Category Archives: Uncategorized

Late prehistory

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.

Agricultural revolution

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.

Oh, the French

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.

Crawling through middle Prehistory

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.

More Early Prehistory

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.

Back to the Beginning

I abruptly decided that I was tired of the 19th century, and to go back to prehistory.

Pliocene prehistory is focused on the earliest origins of humanity, as revealed by investigation of skeletal remains by archaeologists, primarily of the 20th century. These are limited to Africa, which is still being connected. Stone age developments are also being considered. The origins of the institutions ought to be traced, but the evidence is still unclear. Most of the evidence consists of stone tools and skeletal remains, or what I call “stones and bones”.

Early Pleistocene prehistory likewise is limited to principally the 19th century, and mostly limited to Africa. along with stone age developments and institutional origins. The evidence is still mostly stones and bones.

Early mid Pleistocene prehistory. This began to be studied in the 19th century, and is better known in the 20th century. Remains of are found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. This is still mostly concerned with stone age developments and hunting and gathering society. The role of institutions is not yet clear. Evidence is still mostly stones and bones. I have not yet examined culture enough to distinguish the various types of stone industries, but this important in the archaeology of this period. The predominant species of this period is believed to be homo erectus.

For Western Civilization, I have made connections to human geography as far as it has been developed.
The history of institutions through middle prehistory has been rewritten. Science has also been connected to details of human geography as far as they are developed.

Slow progress

One of the reasons my review of history is going so slowly is that I am taking the time to expand the links of other connected areas.

Although my review of the mid 19th century from 1841-1860 is principally showing up Britain’s involvement in the Crimean war and the United States in the Mexican war, there are still a lot of international developments I have set aside for now.

In the major area of culture, specifically the sociology of culture, I have completed the connection with cities and I will be doing a review of how various peoples of the world are connected to culture.

Scattered Progress

It seems that I am going to have to upgrade my web development tools. I have been satisfied with HoTMetaL Pro, which I have been using for years, but the site has expanded beyond its ability to track the link structure, so I am switching to a new editor. I may have to learn CSS, which I have been resisting doing as well, but if that helps me improve the site’s appearance, so much the better.

I have cycled my studies of history around to the early 17th century. There is some coverage of the early settlement of North America, but most of the action is centered in Europe.
For the early mid 17th century, there is more settlement of North America and some coverage of England and Europe.
For mid 17th century, I have reference to the English Civil War, and still more settlement of North America including Canada.

I prefer to announce what I have finished, rather than what I am working on. Personal studies are now connected to details of anthropology, and Science is now connected to details of culture, which is an important advance.

What does Aristotle say?

I really don’t know. For some time, I’ve been avoiding looking closely at the origins of logic, and specifically modal logic, in the writings of Aristotle. I’ve run out of excuses and I finally downloaded a copy of Aristotle’s “Categories” (E.M. Edgehill’s translation, from the Gutenberg project), to start looking it over. I will have a little more to say on this when I’ve studied more of it.

One of my ongoing projects has to do with writing what I call historical fantasy. I finally broke down and connected two areas of particular changes and movements; namely stone age developments and the agricultural revolution, all the way back to their origins in the Knoweldge Base. This should allow me to do more with those subjects.

Conjunction and Disjunction

This is a continuation of a series of posts on three valued logic that began with “The Learned Professors”.

Logic doesn’t get very far without the ability to combined sentences and expressions. As with classical two valued logic, the principal means of combining are two binary operations; the logical “and” and the logical “or”. If the truth values T, U, and F, are ordered from “Most true” to “least true”, the value of “P and Q”, P & Q, is the least true of the two expressions, while “P or Q”, p \/ Q is the most true.

There is nothing new here; most of the three valued logics that have been created take this approach, and it seems entirely reasonable.
It becomes more interesting when negation and the modal operators becomes involved. De Morgan’s laws apply so that ~ (P & Q) = ~P \/ !Q and ~ (P \/ Q) = ~P & ~Q. The modal operators [] and <> are distributive, so that [](P & Q) = []P & []Q; <>(P \/ Q) = <>P \/ <>Q. [](P \/ Q) = []P \/ []Q; <>(P & Q) = <>P & <>Q.

This is a significant difference from the modal logic of C. I. Lewis, who argued that if P and Q are mutually exclusive so that Q = ~P, <>P & <>Q should be true, while <>(P & Q) should be false. However intuitively appealing this might be, it doesn’t work here. Once we are committed to using the truth value U for P, we are also committed to accepting that <> (P & ~P), for instance. “It is possible that the cat is black and the cat is white”. Fortunately, we are not required to accept such contradictions as true; [] (P & ~P) “It is definitely the case that P and ~P” is false. It is sufficient to refrain from denying that they are ever possible. Sometimes, there are intermediate states for which a such description makes sense. Even if there are not, it is inconsistent to relax the law of the excluded middle on one side, and then assert it strongly on the other.
It is a basic assertion that <>P & <> ~P “It is possible for both P and ~P” signifies that P is an equivocal statement and has the truth value U. If, on the other hand, you assert ~<> (P & ~P), “It is not possible for both P and not P”, this a commitment to dichotomy. If it holds for all statements involved, the three valued logic simply reduces to the two valued case. If P and Q really are mutually exclusive, <>(P & Q) can be considered a vacuous possibility that vanishes as soon as either P or Q is known.

As it works out, the similar behavior of dichotomous uncertainty and equivocal uncertainty means that you can get away with using U for either type, as long as you observe decorous restraint and refrain from asserting that the principle of the excluded middle is a law that cannot be violated. The laws of the logic are perfectly general and apply equally and indifferently to both cases.