Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Little Essex, town and county

TL;DR -- One might say, Halloween thoughts. But, no, we're talking the eve of All Saints Day. Nutfield Genealogy mentioned, as will be eternal, Essex of Essex County, that little place. And, the theme was of the time. So, we looked at Essex and what we have researched, with lots more to do. Then, there is a comment that brings things forward to now. As in, the 400 years of progress has not been in vain. 


Per usual, we ran across a post that was relevant to today, the eve of the All Saints Day as well as containing seeds for future research. Let's recap a few things and follow that up with a few things that need more attention. 

"Little Essex" refers both to a town and a county. Essex County contains Salem and surrounds. Also in Essex County, one finds Essex the town. We have written a little about both. Here are a few examples. 

  • Essex County, then and now (Aug 2022) - Shows a graphic (map) of the area as it was in 1692 and as it is now. 
  • Shipbuilding in Essex (Sep 2022) - This was an interesting find. We had not thought of that sized vehicle being made in that area.
  • Newbury Essex County MA (Oct 2022) - Later, we went back and looked at this area which handled much larger vessels. 
  • USS Merrimack (1798) (Jun 2012) - This may have been the ultimate find which pertainted to a gift from the folks of Newburyport to the new country.  
  • Shipwrighting (Jun 2021) - Interesting technology. We were impressed by the capability of the group that came very early, into Popham, established a colony, and built a boat (Virginia) that was seaworthy sufficiently to cross the Atlantic several times. Maine has been featured in a post.
As an aside, we have been fascinated by the big iron ship work in Bath, ME and almost went that way. However, it was the ships of the sky that was our lives where weight is a major concern. We will get back to these topics from a technology perspective


With respect to the times, we point to a post that was at the Nutfield Genealogy site in Apr 2010: Body Snatchers 1819. Our first post was in Sep of 2010. Several things caught out attention. For one, John Wise was of Essex (Chebacco Parish of Ipswich - see image). We have featured Ipswich quite a lot (Ann's heritage is full of families in Essex (all over the place). More below on Rev. John.

But, it's of interest to dive into the details which we will gloss over except for this. The person involved was banned and went to DC. Oh, how timely? That's not political. Then, his efforts led to what is now the George Washington University down there by the Foggy Bottom and other stations of the Metro of the area. 

BTW, notice that some places have gotten more attention, like LA of late and San Francisco and the large interior of the US, as these are where we lived or spent working time. Ann grew up in Essex County (Salem, of the day, too, to many - we think Andover) and went west. John grew up in the middle of the country and lived mostly in the west with some east coast times thrown in. We would like to feature more about places with Gardner descendants (or those of Essex County or MA or New England) live now and how they (or their families) got there. Ann's work with D.A.R. has helped us fill in some pieces of the puzzle. And, mentioning D.A.R? The 250th of the US is coming up; so too, Gloucester (little site of great expanse) of little Essex County MA looked at its 400th this year. 


Rev. John Wise was an Indian wrestler. There is, at least, one story of his prowess. But, he was also a farmer and a Harvard graduate and a minister. Too, he was the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence. This influence came though he lived over 150 years prior. Technology would come into the discussion. In the time of the turmoil (say of Samuel Adams), Rev. John's books were republished. Our final bullets relate to this. One is from this blog. The other comes from the Ipswich MA site. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/31/2023

10/31/2023 -- 

Monday, October 30, 2023

GitHub as an example

TL;DR -- We have come a long way since 2009. So, too, has the world. And, change? Many things have happened over the past two decades. But, just the past decade and its new ways need a lot of attention. We'll be pursuing discussion of all of this under the guise of technology, especially computing. In this post, we look at some dealings of Microsoft. 

We have mentioned our technology focus from time to time and what motivated our thinking. On the first topic, we have had several posts this year. Here is a sampling: Year to date, 2023; Knowability; Technology thoughts. For the second focus, we have had seveal posts about the Gairdner Group of Canada. 

Our topics of a technical level would relate to computing and its growing basis operationally plus the impacts that we see and will see. But, there is a lot involved, hence we will do a series of posts relating to different aspects of technology via computing. 

Code is (has been) how we govern what computers do. Much code is outside of our influence. In cases where we can actually influence things, the scope is limited. And, the approach is not trivial nor to be taken lightly. Of late, we see emphasis on generating code via what is known as AI. 

