Filling in

For history, before I go plunging into more biographies, I am working in the major subdivisions. More work on prehistory is on hold, while I work on government in antiquity and economics and education in classical and medieval times. Connecting modern history to more details of human geography is being held up while I work on cartography, except that the 21st century is being connected more specifically to government.

Peoples of the world are being connected to culture. This includes some areas that I have long been interested in, for instance the distribution of languages of the world. Cities are being connected to institutions, which will help detail them. Social mechanics is being connected specifically to religions of the world. Institutions are also being connected to culture. Religion in general is being connected to government and economics.

I’m making progress with my map of Africa; I’m mostly done with the topography, and have major lakes and rivers sketched in.

Digging

I tend to get diverted just when I’m about to enter a new phase of the knowledge base. Lately I have been connecting modern history to elements of culture, which, from another perspective, has to do with the modern history of technology. I have also been persistently pulling Central East African peoples back through antiquity in order to give more material to early prehistory, and Arabian and Persian peoples back into prehistory.

I have also been working on expanding science, since studies of early human prehistory are so closely connected to biohistory and geohistory.

I haven’t dropped my cartographic projects. At present, I’m working on a shaded contour map of Africa, so I can identify the most important mountain ranges and regions; and eventually identify the important watercourses and major biomes.

Inching along

For history in general, I have make connections to most areas. I would like to begin filling in details of biographies, but I think I want to get the subdivisions of history a little bit better connected first. For now, still have some nations to review for connections.F

For modern history, I am making more connections to particular religions. Most of the existing denominations of Christianity are modern, so this is a useful set of connections.

For Sociology, I am making more connections to elements of culture. Peoples of the world are being connected to education.

The increasing connections to human geography are prompting me to continue my efforts in cartography. I’m not quite ready to show off my works in progress, but I should have something before too very long.

Priorities

In order to make more progress in history, I find that I need to add more biographies of prominent individuals. I had started doing this, but had set it aside because the connections to other areas were not sufficiently solid. I have been going through what I call the aids to history, making connections to elements of institutions and culture. I have now done this. I need to make connections to elements of anthropology before I can really make progress in inserting biographical figures. There is also a need to connect particular nations. This has not advanced as far as the web-based version, but I am resuming progress.

Now that history is developed enough that examination of human geography is becoming more useful and important, I have been reviving my interest in cartography. I’ve had a bit of trouble coordinating the various software tools, but I think I’m starting to figure out how to get them to work together. I hope to start including more maps to illustrate my various ideas.

In connecting the major periods of history, I find that I need to develop modern history. I am currently reviewing the connections to Asian peoples and cities. For classical and medieval history, I am reviewing the connection to European peoples and cities.

I am also connecting the area I call sociology to elements of culture, and peoples of the world to elements of government. Overall, I’m making progress.

Scattering

My latest progress has me going in several different directions. For one, it’s been some time since I update my “history aids” file. In order to more seriously investigate religion, or government, or anything else, I have an itch to begin with the history of the subject, so after making a list of major categories of Christian denominations, the next thing to do was to connect them to history. I’ve started to do the same with government.

I still like the idea of beginning at the beginning with prehistory. A significant difficulty is that this has a lot to do with the modern Western academic establishment, which I haven’t yet studied very well.

For another, the topic of sociology has gotten too big to work all the way through it at one go. I’ve done some revising of the prehistory of sociology, but sociology also needs connections to religion and government.

For another, I’m doing something similar with history of peoples of the world, reviewing prehistory and connecting to major religions. I would like to do more with the history of communities, but I don’t really have enough much detail in prehistoric times. It makes more sense to start reviewing social mechanics.

I’ve also been working with Western Civilization, which also needs connections to religion and government, but I may want to pause and do a little more with modern history. I’m still connecting Asiatic peoples to elements of social mechanics. This is going well with attention to prehistory.

Roman Empire and Italy

My continuing review of classical history is leading me through a review of the Roman empire, where I am taking notes on the various empires and imperial dynasties from the 2nd century CE ( I use the term CE for Christian or Common era) onward. I have been vaguely familiar with Roman imperial history, but haven’t really paid much attention to it. At the same time, I am working backward through the history of Italy in the 19th century. I had become aware that Italy was unified as a country in the latter part of the century, and before that was a patchwork of kingdoms, states, and duchies, but hadn’t considered them in much detail. I still don’t have much, but incorporating some notes will fill in more gaps in my understanding of European history.

Investigation of Sociology has prompted me to a survey of Neo-Pagan religion, which originated mostly in the 19th century with revivals and reconstructions of pagan beliefs. Neo-Druidism, witchcraft, New Age religion, and revived ethnic religions seem to be the main branches. I don’t have a great deal of interest in these, but include them for completeness.

