I keep trying different approaches to organizing how I work on the SKB. What I’ve decided to do is focus on a variety of specific targets and do what I can to develop them. For the historical target, I’m trying to get caught up to current events in October 2017.
For Sociology, I am leading with the Western United States. For Institutions, I am looking at Mormonism, and the United Nations.
Because of the way subjects are interconnected, many times work on one of these involves work on the others as well. For instance, as I work on 2017 in general, I am connecting to increasingly smaller nations. As I work on the Western United States, which is not yet well connected to the late 20th century, the effort to improve the late 20th century is giving more detail of Europe, and points to a need to further investigate the UN and the European Union.
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.