As one would expect, code needs management. Per common themes, libraries have been defined for such a purpose. Libraries functions included storing code, keeping track of changes, and much more. One of the utility functions would be version control. There are other functions and utility programs developed over time to provide access to functions while providing some track record of events relate to code change. 

A popular project was Git which came to fore in 2005. Before then, there were many others which are still around. But, we picked Git due to its lack of earlier involvement. Too, it came to be around the time of Linux and was done by the same programmer. 

Then, that 2005 timeframe was when the US GSO noted that government agencies could use the cloud. Of late, there are several of these services offered. Companies, and people, ponder the benefit and negative effects of taking that turn. The TGS, Inc. server is a shared host, though we use other means that are cloud-based. We have been researching architecture options from the beginning. For us, the concern was expressed as the balancing of content versus configuration

We might be said to have gone full circle. Our intitial thrust was on Microsoft's Office Live (need to check the name - we started in the 2009 timeframe). But, we used blogger, too, which was picked up by Google. Then, we have ties to other facilities. Since our focus at the time that Microsoft went to Office 365 was historical and genealogical research which was new to us. Too, we were working on minimal budget by choice. 

We self-funded, and John has worked pro-bono on this and other projects since the beginning. That gave us freedom to study when and where we thought there was something of interest. Of course, we followed the machine learning work, as our interest is truth engineering. John will explain the particulars. That work was done independently. Except, all along, the 400 years of generational change in the U.S. very much has analogs in what we see (or have seen) with computation. That is a topic needing some discussion. 

Computing, as we saw it evolve over the past 20 years, has gone astray. Ignoring that, for now, we are now back to Microsoft several ways which we will explain, in time. Today, we point to a Microsoft project the results of which are being documented at GitHub. That is "Git" in the cloud. In the past, coordinating the code work of projects was fairly hairy. It still is. However, the cloud allows common access to people in disparate regions working at different times of the day. Too, the control mode can be better documented and managed. 

So first, this bullet points to Microsoft's project's repository collection. They have been doing this for several years now. 
As an aside, GitHub works with OpenAI (publisher of ChatGPT) to support a "Copilot" project in which people use the xNN/LLM approach to help them with coding tasks. We are skirting that discussion, for now; be assured, we will get back to that. Then, Microsoft has supported OpenAI and has tied its Bing to some level of the ChatGPT system.

Now, back to Microsoft, a team related to the company has been using the new ways in pursuit of market analysis which goes with the new modes of algorithmis trading. Besides value that might relate to successful trading, however that might be defined, we have to look at concerns of many of natures, many of which would have been purely academic had these new ways not created a means to observe. And, so whole new approaches to busyness and its modes are now reachable, albeit not as easily as the reports may get one to consider. 
  • Qlib is an AI-oriented quantitative investment platform that aims to realize the potential, empower research, and create value using AI technologies in quantitative investment, from exploring ideas to implementing productions. 
Code generation is found everywhere now. In terms of the interfaces, we like Bard though it suffers from the same problems as do the others. A huge discussion going forward will be how to balance the dynamics of the new way which we have seen generates many reactions from maniac dreaming to angst of machine dominanc. 

Our intent is not to lessen the seriousness of the different view nor to argue that we do not know enough to make good decisions. One factor being overlooked is that the underpinnings of the operational truths deal, for the part, with applied mathematics having found a home on the computer, partly has this happened because of design changes. The motives for progress largely was gaming and trying to enhance the illusory experience. 

Well, we got that now many fold. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/30/2023

10/30/2023 -- 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Lewis & Clark, again

TL;DR -- Today, a great map of the interior of the U.S. came up via a FB group who follows the venture of Lewis & Clark. In those areas visited by the L&C team, people living there now pay attention to the trek and the surrounds visited. This is an example of technology being used for a good cause. 


It is always nice to see great maps pop up. This one comes to us via a post today on the FB page of The Lewis and Clark Historical Trail. It is of the great interior of the U.S. which was traversed along its northern side in 1804/5 by the two gentlemen. At the time, TGS, Inc. and our websites did not exist. It is nice to see that the historic interest continues through local participation. 

Lewis and Clark Historical Trail 

Fortunately, the 250th of the U.S. is being celebrated through planned remembrances and active research. D.A.R./S.A.R. are examples of groups who are maintaining the interest and keeping up with research pertaining to families. 

