Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Friday, August 26, 2011
In English, "The Enlightenment", in French "Le Siècle des Lumières"; in Spanish "La Ilustración"; in German "Aufklärung"... This century is, no doubt, one of the most interesting centuries in History. This century changed the face and the spirit of the entire known world at that time. This is my personal vision about the century in which the man opened his eyes and developed a new structure of thought. In this century were invented the flights in baloon, the piano, the steam engine, the electric battery... and the sandwich!...
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Genealogy is precisely to know as much as we can about our ancestors. This website will help, for sure. I didn't built this site with genealogical purposes, but when I finished with it, I found out that it's pretty useful for genealogists. Grooming, combing, styling, brushing, dying hair have been a very particular concern for our forebears. Throughout history, people always have cared about their appearance and this simple fact is giving us an accurate idea about how our grandparents looked, and what is more important, why. I hope you enjoy it.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Before the appearance of Internet, the fraud was covered behind the lack of available sources, at the hand, where to verify the information. At that time we were forged by the forgers. Today, with all this abundance of information, we are defrauded by the innocents. We can see, today, amateur genealogists proud of having in their family trees more than 1,500 related surnames. Do they really think that they have more than 1,500 relatives? Let's assume that they are reasonable people and they don't pretend such a thing. What's the point, then, for that enormous compilation, competing with the white pages? What they are really doing, actually, is to upload extremely heavy family trees to the databases, with a high percentage of non verified data. Many of them find out related surnames, and, immediately, they are uploading whole family trees -without even checking the source- to their owns. The Mormons had filed in their genealogical library a giant database, trying to give salvation to the souls of the deceased, and to baptize them into the Mormon religion, if it's possible going back up to Noah's family and his Ark's descendants. This is very useful as a base of consultation, no doubt. But, here comes the first warning: all this data is received with no previous verification (it's impossible to do it in every case, of course; they only ask for real names and a complete description of whole birth, marriage and decease dates) and it's important to be aware that all of this is only a base of consultation, not a trustworthy information by itself. All data obtained from third parties must be properly verified, crossing the information with another documents, enforcing to sustain the veracity of those reports. All serious genealogists know very well that genealogy is a travel, not a final destination. And, as good researchers, they ought to be skeptics as the investigators in the best thriller movies. Precisely there is where lies the emotion of genealogy. I have several examples of wrong information in my own familiar genealogy: five histories about my Briand family published in the web with the same wrong concepts (they perhaps copied and pasted each other): my ancestor Alain Briand is recorded as the father of Michel Briand. Alain was born in 1550, and Michel in 1558. Nobody complained about this inconsistency. Some of them "fixed the problem" saying that Alain was born "near to 1530"... It was very hard for me to find out that this Alain, married with Guillemette Guyheneuc, was Michel's brother. In other of my family trees, written by others, some of my Acadian ancestors are recorded as being baptized few days after they born "into the LDS church", in 1770. Sixty years before the Mormon church was founded by Joseph Smith. Moreover, taking account that Mormons does not perform baptisms for infants. And I might follow up showing more and more examples of similar situations.
So that, if we were before defrauded by the bad ones, now we are also defrauded by the good ones (enthusiastic and careless compilers of genealogical data).
In my own genealogy I've published all the original civil acts, trying to give a proper back up to everything I'm exposing on there. They can be verified in the correspondent parishes or municipal registers. I don't, sincerely, have found many genealogists doing the same. Should be an obligation -if not legal, at least from the ethic point of view- to do it. If we don't take the family history seriously, and we don't participate actively in the emotion of the research, about verifying what we are receiving, and if we are not conscious that all what is published, microfilmed, or filed in some way, must be verified before being taken for granted, we are going to loose the adventure of the research. And maybe, we also loose, between all that confusion, of knowing who our real relatives are, and which our real family history was. Sometimes, our true stories are more interesting than all those myths inherited from ...who knows who.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
It's very important that we give them access to the world of the genealogy, to the recognition and research of those who preceded us.
That the genealogy is actually in fashion, there's no doubt. But what is really interesting about this fashion, is that, from the beginning of its revival as a popular hobby, it was manifested as a remarkable example, an authentic model of universal cooperation. Cooperation is one of the most important engines of the evolution. Why? For a simple reason: everybody wins. To enlighten this matter we can appeal to a known theoretical problem: The Prisoner's Dilemma. Originally framed in 1950 by Merrill Flood and Melvin Drescher, years later William Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence payoffs. In the generalized form, is a card's game with a banker and two players, with only two cards each: "cooperate" and "defect". Each player puts one card face-down in front of the banker. At the end of the turn, the banker turns over both cards and give them the payments according to these rules: 1) If both players cooperate, they will be rewarded with $ 300.- each. 2) If one player defects and the other one cooperates, the first one is rewarded with $ 500.- and the one who cooperated receives the sucker's payoff of a $ 100.- punishment. 3) If both players defect, they receive the punishment of $ 10.- each for mutual defection, which is not a benefit for anybody. Then, the question is: how would you play? If you evaluate that your opponent plays "cooperate", your best option is "defect", of course (you will gain $ 500.-). But if you think that the other player plays "defect", your best option is not "cooperate", (you may loose $ 100.-) but "defect", indeed. As you see, always the best option is "defect". No doubt. Then, both players evaluate both possible outcomes, and they play "defect" each. And they loose $ 10.- each. Magically, the best option was transformed in the worst one for everybody. In the next hand, you know that your opponet already played "defect", and you cannot run the risk of being punished with $ 100.- if you cooperate. In the case that you had played "cooperate" in the former hand, then, you'll play "defect" now by retaliation. As the other player thinks in the same way, because he won a good prize, or he cannot run the risk either, the same outcome than before is repeatedly played back again. Only if both players understand that the best option is "cooperate" for both of them, and they initially play that way, they will gain $ 300.- dollars always in every turn. This dilemma was applied to all the human interaction and to all the living beings in general. In biology, ethology, politics, economy, sociology, sports, etc. And to all the relations between biologic structures. And, as we are biologic structures, we unconsciously follow this game. Take a look at the world in which we live, and tell me if it's not this way. An experiment based in this dilemma (Tversky, Amos, at the MIT, 2004), showed, as an evidence, that as too much, only the 40% of the players choice the mutual cooperation. You can make a mind game trying to apply the dilemma to whatever you want: it always matches in every interaction in the real life.
It's obvious that genealogy, with its aspect of international cooperation, is a step forward in human evolution. It doesn't mean that we don't have to pay for what is valuated in money, of course. But this wonderful genealogist's world should be considered with more attention by all the social institutions. It evolved faster than others, and with firm steps. Just, exactly, because of its characteristical smart universal cooperation.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
(Click in the photo to see whole note)