Although I mentioned last week that I want to consider more catching up on recent events, I haven’t actually done much of it. I’ve done a little more connecting peoples of the world and communities to biographical entries. I’ve been reviewing the early 21st century history of Institutions and the 20th century history of Culture. The most progress has been in connecting anthropology to elements of culture, personal studies to institutions and culture, and science to institutions.
A friend sent me a link to an article in the American Scientist:
Back in the 1980s when I was working out my organization of knowledge, at first I went along with a fairly conventional classification of mathematics as a science. I spent a lot of time in the library reading general works on mathematics and encountering some of its history, so many of the illustrations in this article were familiar to me. However, the more I delved into chemistry, astronomy, and earth science, the more I realized that “one of these things is not like the others”. I had also been working with college algebra students using an approach of translating the language of word problems into the language of algebraic equations, so I recognized a close affinity of mathematics and language. I had long been familiar with the claim that “Mathematics is the language of science”, although it has many applications beyond the physical and natural sciences.
Along with the observations of the American Scientist article, I note that a great deal of geometry has always been taught using drawings and graphics. Eventually, I decided that although mathematics has its roots in language, it really deserves recognition as a separate body of knowledge. It fit best, not under the physical and natural sciences, but under culture along with other creative works of man. More specifically, I classed mathematics under the general heading of conceptual culture on order to account for its affinities with language and graphics as well as to account for its distinct differences.
The virtual tour through the nations connected to prehistory proved to be much too long, exhausting, and poorly connected to the areas I am most interest in. I am stepping back to concentrate on the areas of greatest interest. First of all is the connection of current events. I have been neglecting this, except for brief forays, and have a lot of events since about May to review.
The second major development is the connection of cities to Western Civilization; and following this, connections to nations of Asiatic peoples and African peoples. A shortened virtual tour will work for this. I am going to resume connecting communities to biographies, although I see no need to copy the whole list of cities to each person. Social mechanics is going through a review of anthropology, and I should shortly be connecting biographies to this as well. For right now, institutions are going through a review of history, although this should be finishing soon.
Nothing says I can’t do more than one post a week, as long as I do that one. After a very long and exhausting virtual tour though the nations connected to prehistory, I decided that I had spent too much of it working in modern history. One of the persistent needs and frustrations is when I work with nations and peoples, I want to get past history, which I could pursue into excessively fine detail, and past the connections to other nations and cities, which are excessively numerous, to get into the institutions and culture of those nations. I have a trial scheme in mind.
I have published an update to the SKB. Six months is too long to go between updates, but I could always have put it off some more.
I’ve started recording what I’ve been working on as I in the form of “Virtual Tours”. Often as I work through the connections, I will find one, or re-encounter one, that is especially interesting. Then I go on to the next one, and by the end of the day, I’ve forgotten all the little tidbits. By keeping a record of what I’ve gong through, I can boil down my notes and just present what I’ve found that’s interesting. I’m taking the opportunity to correct a long-standing imbalance in social changes and movements. Generally, stone age developments came first and the industrial revolution last, but depending on which end of history I’ve been concentrating on, sometimes I have emphasized one and sometimes the other, which makes things messy. So, I’m cleaning up, and also taking the opportunity to connect them to details of institutions and culture, which are very badly needed.
I have run across the connection of Christianity in general to education, and early Christianity and Roman Catholicism to government. Although both of these are worth pursuing, for now I merely make note and set them aside.
I saw some advice on a writer’s blog that makes good sense to me: It’s important to establish a continuous program of regular entries. Whether that is daily, weekly, or monthly doesn’t matter so much as whether it is regular. I don’t have enough going in in my slow, methodical cross-connection of topics to sustain a daily feed of interesting topics. What I can do is a weekly update. I also ought to update the on-line version of the Knowledge Base itself, but I don’t know if I can keep this up on a weekly basis. Bi-weekly is more likely.
So, I started to work on the lower end, with science, and realized that the reasons I had switched to a higher end, and then to a balanced approach, were still valid. In the process of working on science, I realized that I still needed work on the personal studies section, and while working on that, I still needed work on Anthropology. Culture has been well connected to lower levels, so that is not so urgent.
For Anthropology, I have been working on connections with religion, government, economics, and education, and have also begun improvement on the connections with areas of culture. This seems to be mostly preliminary; I will feel like it is real progress when I get to the connections with personal studies and science.
Personal studies are a little further behind, with connections to the institutions.
Science in general is having connections to religion and government. This is where it starts getting cyclical, because my review of the history of science is getting to classical and medieval history. This also depends more heavily on peoples, particularly on Western Civilization, which is not quite completely developed. I have been taking Institutions through full connection of peoples of the world before going into either connections with culture, or the details of religion, government, economics, and so on. I still have more things to connect.
For the past while I have been focusing heavily on history and nations. However, recently I decided to try things from the other end, working on the sciences. This was pleasing enough that I am going to try it for a while longer.
I note that today is the 16th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Although I am not revenge minded, I am disgusted with the apologists who claim that the US deserved it.
I have decided to take up my on-Line studies at BYU-Idaho, as well as various other projects. It’s time for me to move off dead bottom.
I’ve had nothing significant to report for the past couple of months. I’ve been doing some review of history, trying to get a more coherent narrative, but nothing very exciting. I’ve recently gone back to current events and I’m picking up the analysis from where I left off in about April.
I’ve also reactivated my account of Goodreads and listed a few hundred of the books I’ve read. I don’t yet have many reviews, but I do have some ratings. There are quite a few series where I’ve so far only listed the first. I expect to add more reviews and more books as I go along.
As I look over the latest outline of what I am doing in history, I feel more like I have a handle on what is going on. For prehistory and antiquity, as I go period by period, I can start to see the major civilizations develop. For classical and medieval times, most of the major players are present, if not yet on stage. For the finer 20 year scale of modern times, most of the major players in European and Western Civilization are also present.
This is setting up a closer examination of peoples of the world, social mechanics, and types of society.
For history in general, I’m continuing to link to biographies. I’m close to finishing this (for now) with a dozen more to go. I have a persistent, continuing interest in the roots of humanity in prehistory, but since it takes quite a bit of work in later periods to make much progress in this, I don’t have a whole lot to report. Antiquity has been doing better; I have been linking Thailand, and I have France into the Bronze age. For Classical and medieval times, I have Britain back into pre-Roman times and Italy to the Roman Empire. I have been looking forward to getting this connection for some time. I also have South Africa into late medieval times. I especially want to get this linked back because it is highly important in prehistory. Other areas are slowly inching along.
I had mentioned last month that I was going to be connecting biography pages to history. I’ve made significant progress on that and I’m over halfway done. Prehistory is now connected to as many cities as I have traced into prehistory. For Antiquity and classical and medieval history, I’ve closed the gap in quarters of 2014 through 2016.
Nations are finally connected to cities as far those have been developed. The next phase is to finish connecting nations to each other, although this will go fairly slowly because of all the areas that it will open up. I will be concentrating more on particular peoples.