Thursday, September 29, 2005


I discussed this a few months ago, on May 3, and haven't changed a great deal.

My more recent approach to physics has four tracks I'm following. I've decided to take two tracks through mechanics, one through classical and one through non-classical mechanics. It is with great relief that I have finished a long, slow, slog through classical mechanics (and I'm about to go back through it again), while I'm starting the nonclassical track with gravitation. The third physics track involves electromagnetism and thermodynamics. The fourth track will deal with the structure of matter, and I haven't actually started yet, but will soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Personal Studies

In contrast to the sciences, the areas I call personal studies are not nearly as well developed. Studies of the human body are often considered within the realm of science, but psychology is much less well organized than, for instance, biology. Biography is often considered part of history. I haven't found a better name for the collected study of human beings as individuals.

This depends quite heavily on the sciences, most notably biology, although the other sciences do have contributions. People are social beings, and much of their behavior is so connected to others that the personal studies are seriously incomplete without the various areas of anthropology. Language, literature, graphics, mathematics, applied sciences, and philosophy are also vital. These subjects are closely connected to customs, occupations, sports and games, performing arts, and various events, and supplemented by a huge range of objects and materials. Families are more important in personal studies than they are in science, but education, economics, government, and religion are no less significant. The scientifically-oriented aspects of personal studies are best known from western civilization, although other peoples have much to contribute. Studies of the human body began in antiquity and in classical and medieval times, but there was a great deal of speculation and inaccuracy until modern times. Psychology as a science hardly existed before the 19th century, and gross errors still persist. Fortunately, there is a great deal of information in biography that can possibly be applied to it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Science progress

The point of reviewing the introductory and aid material is to help focus my attention on those other areas of knowledge that are most useful for the development of science. I intend to widen my coverage of physics and chemistry, begin another review of astronomy, and widen my coverage of biology; I've just finished a review of cell biology and will be looking at organisms.

In the area of personal studies, I've finished a review of the human body in time to start over with all major sections.

I've also started looking at human geography. In areas of culture, I've finished a look at graphics and am going on to mathematics, finished a review of performing arts and moved on to events, and finished a review of transportation technology and am going to communications technology.
My studies of the institutions of society has been too slow lately, so I've started a double track and am looking at both economics and government.

In history, I've started at the beginning with prehistory; currently taking a look at the 4th-8th millennia BC, and I'm also looking at the early classical period, with the 5th century BC, which includes the classical Greeks and the decline of the Persian Empire.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


I've already described my outline of science and nature, but now I can connect it better to the introductory and aid material.
The human body poses various limitations on the study of nature. Without the aid of technology, there are many places we cannot go and things we cannot see. Our unaided senses are limited. The desire to understand, as well as appreciate, nature has roots and connections deep in human psychology. Much of what we accept as "common knowledge is the product, not of the idle curiosity of the masses, but the disciplined and skilled investigation of comparatively few scientists.
The study of nature is not a solitary endeavor. Rather, it depends on cooperation and communication among scientists, some of whom may be widely separated in time and space. This communication includes scientific language and literature, graphs and pictures, and the specialized language of mathematics. Applications of scientific principles have resulted in increasing ability to percieve and understand nature, and science can in part be understood as an outgrowth of philosophy. Scientific research has become a profession, but it's not entirely closed to amateurs; especially with the help of groups such as the Society for Amateur Scientists. The role of families in scientific research and study is one I would like to take a closer look at, but science is much more easily associated with the educational establishment, with some connections to economics and corporations, and some to government. Science and organized religion often present competing philosophies and systems of belief. Science is most easily pursued in industrialized or at least agrarian cultures and is most strongly connected to Western civilization. Most surveys of its history acknowledge the contributions of the Greeks in early classical times, with only limited progress until the scientific revolution of the modern era.

