Derek's term.       

The length of Derek's term will be of interest as is the breadth of familial connections, some of which is of U.S. lineage, due to the many factors that will come into play with respect to our 400-year focus


1. Derek was Dean of the Harvard Law School. ...

2. Derek " is the son of Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Curtis Bok and Margaret Plummer Bok;[11] the grandson of Dutch-born Ladies' Home Journal editor Edward Bok and Mary Louise Curtis, founder of the Curtis Institute of Music; the cousin of prominent Maine folklorist Gordon Bok; and the great-grandson of Cyrus H. K. Curtis, founder of the Curtis Publishing Company, publisher of national magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post."

3.  ...

Remarks: Modified: 10/31/2022

10/31/2022 -- 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Time lines

TL;DR -- The U.S. and its time lines and those of the world. Our timeline was prepared by the pre-school  of colonial life. This was unique when viewed properly. And. New England, in this sense, has a long reach which we have been discussing. The 400ths will allow us some markers with which to organize the information by, arbitrary as such might seem. 


This post covers an area of concern that will be in focus for a long while. We will mention Immanuel Kant, for one thing. That is 200 years ago, or so. One thing we will do is put events and people into perspective with regard to the 400 years on these shores. This will cover the broad scope due to the influence of New England and the U.S., but we have already started with mathematicians and philosophers. Those folks are of interest since the military and political people get lots of attention. And, we are picking up technology as our area of focus. We summarized part of this in our Gairdner Foundation post. Incidentally, both types deal with thinking and being smart humans with the math'ians being more practical many times, as mathematician, philosopher and cousin Charles Sanders Peirce showed. His work in logic is still very much apropos to this day and age's problems, as is the pragmatic view.  

Then take Spinoza, for instance. He has been mentioned in three of our posts: Spectral issues, Web'ing, and Origins and Motivations. Also, we mention Descartes and others. Mention? As in, name dropping? Nope. The mechanized age (though, Einstein showed us relativity) of the computational idiocies has thrown out the old timers. Why? Oh, digitize all of text, parse, model, and then spit out what humans will marvel at. 

We are not kidding, folks. This is what is happening. 

Any human knows the power of words; others know that that power does not come from mere textual manipulations even if what we see is somewhat syntaxy in mode. Consider that a brief reminder, like a blurb from advertising - oh, those folks, of something that needs serious attention. 

Paul Carus
Which brings us to the main theme, Kant. We will address this from one of his translators whose native tongue was German but who came over here and let down roots. That is, Paul Carus (introduced to C.S. Peirce by Judge Francis C. Russell - New England name) not only did a good job on Kant's Prolegomena, his commentary contributes to the discussion. Mind you, we are talking over 100 years ago. That is ancient to the Silicon Valley mind, it seems, though Stanford University (and Berkeley) is right there. 

If you look at Prof. Carus' profile on Wikipedia, one name pops out: C. S. Peirce (mentioned above). There was another name that we saw from New England with respect to translating Kant, Henry Cabot Lodge. BTW, earlier, we noted that young folks liked to translate Spinoza's Ethics which was written in Latin. One of those? George Eliot who worked from a German version. One New England contact there is R.W. Emerson who had been influenced by Kant. 

This post deals with occurrences before and around that which the 250th will commemorate. Kant's life was from 1724 to 1804. We will look at the generations that he spanned. Too, though, we can go back and look at things of influence. We already mentioned Winthrop's 1630 arrival as one milestone to use. Before that was reconnaissance according to the writer of Albion's Seed. And, we can come forward toward the explosion of knowledge and ability leading to the 21st century and its marvels.

But, with hapless souls, one might think, looking around. Using the timeline of the U.S. and its pre-school time, we can relook and learn, perhaps, things that were missed; or, we can recover things lossed in the shuffles that are always the case. 

Note: Carus' overview of Kant's look at his 2nd Critique is a good example of Kant's influence. It seems that you either love Kant or hate the guy's thoughts. 

