Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where was I?

Oh yes. It seems I've done a full cycle of additions since I last posted, and published the lastest version to the web. I haven't done much with science, since I'm just starting to work down into its major subdivisions. I haven't done much in personal studies, either, except add several more pages that mention historical figures. I hope to do some linking of these with history in this round. The connections with anthropology don't seem especially fascinating at this point.

Since culture is such an important and neglected area, I'm going to start going into more detail on in, linking it to nations. I was going to wait until I had gone all the way through institutions, but that seems much to long to wait, and cultural subjects are more important. I'm pleased to be making more progress with economics, but several of these subjects need more detail, and while I will get to them in a couple of rounds anyway following my work with social structure and change, getting down into the nitty-gritty detail is more important. Social structure and change is shaping up fairly nicely. I'm also thinking about cautiously picking up connections with cities again.

Prehistory was a bit mechanical, although I finally have the middle east connected all the way to earliest prehistory. The nations I connected to areas of antiquity didn't produce much excitment. either. The most interesting thing going on there is that I have reopened inquiries into particular centuries of late medieval times. I had set these aside until I had 20 year divisions all the way through modern history, so getting to this point is something of a milestone of accomplishment

Modern history is approaching a level of connection that's starting to get more interesting. For various reasons, I'm personally interested in the development of economic and trading networks and religious and political philosophy and ideologies in modern times, and I need a substantial background of historical detail before I can discuss these intelligently. Nearly every period is filling in an important gap somewhere.

Details of the 16th century are still not yet far advanced. In the 17th century, having Spain connected is a big help. At the 20 year level of detail, I'm working with the giants of Asia. For the 18th century, I'm mostly working with the larger nations of Asia, but I'm also starting to make progress with Russia. The 19th century is working with some of the larger but not giant nations of Asia and America. This is still a few rounds away from having reference to the British Empire.
The 20th century is more promising than useful yet, but I'm finding the 5-year interval is giving me a much clearer and sharper view of history and international developments. The early mid 20th century still has stubs, and the mid 20th century is also just getting started. The US at 5-year intervals back to the Korean war and China at that level of detail is extending my knowledge. The late-mid 20th century is starting to include India, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan at 5 year intervals, which is providing a much clearer and sharper view of these nations. For the late 20th century, Bangladesh, post-Soviet Russia, and Nigeria in the late 1990s gives a much clearer, sharper view of what was going on. I'm also extending one year intervals so that they will include events since Sept 11 01.

Friday, July 11, 2008

20th century

In the early 20th century, I have a connection to Germany, but that isn't much use without more of Europe. The early-mid 20th century has a better connection to Egypt, but that isn't really central to the period. By the mid 20th century, I'm mostly catching up to stuff I've already done.
The finer detail at 5-year periods doesn't start to be useful until about the 1960s-1970s. Reviewing this jogs memories of events I knew about, but didn't pay close attention to. So does working with the 1980s-2000s, where I've been mostly reviewing events in South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). Starting in 1998, I've picked up going on a year-by year basis, but this doesn't have real material until about 2005, and the next few years have been connected to nations at a superficial level well ahead of where I'm working.
At this point, I stopped to review whether any of my files had grown big enough to be worth splitting. A few had. Asiatic history and the History of Western Civilization are both big enough to split, but I need to divide sociology using history and history of peoples first, and they aren't big enough. I did split China history and India history into separate pages. US history is big enough, but not well enough connected to other areas. In the process of working on history, I added another state or two to the US, and another province or so to China, and created a page for names of the states of India.
I also started around to work on connecting other areas to peoples of the world. I added more pages for individuals, but didn't do much connecting, except to India. Areas of anthropology have been connected to Asiatic peoples in general, Oriental, South, and Southeast Asian as well as Anglic peoples. Areas of culture are connected to Latin, South Asian, and African peoples. as a very general level.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

General work and history.

I did a little more inquiry into religion, but mostly went on to social structure and change. Social structure, social types, and social changes all got some attention and better connections to nations, although it's fairly plain that I'm going to need culture and institutions to do these properly.
Another round of history has the extension of Ethiopia, Turkey and Iran back into prehistory. North Africa is now extended back to earliest prehistory. Within antiquity, I extended mostly Europe into this period. This is mostly part of European prehistory, and is still obscure and controversial, in spite of all the archaeology that's been done in Europe. Classical and medieval times prompted connection to Asian pagan and African pagan religions., and some extension of Ssutheast Asia, Latin peoples, and Central Africa.
Modern history now has at least a stub for every twenty-year division since 1500, which will allow quite a bit better precision in examining classical and medieval history. The 16th century isn't much advanced yet, but in the 17th century, I've reached another milestone and US history is now pushed all the way back to the first permanent settlement; Jamestown. There are the beginnings of connections to Western Civilization, Asiatic peoples, and in particular, Oriental peoples. For the 18th century, there has been some work in extending South Asia, Southeast Asia, Anglic, and Latin peoples. For the 19th century I have connections to Northeast Europe, South Asia, the Orient, and Southeast Asia, and the beginnings of connections to Africa.
This usually tends to throw off side branches. I've begun doing a little more work on adding particular states to the United States and provinces to China. India is another country that needs more attention to its states. The 18th century repeatedly suggested connections to economics and trade.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