Friday, September 23, 2005


I've been busy with other things and haven't updated here for about a week, but I have made progress in almost every area.
Before too long, I'm going to be expanding my introductory and aid material for science. In physics, I've made it through a round of study of electromangetism, moving to thermodynamics. In Astronomy, I've finally finished a round of work on Stellar astronomy, and am going to higher areas. In Geology, I'm looking at rock formations.
I've made it through a review of Psychology and have started that subject over again to broaden and deepen the preliminary notes. In the areas I call Anthropology, I've finished a look at physical anthropology.
In Areas of culture, I'm progressing through graphics, performing arts, and transportation devices.
Institutions have been going rather too slowly, so when I finished a look at education and started on economics, I'm also starting another track with government.
In the area I call Sociology, I'm looking at social types and a few major Asian cities, and I've split peoples of the world into Western Civilization and another track on other civilization.
In history, I finished the pre-modern history section for now, and I'm starting back at the beginnings in Prehistory, classical and medieval history, and I've finally moved into the 19th century.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Germanic peoples

I've finished up my latest work on this section. I don't have a lot of detail yet, but I should have more the next time I go through it.

Friday, September 16, 2005


I didn't have time to take the high school physics course, "earth and space science", nor have I had the opportunity to take earth science or astronomy in college, so what I know about these subjects I've picked up in independent study and reading. As I grew up in Arizona and lived in Utah, and had opportunities to see the various landforms that fascinate geologists (such as the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion National Park, Petrified Forest, etc.), I've always been mildly curious about how these things formed. And I've always liked chemistry. It's only in the last few years that I've taken the trouble to dig into the chemistry of rocks and minerals.

In physics, I've made progress from considering rigid body mechanics into non-rigid mechanics, and from magnetism into optics. In Earth science, I'm moving from minerals to rocks. In psychology, I've moved from early consideration of what I call mentation into behavior. I refreshed my memories of Gutenberg, Columbus, and Newton. I have moved from early consideration of literature to a closer look at graphics, and from occupations into sports and games.

Friday, September 09, 2005


In Chemistry, I've moved from investigating chemical substances back to chemical change. In studies of the human body, I've moved from disorders to the life cycle, and in Biographies I've gathered a little information about Mohammed. In the area I call sociology, I've started over on social structure and change, and split off communities into a continuing work area. In Modern history, I've progressed to the 18th century.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

More progress

In physics, I've moved from electric current to magnetism. There is a distinct mathematical symmetry between magnetic and electric fields, as expressed in Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism, so I've been wanting to organized the two subjects somewhat in parallel. I found a phrase in an older physics textbook that gives me a handle on it. Directed current elements are to the magnetic field what magnetism what electric charges are to the electric field. A major difference is that current elements don't exist in isolation. That gives me an implortant clue to organizing my discussion of magnetism.

In psychology, I've progressed from consciousness to mentation. I've expanded information a little on Confucius, Jesus, and Paul, I've moved from considering Demography to human ecology (nodding in the direction of Katrina), from language to literature, frlom clothing and dress to buildings, and from families to education. I'm doing a top level review of what I call sociology, and I've moved from the Latin group of western peoples to the germanic group.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More progress

In Physics, I'm following two tracks; still in Rigid body mecahnics on the one, and going through magnetism on the other. In Biology, I've finished with molecular biology for this pass and am starting to take a closer look at cell biology. In studies of the human body, I've finished a look at body systems and will next be looking at diseases and disorders, briefly. I'm taking another pass through Biography with a closer look at Gautama Buddha. In the area I call Anthropology, I've finished a pass through Social psychology and am moving to demography; within Culture I've finished a pass through customs and am looking at occupations, and I've finished foodstuffs and am looking at dress. In History, I've progressed to the Late Medieval period and the 17th century. Other areas of study are also progressing.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Little progress

I had a shorter study session than I wanted and didn't make much progress this time, but I have started on chemical mixtures. In psychology, I finished the section on movement and will be looking at consciousness.