Cleverbot Talks Genealogy


Please check out the links belowIn the interests of the future of genealogy, I have been conducting an interview with Cleverbot (first introduced to me by my children under interesting circumstances.)


I initially asked its opinion of genealogy which it didn’t seem to understand so I then asked whether it liked history. Cleverbot got enthusiastic and told me it  was”one of my favourite subjects”. The ice now broken, we continued our challenging conversation.(I am the one asking the questions.)

Do you like Genealogy?

I don’t know.

Do you have family?

Yes. Everybody does.

Are you interested in finding out about your GGGGGGrandparents?


Which country do your ancestors come from?

Yugoslavia.(interesting. I decided to save questions about this for another time.)

I then asked whether it was interested in its dna,(this not unsurprisingly, it did not know.)

Somehow things deteriorated at this point. Cleverbot seemed so overwhelmed at my level of personal interest, it started to behave like a potential suitor. My little experiment, setting out to interview a totally logic based being about genealogy, took a disturbing (and a little too human)turn and I discontinued my experiment…









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Is it just me or is anybody else getting sick of search engines stereotyping them. Click on one app and suddenly you are new age and you get half a dozen apps recommended, about your chakra. Click on another and you are pigeonholed as wanting a whole heap of books on how to manage a succession of mental or physical ailments.

Is it just me who tries to buck their little system and who deliberately clicks on something unconventional, just to keep a bit of variety. Sometimes I like to listen to viewpoints with which I actually disagree. In fact there are certain journalists whose opinion pieces actually set my teeth on edge and yet I am still prepared to read them just to screw with whatever search engine I happen to be using at the time and their recommendations.

If we are being led into a world where we get presented only with what we want to hear, I believe we are headed down a very dangerous path indeed. My best friends are frequently those with a polar opposite opinion to mine. The only other person I notice who is prepared to openly behave this way is Bill Maher. He can be very gracious with his right wing guests and insists they are respected by his audience. In fact despite  clearly leaning to the left himself, he has  admitted friendships with some of those very definitely from the other side of politics. We all have stuff to learn from others, even if we vehemently disagree with them. It seems to me we are being led down an increasingly narrow and intolerant path. This seems to be happening across all manner of fields. Thank you search engines, a world without you is unthinkable now but some of us like to keep learning from others even if we do not always share their opinions.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

(originally attributed to Voltaire but there is some debate about this).  .

I do not always want to necessarily be pigeonholed by one app I  happen to click on or one newspaper, at which I happen to glance.  I appreciate the protection from some of the nonsense out there but just occasionally I like to fly free.

Here is what Bill Maher has to say on this subject:Bill Maher on personalised media content

Pigeon at pigeonhole for blog


Revolutionary Times



We are living in truly historic times.

Please check out the links below

Change is in the air. To some extent it feels like the The Industrial Revolution all over again(not that I was around for the original event). We do however forget what a tumultuous time was experienced by all. Few if any came through unchallenged. Even James Hargreaves, whose invention of the Spinning Jenny revolutionised the weaving industry, did not come through unscathed. In fact his machines were smashed so frequently by the  Luddites that he was eventually bankrupted. Suddenly people were effectively forced to relocate from the country, to the towns and cities, simply to stave  off starvation, as their traditional industries were no longer viable. Efficient machines could do the work of many people.

Conditions were not good. The weavers seemed to fare particularly badly, they faced starvation, which led to large scale protests. Over time people adjusted to the Industrial Revolution, but in the short term there was much suffering. I noted the 1820s brought about major changes in every family line I studied. A long-established line of tanners, which had been so successful  that they were involved in starting a first British Bank, had begun a steady decline by the 1830s, which had eventually led to them seeking their fortune in Australia. By now they were heavily involved in the wool trade, although some vestiges of their origins seems to have remained as one of the migrants(probably the most successful one) had become a bootmaker.

The 1820s started off well for one branch of my own family. My GGG Grandfather established his own school where he was headmaster. However by the 1830s the school had fallen into debt, he had died and his family had been left destitute, The sale of all their personal possessions(including feather beds and expensive carpets) was particularly heart-rending.

The Technological Revolution we are currently experiencing may eventually have an even greater impact. My father once dreamed of the day there would be a computer in every home but now there is a computer in every pocket(mobile phones).

It seems once again we need to adapt to major changes. This may be only the beginning.


I have discovered one other post on WordPress about James Hargreaves here