Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Institutions

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.

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