Friday, August 17, 2007

"Family Trees"

Looking at the printing function of, it says something to the effect: "every family tree either starts with a person or ends with a person".

Well, no. That's an organizational convenience--you either start with yourself, being as ego-centric as anyone else, and trace back all the ancestors who contributed their mite to building your effulgence.

Or, you start with some heroic figure in the past, a king or president, and trace out all the ways in which his descendants diminished his glory.

But, at least for me, the reality is this mixture of people--I'm almost as curious about Othniel Brown, born in 1759 in Providence, RI as I am about my lost first cousins, once removed.

Anyhow, I want a new metaphor, no more "trees", and software that can handle it.

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