Friday, February 9, 2024

Current status

TL;DR -- Two major things happened last year. Both dealt with technology. One had to do with the future as it might be influenced by computing. The other had to do with the influence of the computer on the past in terms of records. Then, we have all sorts of other themes at hand to consider. 


This post has the purpose to get the current status of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. on the table. There were two major things that happened last year. Then, we reacted to another change in the on-line environment. 

Caveat: This will replace the "In summary" post of last spring. 

First, the two things, as in order with respect to our focus, of note last year were: 

  • We became aware of the xNN/LLM maneuvering in late January and did a post on Febuary 1: ChaptGPT. Prior to that time, we had taken a hands-off approach to AI for reasons that are documented in later posts last year and before (actually). We knew that there was money involved with big names getting into action. But, it's a mess, folks, which we intend to bring to the fore as our major project. Let's table that for a bit. Too, there was the 400th of Gloucester last year (next bullet). Then, there is the upcoming 250th as noted by D.A.R. and S.A.R. which we spend a lot of time supporting. With respect to our research, see our category of the "Long reach of New England" which as been a theme for almost a decade. It got more attention when we considered that those on the Oregon Trail (some of them) had passed by the foot of Mount Oread which hosts the University of Kansas. And, that there had been a major effort on the part of New England to keep Kansas slave-free. Col. T. W. Higginson was out here. So was John Brown; we just had a post on his armed conflict with some people of out the south who were using Missouri as a staging ground for creating havoc with pioneers. Stay tuned on that. The other theme can be found after the next bullet.   
  • Okay, we were getting ready to write about Margaret Fryer the wife of Thomas Gardner. This was due to the fact that the 400th was collecting stories. And, our research had been effective is getting Margaret on the map. Anderson, and friends, had dissed her, essentially. But, then. We ventured to WikiTree which has been our research vehicle (for many reasons) and saw that someone had gone through the digital files of Sherborne, Dorset and found records for about all of the kids of Thomas and Margaret. Except, we might add, for Sarah who was known to have been born here in Salem in the mid-1630s. And, we saw that the WikiTree folks had split Thomas into two people. The one Thomas was the husband of Margaret. The other is an unknown. To us, we see these ones as the same. Thomas was here and went back. Hubbard suggested that. And, he was of the time and talked to the principals. Whatever turns out to be the fact, we'll adapt. But, right now, Thomas was at Cape Ann. Nothing really shows otherwise. But, how did we miss this? See the first bullet. Besides putting ChatGPT through its hallucinatory paces, we looked at others. Frankly, Bard of Google excels. We'll explain. The gist of the matter is that we can research from Salem to now. And, origins? Full of open issues which it is time for us to tackle. 
Another theme had been the west coast, principally San Francisco as we were looking at the quake and the aftereffects. But, Los Angeles got into the mix due to seeing that Butterfield (and others) had stopped in the Bunker Hill area to reprovision for further effort going north to San Francisco. Arriving there, they turned around and headed back to St. Louis by a long, arduous route. But, lots and lots of photos from various times started to crop up which made this theme even more important. 

This is cursory by purpose, as we'll have this research as a regular theme from now on. 

So, origins, for the most part, were not followed closely by us. We had concentrated on the generations from Thomas and Margaret until now. There are reaons for this. One dealt with the fact that research in the Old World was ongoing and best handled there. We, over here, have our own axes to grind. 

That was okay until now. We are henceforth taking origins to be a regular feature of our work. 

Remarks: Modified: 02/13/2024

02/13/2024 --  Added image. 

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