The seven

No, not the “Magnificent Seven”, the 1960 Western film (which I have still never seen), but the top seven subjects I am chewing through at the moment. I identified them in my last post, except that connecting cities to biographies is complete, so connecting economics to culture has moved up the list.

I have added Tomas Edison to the list of historical figures I am considering.

I am currently connecting religion to historical figures. Although each of these figures have some connection to religion, some of them are more prominent because of their connection to religion than for other reasons. I can’t really be more specific until I have better connection to particular religions.

More history

The major divisions of history are just about fully developed. For the future, I am connecting to biographies. This is one of the difficult things about examining the future. It is next to impossible to predict the careers or influence of peoples not yet born. I don’t entirely agree with the “Great man” theory of history; that is, that the course of human events is determined by prominent figures. Nor do entirely agree with the “social forces” theory, that is, that the course of events is determined by large scale social movements. Rather, these are intertwined. Particular individual do sometimes have outsized influence on whole societies, but to some extent, this influence is a manifestation of greater social forces, and the individuals are to some extent riding a wave.

In either case, once I get this finished, the next target is the 21st century. I am still making connections to culture here,

Sociology and peoples of the world are developed pretty much as far as I can take them for now. Western civilization is being connected to culture. Communities are being connected to biographies, and social mechanics is about to start connections to human geography.

Institutions in general are developed about as far as I can take them. Religion is being connected to human geography, and government and economics to elements of culture.

I admit that all this still isn’t very interesting until I get to more detail of particular individuals.

No time like the present

I am reluctantly giving up on my efforts to begin at the beginning in my study of history. It is proving far more productive to examine the present and work back. One of the obstacles I mentioned is down; I have managed to fully separate the 21st century from the 20th. I have also managed to advance the early mid 21st century past the early 21st century, as far as connections to the lower levels of anthropology, personal studies, and science. For higher level connections, it remains to be seen. The next obstacle is to more fully develop and connect the early 2020s. There is not a great deal of content in this yet, but it will make analysis of current events easier for the next four and a half years.

This doesn’t mean I am abandoning work on earlier periods entirely. Classical and medieval history is connecting to specific individuals, antiquity is connecting to regions of human geography, and prehistory in general, I am now connecting to specific areas of technology. Since the study of prehistory depends on archaeology anyway, and archaeology depends heavily on the study of excavated artifacts, a focus on material culture is even more appropriate than it is for later periods.

For history in general, It seems to be most useful to develop science, so I am starting to resume the examinations I have set aside. There is also a need to add more biographies in order to fill in the picture somewhat.

Obstacles

Every once or twice in a while I find the lack of development in one area of my knowledge base hinders development of another, so I have to shift my efforts until the obstacle is cleared. Right now there are three.

I have not yet connected the broad area of culture to human geography. Many of the elements of culture, such as customs, language, or technology depend on the resources of a particular area, so it is important to make the connections explicit.

The broad area of institutions is connected to biographies. I have so far identified 25 biographical figures I am connecting.

I noted at the beginning of the year that it coincided with a new 5 year period, a new 20 year period, and the need to separate the 20th century from the 21st century. This last separation is incomplete, and it’s causing some difficulty as I get late medieval history better connected to divisions of what I call anthropology. This is a temporary difficulty to be sure, but it is one I still need to work on.

And, speaking of divisions of history, although these are artificial, I have compared them to topographic contour lines on a map, which leads me to mention my cartography projects. There are about three of these still in progress at various stages. I had begun a Mercator globe style map of the entire earth, which I have set aside as incomplete. The Africa map I posed last time could possibly use a few tweaks. I am working on a similar one with more detail focused on East Africa, another similar one focused on Southern Africa, and I am seriously considering starting a new one of the Middle East.

The other stuff

My latest attempt to use my knowledge base to advance my fictional story showed quite clearly that I have been concentrating on history and nations to the neglect of other areas of knowledge. My cartography efforts haven’t yet extended to cities. As I considered beginning such as project, I noted a severe lack of connection to the activities of society and the various features and facilities that support them. That means redirecting my emphasis, again.

I had mentioned that for history in general, I had reached the point of considering biographies. After postponing this, I have begun slowly adding a few more references to particular individuals.

Peoples of the world are being connected to regions of human geography. Although institutions are being connected to regions of human geography. Although there is some overlap between the topics, the emphasis of peoples of the world is on racial or ethnic groups wherever they live, while the emphasis of human geography is on places, whoever lives there, and I find it useful to make the distinction and the connections between them explicit. I am also connecting institutions to human geography, so I can eventually do things like map religious influence, political entities, and economic markets.

There are several areas, specifically antiquity, classical and medieval history, communities, and religion that are being connected to elements of culture.

I am also connecting several other areas to economics and education. I haven’t quite made it to specific firms or schools, but that’s on the list of goals and I am getting closer to doing that.

I’ve posted it in several other areas, but here is my first effort reasonably completed map in my cartography project.

/Africa map

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.