The on-line semi-intellectual journal of an oddball generalist.

Posted By Confutus

After a lengthy detour, I'm back on the ground.


First, there was diversion to Runescape that turned into a two-month-long obsession.  I burned out and went back to other things. 


Then I got frustrated with the lack of progress in history and started looking at other topics. I haven't totally neglected history, but I found that pages devoted to month-by-month summaries were much too fat, so I decided to go to week-by-week summaries, Those are still too fat, but not as much so.


I've also been watching conservative politics, and that keeps me somewhat concerned. Some of the dedicated politics-watchers are way ahead of me on factual knowledge.


I picked up my computer books again, and am starting to work through one of my old college textbooks, C++ Programming by Deitel & Deitel. I just might make some progress this time around.


I haven't neglected my addiction to F&SF reading; new works by Brandon Sanderson, Stephen R. Donaldson, and Lois McMaster Bujold caught my attention, and I've been participating on fan sites and mailing lists. There is enough conversation going on about

wider subjects to pull me back into the wider community.


I've also resumed a study of chemistry.  The Knowledge Base (as of the next update) will have a complete list of elements and Periodic table, and at least a page for the most common 20 elements. There's a madness to my method: I have a couple of pages on the Freelance Traveller website where I discuss Planetology and worldbuilding from a chemical point of view, and I'd like to bring most of that discussion, in a slightly different form,  to the Sapience website. That, in turn, will give me a better foundation for earth science and biology.  Eventually, that is. 


My methods have a tendency to drift toward the mechanical: I'm going to try to watch that.  I've also decided that sometimes I'm too quiet and restrained, when I should open up and talk a bit more, so I may try that, too.



Posted By Confutus

Since the knowledge base is so big and easy to get lost in, I have been using a development guide to help keep track of what I am working on in different parts of it. I decided the one I have been using puts too much emphasis on the wrong things, so I started over. This time it's going a little bit better.


For history in general, I have been making connections to the conceptual culture area: things such as philosophy, applied science, mathematics, literature, graphic arts, and language. This has led to making more additions and links to files I haven't touched since I created them three years ago, so I'm pleased.  I've been wanting to get to those subjects.  For Classical and medieval history, I've been doing a review and rewrite of the application of Middle Eastern peoples. I've also been doing a survey of religion as it applies to those peoples.   For Modern history, I've done the Middle Eastern peoples, South Asia, and I'm now moving to Central Asia and working with government.  For the the various centures of modern history, I've principally been doing review of Western peoples.


I did a major rewrite of the introduction to Sociology, which now (or will, at the next update) discuss how the organization I have used relates to the traditional organization of sociology and anthropology. Sociology is a little behind history in making connections to other areas. I've done a revew of how government as developed so is of use to sociology, and am working on economics, and on behavioral culture.  For peoples of the world, I've been doing a rewrite of modern history and connections with government. For Western civilization and Asiatic peoples, I have decided that I'm going to handle reversals and reverse connections among nations in a way similar to what I have done with history.  Some time ago, I gave up on developing the interconnections among nations because it seemed too artificial. Now that the links to history has been developed and several other subjects connected to nations, I will be resuming work on these, The governing principle behind the arrangment for each nation is intended to be that the largest and closest groups of related nations should appear first.



Posted By Confutus

I'm making a little more progress in history. Antiquity isn't much improved by having more references to it in Western Civilization, because most developments were going on in Asia.  For classical and medieval times in general, I don't have a lot to report for the Middle East or South Asian peoples. For late medieval periods in particular, I've made progress in the Middle East, with references to the Abbasid Caliphate. Modern history isn't doing so well, but I am starting to bring in more information from African peoples.


Sociology in genral, social structure and change,  institutions, and culture are being applied to nations in much the same that history is. So far, there isn't as much real usable content as I would like, but having the connections in place makes room for it to be added later.


Posted By Confutus

I reached a couple of progress points on the SKB.  One of them is that all 144 nations listed on the site  are now linked to at least two external sources: the Wikipedia article and the CIA World factbook entry, in case users of the SKB want more detail. They should..most pages are not really in very good shape. Now that the basic pages for nations are in shape, I will be going through periods and topics with attention to nations, in order to fill in content I have been skipping over.  Another is that each nation has at least a skeletal summary. although in too many cases it amounts do "I don't know much". At least the form is there.


In classical and medieval history there is still quite a bit of work to do in filling in Asiatic peoples, but there has been some visible progress. In the 15th century I've at least made notes on things such as the Hundred Years War between England and France, the Wars of the Roses, and the Tudor dynasty, and the beginning of the Renaissance. It will probably be a while before there is much substance to this century, but there are now a couple of landmarks in place. The earlier centuries don't have much solid information.


Modern history in general is too general, but Western Civilization and nations of Asiatic peoples now have at least a skeleton. I can't go back very far for African peoples or American Indian peoples, so the modern history will be important.


Posted By Confutus

I've probably complained before that work on the knowledge base can sometimes be mechanical and tedious. However, the development of the last quarter has paid off with an unexpected feeling of satisfaction.

Development of the future is still on the mechanical side, and so is connecting nations to 2010 and the first quarter. I am reminded again that here is no sharp break between events of January 2010 and those of December 2009.


However, the analysis of events is one of the more satisfying areas of work. Most of the compilation and categorization of events has been rather hasty and crude, and needs to be refined. .As a sample, in the analysis of events of December, I've begun with the United Kingdom. Several events of the first couple of weeks can also be examined under categories of social change, government, and the like. This will continue with each nation I examine.   The connection of more communities will allow more detailed analysis of the larger nations.  As events are added to social structure and change, various social trends and movements  will begin to take shape.  The institutions and culture aids sections of December 2009 will have more events and will require closer examination. Right now, I'm also linking various areas of anthropology, since several of these will be connected when I have a more thorough analysis.

For November 2009, I'm doing the same kind of thing, although I'm a little bit further behind.  I had done some of October, but set this aside for now while I concentrate on the more recent months.

I haven't forgotten earlier periods: The third quarter 2009, for September  I've finally done the rough categoriziation of events by major group of peoples, and August 2009 is also undergoing an analysis of events. Earlier periods are mostly set aside for now.


I've also been making progress on the connections of high-level areas. Institutions are now connected as far as the rest of the knowledge base permits, Further progress will depend on its subdivisions.  Culture, Anthropology,  Personal studies, and Science are also being connected, but have further to go.




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