Author Archives: Confutus

About Confutus

I am a native and resident of Arizona who doesn't thaw out until it hits 90 degrees. I call myself a self-educating generalist and my lifetime goal is to slowly and methodically learn everything. For fun, I read Science Fiction and Fantasy, and sometimes attempt writing it, although I occasionally foray into westerns, mysteries, romances, and thrillers. I'm working on writing the SF. I'm a politically conservative Mormon. I have two adult boys and a friendly ex-wife who live up north. I'm a somewhat unconventional creature of boring habit who occasionally makes unexpected sideways leaps into something different.

Peering into the future

Prediction of the future is risky, but examination of what is planned is useful. Things such as the Olympic games and the Gordie Howe International bridge between Detroit and Windsor are planned years in advance. It is possible to categorize the next 5 years, next year, next quarter, and next month. These are moving targets, and I may move projections and predictions into the past as events overtake them. This will allow comparison between plans and forecasts and historical events. As I work back through weeks of the current year, and previous years, I expect to accumulate a greater variety of plans and predictions. I have a few predictions and plans for the next quarter I will be watching. For the next month, maneuvers of the Japanese Hayabusa 2 probe of asteroid 162173 Ryugu can be anticipated.

I now have reasonable summaries of India and Pakistan for the past year. Events of Northeast European peoples are being separated and distinguished from general Western civilization.

Sewing and Stitching

Although many events in the future are not predictable, a certain amount can be be determined from plans, and I am starting to being work on the near future, and next month, by noting planned and future events for each week.
Now that I have events for the past year sufficiently sliced, diced, and rearranged, I can go to work on establishing other connections. In order to construct an outline of history from a raw chronicle of events, I need continuity and connections. This means connecting events and periods to earlier ones, for background purposes, and to later ones, to help evaluate their importance and consequences.
So far, events of India are emerging. For the past quarter, I note that the Supreme Court of India has decriminalized homosexuality, and India is planning a manned space program. I will be watching this. Other nations should also start emerging.

Closing in

Examination of the future is still difficult, but I’m starting to make a little progress. I have just a few more weeks in April to analyze before I have my outline of events for the year 2018. I hope to get that done soon.

The work on design of liquid-fueled rocked engines is going slow, but I made a little bit of progress. I got through the fuel and oxidizer flow rates, which is where I gave up the last time I worked on this. Now I’m working on calculations for the combustion chamber and nozzle. Copying the necessary equations into a word processor is excessively tedious, but I need to do this to document my work before I run the numbers.

I paid out a while ago for GURPS Vehicle Builder, which was supposed to aid and simplify the design process. As a writer working with simulations, this gives me a reasonably plausible ballpark estimates for what might be practical to try to actually design. I can only apply it to the real world with great caution, but it is giving me some preliminary ballpark figures. After a couple of hours figuring out how to use it, I established that liquid rocket fueled engines with extreme low values of thrust (below 2 lbs) are probably impractical, even for hobbyists. I need a lot more information about radio control and instrumentation before I can write convincingly about the design program. A few years ago, I make inquiries about the local model rocketry club, which was going through some difficulties. With my revival of interest in the subject, I would like too attend the next launch.

More slicing

I indicated that I’m starting to work on the future. I don’t think I can do much in the future without a solid grip on the present. I’m still working analyzing and rearranging events of April and May, but I;m getting closer.

This has been re-igniting my interest in creative science fiction. I started work on a near-future science fiction novel, incorporating some of my thoughts on reusable launch vehicles. I came across a book that’s been published and made available on the web; “How to Design, Build, and Test Liquid-fueled Rocket Engines”, and I’m starting to work through the design equations. I don’t have the machinery or the skill to actually build one, but my fictional characters do, and I feel like I need to work through the problems so I will know what problems they will have to deal with.

I am also working through my gaming material, GURPS and Traveller; which provide other ideas and design sequence I can use for fictional vehicles.

I also have some software for mapping and cartography that I am using, and a couple of projects. We shall see what, if anything, comes of all this.

