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Archive for September, 2014

The Future of our Present Past

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

It can be wise for the family historian to think a little about the future of the past they are reconstructing in the present. You can read the letters that were once in a box in grandma’s attic. You can look at the photographs found in your uncle’s desk drawer. Those things could be a […]

The Contemplation of Things

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

I was reminded of a wonderful quote this week. I was watching a PBS documentary about the photographer Dorthea Lange who had a copy of it hanging in her studio- The contemplation of things as they are without error or confusion without substitution or imposture is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest […]

Thinking about Thinking

Monday, September 8th, 2014

I just watched an interesting video. It was not at all about family history and yet it was one of those times when the parallels jumped out at me. The speaker was a philosopher that discussed a story known as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the idea of metacognition, that is, thinking about thinking. Whether […]

A Man of Letters

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I’ve been translating Swedish letters lately and I’m struck by the personalities. Most letters from more than a century ago start with the discussion of health. It seems to be a general feature of letters in the western world at that time. There is the boilerplate proclamation of good health and the question about the […]