Especially, we need to follow families, during the frontier century, who went west from the east coast, whether they had only recently arrived or were descendants of earlier settlers such as those of interest to our research. Or, whether they came from the northern or southern areas, we have an interest; our areas of interest are large when one considers all of the extended family relationships. 

This is an example of technology in use. We will be touching on that subject on a regular basis. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/23/2023

10/23/2023 -- 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

History redux

TL;DR - Quora has been mentioned a few times over the past few years. This month, we point to an answer which deals with naming of the tribes of North America. Also, we need to always mention technology. Time to recall the contributions of RA Douglas-Lithgow, MD, LLD. 


Earlier this year, we mentioned an intent to get Awareness months on our radar, regularly. This month, we had a holiday which is associated with the populace here prior to the "discovery" of Columbus in 1492 which we all grew up learning about. 

So, we are a little late getting to this. Since 2015, we have spent times on Quora which touts itself as " a place to gain and share knowledge. It's a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers." 

In fact, we have posted several answers which link back to blog posts related to the Thomas Gardner Society. Here is an example from five years ago: Thomas Gardner (Cape Ann). As we can see from activity this year, we will be redoing the history with regard to Cape Ann. See the "In summary" post.  


Erik Painter is a writer on Quora covering several topics. One of these is about Native American culture. The topic of this post is very much apropos to our interest. 

Erik answered this question: How did the different Native American tribes of North America get their names (i.e. Sioux, Cherokee, Mohawk)?  He mentions several tribes, including Narragansett, Mohawk, and Mohican, who were cohorts of the early New England activity.  

Then, his coverage of the western tribes was quite instructive. There have been several other answers by Erick that we can discuss in the future. 

For now, here is a listing of posts with the topic of Native American in this blog. Expect  more of these as we look to the west coast to provide a focus for the 250 years of expansion of the U.S. 

Prior to that, we will relook at the history of Cape Ann, Essex County and Salem with the intent to update Dr. Frank's two books as well as our own posts (and publications). 


On another note, and with regard to technology, this year (or since the Nov. 2022 release of ChatGPT) we have seen how technology is going to be more of a bane than ever. For us, balancing the views by including Native American insights will be a prime aspect of truth engineering. Gloucester, MA showed this with their 400th activites in 2023 (Cape Ann, 1623, crew overwintered). 


Finally, let's mention an import who wrote a book on New England names and places: RA Douglas-Lithgow, MD, LLD.

Remarks: Modified: 10/22/2023

10/22/2023 -- 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Bunker Hill, west

TL;DR -- There are many reasons to be interested in New Spain and New England. Too, CalState has examples of research. We have seen such elsewhere. An example was Berkeleyites looking into the jaunts, early on, of Jedediah Strong Smith. More coming.  


There are plenty of sites with the name, no doubt. But, our focus is Los Angeles (LA), in the great State of California. We have mentioned Los Angeles, several times, and will continue to do so. There are many reasons for this interest, some of them personal. But, New England influence was there early on. And, the site is rich for providing information related to following the 250 years of the U.S. and its development. 
L.A., 1869 
from Rediscovering Downtown L.A.'s 
Lost Neighborhood of Bunker Hill
(see red circle in the
map of the next photo)

So, LA has hills. This photo was taken in the area of First and Broadway in 1869. Bunker Hill is mentioned in the caption. Some say that the hill was named because there was a Fort nearby. A 1849 document mentions the name. About the time of this photo, a developer brought the name as  a remembrance of the battle of the Revolution, in the Boston area. The 1849 document was in Spanish, the language of New Spain. The developer was from the east. 

Note: This event was covered in each issue of The Massachusetts MagazineRegimental History Series, background and motivation

As we mentioned, our early interest was New England cousins who established regular coach traffic in the 1850s between St. Louis, MO and San Francisco, CA via El Paso, TX and Tucson, AZ and LA. We looked at the site of Butterfield's operation which was the Mirror building which became the home of the L.A. Times for whom John worked back in the early '60s. 

Below, we show an area near the LA City Hall which has quite a history itself. The photo looks along Temple Street from Main. It was circa 1884. Then, we have two snaps of Google shots in the area. Why do this? Places have history. Technology will be very useful in helping us preseve history, especially through the use of older photos from which people can determine landmarks. 