I’m not dead

I took a week to go to Nebraska to recover the stuff I left in my brother’s garage…. about 17 years ago, now. Yes, it took that long for me to finish getting it to where I am living. This eliminates one mental barrier to a project of discarding and downsizing my excess of stuff.

On the way, I stopped to visit an old High School friend. It seems that he is a Senior Research Engineer at the EVR facility associated with the University of Utah, and is working on a project which involves embedding charging facilities for electric vehicles in the roadway. Although I haven’t been a great fan of electric vehicles, this has some possibilities to make transportation more efficient.

I’m still pursing the three-pronged approach to history, and have done reviews of the 5th decamillennium BP and the 2nd century BC. This notably included expansion of the Roman republic.

The examination of sociology recently prompted more investigation of the the various branches of Christianity. This will be useful, going forward.

I also did a review of history in general, and noted that it is about time to focus more heavily on education, particularly higher education, and on conceptual culture, in particular literature, in order to make progress. In order to get to these, I need to continue working in classical history.

Three prongs

I have at various times worked with three different approaches to developing history.

One of them is to begin at the beginning. Although this is attractive for story purposes, I find that modern history, and specifically the 20th century are insufficiently developed in the areas I need most. I am also relatively unfamiliar with Africa and its history, and with stone age developments and hunting and gathering societies, so progress is slow.

The second is to work forward through history, and pull back interesting peoples or other developments from previous periods. With each pass, I develop a century a little bit more. The chief difficult with this is that I spread myself a little too thin trying to follow everything, and it goes slowly. At present, I have reached the end of antiquity. This is where I can add information, as I am using this to incorporate notes from the older web-based version of the SKB, and occasionally look up developments in specific nations that I never got around it to including in it.

The third is to work on current events. I have recently been having success with a using a plan for specific periods, what needs developing, and why? For instance, in the20th (and the 21st century so far, I have been concentrating on Western Civilization, specifically the Anglic world of Britain, North America, and Australia, more specifically on North America, and even more specifically on the United States and major regions of the United States, down to a couple of major cities. For this work, I have mostly been developing the connections among peoples and cities, concentrating on those that are most relevant to whatever I am working with. I am finding, for instance, that many of the topics for which I have a well-developed history have poor connections to peoples, cities, and and social mechanics. For the 20th and 21st century, my development of Western civilization is much stronger that my development of Asian peoples. which is something I need to work on.

At one point or other I have worked on each of these to the exclusion of the others, and progress had been frustratingly slow. Giving a little time and attention to each may be more satisfying.

For fictional development, I am starting to use GURPS City Stats to get a picture of the major cities of the world, although this will be considerably improved by adding organizations using GURPS Boardroom and Curia. The new GURPS Realm Management is also helpful in developing particular nations, parts of them or combinations of them, although it is more geared toward active play than I am interested in right now.

I have let my cartographic mapping lie fallow for a time, but there is a growing need to pick it up again.

For my fictional wizard, I am so far doing better at describing where he is traveling in any given century, but not why he is there or what he is doing. That will come later.

Bump, bump

As I work through the 2nd millennium BC, I occasionally divert to the 21st century, which is resistant to being detailed. Well, as I followed the links through Western Civilization and Anglic peoples, no wonder. Some time back, when I was adding nations and hadn’t quite gathered them into groups, I had the United States connected to other peoples, but the more general category of Anglo-American peoples was not so well connected. So I’m starting to rectify that oversight.

More directly related to the current project of identifying the “things I need to work on” for the particular centuries, this is the period mostly covered by the Old Testament. I need a lot more tools to make progress with studies of this period, starting with finer analysis of Levantine peoples. I’m not going to make much progress on this pass, but it will be something to come back to. There is so much bad scholarship, poorly founded speculation, and misinformation that when I do come around to it again, the chronology is going to be a mess to figure out.

I’ve started plotting an itinerary for Simon Magister’s travels, although this is tentavive. Form one, with a century at a time to work with, he may have time for several variants. For another, I keep adding stops. At present, I have the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Hittite empire of Anatolia, Vedic peoples of India, the Shang dynasty of China, and Minonan peoples of Greece. There is still not enough detail, but as I work forward through history, that will start to appear.

Middle antiquity

I’ve been pressing forward from prehistory, trying to include an increasing variety of peoples. I now have references to the major peoples of the Middle East, except for Arabian peoples. I also have references to the Indus valley or Harrapan civilization of Pakistan and India. For Europe, I am so far limited to Minoan peoples. There are other areas where I am making progress, but I am not quite ready to discuss them.