29 October 2015

The Atlantic -- a few genealogy-relevant articles published in October

After I wrote the Upfront with NGS post on DNA.Land for Tuesday, which includes a reference to a post written on The Atlantic about DNA.Land (in the Science category), I realized that in my queue of neat reads that I wanted to bring to your attention were two more pieces, both found on The Atlantic web site (in the Technology category)! 

That’s quite a concentration of “must reads” found on “a” web site within the span of a few weeks.  I’ve now signed up for The Atlantic Daily newsletter and it will be interesting to see what else shows up in my inbox.  My other finds were serendipitous references found on various Facebook pages.

That said, the two pieces I did want to share with you are:

Borders in North Carolina, like in much of the United States, are disappearing. Lines drawn centuries ago weren’t just marked on maps—they were physical demarcations, denoted by ditches, fences, or markings on trees. But ditches can be filled, fences fall apart, and trees are cut down, and over time these visible landmarks have vanished. In their absence, some cities and counties have become unsure about who should be paying their taxes, attending their schools, and using their services...

The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. It is not a library. It is a constantly changing patchwork of perpetual nowness.

You can't count on the web, okay? It’s unstable. You have to know this.   

Digital information itself has all kinds of advantages. It can be read by machines, sorted and analyzed in massive quantities, and disseminated instantaneously. “Except when it goes, it really goes,” said Jason Scott, an archivist and historian for the Internet Archive. “It’s gone gone...

Have you come across other family history related “neat reads” on The Atlantic web site?

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