Saturday, September 23, 2006

European geography

This subject has been recently added to the knowledge base.

This will depend rather heavily on physical and natural science, once I catch up in this development plan to where I reached in the previous one.
Most of Personal studies, as already mentioned, is too undeveloped to be useful, and I don't have many European geographers to mention. I have been using geographical information from biographies to help guide development in this section, and expect to continue this approach.
So far it is not well subdivided, but I have connected it somewhat to Asian geogrpahy, which it neighbors.
Culture, including conceptual culture, such as maps, is also not yet developed enough to be useful, nor are the social institutions well connected. Most of socology is not yet very useful, although I have been using locations of cities in connection with biographies to help guide development of geography. So far, there isn't quite enough material to prompt division of the subject. This is closely connected with Western Civilization, and most of my information comes from and through the efforts of anglic peoples. The contributions of Asiatic civilization to European geography would appear to be rather minimal.
European geography has a long history, but so far I am only considering modern contributions, including those of the 20th century. Specific divisions of the late middle and late 20th centuries are so far and unfortunately mostly empty of content.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Human Geography

In previous versions of this knowledge base, I have more or less neglected this subject, which has seriously weakened the entire program. Human geography deals with such things as the population, natural resources, and land use of a particular area. I have chosen to divide this up by area or region.
One of the various difficulties of geographers is the problem of boundaries. There are few natural dividing lines on the surface of the earth; political boundaries are quite arbitrary. In general, I have chosen to follow traditional lines, except where there seems good reason to ignore them.

This subject naturally depends heavily on nature and natural science, particularly earth science and biology. Until these are better developed themselves, I have difficulty making this connection more explicit.
It is difficult to say geography is influenced by the human body and psychology, except to note that some regions are difficult to explore and travel through due to the hardships involved. Since everyone lives somewhere, and many people live or travel in more than one place, analysis of multiple biographies is one indicator of the relative importance of various places, although it is only one such indicator. Another way biography is of use is in making note of prominent explorers and geographers.
The connections to other areas of anthropology will be highly important here, although just how much so will not be clearly evident until these areas are better developed. The areas I am currently working with are European geography, Asian geography, North American geography, and African geography.
Human geography will make use of a variety of culture-related tools. Conceptual culture will include the highly important, even essential area of maps, once it is better developed.
The institutions of family, education, economics, government, and religion will also be important, although these are not sufficiently well developed.
Sociology is useful for various reasons. The location of particular cities is a useful aid to human geography, for instance in helping to estimate population density. This overlaps somewhat with the description of peoples; although many peoples occupy only part of an area, and others occupy many areas. Much geographic knowledge has come from and through Western Civilization, with Anglic geographers especially prominent, although, especially in earlier times, Asiatic and specifically Middle Eastern geographers were also noteworthy. I don't yet have specific detail on which of these came from North Africa.
The history of human geography is also interesting. Much of it was developed in classical and medieval times, and in later medieval times, the modern exploration of the world began. It developed greatly in modern times, and by the 19th century, most of the world and its peoples had been at least roughly mapped and identified. In the 20th century, the various tools available for study of human geography have become more powerful and sophisticated, including for instance the use of airplanes and color printing in the middle part of the century, spacecraft in the late-mid 20th century, and the widespread use of computers in the late 20th century. I am unfortunately not quite up to date on developments in the last few years or current events.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I've been doing a daily series on various subjects, describing what I have accomplished in my current development program and what I hope to accomplish in the near future. This lags a little bit behind the actual state of development, but various areas need to be brought up to date in an organized fashion.

As I have discussed elsewhere, what I call Anthropology differs from what is usually meant by the term. This subject deals more with what is fundamental and universal, and includes parts of both Anthropology as it is more commonly understood and sociology as well. I have recently rewritten this page to better reflect a more detailed understanding of the subject, as well as to make connections to the Middle east and the 20th century.

