11 December 2012

Tell Me Everything You Know in 60 Seconds

Probably the second in a minor cranky-rant series. The first one has relevance (discreetly linked below).

The rash of "quickie guides" for every genealogical subject on the planet shows no sign of abating. Soon there will be a quickie guide for choosing your personally-applicable quickie guides.

The popularity of Elizabeth Shown Mill's cogent, analytic QuickSheets has spawned a growing B-list of would-be success items. No topic will be too obscure to escape glossy encapsulation. Perhaps serving as reminders for serious family historians, you say? More likely they cater to the formidable ADD penchant for sound bytes and instant gratification, including its death grip on all things Internet.

The concept of essential learning in traditional texts and courses--methodology, evidence analysis, demonstrated arguments--flicks away as junior genealogists greet the arrival of the shiny, condensed, time-saving items. And they take way less space on the library shelf. If personal libraries have a future.

Short cuts lead to poor research and hasty presentation, as experienced educators have been known to lament as the wobbly TWATAFT unfolds.

Chalk it up to the general ennui of the Shopping Season, or congenital sarcasm; at the risk of thorough damnation here's my take: The dollar store has less expensive laminated place mats.

Express your outrage at me here.

© 2012 Brenda Dougall Merriman


CallieK said...

I am a poster child for ADD and even I know there are no short cuts if you want to be certain the information you're collecting is as accurate as possible. I have not seen any of these quickie guides that you refer to,but it's probably just as well.

BDM said...

You could have fooled me, Callie, all the work you do in another field. I just think the genealogy world needs more awareness of evaluating sources and analyzing evidence.