Monday, October 31, 2005

Catching up

In Chemistry, I've started a review of chemical thermodynamics. This includes energy changes in chemical and physical reactions, including the law of mass action, thermochemistry, electro-optical chemictry, Hess' law, and chemical equilibrium.

In astronomy, I've begun expanding the section on planetary astronomy, which includes the inner or terrestrial planets, the gas giants, and outer planets including Pluto and any other such objects.

In studies of the human body, I've temporarily finished work on the muscle system, and taken a few notes to locate Columbus in relation to other areas of knowledge.
In the area I call anthropology, I've temporarily finished work on the area I now call social basics, and I'm taking a preliminary look at North American human geography; I have approximately, regions of the Atlantic coast and Appalachians, Interior plains, Canadian shield, Western Mountians, and Mexico/Central America.

This work has been suspended while I've been involved with other areas of life, but it should reccommence this week. Among the other areas I've been involved with, a reader has initiated some some discussion of logic and the Sapience Knowledge Base which is currently dormant. These have brought out some ideas that I think are important enough to mention here, next time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


In particle kinematics, I started to look at speed and velocity related quantites and the differences between them; standard textbook stuff. I've also started taking a look at Newtonian gravitation; a subject that is more complicated than it appears, because it includes most of classical celestial mechanics; such as Newton's law of gravitational force, gravitation field and flux, Kepler's laws and the orbital mechanics of two-body systems, and the complexities of three- and many- body systems.
In chemical elements, I'm making room for one of the major groupings of elements, the alkali group. This includes two groups of the periodic table; the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals.
I finished a section on Stoichometry for now, that is the study of chemical quantities and their relationships.
In Astronomy, I finished a section on the sun. I don't recall if I said that, just for fun, I took note of the formula that gives how much one a man would weigh if he could stand on the surface of the Sun (which he can't, because the Sun doesn't have a solid surface, and it's hot enough there to vaporize even his bones. But I digress). But this is the kind of interlink I am interested in creating, because in the gravitation section of physics, I just now covered that very formula.
In biological organisms, I will be making room for the study of biological form. By that I mean size, habitat, mobility, body plan, and coloration: the external visibles.

For personal studies, I have the form for a biographical sketch of Gutenberg.
In human geography, I've completed a section for Africa, with more to come the next time through.
In culture, I'm looking at what I call "miscellanous artifacts", such as Medical equipment, toys, sculpture, weapons, and ritual and ceremonial artifacts. (as a side note, there are figurines found in archeological digs that might serve several of these functions, or more than one of them.)

I've also done a major revision of the header and aids sections of institutions. As a reminder, these are family, education, economics, government, and religion. This section is rather seriously lagging behind the others in development, and I will be including more tracks through it. There is some connection to physical science and natural science, but a lot of this is channeled through other areas. The human body has some connection, but psychology (e.g. family psychology, educational psychology, etc,) is notably important, and most prominent individuals have major affiliations with one or more of these. Institutions are composed of people, so social foundations, demography, human ecology, human geography, and particular groups are important. The connections of physical anthropology are a bit controversial and tricky. Institutions are also composed of culture; with shared and unifying ideas such as language and literature, behavior such as customs and occupations, and objects such as buildings and equipment. The structure of and changes in these institutions and their relationships help create structure and change in society in general; particular communities and peoples give specific examples of them. As always, the institutions of western civilization will get primary attention here, but others can and must be considered. Their historical development in prehistory is difficult to establish, given the difficulty of interpreting physical evidence, but they can be traced with more confidence in antiquity, through classical and medieval history, and in modern history.

In the area of social structure and change, I've finished a preliminary look at factors of change (Natural, demographic, cultural, and institutional); done a very preliminary outlne of Buenos Aires, finished an outline of the 4th Century BC (the "shakeout" following the death of Alexander the Great figures prominently)and started one of the 1920s-1930s. This includes the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Culture details

In particle kinematics, I finished a review of the quantities used to describe position, and started looking more closely at atomic physics. Atomic physics includes areas of nuclear physics, electronic structure, ionic physics, and behavior of atoms. In chemistry, I did a brief overview of the noble gases; Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, and Radon. In Biology, I also finished a review of (nonhuman) anatomy and physiology. I have slightly more extended notes on Mohammed.