Since I have set aside most detail in science until I can properly catch up to it, I have little to add, except that earth science and biology will be necessary foundations.
This whole area depends heavily on the various areas of Personal studies, including the human body and psychology, but since these are undeveloped, the details of this connection will have to wait. Biographies will be useful in providing source material, since everyone is socially connected, but rather than duplicate the whole list, I will focus on those who have developed anthropology.
Most of Anthropology is still undeveloped. Social foundations, demography, physical anthropology, human ecology, and particular groups are being set aside for now. The best developed division is human geography.
This area will make some use of culture, especially conceptual culture such as language, literature, and mathematics, but on other areas also. The various institutions will also be significant and provide source material, but need their own development first.
Anthropology will also make use of sociology. Although social structure and change is undeveloped, there will be a considerable amount of raw material associated with various cities once these are better developed. This subject is closely connected to particular peoples. Much of Anthropology has come from western Civilization, especially the primarily English-speaking nations and peoples. Asiatic peoples have also made contributions. I lack detailed information on those of Middle eastern peoples, such as North Africans (to name one example); this is an area yet to be explored.
The development of Anthropology in classical and medieval times can only be sketched. In late medieval times, the works of Islamic geographers and Marco Polo contributed to this knowledge, and early European explorers also contributed. In Modern history, this also developed, although it was not recognized as a science and did not use methods comparable to those of the physical and natural sciences until the 19th century. Developments in the 20th century, including the middle (just after WW II), the late-mid 20th, (the Cold War period), and the late 20th century, including those of the last six or seven years, are only roughly sketched, though more detail should emerge later.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Back when I first started this site, I was doing some work with biographies as sources of historical information and other information. I eventually moved away from that approach, although signs of it still remain on the site. However, biographical information in the latest version still drives a lot of the development.

With the current approach, science and nature are only mentioned for most individuals.
Areas of the human body and psychology are perhaps more applicable, but not sufficiently well developed themselves. I have about two dozen individuals I am working with, and the number will continue to increase. I'd like to work with contemporaries and associates of these individuals, but I need information from history and peoples in order to do this, as well as more than just a few individuals.
Anthropology is not very useful yet, but I have been working in human geography and have major areas of Europe, Asia including Southwest Asia, and North America connected to biography, so that I can at least place individuals in the right general area.
Culture will be very important, especially conceptual culture which will include literature and source material about people's lives. Other areas of culture can also be used once they are better developed.
Institutions are not yet developed enough to be very useful.
Social changes and movements aren't yet developed enough to be able to connect them to biography, and the direct connections between a list of individuals and a list of major cities are rather sparse. I can categorize individuals by the major peoples they belonged to, which is somewhat useful.
The easiest grouping is to identify individuals by when they lived. Many of the most significant ones lived in classical and medieval times, which is not where mt principal focus in history is. Instead, I have been looking at the 19th and 20th centuries. These will be more useful in examining biographies when I have more individuals from later times.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Personal studies

I published the latest batch of updates on my knowledge base to the web. Rather than summarize them here, I'm going to continue with a more extensive review of what I;m trying to accomplish.

Personal studies is a highly important area, but one I am not particularly expert on. In principle, it depends heavily on parts of science, but I have not yet made these connections very well.
There are three principal divisions: the Human Body, Psychology, and Biographies. In my latest development program, the first two are set aside for now, while I concentrate on biographies.
Anthropology also hase limited usefulness. I have been working extensively on linking this to human geography, principally European, Asian, and North American geography, with a deeper link to Southwest Asia, with some newer pages.
Culture will be applicable also, and conceptual culture will include language, literature, mathematics, and philosophy of personal studies, while other areas of culture will also be applicable once they are better developed.
Institutions of families, education, economics, government, and religion will also help once they are better developed.
Sociology is not quite as useful as I would like just yet. Analysis of cities isn't yet showing much that's useful to personal studies. Western Civilization remains prominent, and I have managed to extend Asiatic civilization to middle eastern peoples, with a connection to North African peoples that has been prompted by development within biography but doesn't seem to be the most useful just yet.
I have made connections to later periods within the 20th century, and to current events within the early 2000s, but so far only the barest hints of a historical sketch are beginning to emerge. This whole section is developing fairly slowly.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Replanning and science

In my last set of updates, I found myself in a trap very similar to one I have fallen into before; spending too much time in some sections and not enough in others. I decided to, once again, modify my approach. This time, it is working in a much better and more satisfying way.