Note: This is apropos. We will put a link to recent article that listed Americans (norte, U.S.) who are related to the Queen (QE II). There are two lists (more are possible) given in the article. One is of those who have common ancestors (the list is long, having families like Washington, Lee and too many to list). The other list? Those who are closer as a U.S. ancestor is shared with the Queen (QE II) and King Charles, in some cases, Lady Diana, too. Ann has ancestors on both lists. This happened as a colonial (or someone later) went back. For instance, Downing's Street namesake is a cousin-in-law. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/24/2022

10/24/2022 -- 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Newbury Essex County MA

TL;DR -- Ships made and used. New England. We're back to that after our jaunts through the interior. But, we'll keep both in mind going forward. In Massachusetts, we focus on little Essex County. Even there, the shipbuilding efforts have continued over the 400 years. Maine will be in the scope, too; after all, they endured the onus of Massachusetts for a long while.  


New England and its nautical modes is a no-brainer, that is, when one considers the coastal area. Same goes for our Essex County, the primary entity in Massachusetts. That is, again, until Winthrop arrived in 1630. There was Plymouth, of course. And, people had scattered around the region, like Weymouth which commemorates its 400 this year (2022). Per usual, we will be looking at Weymouth, again, due to the associations/relationships with those there in the context of the 400ths which will cover several decades. 

Folks in Essex County helped fill in the interior of the U.S. over time. To consider that entails covering a very large area. Two memes apply: long reach of New England; frontier century. Both by land and by sea pertain to the two memes over time. Thomas Gardner Research has noted by the seafaring ones have lots of press. Where there are deficits of information is in the large interior. To the extent that we can claim to have discovered a lost generation or two where our work has merely touched the tip of an iceberg. Fortunately, technology is moving to where we can handle the work to fill in the missing pieces. The interior is not just "flyover country" as was a meme several years ago. 

But, back to the sea and its charms. Before getting back to Essex County, there was a documented building of a vessel in Maine in 1607: Virginia, a pinnace (Gardner's Beacon, Vol. III, No. 1); Popham Colony (Wikipedia -- first English ocean-going vessel built "in the Americas."). The Wikipedia article gives an off-handed review. This vessel actually sailed from Maine to Virginia, to London, and elsewhere. This accomplishment needs more attention. 

That's New England, north as we call it. Coming back to Massachusetts and Essex County, we can look at the northern end, namely Newbury. We have mentioned it a few times. For instance, Dr. Frank and Ann have lots of ancestors from there. Nathaniel Knapp is an example. We wrote of Caleb Haskell who is from Newburyport (close enough). 

Newbury will have its commemoration is 2035. Being up top, we can jump over to New Hampshire to add in more goings-on over time, say like this post, Two Houses. But, let's give Newbury some attention, finally. 

Today, we saw an article by Melissa D. Berry: Tales of Infant Boat Industry in Massachusetts. The article looks at Newbury's  involvement, in a big way, with the creation of vessels for water transportation. By 1749, the region had produced "over 600 vessels." The Merrimack (1798) came from the folks up there in northern Essex County as a gift to the cause for which we'll have a 250th very soon.  

Recently, we had a brief look at the smaller work of cousins a little further south: Shipbuilding in Essex. Where Essex, in this case, is the former Chebacco where Rev. John Wise preached and rebelled. That latter had to do with tax impositions almost 100 years before the little tea party in Boston. John's pamphlet (see The Rev. John Wise of Ipswich) was republished to inform the later folks of what happened before, as well as to inspire Thomas Jefferson. 

We will step back to the beginning to look at the types of efforts. Housing was a huge emphasis, for a while. There was regular traffic bringing in goods of various types. Some artifacts had to be done locally. Too, exporting happened fairly quickly. Of course, we will continue the overviews of the 400 years of interest. 

Getting back to New England, in the context of Maine, we need to specifically point to Bath (John almost went there - to deal with the heavy stuff as compared to the lightness of aero ways). This little brochure is about the First ship of Maine (of course, Popham's). Their claim s that 4,000 ships have been built over the 400 years. Astounding.    