Perish a thought? Technology now involves AIn't (search in this blog and see our comments which are very much on solid foundations - pun intended). So, in the future, we will have to decide whether some set of old photos is of the "fakery" that has been the main output of supposed sophisticiated technology over the past year. Thanks, young guys (mainly). 

Okay, I put this together. The Hill will be up slope shown here. Ignoring particulars, for now, close to this intersection is where the Cathedral of St.Vibiana was for a long while. The Cathedral is now up on the top of this hill with the name of the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. Vibiana is an event center. 

Heading up the hill along Temple from
Main to the
Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels 

The circle for City Hall needs to move
to the left two streets. It is between
Spring (where the entry is) and
Main. And, in the middle of the area
from 1st to Temple.  
Okay, we started this thread yesterday with a post showing the early Cathedral in the scrubbed desert that is LA. It got deleted. So, here is something for credence. 

I found this page at the site of California State, Long Beach which has the title: A visit to Old Los Angeles. It has a collection of wonderful photos over the years. For me, I want to gather and document the middle period which would be from the start of New England's influence as New Spain's grasp was loosened up until after WWI. 

The developer mentioned above was Prudent Beaudry. We will look further into his work. 

Note: New France - Prudent Beaudry. Interesting. Lots of those coming into the area were from New England. We use the term to cover the northern and southern origins, loosely.  

Incidently, John has personal reasons to do this research. Ann had family involved with early development both in L.A. and the San Francisco areas, including a great-grandfather who went west to see San Francisco in the heyday of the mania of gold. 

Now, the mania? Seems to be technology gone wild like some kids like to do at spring break. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/08/2024

02/04/2024 -- Wikipedia page on Bunker Hill, Los Angeles

02/09/2024 -- Used this at a FB New England Historic and Genealogical group's photo. 

02/19/2024 -- Bunker Hill, the Cathedral, and such. 

04/08/2024 -- Put comment about City Hall's location. The circle points to the label for the Park. The building itself borders on Spring on its front and Main on its rear. And, it's nestled between Temple and 1st Streets. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Los Angeles, again

TL;DR -- Los Angeles has had a few mentions in this blog. Following up on details related to development in the downtown area, we looked further at some historic moments. For one, a service club started in 1942 went on for over 10 years. That building was next to a Cathedral. We look at some details related to that associated area of downtown LA. 


We have had a few posts on this city (recently, Mirror Building) and its northern neighbor (San Francisco). Yesterday, we saw that Facebook has a group dealing with LARelics which has many older photos of the LA area. The one that got our attention was from the Victory Service Club (VSC) from 1942. Since we are following the long arm of New England to LA, we had to dig deeper. 

We won't detail every site that we visited, today, but we followed several threads. One dealt with Main Street in LA, in particular the area around where the City Hall was built. It's remarkable, for several reasons. But, there were many blocks along the street with differing histories. For this case, we wanted to know what building housed VSC. In that area, several bank buildings were built in the late 1890s. That brings up how things worked before banking. Expect a post on that topic. 

Where the VSC was, the 1st National built. But, many changes had taken place between the 1890s and 1942. First, what was that VSC building, and when was it built? Turns out that the VSC was run by the Union Rescue Mission (URM, see notes on Wikipedi page for Main Street (Los Angeles). Those are my notes which reference a 1955 book plus pionts to various other photos from different times. The URM was on of the early missions and was large. 


Turns out that the book noted that the URM picked up part of the Swanfeldt building at 226 So. Main. Next door was the IOOF building that they acquired in the late 1930s. That's not the gist of this post, it's coming. The Swanfeldt family had a canvas company and did tents and awnings in the LA area. They were from Sweden and show the influence of a new family. We have many New Englan families to detail, though, some of which deal with the LA Times and the buildings in the area. 


Next door to the VSC and URM was an old Catholic cathedral (Saint Vibiana). That's our theme today. The parish had to move. Part of the reason might have been earthquake damage, however enough of the structure was saved to be extant today. Most likely, the move was through gentrification which had earlier brought the URM into the area as it had to move back in the 1930s to make room for LA's new City Hall. There are sites with photos taken during the construction which ought to be of interest. 

This photo is of the church not long after it is built. This area is right downtown LA off of US 101. 

