I am finding that working in prehistory is more satisfying than trying to track current events, so I’ve been trying to expand the examination of the earliest periods. This is requiring that I look more into the development of science, particularly biology. Since I had set this aside for a long while, there’s a certain satisfaction in getting back to it.
Have I really not posted on the blog since October?
Alright, I did drop working on the future in favor of going back to prehistory. But I recently decided to switch back to the present and work on current events some.
I am not working much on the far future or middle future. The near future is being connected. I don’t have much for the next 5 years. Within the next year, the major anticipated event is the US 2020 Presidental election. President Trump is already campaigning for re-election. On Sarah Hoyt’s blog, one of the commenters referred to the crowded field last election cycle, and mentioned 76 Unknowns. It seems appropriate. I didn’t even try following this last time, but the Knowledge Base has developed enough that I can give it a try this time.
Looking ahead in the next month, Brexit negotiations and another Summit meeting between President Trump and North Korea are anticipated.
Modern history is being connected to more cities. For the 20th century I am reviewing Asiatic peoples, and for the early 21st century I am reviewing Latin peoples. The late 2010s are being connected to cities.
Current events, those of 2019, are a month behind. So far, there are references to earlier events in the 20th century, since World War II, and I will be looking into these a little. The connections to nations and peoples are not yet very broad. Western Civilization is dominated by Anglic peoples. So far, political events in the United States are getting most attention, followed political events in Venezuela. I will be looking deeper into both religion and government, although government has more associated events.
I wanted to go to LTUE again this year, but car repairs this last fall were too costly and ate my savings. I have also not put much attention into creative endeavors, so I don’t have as much to show as I wanted. Hopefully I can go next year.
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.
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.
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.
I don’t really have a great deal to add for the 8th millennium BC, 7th millennium BC, 6th millennium BC, or 5th millennium BC, except that there was increasing evidence of Neolithic settlements in various places around the world. I have included a few more references to Egyptian developments and archaeology. One of my continuing goals for the knowledge base is better discussion of archaeology and its history. So far, I only have a few scattered notes.
For Asiatic peoples, I have finished a review of their connections to other peoples of the world. Western Civilization is being connected to biographies, and their is still some ways to go. For the history of institutions, I have completed a review of the early 3rd millennium BC.
In the 2nd decamillennium BP, I take note of developments in Egypt, which include several successive cultures with various degrees of transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture. There were similar developments in Iran and Anatolia. From here on, I will be concentrating on developments of Egypt, although this was not necessarily the highest or most advanced civilization: It was rivaled by Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian peoples were more important anciently than the size of modern Iraq would indicate, so it will take some time before these are developed to their proper place in this period. There were also some settlements in India and in China and Japan. There are identified cultures in France. So far I have little information on Africa or the Americas. A new series of social developments, for which I used the term the agricultural revolution, began. During this period, peoples and cultures I identify as horticultural, with settled farming, began to appear. Whether agriculture was invented independently in several cultures about the same time or whether it was an idea that spread rapidly does not appear clear from the evidence now available.
For Western Civilization, I have completed a review of anthropology. For some time, I have been anticipating making connections to biographies. I have now reached the point where I can begin to do this.
For the 3rd decamillennium BP, I went back to review what references there were for France. There were quite a few. I find in my various readings that a great deal of what is thought about middle prehistory is derived from the work of French prehistorians and archaeologists, and has been rather heavily Eurocentric. That is starting to change, but many of the named cultures of this period have French names.
For late mid Pleistocene prehistory, I am short on notes for developments in Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is believed that modern humans migrated from Africa and began to populate the world, but the references I have gathered don’t describe this process well.
The next period, the 5th decamillennium BP, also belongs to late Pleistocene prehistory, but I have placed in middle prehistory. Decamillennium is too a word. I made it up myself, from perfectly respectable roots; it’s less cumbersome to write ‘the 5th decamillennium BP’ than it is ‘the period from 50,000 years before present to 40,000 years before present’ over and over. I don’t yet have many references to events of this period.
The next period, the 4th decamillennium BP, also belongs to the late Pleistocene prehistory. It is thought that Neanderthal man began to disappear in this period, and were replaced by modern humans. The maximum extent of the last ice age is thought to have been approximately in this period.
For Anthropology, I have finished making connections to nations as far as they have developed and will begin making connections to cities smaller than Singapore. For Personal studies, I have finished making connections to cities larger than Hong Kong, and have begin connecting to nations. For Science, I have finished reviewing the connections to Anthropology. I am beginning to connect biographies. This is somewhat out of order according to my current development scheme, but it fits with what the scheme should have been.
Sometimes I find that including more references and information creates more confusion.
For the period I am calling mid Pleistocene prehistory, in Africa I am finding references to anatomically modern man. The middle East has a few unspecified references to tools, and to some Neanderthals. South Asia has a references to Soanian culture, which is identified more with stones than bones. The Orient and Southeast Asian and Oceanic peoples have references to Homo erectus in the early period. Europe chiefly has references to Neanderthals. Eventually, I will have to broaden the connections to include more nations, subdivide the period, and find better references to clarify developments of this period. In the meantime, stone age developments and hunting and gathering peoples are chiefly applicable. There are traces of the origins of social institutions, but I consider them more speculative than substantial, and I lack good references. Pretty much the same goes for culture.