Although I would like to base everything else on physical and natural science, this doesn't work well because it depends too heavily on other areas. Physics, for example, depends too heavily on mathematics. Chemistry is not nearly as well organized as I would like. There is too little information in Astronomy, compared to the other sciences, and it is not generally as useful as I would like. The areas where significant progress is possible are Earth Science and Biology. I haven't quite caught up to where I was recently in putting these sections in place, so I've been considering the connections to the science aids.
Personal studies will be valuable to science, but so far, the human body and psychology aren't well enough developed to be useful. I've been making rather more progress in biography. Many of the individuals listed in Hart's list of the 100 most influential are scientists, and analysis of these biographies is bound to reveal something.
Anthropology has been badly under-considered in my previous attempts. Most areas of this subject are again too undeveloped to be useful, but I have been working with human geography, and placing individual scientists in a geographic context has some benefit. European geography is particularly useful.
Culture has also been under-considered. Areas of conceptual culture such as scientific language, literature, graphics, mathematics, and philosophy should have a fairly prominent place in studies of science. Material culture, or tools and artifacts, and behavioral culture, such as customs and occupations, aren't quite well enough developed in this version to be very useful in science.
Institutions have also been under-considered. Areas of families, education, economics, government, and religion will all be useful to science when they are better developed.
Sociology has been considered fairly prominently. I don't have enough detail on particular cities to consider their respective influences on science, but peoples are far more significant. By far the greatest majority of work has been performed in Western civilization.
I have little to add at present to the history of science, except a connection to the late 20th century, which includes the last 25 years or so. There isn't much real detail in this period yet, but it should develop in time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

And more

After not quite two weeks, I have just posted another round of updates to the Sapience Knowledge Base.

The main science page hasn't changed much, except that I have reorganized Biology and matched the comment to the reorganization, and I have direct links to several influential scientists. I also have a few more links to the pages where I am actively working in history, and the 19th century is a little clearer.

In Earth science, I have done some miscellaneous addition of links to other pages in the knowledge base. Physical geography also has about a dozen new links, and Terrestrial geography also has a number of new links. There is a new page, Eurasia, which is in the early stages of development with only very general links.

Biology has been reorganized somewhat: I have pushed the systematics (types of organization) down a level by incorporating it into organism biology, although on further thought, I may bring it back up. Biological classification of living things doesn't classify organisms so much as it does populations of closely related organisms.

Personal studies hasn't changed much, although I do have links to physical geography and Eurasia, and to areas within history. I have more links of biography to areas of earth science and history. All the individuals added at the last update have had more attention given to them, and I have added new pages for Euclid, Moses, Shih Huang-Ti, Caesar, Copernicus, Lavoisier, Constantine, Watt, and Faraday.

In Anthropology, I have begun to revise and rearrange the component disciplines, but there is still some rewriting to do. Human Geography has a narrower focus, as I am transferring demography and human ecology into separate sections. The list of particular groups remains empty, as I still have not found a satisfactory list of organizations.

In Culture, I have a few more links to other areas. I am beginning active work in Material culture, and the conceptual culture page and literature page have a few more links. The Literary Works page is not so recognizably new, and has a forest of connections. In the next set of updates, I intend to begin working on a list of major important works, similar to the biography list.

The Institutions page and the Religion page both have a few new links to earth science and to areas in history, but the Religious traditions page has the most new links.

There has been comparatively little work in Sociology, though the main page, Communities page, Peoples of the World page, and Western Civilization and Asiatic Civilization each have a few new links added to them.

There has also been comparatively little work done in History, although within Modern History, I have completed the division of the 19th century by adding a new early 19th century page and creating basic links to other general areas.

Also, in the next set of updates, since I have more individuals to work with, I will be linking areas of within institutions, sociology, and history more directly to the biography pages for prominent contributors to those areas.