Vibiana Lofts

Does it look to be in a scrubby desert? Well, LA is a dry place. Guess what? That building still stands. When the diocese was forced to move, there was an effort to save the building which worked. Then, the government got involved and made it a National Historic building. Now the site is an events center of some note. This is very analogous to what happened to the Presidio in San Francisco

While searching I found this site which has period photos. It is just wonderful what the web is allowing in terms of independent historical work. We want to encourage that. 

So, the site shows both the IOOF and the Swanfeldt buildings. Now, we want to look for when they were built and by whom. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/25/2023

10/17/2023 -- Following our usual mode, we went to the FB page for TGS, Inc. and posted a few words with a link to this post. It was liked by one of the regular readers. But, within about 10 minutes, there was a message of the FB post being deleted with an ominous message. Still not sure what precipitated this reaction by Meta's watcher (which one and of what variety - I would like to know specifics). Have heard of this type of thing. Have been watching over the past decade, various debacles, as technology was put into the place of people. Also, noticed that companies that cared about the clients kept people in the loop that one could talk to. This image is the message about the FB (Meta) post. 

10/18/2023 -- More on the theme: Los Angeles, againBunker Hill, west

10/25/2023 -- Earlier (or Earliest) LA. -- Why was downtown LA built so far inland? Erik Painter, on Quora.  

02/19/2024 -- Bunker Hill, the Cathedral, and such. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Technology thoughts

TL;DR -- We look at four bits of disparate themes; or it appears to be seemingly so. For one thing, we have to mention SIGGRAPH. If you haven't heard of that, well, it's part of the evolution of the computer. Then, we find ourselves in the "cloud" age which spawned many marvels, such as ChatGPT. On the other hand, engineering is the basis for this progress. We need to lift that to awareness, commonly. Then, technology in action? Let's hear from a Spanish view on the Roanoke venture. 


This posts gathers a few items pertaining to our interests and technology. These are widely varied? It seems, but they deal specificially with current methods and means. 

To start the list, we have to mention SIGGRAPH. This is an old meeting. In two months, Sydney will host, again. My first exposures to the meetings was decades ago. It is interesting to see how the focus has gone from graphics to interactive means which pertain to human and machine interfaces among other things. 
  • ACM SIGGRAPH is the sponsoring organization. SIGGRAPH ASIA is doing the 2023 meeting. I like to tell the tale that back in the '80s, AAAI got about 1,000 attendees while, even then, SIGGRAPH pulled in 30, 000. 
  • ACM COMM, this month, had this article: Generative AI as a New Innovation Platform. The author is a Dean at MIT and ought to know better. "generative" has been in use for a long while, including as the pits of the mathematics involved in this round of AI (which, John likes to remind every one about, is mostly AIn't - as the Dean notes, things seems to have gotten out of hand). We have to give the Dean his chops. In October of 2019, he published this: The Cloud as an Innovation Platform for Software Development. Sure enough, we have seen lots of advancements related to the cloud. John's reminder: lots of issues came to fore, as well. 
  • KBE design methodology at undergraduate and graduate levels - This is from 1999 and is important for several reasons. One main reason is that it shows the use of "generative" long ago. Also, one motive is that the likes of ChatGPT (and its cousins which we can go into at any detail necessary) took over the concept of AI in a gradual mode over the past 10 years. "learning" is emphasized, as if this is what a machine (bucket of bits can do). My argument is that we have many examples of people learning and doing it well. Engineers are the best example where STEM comes to fore (the "E" for engineering), albeit these disciplines are examples of applied mathematics in action, therefore right at the forefront. It's ironic that engineers set the stage for xNN/LLM to show its stuff. Now, the common theme seems to have moved toward that approach coming in as oracle (which can be characterized otherwise, too). 
  • Spain and the Roanoke Colony - This article is not a mere aside and appeared recently on Quora. We pay attention to the space that is devoted to discussions of Spain. Quora is one of several examples of modern sites that will continue into the future, hopefully helping maintain sanity. But, New Spain will be a regular theme for discussion which then brings in old Spain. 
Disparate little bit of info, it may seem. Not, "omni" is the looming threat with many manifestations. One of which would be omniscience. The training approach and jargon sure seems to convey that notion to its fullest. Lots to discuss. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/13/2023

10/13/2023 --