links for 2010-10-15

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

8 replies on “links for 2010-10-15”

  1. Perhaps this is just a sign that these two presidents’ genealogy hasn’t been investigated, but neither Reagan or Clinton were listed. (Certainly other presidents weren’t either, but those were the two whose absence I noted.)

  2. As a person who knows little about genealogy (and for that matter, absolutely nothing about presidential families), I seem to recall that Clinton was well-known for having grown up in a working-class, single parent household, so one might presume that: 1) half his family tree might be unknown, and 2) the known parts might not be all that historically distinguished.

    Reagan, on the other hand: dude was Hollywood. That must have meant his uncle was a producer or something? Yes? I’m guessing even more wildly here, but I’m constantly shocked by how preposterously nepotistic Hollywood is/was for generations upon generations…

  3. The genealogy thing is cute, but rather meaningless. The list of who someone is 6th cousins with (which is included on that page, as if it means something) would be immense. And, legally speaking, anything beyond 2nd cousin is utterly unrelated.

  4. In a small room filled with typography,
    In downtown Boston,
    Dread Kibo sits grepping.

    [just felt like quoting that]

  5. re: Reinventing the Wheel, that’s practically what Paul Kennedy argued in “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” — namely, that Europe’s advantage was both technological advances like the printing press (which China had) but a bunch of squabbling states (which unified China did not).

    China under the Three Emperors vs. a unified West (Roman Empire, HRE, or Byzantium, the Ottomans, or an Islamic Caliphate) in 1500 could have been a very, very different story. When you start throwing in other civilizations — Mali, Aztecs, India, the Mongols, the Inca, the Monomotapa — it’s fascinating to see that the one major difference between Europe vs. the world is a multitude of squabbling powers.

    Empires (or more accurately, hegemons) aren’t a good sign for human progress, so it would seem.

  6. Reagan was born and grew up in small towns in Illinois; he made his move to Hollywood in his mid-20s, I believe. I don’t think he had family in Hollywood.

  7. I learned it was “Get Regular Expression and Parse” (grep) – but that may be just a legend…

    I also learned that LISP was “Lots of Infernal Stinking Parentheses” – but I know that was just for fun, it’s really List Processing.

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