After getting to a certain point on African history, I decided that I really needed human ecology to make more progress with it, and this was still too far down on the list of things to work on. So I shifted back to modern history and closer to current events. Events of the 21st century so far are including more attention to regions of the United States. For nonfictional current events, I am interested in local events, so the Western United States. For fiction, I am interested in New York and Pennsylvania. These two approaches may overlap slightly. For the past week, I have been giving more of my attention to practical and family matters, so it’s been slow going.
I am still working through early prehistory, which I noted in my last post involves Africa, especially Eastern and Southern Africa. For Central East Africa, I am working with Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi also belong to this group, but are smaller and I am setting them aside. For Northern East Africa, I am working with Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. Although I knew that Somalia occupies the Horn of Africa, I had not quite fixed in my mind that Eritrea is on the southwestern shore of the Red Sea. Djibouti is smaller and will be more important in middle and late prehistory. For Interior East Africa, South Sudan is not the largest, but it has a an important central place, followed by Sudan. Chad will be next, and is more important in middle and late prehistory. In Southern Africa, I have individual nations. Malawi is fairly small, but occupies a critical location between Central East Africa and South Africa. It is practically surrounded on the east and south by Mozambique, which is next in importance at this period. South Africa itself has quite a few hominid fossils, but is a bit harder to get to. Later on, I will be connecting Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
In working through the rather artificial political and governmental subdivisions of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, I have noticed that the tribes and villages tend to be distinguished by languages. I have long since noted that language is an important organizing principle for peoples, but I have more or less set it aside for later consideration. Later has now arrived, and it’s about time to start considering languages of the world.
I had set aside my work in cartography, but I have picked it up again. I’ve more or less identified the contours, except perhaps for a few small regions. Next I need to add lakes and rivers. At this smaller scale, more of the Great Lakes in the rift zones of Africa can be identified, not just Lake Victoria. Also on my plate is creating another map at the next smaller scale.
Eep. It’s been almost a month since I updated the blog. I decided I was more interested in gong back to the beginning than in keeping up with current events, so that means going back to early prehistory.
I also wanted to push the development of interconnections, and I finally have a more or less continuous ladder. We’ll see how that goes.
The story begins in Central East African peoples, on the west side of Lake Turkana, in Kenya. This region has the oldest and largest known collection of human and prehuman fossils. Whether this is because this is the true site of the origins of mankind, whether it is because conditions for fossilization and preservation of remains have been better in this region than in others, whether it is because the fossils are easier to find, or whether it is because anthropologists have been looking for them more than in other areas, or because of some combination of these factors is not entirely clear. In any case, it makes a convenient starting point. From this point in Kenya, I can go northward into Ethiopia, northwestward into South Sudan and the Nile watershed, westward into Uganda, southward into Tanzania, and eastward into Somalia. From there, we shall see what happens.
I decided that current events need more background, so I went back to the 16th century to get more of it. I have sketchy outlines for Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian history from the early 16th century onward, although since Italian history is highly fragmented until the 19th century, I don’t have much detail there. I am also working, or pulling backward in Hispanic colonial regions. I have Britain and the United states back to earliest colonial times, and I am working on Canada. I also have a sketchy outline of the rulers of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire, Germany, and the Netherlands. I haven’t done much with Asian peoples except to pull back the history of Morocco. I am concentrating more on connecting Judaism and the category particular families back through modern times.
I am also trying to develop cities, with an emphasis on European cities for now, but I’ve also been connecting Arabian cities and Constantinople.
I am trying to narrow the scope somewhat for my historical fantasy. It’s just not possible, without teleportation, to cover all the nations and areas of interest. Without the benefit of hindsight, it’s also a challenge to identify the most important ones.
I haven’t done much cartography this month, but it’s on my mind. Constantinople is probably first on the list of places to map.
I adjusted my development procedure to put more emphasis on the top seven, which is letting me clear them faster.
For religion, I have finished connecting to the 40 or so biographical entries. I went back through and marked them as major and minor figures. I also finished connection of these biographies to social mechanics and to the 21st century. As I have noted before, I don’t have enough living people among the biographical figures to do much than consider evaluations of their historical legacy. Since an evaluation takes time and a certain amount of historical perspective, I’m not expecting a great deal from this at present.
I have connected government to geographic regions, and I am now connecting it to biographical figures. These were the rulers and conquerors, and again I am marking major and minor figures.
Western Civilization is being connected to geographic regions. The 20th century is being connected to elements of culture. Asiatic peoples are being connected to elements of culture, Western cities to institutions, and the early mid 21st century to institutions. These are the new top seven.
As well as concentrating more on current and recent events, I have been working on Anglic peoples and particularly Anglo-American peoples, and expect to continue this emphasis, although this will need to be supplemented by examination of other peoples.
I have added Plato to the list of biographical figures and I am currently adding Oliver Cromwell.
In history, the 20th century and the 21st century are the most outstanding areas being developed. The 20th century is being connected to elements of culture. The 21st century has reached the point where I can begin connecting to biographies, however, since none of the so far are of living peoples, this will refer to studies of historical figures done in this century.
Western Civilization is nearly connected to elements of culture. For social mechanics, I have begun connecting to individual biographies.
For religion, connections to prominent religious figures include Mohammed and Martin Luther. Government is being connected to geographical areas, and economics to elements of culture. This includes the connection of occupations, which is one that I have been wanting to make for some time.
In my last post a couple of days ago, I neglected to mention that I had added a few biographical figures: William T.G. Morton, who introduced anaesthesia into surgery; Guglielmo Marconi, who pioneered radio communication, and Adolf Hitler.
At various times I have attempted to get “caught up” with current events, then turned away to work on something else. There are still a bunch of hanging ends from these attempts, but I’m going for one more try. Today marks the beginning of a new quarter as well as a new month.
However, I am chiefly referring to those topics that present obstacles to the smooth and orderly development of the knowledge base, because I had set them aside as not urgent. American Indian peoples are now connected to science, which frees this for development of government. Asian cities need to be developed somewhat in advance of social types, and American Indian cities, at a rougher level, needed basic connections to the major sciences.
Economics needs to be connected to sciences, Education to personal studies, and now that family is better connected to the sciences, it needs to be connected to more details of culture.
I am now connecting the 21st century to geographic regions.
I have begun connecting social mechanics to biographies. This is where the “great men” meet the “social forces”, and where I consider the innovators and destroyers, the movers and shakers and their influence on society (and vice versa).
Although I would like to give more attention to the details of social mechanics, that is to say social changes, social types, and social structure, I feel obliged to give attention to Asiatic, African, and American Indian cities and communities first.
I am starting to connect specific biographies to religion. Among figures born in the 19th century, I want to take note of specifically Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. Although Darwin was primarily a biologist, his rejection of the idea of divine special creation of living things has become a cornerstone of atheistic secular thought. Although there are many who see the traditional religious account and the evolutionary account of the origin of life as compatible, there are also many do not. Marx was an atheist and hostile to religion, and his ideas have also become intertwined with modern atheistic secularism. I intend to consider these in more detail when I get around to secularism as a quasi-religious tradition and its development in modern history.
No, not the “Magnificent Seven”, the 1960 Western film (which I have still never seen), but the top seven subjects I am chewing through at the moment. I identified them in my last post, except that connecting cities to biographies is complete, so connecting economics to culture has moved up the list.
I have added Tomas Edison to the list of historical figures I am considering.
I am currently connecting religion to historical figures. Although each of these figures have some connection to religion, some of them are more prominent because of their connection to religion than for other reasons. I can’t really be more specific until I have better connection to particular religions.