Remarks: Modified: 10/19/2022

10/19/2022 -- 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Thomas Hill

TL;DR -- Is Thomas the most interesting of the Heads? We will be researching him. He got a U.S. Patent for a mechanical calculator, did some astronomical algorithms, wrote a book on geometry and faith, took off his coat to plant some ivy at Harvard, and such. Too, he was an orphan by 10. Got to Harvard late but accomplished his goals. Much more.  


We started this series in August of 2021 with James Bryant Conant. Since then, we have looked at most of the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia). By doing this post on Thomas Hill, we will have covered those in the position from the beginning until the 1930s which is 300 years. 

As with the other Heads, we looked for WikiTree information () and found none. Harvard Square did have a biography of Thomas as a Unitarian minister with information from The Harvard Book, 1875. His father was from England but had been in the U.S. for 30 years when Thomas was born. His parents died before Thomas was 10 years old, resulting in his early education being spotty. Thomas graduated from Harvard in 1843 and the Divinity School in 1845. His time in the Head of Harvard role was from 1862-1868 which encompasses the U.S. Civil War. 

We will do research and post more about Hill's life, for one thing, using the material at Hollis which has a biography.     

Hill died in 1891. More later (see following notes).


1. Hill had a lot of interests, including astronomy. His mathematical work resulted in methods and tools for astronomical calculations. Plus, he wrote a book on Geometry and Faith. He obtained a Patent (US No 18692) for a mechanical calculator in 1857. ...

2. He received financial aid. See Celebrating 375 years of Financial Aid. Ralph Waldo Emerson is on the list, too, as doing work-study. ... The future: "well over half" receive some type of aid. 

3.  ...

Remarks: Modified: 10/15/2022

10/15/2022 -- 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hector St. John

TL;DR -- Hector St. John is considered, again. He was here for the French-Indian affair, on the side of France. Came down to the British side of the colonial divide. Was a farmer and more. Then, was caught in the land of Loyalist or not; the British got him, took him back to England, where he finally was let go to go get his inheritance. But, he wrote of his experiences and came back as a French consul. Finally, he gets some attention. 


Our recent look at the "Secret Six" after considering "Blended families" got us back to The Massachusetts Magazine which was presented by Dr. Frank and friends, one of whom was Col. T.W. Higginson. In this research, we got re-acquainted with F.B. Sanborn who was one of the Secret Six and contributed to many publication efforts. 

Then, along with our review of the pre-COVID times, we were looking at our posts on F.B. (What is an American?). And, we ran across an old name. Hector St. John was the subject of an article or two by F.B. We mentioned something about Hector in our post (Early America, 2018 - notice that we put the Table of Contents to his book on his early travels in Pennsylvania and New York) and went looking for newer material. 

One is a biography on this site: Freedom: A History of US. Hector, of France, was old enough to have been in Canada with the French during the French-Indian affair and to later be in the British side of the colonial divide prior to the American Revolution. 

So, his stories will be great to look at, with its foreign flavor. 

He got a Yankee introduction and was here during the conflict. The British took him prisoner and shipped him back to England. Lots of tales. He got back to his family in France. They had some pedigree to note. 

This is from the Annenberg Learner: The outbreak of the American Revolution marred Crèvecoeur’s idyllic farm life. Suspected of harboring Loyalist sympathies, he was persecuted and threatened by his neighbors. He tried to sail for France to escape harassment and to secure his children’s inheritance, but both the English authorities and the Revolutionaries found him suspicious and made his departure difficult. After being imprisoned by the English, he was finally allowed to leave for France in 1780. 

Okay, let's do one more quote, same source: Once he had arrived safely in Europe, Crèvecoeur published a manuscript he had produced while in America. His book, Letters from an American Farmer(1782), was an account of rural life and travels through America told in the voice of a naive, rustic narrator. These letters of “Farmer James” became popular in France and England and, trading on the book’s success, Crèvecoeur became a minor celebrity. He was appointed a French consul to America and returned to New York in 1783. 

