Monday, April 30, 2007

Culture and stuff

The thorough revision of culture didn't happen. All I managed was to get links to particular nations updated, without going into many more specifics. I also didn't do much with anthropology or personal studies except complete their sets of links to earlier history, and I didn't touch science at all. I also did a few technical changes, revising the file structure, and published the whole update to the web.
So, I'll be starting the cycle back over, mostly with history, although I may look at other areas just for the sake of variety.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Institutions again

I thought that I was going to be able to go through the rest of the social institutions rather quickly, but it turned out not to be so. I wound up adding new stuff to sections that I hadn't updated in over four months. This was quite a more substantial treatment that the last one a few days ago.
In government, I pushed a little bit farther in particular governments, starting with international government. I now have a page for what I call modern compacts, which will eventually include sections on the UN, for instance. I also did a substantial revision of national governments. I had been uncertain how I was going to classify them, but finally settled on grouping them as monarchies, dictatorships, and democratic governments. I also took a look at local governments, which are going to be far more numerous than the national ones. Some time ago, I had done a revision of government structure, which stood up to re-examination, so I created a new page in connection with it, for types of government. This section will be a little broader and more generic than the classification for national governments, since it needs to include local governments as well. I have also been rather stuck on how to classify government activities, but I've been reading enough history that I decided to go with a simple three-part division: Administration, succession, and state relations (which will include warfare). I also have law, but I still didn't get to that part this time.
In Economics, as well as adding links to a few more nations and cities, I also made significant progress. I decided to accelerate the program for dealing with companies to four at a time instead of one at a time, to follow the same pattern I have been doing for long lists in nations, cities, and biographies. I also began a new page for economic system behavior. I didn't get to every section, but most of them have more links.
In education, besides adding interconnections. I started tracking down lists of major world-class universities, since a country-by-country listing is far too massive for a start. I haven't made that start yet, but it will be coming.
I didn't get very far with families, but made several connections, especially to my most populous four nations, which completes the set of institutions for those four.
Some of the additions and extensions are so substantial that I am likely to publish an update to the knowledge base when I finish this round of development. Similar revisions are likely to be coming from the culture area, as I take a good close look at a couple of sections that have been more or less interfering with my progress.

Friday, April 27, 2007

More religion

The last post on this particular subject was about a month ago. I did a thorough review of this section. Most of what I accoplished was in particular religions. Within Abrahamic religion, I added a page under Crhistianity on Orthodoxy, and within Asiatic religion, created the first of pages on specific tradition, on Buddhism. In comparison, the religious organization, practice, and belief pages are just getting started, but on my next pass through the History and Sociology sections I will have something to stand as well as a clearer picture of where I am in the investigation of religion.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I decided to start going deeper in the late 20th century a little earlier than I had planned, and immediately ran into a tough slog of trying to pick out the major events between 1996 and 2000 for the four countries I mentioned last. I finally got this done, but I'm not really thrilled by the prospect of doing more in another few days.
After, this, I started digging into sociology. History hasn't really advanced far enough to add much to sociology, and with the minuscule amount of work I did on the institutions last time around, i didn't get very far. I more or less declared a temporary freeze on adding more nations a few weeks back until I caught up with history and other connections, but given how many areas are depending on peoples, which are now frozen, and given that I've made substantial progress in getting the histories caught up to my plan, I'm seriously considering removing the freeze for a round. I thought my work on particular peoples was going well, but when I was looking through Oriental peoples and doing notes on the mid 19th century, I found that I didn't have a note on the opening of Japan, either in the history section for that period, or for the United States. I had it in Japanese history, but I can tell that I need to do more on adding landmark events in particular countries to the general summaries in the history.
I also did more work on connecting cities with other areas of sociology. I have been concentrating on nations and still need to do some catching up with communities.
Most significantly, I did substantial digging into social structure and change, and added a page each to social change, social types, and social structure. This section, which has more to do with what is usually called sociology, is starting to take shape. I've had an interest in analyzing societies and communities for some time, and this section will be where I keep the tools. So far, there isn't enough content, but at least I have a place to add it, and the various links that will be sprouting between this section and other areas will start to provide that content.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More history

I've been continuing a cycle of development in history. There isn't a whole lot I can do with early, middle, or late prehistory, since I keep running into barriers. The appropriate low-level divisions of social structure and change, institutions, and culture just aren't quite well enough developed. Much the same can be said for antiquity, though I did manage to link to some of the newer areas of social structure and change. The same for classical and medieval history. In modern history, I managed to extend the history of several cities backwards a century. In modern history, I was able to get several countries extended back. The US, China, India, and Indonesia now have sketches noting at least some of the highlights for the entire century, although Indonesia in particular still lacks events.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Institutions plus