Going down further into language studies, I am also reviewing linguistics. As I see it, this includes phonetics (study of sounds), morphology (study of word forms), Syntax (study of language structure), semantics (connection of words with usage and meaning), and language variation.
Of somewhat less personal interest, I'm looking at graphic arts, which include drawing, painting, printmaking, cartography, photography, and animation. I'm not entirely comfortable with this arrangement, but it's the best I can come up with for now.
I'm also looking at customs. These include vital customs (sleeping, eating, elimination), customs of dress and adornment, customs of dwelling, customs of carrying and transportation, customs related to social interaction (such as greeting), and customs related to families, religion, and the like. These would naturally include subjects of etiquette and proper behavior.
I've finished a preliminary look at tools, which should help in the study of other areas.
I've begun a look at economic systems, which so far includes traditional economies, command economies, market economies, and economic system behavior (such as the business cycle, depressions and recessions, and the like.)

Religion is an area I've long wanted to give more time to study. The importance of religion and religious beliefs and their secular equivalents appears to be have been underestimated in the modern secular age, but these underlie many of the religious and culture wars in today's society. I also have sections for religious practice, organization, and the particular religions of the world

I've taken a couple of notes on Shanghai, and begun a review of Scandinavian people, including Danish, Swedish, Norse, Finnish, and Lapps. These are not necessarily closely-related groups except by geography, but I don't yet have a better classification.

For several reasons, lately I've been attracted to the broad sweep of history, especially considering literature and the arts, but for now, I've finished a preliminary look at the first 20 years of the 20th century.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Behavioral culture

I'm continuing work on the various tracks I mentioned in the review, with emphasis on topics I have opened, closed, or otherwise have some special interest. I'm running a little behind actual studies, but should be catching up soon.

After starting over in non-classical mechanics, I am working a little bit on gravitation. I have this divided into galilean gravitation, or near-earth; Newtonian gravitation, which is based on Newton's law of gravitation, and advanced gravitation, which deals with gravitation of non-spherical and non-rigid bodies. I've also finished a second look at subatomic physics: I've only touched this subject lightly, but intend to revisit it later.
In geological science, I've begun a section on the interior of the earth; with sections on the inner (solid) core, the outer (liquid) core, the mantle, and the crust. So far this is only a quick, elementary look.

Going on to psychology, I have a special interest in actual physical activity and various types of physical movement. These studies are often called kinesiology and not traditionally grouped as part of psychology. More often, it is included with studies of medicine.

Language is a major section of conceptual culture; I have it for now divided into linguistics, writing, and languages of the world. I'm pleased to get back to this area of studies.
Philosophy is also one of the major branches of conceptual culture. I've been avoiding the subject for years, because much of it is useless and I didn't want to become unbalanced. However, some of it is of great value, and there does need to be a place for it in a study program.

I've also completed a major review of the aids to of behavioral culture, comparable to the one on conceptual culture. This includes areas of customs, occupations, performing arts, sports and games, and events. So far, this does not depend heavily on studies of science and nature, but eventually connections will show up. It depends more clearly on the human body and psychology (for instance, in the subject of kinesiology mentioned above), as well as particular artists, athletes, performers and musicians, and other contributors. These are more clearly social activities than the areas of conceptual culture. These make heavy use of language, literature, graphic arts, mathematics, applied sciences, and philosophy, and various types of artifacts. They form a significant part of families, economics, education, government, and religion, which influence them considerably. There are also examples in social structure and change, communities, and the various peoples of the earth (for instance, American football, african dance, oriental music). Information on this from prehistory and antiquity is rather indirect; it becomes more prominent and accessible in classical and medieval times and in modern centuries.

I've done a preliminary classification of industries and closed this subject for now in preparation for considering other areas of economics. I've also closed the subject of particular governments, which also closes government in general for now.