So, yes, this gent needs some attention. Not to detract from Lafayette and those others, like the Polish officer of note. We'll touch on them, too. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/12/2022

10/12/2022 --

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Secret Six, the rest

TL;DR -- There were six. We looked at two of them before due to their association with The Massachusetts Magazine. We looked at another because of his wife. There were three left. With this post, we provide some links to support further research. 


We ran into the Secret Six (Wikipedia) as we were looking at the activities of John Brown in Kansas prior to the Civil War. That research had been motivated by references to Col. T. W. Higginson in The Massachusetts Magazine. Not much later, we got familiar with F.B. Sanborn who wrote of the Col. after his death in an article in the same magazine. Another name that we encountered via his wife was Samuel Gridley Howe. 

That gave us three of the six. The rest? They are in the below list with a pointer to their Wikipedia and WikiTree information. When we first looked at this group, some of the Wikipedia pages were not available. It is nice to see the research being done.  

T. W. Higginson - The Colonel collaborated with Dr. Frank on The Massachusetts Magazine and the Old Planters Society. Too, he supported 'bleeding Kansas' prior to the Civil War. In Gardner's Beacon, Vol. XII, No. 2 (recently published), we looked at his family with respect to the focus of the Thomas Gardner Society. Inc.  

F. B. Sanborn - F. B. was looked at earlier due to his association with T. W., but, on a further look, we see his involvement as being fairly broad. So, we'll take a deeper look.   

Samuel G. Howe - Husband of Julia (Ward) Howe whom we featured earlier (his WikiTree profile: Howe-2638); we will look further at him and his lineage. 

George L. Stearns - His ancestor came with Winthrop and Saltonstall and settled in Watertown, MA. He has Patriots (See SAR/DAR) in his lineage. His support for John Brown included pikes and rifles. WikiTree Profile: Stearns-2488

Gerrit Smith - His lineage is Dutch and English. He has Patriots (See SAR/DAR) in his lineage. Gerrit was quite successful which allowed him to engage in philanthropy. He provided financial support to John Brown and supported the Kansas Aid Movement. WikiTree Profile: Smith-199399 

Theodore Parker - He has colonial ancestors and Patriots (See SAR/DAR) in his lineage. Theodore was a minister whose work deserves attention. He supported John Brown, "whom many considered a terrorist." WikiTree Profile: Parker-16208 

These six are representative of the New England abolitionist's points of view. Further research will be done on their lives and important work. 

Oh yes, Harvard graduates are amongst these ones. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/09/2022

10/09/2022 -- Patriots are of many types. We think that these gents need more recognition than what has been shown so far. Each has a deep pedigree. They cover the basis in terms of traits and their life focus. But, they all were abolitionists and supported John Brown whom we will feature, as well. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

U. S. and Harvard, II

TL;DR -- We can split the group of Heads into three eras by a major event. The Revolutionary War (Declaration of Independence) ends the Colonial period. Then, we go until 1900 covering a century of frontier living with respect to the interior. From there, we stop at 2000. We have looked at some of these periods, already having spent some time roaming the interior, with the last two being restricted to virtual looks. 


We had an earlier post on this subject (U.S. and Harvard, I) that was motivated by History of Harvard (ours) in the 1900s. Another interest behind the stop and look had been our experience in looking for the pedigrees of these folks, many of whom are of New England families. A few were new arrivers. 

This time, we are looking at generations using fuzzy founds, which result in three categories: Colonial, Revolutionary War to 1900, and, then, post 1900. Let's look at each of these and identify the Heads as they relate to the period.  

  • Colonial - The fifth generation was heavily involved with the war that ended this period, however the fourth provided crucial leadership. After all, they had been trained by the Crown to fight in the French-Indian affair. 
Here we start with the era of Eaton (0th) and Dunster (who was on 1st) and end with Samuel Langdon who was the 11th). The count? Eleven if Eaton is excluded. But, Samuel Willard brings it to twelve. 
  • Revolutionary War to 1900 - This period saw the U. S. Civil War which was an affair of the 8th generation. C. E. Eliot (21st) came in right after this conflict and was there until the end of the period. There were seven Heads from the turn of the century (1800 or pre-Lewis/Clark) until the Civil War. This is a period of huge adjustment. Was that later one (from the Civil war on) larger?  