After finishing a round of history, I started in on various other subjects. In most areas besides history, the links to specific nations and peoples of the world are far less advanced.
The connections of my personal studies group were fairly uselessly abstract, but I took the opportunity to add a few more pages for individuals in the biography list. The added connections of various parts of anthropology to various nations also weren't very useful. The highly abstract principal areas of culture also weren't much help.
Since I was skimming the surface and not getting much in useful connections, I decided to go to a deeper level. Although I mention that I want to get into economics, I didn't get much beyond reviewing what I have already done. Government did better. I wound up connecting some of the larger nations to different areas of government, which gives some advance in content. Religion still isn't as well developed as I would want, but I got several nations to have a little more about religion in general.

Late 20th century Asia

For subdivisions of the 19th century, I have mostly been making better connections with south and southeast Asia: not ll of it, but a few of the larger nations.
The 20th century is also being better connected. Nothing up through the mid 20th century is very useful yet. but from the 1960s onward, I have wider connections. For the late 20th century, starting in the 1980s, I have, for nations such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Brazil, something a little better than the dead boring "I don't know" and "I haven't looked at this" that I tend to plug in when I'm just mechanically making connections. I'd at least like to have a name of a country's leader in a given 5 year period.
However, there is at least potentially so much politics and economics, (not to mention everything else) packed into a 5 year period that such a note is the barest hint of all the other complicated doings that are going on. That will be coming, eventually.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Latest work

Some of the recent work I've been doing in Antiquity is starting to involve parts of Western civilization at earlier and earlier times. Most of the history of European peoples before the Romans is murky and depends on archaeological evidence, which is often rather ambiguous.
For the classical and medieval period, I've been looking more at a few countries in southeast Asia and Africa. although these early forays don't have a whole lot of context of neighboring nations to them. Modern history is getting more serious attention. I'm very near to having at least stub pages for the entire 16th century, and the 17th century is starting to include a few more particular nations, though still mostly the big ones worked back from the 20th century. The 18th century has a little more detail, although a lot of the attention is going to nations such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. I' don't have the British linked to this much yet.
One of the awkward parts of the knowledge base was that, with all the emphasis I've been putting on nations, I didn't have many external links to them. I've added a bunch so that when I need quick facts on history, or population, or land area, they will be more handy.
I have started to break down a barrier that's been bothering me: that is, including more pates for the States of the US. This is partly because consideration of the 17th century has very nearly reached the founding of Jamestown and Plymouth, and I will probably want to start working individual states forward in order to add detail to US history. I've also begun adding provinces for China. I'm a little concerned that I don't have much source material for Chinese history, but I'm sure there's plenty if I look for it.
When I was working earlier in antiquity, I decided that I needed to finish a chain of historical links to pagan religion, which is now done at the 5-century level for classical and medieval history and for modern history. I also picked up something I had left behind, which was a review of Judaism through the classical and medieval period. For some reason, Islam didn't come up, nor did many of the Asiatic religions, although with the the countries in Southeast Asia in classical and mdeieval times, I've been seeing more and more references to Buddhism.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm Back

The last I posted here was when I was involved in my computer programming project, Intensively, for about six weeks, and then I took about a month off playing a game.
I'm now back to working on the knowledge base.

I've been working fairly intensively on connecting content to my history pages, so that they aren't all just outline. I'm starting to make some progress there: when I go from one of the bottom level periods and look at the peoples and nations, there is now enough information that I'm starting to see a flow of events. There's still a lot more to do, since some of the most important nations don't even come in until fairly far down the list. The current version has about 16 nations worked back early prehistory. Antiquity has a reasonable sampling of the origins of ancient civilization and empires, classical and medieval has a part of European history, and in modern history I'm starting to look at most of the major Western empires, as well has having a breakdown of periods by 20 years almost all the way back to 1501. As I'm looking at European countries during this period, I'm noticing more than I had done before how all the royal families are related.

This isn't exactly news to those familiar with European history, but I've always been afflicted by the who-was-involved-in-the-war-of-the-something-or-other-succession-and-I-can't-remember-which-one-it-was-or-why-I-should-care-about-it disease. But, it's a little more interesting, now that I'm starting to be be able to put it into the bigger flow of European, and world-wide events. Likewise, I've never been particularly interested in just how and when Britain got control of India in the first place, let alone such foreign places as Burma and Malaysia. But I have enough pieces in place that I'm starting to see a pattern and find the same kind of satisfaction I get doing a jigsaw puzzle.

I've also picked up a little on the 20th century, going by five year periods since World War II, which forms a major landmark in world history.

I should have an update of the site, soon.