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.

Happy New Year!

I’ve been hacked. Someone got access to my bank account, and the bank has locked access to it. There is a team of bankers investigating the problem, but they are closed for the weekend, so I can’t do anything until Monday.

For the past month or so, I have been working on a new development scheme for the knowledge base, one that’s a bit more focused on the actual needs and current state of development.

For history in general, I am concentrating more on states of the United States. Most of this will be better investigated in modern history, and I would like to pick up with a few major cities. I am reviewing other nations to check which of them actually have links to history. I am also checking my links to religions and particular governments. I have rethought my organization of colonial empires, and I am catching up on the links to history, Prehistory, antiquity, and classical and medieval history are going through a similar review. For modern history, I am doing a similar view, with a focus on states and cities of the US. For the 21st century, I am also mostly reviewing nations. This new needs-based approach is giving me easier access to current events and the new year is getting its own section.

For sociology in general, the history is a bit thin, which is prompting investigation of peoples of the world. At this level, I need to review the connections to religion and government.

Institutions in general are also a bit thin on historical connections. I am working on reviewing the connections to peoples. Culture, anthropology, personal studies, and science are also being reviewed.

But the knowledge base isn’t the only thing progressing. In my cartography project, I have decided to work mostly on my map of North America. I now have the topography with the major mountain terrain filled in to match the contours of the topography. The next step is to add symbols for major mountain peaks. I have major lakes and rivers already, but I might want to add a few more. I also want to overlay some vegetation types with forests, plains, and deserts on top of the topography, I need to fill in some place names, national borders (lightly), roads, and cities, without making the map too cluttered. For the next section of world geography, I think I want South America.

Another major effort is going to be in family and personal history. I am coordinating this with a cleanup of my living space. I am working on a personal history using Personal Historian 3 from RootsMagic, and also on a life history of my father. I also want to do one for my mother.

In connection with my writing, I am thinking of starting a newsletter (planting apple trees, a long-term projects, as one writer put it, and I need to revise my main blog page.)

Nations

For the main knowledge base, I have finished creating stub pages for all the nations I have listed. I had known for a while that my coverage of the West Indies and Oceania was lacking, but until I had details of all the tiny island nations and dependencies, I didn’t know how lacking it was. In the process, separating Mexico from rest of Central America and the Spanish Caribbean helps out. So does separating the Low Countries from Germany. Although there are over 200 nations, there are many more cities, so the next step is not likely to end. Just getting the biggest ones is challenge enough.

Peace

As we move from the Thanksgiving season to the Christmas season where the Christian world honors the Prince of Peace, I find that I am at long last at peace with myself. Of all the things I might be grateful for, this heads the list.

Late Again?

I’ve been writing, but unfortunately neither my knowledge base, nor the development plan, nor even (much) on my NaNoWriMo project. Instead, I’ve been doing e-mails regarding a personal relationship. So, the development plan is proceeding into the late 1980s.

But I did get an important scene in the NaNoWriMo work written, and put it up in the “Book Promo and Vignettes” at According to Hoyt that she does most Mondays. I’m not sure where it will go in the time line, but it’s the kind of thing the protagonist of my story does.

20th century

I’ve still been pouring much of my effort into a bit of personal correspondence but I did get through a review of the 20th century in general. My development plan is tracking only the United States and China, so far, but the next pass should reveal more.

I also joined the APEX Writer’s group, sponsored and led by SF&F author David Farland. Let’s see if it helps me become a professional author.

Modern History, or Running Behind

I took day off from working on the Knowledge base (and my novel) for some recreation and to compose some private correspondence, so this is actually last night’s post. The plan for Modern History in general required some extensive updating and reworking based on my last pass through peoples and institutions, although in most cases, I need more detail of the particular centuries of modern history. I will now be working my way through those centuries of modern history.

Historical detail

My latest pass through prehistory didn’t result in much visible progress. In the latest pass through antiquity, I summarized the history of China. Going through classical and medieval history, I did summaries of the dynasties of China and empires of India. These will show up in more detail as I get to more details of the particular periods. The next phase will be modern history.

I have been jawing to friends and family that I’ve been working on a historical fantasy about an immortal wizard who has been traveling the earth since prehistoric times, dealing with monsters of superstition and evil. Enough jawing, I need to sit down and write. One more time, I am participating in NaNoWriMo and drawing on my knowledge base for source material.

History in general

For today’s activity, I was mostly reviewing the application of peoples of the world. In my haste to examine peoples and cities, I had overemphasized some and neglected others. This review was intended to bring a more appropriate balance and order, which I will apply when I next examine peoples. I have also given more attention to the application of institutions and culture, since I spent so much effort reviewing and expanding these plans yesterday. All this is highly general and abstract. I next plan to go into more detail of the major periods of history.

More institutions

I had postponed developing government and economics on my last pass through institutions. I paid for that in today’s work, where I advanced both of them to try to catch up. I have smoothed out much of the unevenness that came from a rough start in these areas, but I still have more to do. There is also still work to do in connecting elements of culture. where it is a struggle to get to the specifics. For now, I’m about to take another pass through history.

Peoples and nations

As I had anticipated, adding more small islands resulted in some realignments. I have been rather unhappy with my division of French peoples for a while, but adding the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique prompted a reorganization. I have France, other Continental French peoples (including French-speaking inhabitants of Belgium and Switzerland), and American French, including those of Quebec, Canad; Haiti, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. Since there are more to come, I may eventually divide these into French North America and the French Caribbean.

On each pass through peoples, I take a little time to look up American Indian tribes, especially those of the Southwestern US and Meso-American peoples. I’m making progress at dividing these up into major groups.

Also as I had anticipated, adding more cities has prompted a division of Brazil. In this case, the division was easy, because the 26 states and one Federal District are already grouped into 5 regions.