Slow slog

I find that the connection of peoples to current events isn’t quite deep enough for me to make much progress with commentary on current events. I’ve been doing a review of sociology, peoples of the world, and Western Civilization, all of which are a little too abstract to be of much interest. Next up, I should be straightening out kinks in examination of particular peoples and nations.

Being Modern

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get all the way through the latest pass through modern history, and I didn’t quite. I did get up to 2021 and straightened out some of the kinks in my treatment of history. This should give me a better start as I dig in further to current events. I have a few more kinks to sort out in my examination of peoples of the world, but overall, I’m pleased with how the new plan is progressing.

Another pass through History

There isn’t really a whole lot to report. Mostly, I rewrote, revised, and incorporated things from my last pass through peoples of the world into aids to history in general. I also made a pass through prehistory, antiquity, and classical and medieval history, to expand and improve my planning.

Religion

For a couple of days now, I have been wanting to work on religion, but other things got in the way. I finally got around to it.

The religions with the most adherents in the world are, according to the archive of Adherents.com, are what I call Christianity and Islam, with Judaism a very distant third among the Abrahamic religions. Next are what I call secularists, which are a loose collection of atheists, secular humanists, agnostics, and other non-adherents to traditional religions. Although these are generally not organized, except for those that belong to the various Communist parties which are officially atheist, I have considered them a category of religious belief. There are those who would dispute this categorization, but unless or until they comment or speak up, I prefer not to discuss all my reasons for considering them so. For some time, it has been in the back of my mind to discuss the roots of secularism in Western philosophy. There is substantial overlap between the secularists of various stripe and modern philosophy, which I may discuss once I start dealing with philosophy, but this is still a future project. The third major grouping is Asian religion, and the fourth is pagan religion. I may get around to discussing these in the next pass through the Knowledge Base.

Straightening out

Or, in other words, Now What?

In case the friend who didn’t manage to make a public comment is nevertheless reading this, I’m going to try harder to blog every day as she enthusiastically told me I should do. This has always been one of my intentions, but I do better with a little friendly encouragement.

I have fairly recently decided to concentrate on Western Civilization, and particularly on Anglic (or, since the term is not really standard) English speaking peoples, and even more particularly, on the United States. This is because, at least since the 19th century, these have been considered the most advanced, influential peoples of the world. This has not always been the case and may not always be the case, but it’s a starting point. As I go back to previous periods and centuries, the primary emphasis will be different, but I will leave that to those particular periods and centuries.

Among Asian peoples, the primary emphasis is on Oriental peoples, and this because of the size of China and the numbers of cities. Chinese peoples is a new category, which includes not only China proper, but Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, which have a special status, and did some work on elevating that to its proper place. South Asian peoples are next on the list, and I am also moving Southeast Asian peoples into a higher priority. I am reluctantly leaving Middle Eastern peoples in fourth place, because although these have been historically important, are centrally located, and are the focus of much current attention, they just don’t have the size and population to go up front. Central Asia is the fifth division.

I mentioned that I am including more smaller nations: the Solomon Islands, and Western Sahara stick out. I had not included these in any previous versions of the SKB, so this is new work. Likewise, I have added a few more cities.

For light (fiction) reading, I did a reread of “Catherine’s Intrigue” by Paige Edwards (This is an LDS romantic thriller), and “Blood, Oil, and Love” by Dorothy Grant, which might be called a military romantic thriller. Yes, I do speed-read fiction, but if the story is good, I will go back to it, and if it’s really good, I will go back to it again and again.

History review

I had requested that a friend drop by and leave a comment. Apparently it’s not so simple as following the “Leave a comment” link at the top of a post. I am using the AKISMET plugin to reduce the number of spam comments, which has dropped considerably, but that my have the effect of making it a more convoluted approach for ordinary users. Hmm.

After working with divisions of history, I have decided that there are hiccups. Some of the subdivisions of the late 20th century and 21st century need to be more advanced than they are. Some of these can be traced to indecision in the development of peoples. I have had trouble deciding on the order and priority of peoples, because this has shifted over the course of history, but the default order is based mostly on modern or current size. I haven’t fully caught up with this, but it is the next thing I will be working on.

There are actually two versions of the SKB I am working with. The public version, the one on this main web site, is inactive and has been for about four years, when it got so big that the HTML editor I was using choked on it. I started a private version using Scrivener which was not hyperlinked, but maintained the same reference and referece back structure I had used in the HTML version. In some respects this is more advanced than the HTML version, and in some less so, and I still use the HTML version for reference and copy information over to the Scrivener version.

Realignment

After a week away from the Knowledge Base visiting family and friends in another state, I came back bursting with ideas. It always seems to happen that just when I’m about to catch up with current events, I go on a trip and fall behind. However, now I’ve got the plan for dealing with that.

There are several areas I had set aside, where I am making renewed progress. I am including more of the smaller nations. Many of these will be in the Caribbean and in Oceania, but they are scattered around in other peoples. This has already prompted a couple of realignments. Oriental peoples now have chief subdivisions of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean peoples. Chinese peoples include not only China, but Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, which have a special status. Korean peoples include South and North Korea.

I am also rearranging my order of development and consideration of peoples to focus on modern peoples first, rather than try to consider them in historical order. The differing weight and importance of peoples in the past is left to the past.

I am also adding more cities. I had long since decided that it is largely the number and size of cities that determines the weight and importance of nations, both in the present and the past. Brazil and parts of China, are contenders for the next subdivision of nations.

In previous versions of the Knowledge base, I had begun consideration of firms, using the Fortune 500 global list. I’m picking that up again.

I am also keeping up with adding biographical entries. As I sort these into chronological categories, It appears that late medieval figures will need to be subdivided.

Development Plan

Since I began focusing on more recent history, I had been working on a development plan for my novel, which focused heavily in the 21st century, but for various reasons, was not satisfactory, because I was confusing it with other plans of personal interest. I had to keep going back to history in general, for one thing, and the lack of development of the larger cities of Asia was also troubling, and I wasn’t doing much with the history of some of the associaled areas. So, I decided to rework it and construct a development plan for the entire Knowledge Base.

So far, I’m pleased with the results. My list of nations has languished for some time because I did not have entries for the smallest nations; I am getting closer to including these. My list of communities was stuck, because cities such as Rome and Athens which were important anciently are not so important in modern lists. My list of biographies was also stuck, or at least progressing slowly. For some times, I have been wanting to compile a list of firms and corporations, starting with the Fortune Global 500. I had done this with earlier versions, but I just couldn’t quite get to it.

I have in mind starting links to some of my major reference sources., not because they are perfect, but because they are useful. I’ve found it useful to go through repeating, expanding cycles, and I expect to continue this, and I hope to do more frequent updates when I find something interesting.

Modern history again

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.

Unexpected turn

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.