With this, we have the eras of Langdon (11th) and Willard (12th - his ggp was a Head, as well) in the beginning; the twentieth century found C. E. Eliot still as the Head. Count? Eleven (see image). 
  • From 1900 to 2000 - A period of huge changes, all around. We have not touched upon this as of yet, due to privacy concerns. As in, going to 1900 excludes most of the living who are in the sets of interest (Cape Ann, Essex County, Massachusetts, New England, U. S., where this series applies to both space and time). But, we can research and protect the living (the Census waits 70 years - data from the collection of 1950 recently released; we can be a little more current). 
Here, we have a start with C. E. Eliot continuing his reign and an end Neil Rudenstine (26th). Count? Six.  

Even with the first period, we can cover a lot of area due to the presence of other colonial efforts: Spain, France, and others. The last period seemingly has no bounds as development in the U.S. continues at a pace that is astounding, especially since the influx of people never really slowed down much. In that middle period, we have dared to tread for several reasons. In terms of the theme here, we will finish up the Heads and then make sure that we have appropriate information for each about heritage and family history. Then, we will venture into the various research schemes that are pending.  

Remarks: Modified: 10/07/2022

10/07/2022 -- Aligned the image with the Revolutionary War bullet.

Content, again

TL;DR -- We left MS in 2012 having gotten started with them in 2010. We are now back to using them, only slightly for a while. We are reconfiguring with some final sense in mind now, after a decade long trek through the hoopla and confusing goings on that one sees with respect to computing. Silly valley is what comes to mind every time we look deeply. That needs to change.  


When we started the TGS work on information conveyance, we were using Microsoft's Officelive which was quite capable and familiar to anyone who had worked through the era of Windows evolution. Of course, there were other OS options; too, Unix was very much part of the technical camp. Then, there was the decision to go to Office 365. 

Since we had been working pro bono for a decade, we opted out. Too, though there was the 'freebie' mode everywhere, we all know the consequences of that. We might have had blogger going, we did not use the Ad facility. Of course, we looked at it. 

John's forte has been advanced computing for decades and has watched the changes, many of which seem to be more immature than not. Again, look around. Messes everywhere. Now, need that have been? It's arguable, of course, but John will throw 'truth engineering' on the table and say let's discuss this. Well, rather than descend into an academically-oriented bit of discussion, we need to work these computer issues in ways other than what we see, at least in part. 

There has been a lot of discussion along these lines that we can pull together. For now, let's say that the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. has a goal to be a positive contributor in this area without defining things specifically enough to cause limits. After all, about anywhere one looks deeply, there are issues. These have gotten worse over the years. 

Think that this will abate? 

Of the whole ball of wax, "content vs configuration" is one thing to talk about. There are related themes that will come up. One might even say memes since this idea has spread across the internet. Okay, after MS's decision, we went looking and settled on Linux as a proper way to go. That is, for the server affairs to support what we wanted to do. You know, the cloud? Lots of problems. We'll discuss. After all, all of the decisions made were documented as we went along. There are lots of threads which can be used for various purposes, including analysis on several fronts. 
One set of choices was to find something that did as well as MS's tools. Well, we didn't find any that stood out. This is still true. But, we have watched what people have done, across the board. Opinions? Yes, they are there. We'll get to talking about the state of the computing world (have lots of these types of thing already) within the context of what we are doing here. That type of discussion goes along with the choice patterns and why they are as they are. 

Now, it was a decade ago that we went off of MS's planet and started our own thing. The first iteration was hard-coded HTML with a little CSS and loads of icons taken from the MS screens that we had. That worked for a bit. Why? It allowed the configuration aspects to be made steady in order to do content work. Mind you, this is always a dynamic. 

