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Lately, I've grown increasingly deliberate about identifying the subjects that I sorta know something about, and trying to build a more systematic framework of basic knowledge on which to build in the future.

As an example: Taking another stab at reading a big analysis of the Vietnam War (or Second Indochina War, if you prefer), I realized that I had absorbed a lot of piecemeal facts and impressions about the war over the years, but didn't really have a grasp on the basic steps in the progression of the conflict from start to finish. So I gave the big, sweeping book to a friend, did some internetting, found a short, solid introductory text, and now I'm reading that.

On the whole, it seems like our society has largely regulated the introductory text as a form to a disreputable niche market, e.g. Post-Structuralism For Dummies, and the like. A really useful, elegant introductory text is a thing of beauty, though. They should be more highly valued than they generally are.

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Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.