Saturday, August 30, 2008

20th century

I went back to working on in modern history. The 18th century didn't yield much; I did some connections with Northeast Europe, Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, Mexico which resulted in extending the Americas, particularly North America and South America, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as better connections to science, personal studies, and social structure and change.

The 19th century was a little bit more productive; I had connections to Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Turkey, and Iran, which mostly gave better connections to the Middle East. I did some connecting to families and social change and types.

I continued to the 20th century, and got to the mid 20th century, which includes the ability to focus more directly on 5 year periods. I like the finer level of detail, which lets me "see" such things as the Korean war.

I haven't neglected the other connections I mentioned in my last post. Each 20 year period of the 20th century now has links to all the individuals in the Hart 100 list who lived during that period; and I should soon be able to do the same for the 19th century (working backwards until I run out of pages that are linked to biography). I've also made connections for most of the people on the list to the sociology page although these connections are less directly useful, and meant mostly as scaffolding so I can connect them to particular peoples and nations later.

It is not a great surprise that this lists primarily those who were active during the early 20th century and the early mid 20th century (up to about 1940). There is only one person on the Hart 100 list who is still living.

Live question #1. Who do you consider to have been the most prominent or influential individuals of the past 8 years, that is, from 2001 to the present? Why?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Almost ready

Over the past week, I've been attempting to regularize my order of development of subjects on the Knowledge Base. A couple of major developments are now pending. For one, I have pretty much connected a continuous line of history pages at 20 year intervals from 1500 to the present, and I have organized methods for updating them. There are enough nations to put a little meat on the bones of a bare skeleton of time. It's becoming necessary and important to examine major social changes, religion and government, and major elements of culture. Also, I now have historical connections for all the individuals on the Hart 100 list.
I've been hesitant to announce plans, because they have been likely to change, but the thing is close enough to being what I consider live and fully functional, that I can see how it's going to work. For one, although modern individuals are connected to centuries, about half of them l of them have been connected to individual 20 year periods. Finishing the other half will be important. That will give me connections to who and when. That's between a couple of days and a week to finish in a satisfactor manner.
Another phase is to connect these to sociology, peoples, and countries. That should take a weak or two. Another is to connect them to particular areas of effort, which will take another week or two or three. All this will gives me a connected who, what, when, and where for discussing major topics, a picture I can fill in with adding more individuals and details. From here on, I'll be reporting on the progress of this project, and actively inviting commentary on things I have left out. I'm enthused.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Latest additions

I have a new batch of updates for my web site. In science, I've gone back to do a little updating on the scciological connections within astronomy, earth science, and biology. I've also done a little on the human body and psychology. I mentioned that I had pages for the Hart 100 list done, but now I also have the 10 runners up. I've been working on their connections with history and have about 2/3 of them down to the century level so that when they lived can be found. I'm working on connecting where they lived and what they did, but that's coming along a bit more slowly. I've also done some work in the anthropology section. Human geography is starting to make progress; in some of them, the last time I worked on them was about 9 months ago. Culture is starting to develop well, and I made some useful connections in all its subdivisions. The institutions are going a little bit slower, but I have some important interconnections. I didn't do much with sociology or history this time around. I've been working on these so heavily that other connections have suffered.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Recent progress

I have been working more or less consistently on the knowledge base for the past couple of weeks. As usual, it is mostly a slow, incremental process: This time I have been concentrating more on connecting nations to topics within science, personal studies, culture, and the like.
A significant milestone, though, is that I now have individual pages for all the people mentioned in the Hart 100 list. As I may have mentioned on the biography page, this is by no means an exhaustive linking of important individuals and I would certainly dispute some of the rankings. (for instance, I don't see how John F. Kennedy ranks above Lincoln, or why Stalin, Hitler, and FDR made the list but Churchill didn't.) But it is a start.
One of the more obvious and serious deficiences of the knowledge base is that I don't have links to particular works...Many of these people are noted for what they did or invented, but many are noted for what they wrote. I've been wanting to get to a list of important litarary works, but since it's be buried in the middle of the knowledge base and hard to get to from either end, I wind up running out of steam before I get to it. There is also the fact that I want to construct it in some kind of historical order, which is hard to do. At least linking it to the important authors, which is something I can put in historical order, gives me a way to do this, so I hope to get to it soon.