For all the interest I have in expanding my knowledge of institutions, when I got to that section I didn't do much beyond creating a few links, although several of them were to particular nations. The development program just hasn't quite progressed that far. For culture, I managed to add a page for customs, but not much more. I did nothing in the other major sections.
When I got this far, I went back around to considering the main history page. I took a look a the World History Association, read over the copy of their first newsletter, and it appears that my approach fits well with that of this association. I linked the general history page to the various new pages of social structure and change. The comment in the WHA Bulletin that international patterns and changes in society are part of what distinguishes world history from a more traditional approach echoes the reason I think these are important links. In my development plan, I hihglingted more of the specific sections I want to develop as aids to history.
I also got down to the prehistory page. Although my knowledge of the development of prehistoric archaeology in the 20th century is pretty vague, I got in a couple of references. The areas of social structure and change I would like to link to for this period, such as hunting-gathering peoples and the agricultural revolution, are undeveloped, so I had to leave these mostly undeveloped. Evidence for the various social institutions is also lacking, although there is room for a connection to pagan religion (also an undeveloped subect.) Material culture, which is the only really relevant area of culture for prehistory, is also badly underdeveloped.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I've been doing a fairly quick skim through various sections of the knowledge base. I ran almost all the way through my history section, and principally noted where I need to do more work. I've developed social structure and change enough that various areas can connect to it. I noted that in history, a lot of what I call the heavy lifting involving history of particular nations is now down to the 20th century, so I'll be concentrating there before long. I also took a run through the sociology section. I didn't do any substantial work with peoples and nations, but for communities, I had done some work on the modern history, and I did more in connecting cities within the sociology section. Most of the new work came in social structure and change.
As a first try, I have particular changes divided into three major periods. The first is what I call the agricultural or Neolithic revolution, when people began settling down and farming. The next is the Agrarian revolution, or the process of civilization, when literature and metal working came into used. The final and most recent is what I call the Industrial revolution. Each of these have various movements and stages in it, which I hope to cover in more detail, but for now, I'm just getting the basics. I've also done some work on identifying the corresponding peoples' a more static view of where a society is in its cultural development, and I've been looking at social structure. Nowadays, quite a few of these aspects of society can be quantified and measured, but I'm stuck on doing that until I get deeper in to the social institutions and culture. I've been wanting to concentrate more on social institutions for some time, but keep getting held back by other developments. However, the inadequate development I now have is starting to hold up everything else, so I will be concentrating more on it soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Update published

After an exhausting afternoon of loking up and adding snippets of city histories, the latest major update of the Sapience Knowledge Base has now been published to the web. I'm ready to break for a break for a day or few.

19th century and an apology

I finally got cought up on my program for outlining the history of nations up through the 20th century., though I still don't have the last few months work posted to the web yet.
I've also been taking a peak at the history of a few cities, but that's been lagging far behind nations and I have a bunch of catching up to do.
The e-mail addresses for this blog and for the web site are regularly bombarded with spam and nothing else for two and three months at a time, and I haven't noticed any legitimate replies, so I've let the e-mil boxes fill up instead of checking them. I'm in the middle of cleaning them out again to make room for any legitimate contact, so in the off chance that someone has visited either and has tried to leave a comment that I've missed, my apologies.

18th Century

I've been continuing with history of particular nations lately, inching forward through history. I got to 18th century history of France, which includes the "Age of Reason" in France leading up through the French Revolution, and for some reason couldn't bring myself to go on to the 19th century, which in my peculiar scheme of development involves different countries. I don't particularly care a great deal for Modern European history. Since I'm not a European, the various wars between Country X and its neighbor Country Y just don't interest me that much, although at some future time, I may want to know more about some particular war.
Instead, I found myself going back to the beginning with prehistory and filling in a few more of the connections between that and other subjects. That gives me more reason, when I start looking at these other subjects, to begin at the beginning with their history. I'm getting anxious to look at some of these other areas, but I hate leaving things unfinished until I get to a proper break point, which is going to keep pulling me back to history for a while.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back again

I've been offline for about a month due to problems with my internet connection, which are now being resolved. In the meantime, I've added a substantial amount of content to the histories of particular nations, and I hope to be able to post the added material by the weekend.