Examination of the future is still difficult, but I’m starting to make a little progress. I have just a few more weeks in April to analyze before I have my outline of events for the year 2018. I hope to get that done soon.
The work on design of liquid-fueled rocked engines is going slow, but I made a little bit of progress. I got through the fuel and oxidizer flow rates, which is where I gave up the last time I worked on this. Now I’m working on calculations for the combustion chamber and nozzle. Copying the necessary equations into a word processor is excessively tedious, but I need to do this to document my work before I run the numbers.
I paid out a while ago for GURPS Vehicle Builder, which was supposed to aid and simplify the design process. As a writer working with simulations, this gives me a reasonably plausible ballpark estimates for what might be practical to try to actually design. I can only apply it to the real world with great caution, but it is giving me some preliminary ballpark figures. After a couple of hours figuring out how to use it, I established that liquid rocket fueled engines with extreme low values of thrust (below 2 lbs) are probably impractical, even for hobbyists. I need a lot more information about radio control and instrumentation before I can write convincingly about the design program. A few years ago, I make inquiries about the local model rocketry club, which was going through some difficulties. With my revival of interest in the subject, I would like too attend the next launch.
I indicated that I’m starting to work on the future. I don’t think I can do much in the future without a solid grip on the present. I’m still working analyzing and rearranging events of April and May, but I;m getting closer.
This has been re-igniting my interest in creative science fiction. I started work on a near-future science fiction novel, incorporating some of my thoughts on reusable launch vehicles. I came across a book that’s been published and made available on the web; “How to Design, Build, and Test Liquid-fueled Rocket Engines”, and I’m starting to work through the design equations. I don’t have the machinery or the skill to actually build one, but my fictional characters do, and I feel like I need to work through the problems so I will know what problems they will have to deal with.
I am also working through my gaming material, GURPS and Traveller; which provide other ideas and design sequence I can use for fictional vehicles.
I also have some software for mapping and cartography that I am using, and a couple of projects. We shall see what, if anything, comes of all this.
I don’t suppose it’s any great secret that I used the archived versions of Wikipedia’s current events as a first draft news source for major world events. I’m not entirely happy with it and would more in-depth discussion, but it is sufficient for my needs at present. I have a different organizing principle for events: I classify events by region or country first, and then by other criteria. International events, politics, armed conflicts and attacks, and law and crime would go under government; business and economy would go under economics, disasters and accidents and sports both go under culture, and science and technology may go under technology or science, depending on where the events fit.
For 2018, I started working in January 1, with decreasing depth of nations for each week, until sometime in April, then I took a break and worked with prehistory and antiquity. I took a lesson from that, and when I resumed current events around the 1st of September, I began focusing on recent events. What this means for the present is that for the first quarter, the events have sliced, diced, and rearranged and the coverage of nations is sufficient to distinguish India, Pakistan, and China. The second quarter does not have either the extent of nations or sufficient rearrangement of events. The third quarter has events rearranged, but not the extent of nations. I can mostly distinguish Anglic peoples; South Asian, Oriental, and Southeast Asian peoples; African peoples; and American Indian peoples, but not yet individual nations within these categories.
This is no great obstacle at present. I have a working pattern of development that is moving faster than events, but I expect it to be another week or so before I can begin summarizing the events of the past year and begin making informed commentary. I could possibly make some snarky generalized comments, but I prefer to have the details and solid information.
I decided that I almost have enough background to resume exploring the future.
Except, not quite. Since I let almost six months go by without attending to current events, there is a lot of material to go through. Being able to sort events into “Western Civilization” and “Asiatic peoples” during the last month or so seems like only a small step forward, but this will be an accelerating process.