I have a preliminary note on Moscow, which just happens to coincide with closing Northeast European peoples. My studies in history are progressing; the 30th century BC is still very ancient, in classical times I've reviewed the beginnings of the Macedonian conquest, and in modern times, have a place for examining the beginnings of World War I.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Conceptual culture

Continuing the review, I recently did a major update of the introductory and help section. There are plenty of connections to science and nature, but these aren't yet specific enough. The various subjects of conceptual culture are not only rooted in the human body and mind, but there is also a category for important authors, artists, mathematicians, philosophers, and other innovators. Like areas of study, these are not solitary activites, but are strongly influenced by interaction with other people and membership in groups.
This area specifically includes language, literature, graphic arts, mathematics, applied science, and philosophy as major categories, though I have considered elevating rhetoric to the same level.
These are connected closely to such things as customs, occupations, performing arts, and to various material objects, such as physical books. All the institutions of society, including families, education, economics, government, and religion make use of and help shape these areas of culture. The ways in which social structure, type, and change, and particular communities influence, and examples from specific peoples such as english-speaking or asiatic peoples are also connected. Roughly speaking, language, rhetoric, graphic arts, and parts of applied science have existed since prehistory; literature, mathematics can be reliably traced not much before antiquity, and philosophy has arisen mostly during classical and medieval times.

A major portion of conceptual culture is applied science. This includes subjects such as agricultural science, engineering, navigation, communication theory, accounting, and medical science, many of which involved applied mathematics.
In material culture, I have been working with major classes of tools.

In economics, I have finished a rough classification of industries. In government, I have a rough categorization of particular governments as local, national, and international.

The major area of sociology, in the social structure and change section, I'm working with factors of change. For communities, I added some notes on Karachi, Pakistan; continued working on Northeast European peoples, and for nonwestern peoples, I am working with South Asia, (yes, including Pakistan; later I hope to connect the cities to particular nations.)

In history, I started in on the early 3rd millennium BC, (Sumer and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, primarily), I'm still working on the 4th century BC (Greeks), and the early 20th century (1900-1920, which includes most notably World War I). I can include only the most broad, general notes about these so far, but as I progress, the details become clearer.

That's a ride through areas that I've been particularly working on. From here on, I'm going to continue to make notes of areas when I finish one section, start another, or have found something particularly interesting satisfying about some one I'm working on.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Come with me for a ride. I'm going to start with a summary of where I am and what I am doing on each "track" of study.
Starting with Physics, I started a new track in particle mechanics before I had quite finished the last one. Right new, I'm reviewing my methods of describing position, and I've now finished the older track with a paragraph or so on quantum mechanics. I'm also working in Electromagnetism, specifically electrostatics, and I started a review of subatomic physics and took notes on the types of subatomic particle.
In chemistry, I'm taking a closer look at the elements. I may have mentioned that Hydrogen has a unique place and gets more attention than many others. In describing chemical change, it's important to look, not only at what substances are present, but how much. In local astronomy, I'm reviewing information on the sun. In Earth science, I've finished a section describing major landforms. In biology, I'm reviewing the major kinds of body organisms and systems in the Anatomy and physiology section, and on a separate track, I'm focusing a little more on concepts of biological communities.
In studies of the human body, I've been looking at muscle systems. There are too many of these for me to concentrate on memorizing all of them just yet; I'm considering only the major groups, with more details to come later. In psychology, I've finished a section on sensation. For individuals, I've done a skeleton outline of things to consider in studying the apostle Paul.
In the area of Anthropology, I'm starting another track with studies of social psychology. I should probable rename this, because on closer examination of the area I called presentation, I found that I need an area that includes the particularly social applications of psychology in general. On the other track in Anthropology, I'm dealing with Africa.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


A couple of notes, regarding education in general.
For one, I've noted some common problems in college campuses, and think:
Is this what we call higher education? Go to college, learn how to party and drink yourself stupid, sick, and into an early grave and maybe pick up a few sexually transmitted diseases along the way?
The other is that one of my projects involves language study, using the Bible as a source. And why should I be abashed about this? Whether one is religious or not, so much of modern philosophy has been shaped either by or in reaction against the Bible that no one can be considered fully educated without having at least read it.

The area I call culture includes broad divisions of conceptual, behavioral, and material culture, but this is a very high level and abstract point of view. It includes such products of human activity as language, performing arts, and tools.
This is more directly based on more of the physical and natural sciences than personal studies or anthropology are. It depends heavily on the human body, psychology, and particular individuals and contributors, and depends as well on areas such as social psychology, human ecology, physical anthropology, and particular groups. The various social institutions, such as families, education, economics, government, and religion are at least in part composed of cultural elements and influence and shape them. Various artistic styles and fashions can be examined using the tools of social structure and change, the varieties among particular communities, and the peoples of the world. I am most interested in the culture of western civilization, but definitely want to consider others. In prehistory, material culture is nearly the only source available; the conceptual areas become available in antiquity, and the behavioral areas are better understandable in the classical and medieval and through modern times.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Although I am not as interested in Astronomy as I am in other areas, I recently did a significant rewrite of the introductory and auxiliary material. Most of my interest is in the Solar system, since this has some practical application, and next is stellar astronomy, for science fictional purposes. I'm not really interested in galaxies or cosmology, since those aren't where I look for life's meaning.