Slicing, Dicing, and Rearranging

I don’t suppose it’s any great secret that I used the archived versions of Wikipedia’s current events as a first draft news source for major world events. I’m not entirely happy with it and would more in-depth discussion, but it is sufficient for my needs at present. I have a different organizing principle for events: I classify events by region or country first, and then by other criteria. International events, politics, armed conflicts and attacks, and law and crime would go under government; business and economy would go under economics, disasters and accidents and sports both go under culture, and science and technology may go under technology or science, depending on where the events fit.

For 2018, I started working in January 1, with decreasing depth of nations for each week, until sometime in April, then I took a break and worked with prehistory and antiquity. I took a lesson from that, and when I resumed current events around the 1st of September, I began focusing on recent events. What this means for the present is that for the first quarter, the events have sliced, diced, and rearranged and the coverage of nations is sufficient to distinguish India, Pakistan, and China. The second quarter does not have either the extent of nations or sufficient rearrangement of events. The third quarter has events rearranged, but not the extent of nations. I can mostly distinguish Anglic peoples; South Asian, Oriental, and Southeast Asian peoples; African peoples; and American Indian peoples, but not yet individual nations within these categories.

This is no great obstacle at present. I have a working pattern of development that is moving faster than events, but I expect it to be another week or so before I can begin summarizing the events of the past year and begin making informed commentary. I could possibly make some snarky generalized comments, but I prefer to have the details and solid information.

Back to the Future

I decided that I almost have enough background to resume exploring the future.
Except, not quite. Since I let almost six months go by without attending to current events, there is a lot of material to go through. Being able to sort events into “Western Civilization” and “Asiatic peoples” during the last month or so seems like only a small step forward, but this will be an accelerating process.

Disconnected

I’d like to report better progress on my approach to recent and current events. However, great speed is hardly to be expected. What I have at the level of weeks of January 2018 is a collection of disconnected events. It isn’t until I move to a scale of months, quarters, and years that these events start to form patterns. I’ve gotten down to the scale of weeks several times, but haven’t pursued it forward or backward to the point where events at the larger scales are evident. We shall see what happens this time. It’s somewhat easier to track all this mentally, but mental images tend to get fuzzy unless the are anchored to details.

Once again, from the top

I have grown increasingly frustrated with the practical utility of my work in prehistory, and have decided that it will be more useful to go back to attempting to track current events. It has been several months since I did this, but I should be able to pick up where I left off, which means backtracking to February or so.

Refresh

July was a bad month. My mother died on July 7, and I was involved with arranging her funeral.
I have also become increasingly frustrated with history and with my lack of progress in recent events, cultural areas, and the scientific areas of the knowledge Base. For the past few days decided to follow my instincts and start working on the other end, with science.
I have found that for motivational purposes, it’s often easier to work from the top down, which suggests development of biohistory. There are, practically speaking, four major divisions, the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eons. Of these, the Cenozoic is the most recent and easiest to study, and this is at the forefront of my investigation. Ecology is also prominent in biology, and I am working on subdivisions of systematics and organism biology.
I am treating geological history separately but in parallel with biological history. Biological history focuses on communities, biological evolution, animals, plants, and so forth, while geological history focuses on oceans, continents, climate, landforms, rocks and minerals, and so forth. These are closely tied and connected, but often require different approaches. Physical geography is now subdividied, and I am working on atmospheric and hydrospheric science.
I also am working on divisions of astronomy and chemistry, so far a little bit more slowly than biology and earth science.

Backtrack

I got to about the 27th century BC and decided that I wanted to backtrack to go through periods of prehistory: Trying to do all the possible connections was just too tedious. But I have made some progress in other areas.

For one, I have finished a review of how other sociology applies to Asiatic peoples, and have begin reviewing religion. For another, I have finally finished connecting biographies to social mechanics, and I am now in a position to consider why the people selected for the biographies were important. For a third, I have finished reviewing connecting nations and cities to culture, and done a review of how peoples are applied. I am now in the process of reviewing how institutions are applied to culture.