One can talk of floors in the sense that one person's configuration is another's content. Say, you're a user of some mobile device (say phone). Do you ever think of what happens as you push buttons in some context with a goal or goals to accomplish? We can look at that at any level. But, one good metaphor is that we walk on a stage under which is a very large collection of abilities taken for granted. To get into details, we have to open some door and enter. 

Or, stoop to conquer. One doesn't get anything done if the hands can't get dirty. 

John says, that the immaturity that we see can be discussed so as to talk ways and means to correct the issues. Is there a suggestion that this stuff is easy? Nope. Actually, it is. There are various viewpoints, many of which cannot even converse. You see, even technical modes and data driven thingees have their troubles. Many times these are settled by power or any other of an endless set of human talents. 

 We'll cover all of this in time. For now, we are going to use WordPress, for several reasons, to provide a platform (software and technique) with which to organize what we need to do. The underlying power will still come from our virtual machines running Linux. At the same time, we will pursue Android modes, using approaches that are general and which ought to work in any of the venues that covers the basic set that everyone agrees upon. 

But, higher-order content must have specifics that differ, unfortunately, amidst all of these things that look monolithic even if that's a mirage (as hackers will tell us). 

You know, that is part of the discussion. WP has Apple'ness on its plate. It is that universal situation that we are looking for. Of course, others do too. I know of one case where the national group uses one and some regionals use another, including WordPress. 

It's funny to consider what AIn't is bringing, or not, to the work. We'll look at that, deeply (in the true sense that the DL folks pirated) and broadly. After all, if one talks machine learning, it's quite legit and rational. 

So, our portal will be reconfigured. See

Expect this to be fun. 

Aside: Paying attention? Old guy off the wall? Well, no, here is a current discussion of Concrete CMS versus Wordpress. Of course, it is from Concrete CMS's viewpoint. You see, 'new infrastructure' points to changes that will be permanent. Users want more control. Developers want tools. Content creators and managers want ease of applying power. Finally, John can say, about time. Maturity? 

Remarks: Modified: 10/07/2022

10/07/2022 -- Need to organize the material on content management and updated the story of this versus configuration management (see Sept 2019 post on the new infrastructure and what it entails and a lot more - which was pre-COVID). If you look at the post from 2019, you will see a graphic that notes the advent of Elementor which uses the fleixability of WordPress in a mode that is 'drag and drop' development. Lots to discuss about the approaches and what is beneath the abilities and more through time (hence our reminders of what has been done so far and why).  

After looking at discussions about WordPress, ConcreteCMS and Drupal, we can add to the debate, from our WordPress-supported position. Of course, which of these will be better is an open issue. We have compared the 'stories' and the types of users. They all have a mix. Our view is technical, though we are doing the work for TGS, Inc. 

We will be redoing this page (at our portal to truth) so that it can be a trace for future analysis. Our words. 
  • Note (10/07/2022): Final technical note, after looking at Concrete CMS and Drupal. These were considered earlier and have progressed as has WordPress. And, each of the three have solid use by well-known customers who have access to talent. As we work our configuration, we will be looking more than slightly as the issues which is best done with multiple parties to inspect. Say, like the infamous flyoff when new technology is being assessed. This type of thing is going to be even harder for computing. That is, bridging the cognitive gaps (or hats). Our put is called truth engineering. The ability to think of bare metal went away with the newer methods. Is there some equivalence? Too, the internet's evolution can now been seen more readily given the experiences of the last half decade. For instance, we can point to one paper discussing Concrete CMS versus WordPress, from the viewpoint of the former. Then, we have what we call AIn't coming forth. What we have here is mathematics and parameters mixing in an unlimited number of ways. WordPress, Concrete CMS, and Drupal represent parametric modes that are phenomenally complicated. This (the potential error) is covered over. We'll explain. And so, we have the situation where there is not human talent with the evolutionary wherewithal to handle the issues, except as a guider of the AIn't ways, if they are done correctly. ... It's almost like we've stood still the past decade and one-half with lots and lots of noise being added. Where is the value if only marketing is thought to be the major player? Tsk.