That ultimate new technology guy Finch on the TV serise "Person of Interest" (CBS Thursday evenings) raised another important question for genealogy practice. The "Machine", a super computer central to the plot line of the series is a genealogist's dream machine, virtually connecting people across time and space with access to all the virtual vital records one could imagine.
In last week's episode they had to find someone who seemed out of reach of the machine in a deliberate case of identity theft. To find out something about the culpert Fitch had to revert to old fashioned techniques, phoning local libraries and posing as a genealogist to acquire material about his subject that was outside the reach of the machine.
The apparent ease of his access to information while posing as a genealogist comments on the faith people in information institutions have in genealogists; but the obverse seems to be an indication of the fragility of on-line resources. What other depictions of genealogists have we seen in popular culture? A CSI episode was focussed on one last year and the subject of an earlier post by me; and I am anxious to read those novels by Steve Robinson that John Reid noticed in an earlier blog this past week.
Turned out that the Person of Interest in the show was a bad-guy gone good; so the arc of the story was as always to resolve everything in favour of good guys.....