But all areas of astronomy depend rather heavily on physics. Mechanics including gravitation, electromagnetism and optics, thermodynamics, and the structure of matter correspond to important divisions of astrophysics. Chemical substances and the various changes and reactions that go on in space and extraterrestrial environments are also fundamental. Earth science and Biology are generally less useful in astronomy.
Space is generally inaccessible (to most of us, anyway), and psychology is rather minimally useful, but I want to take note of particular astronomers. The communication and other interactions among astronomers are also important, and the role of language, literature, graphics, mathematics, applied sciences, and even philosophy are essential to its study. There is room for amateur as well as professional astronomers. Telescopes and other equipment are also highly useful if not absolutely essential. I have not oberved any significant connection of astronomy with families, but education, government support, and even the interaction of astronomy with religious belief are worthwhile areas of study. Nearly all major civilizations have studied the heaven, but the heritage of western civilization has produced by far the greatest body of knowledge. This is among the oldest of the sciences and goes back to antiquity, but greek astronomy was an important precursor of modern astronomy.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


This is a major section where I'ave been able to make significant progress, because I had so little information already. Like personal studies, but even more so, this is largely a collection of areas of my own creation.
It depends heavily on the sciences, including both earth science which has the basis for geography, and on biology, especially higher biology. Even more directly and immediately, it depends on details of the human body, psychology, and particular individuals. This is sometimes difficult to separate from cultural areas such as language, literature, graphic arts, mathematics, applied science, and philosophy; from customs, occupations, sports and games, performing arts, and events, and things such as foodstuffs and diet, clothing, buildings, vehicles, communications media, tools, and other kinds of artifacts are also related. Likewise, this is closely connected to family, educational, economic, government, and religious structures. This is best studied from the point of modern western civilization, although other peoples can make a significant contribution. Studies of society have been done since antiquity and in classical and medieval times, but these did not really become sciences with the use of quantitative information until the 19th and 20th centuries.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Over the past few days, I've finished the electromagnetism-thermodynamics track in physics and actually started the Structure of matter one.

I've also gone through a major review of my introduction to chemistry. This depends heavily on all areas of physics, and is more fundamental than other areas of science, although these provide illustrative material and common directions for research. Because of the many poisonous elements and compounds that exist in nature and more that are manmade, it's a bit more important to consider the effects of the body, and identification of them. The lists of prominent scientists I've been using, unfortunately, lean more to physics than chemistry. The role of social activity and particular groups of chemists are similar to those I've mentioned in connection with physics and science in general. Language, literature, graphics, mathematics, what I call the applied sciences are also important, although mathematics and philosophy are a little less emphasized, and the other areas a little more, than is the case for physics. I'm just mentioning cccupations and the like, and the tools and apparatus of chemistry at present. This is closely connected to education, with economics and government also having an important role; religion has little to say about chemistry. As with science in general, this is best known and studied in Western civilization, and the history of chemistry is also an area I would like to look at more closely.

In other areas, I've gone through geologic processes and am currently looking at the landforms they produce. I've split biology into two tracks, one looking at organisms (now beginning anatomy and physiology), and the other now looking at population biology.

I'm taking another pass through the human body and am now looking at the skeletal system, and another through psychology, now looking at the senses. I also started over with biography and have brief summaries for Moses, Buddha, Confucius, and Aristotle. I've taken a look at Eurasian human geography and will be doing an introductory summary of Africa.

I started a double track through what I called conceptual culture, one on mathematics and the other on applied sciences; finished a look at events, and started looking at categories of tools and machinery. Also, I finished a review of major types of societies and am moving to social changes, finished a preliminary look at southeast Europe and am looking at the northeast part, finished a look at the Middle east and am looking at India, and have finished reviews of the 5th century BC (the golden age of Athens) and the 19th century.