Welcome to Mid-Century Central.
This is the central access point for Qala Bist (.com) information. This is where the links are, or should be, for finding your way around in the myriad world of Qala Bist names, dates, and places.
The WordPress why:
Everything in Qala Bist gets an explanation. That is the goal. Even mysteries have solutions, there is a “why and wherefore” for everything (almost). With WordPress everything must be grounded in a date – no date, no post – the rules are very simple. So I must try to establish a fixed point in time to begin my calculations, a point from which I (and you) can go forward or go back – like the theory of the Big Bang, it is a point of true beginning even if there was a history long before.
They say that I am a “Boomer”, a person of the baby-boom generation. I prefer the term Mid-Century myself, the first-responder generation, the generation that was first deployed to respond to the planetary emergency that was (and still is) afoot – to respond to the cataclysm of the first and second world wars and the looming dangers, including materialism, as yet then unforeseen. The Mid-Century sub-generation includes those born between 1944 and say 1956. We can call the middle of this generation, in time, 1950.
There is a bias toward defining the beginning of the year in the winter, in January when in the north it is usually cold. But even then the fact remains that each year has a middle, July 1st, as some would say. I say the better date is the fourth, a floating holiday part reality and part myth, part festive; part real work – it depends upon the side of the fireworks you’re on.
So we have the middle year, the middle month of the middle year, and the date. Now we add the meaning with a little meaning about myself. On June 25, 1950 the Korean north invaded the Korean south to start the Korean War. Earlier that year the Soviet Union had gone nuclear with an atomic bomb and earlier this same year the United States announced it would develop the hydrogen bomb. Soon the UN (United Nations) had its first real test and the US, China, and Russia would be sorely tested too.
On the home front (in my home in Reno, Nevada) the times were changing too. It was the time for a “last run” of the V&T (Virginia and Truckee Railroad). The last Steam Engine was all streamed up and waiting at the station on this Fourth of July weekend that to everyone else just meant war. The flags were flying on the train, the great smoke clouds billowed, the citizenry was invited to see something that they would never see again – a fast train to Carson City with a beauty and a science and a pageantry that was as solid as it was old.
The old train pulled out of the station, through the valleys, over the hills to Carson. And I was on board, and my first memories were on board too; I was just or just about two (2) too. From that moment on I would always remember and always remember to also look back to a time and place few others my age would remember, but I remembered because I was there.
How It Works and why:
My apologies to Mr. William James, but he was right. The real test is, “what works”. Many people confuse time and space; they call it “space-time” like a bad trip in the sixties, like getting spacey is all that matters, or a confusion about chickens and eggs. If you can keep time and space clear you’ll like my system; if not you’re not alone. The bottom line is that this system is what works for me; it might work for you. It is the secret of this site.
What is the It you might well ask. The It is the system; the organization of time, pictures, places and posts. The It is how you get from here to there, how you (or one) can find things, find when they happened, compare my life with your life or another life at a given point in time. The It is about a simple way to find out about people and places, where places are, what pictures may exist without searching through all the muddle of the web, or the muddle of ones mind if ones mind is muddled. And finally the It is about ideas, the secret purpose (or not so secret purpose) behind each post. How does one Index Ideas? Check back here and we will see.
A Teppline is a specialized time line. The word “Tepp” is an acronym for TimeEventPersonPlace. It represents the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” of good journalistic expression. The “what and how” are the event, the “why” is the idea part.
There is no patent or copyright on the name or concept of Tepp or Tepplines. You or anyone can make one. My specific content is “copyright protected”, the idea is not. The important point is that tepplines in form and format are specialized – which is what makes them work. They are specialized in the presentation of time; they have a special way of presenting space – which is why they can make the web work better.
A teppline begins with Time.
Everyone has their own way of writing down a date. The point is that only one way makes sense. It is called descending time; start big, get little. In the end you can get as “little” and as precise as anyone can get, but at first that is not the point. The point is to define the year, the month, the day to create an exact date if possible or to “round up” in time if exactness is not possible.
This is what Teppline Time looks like for the date 1958 – July – 4th:
1958.07.04 The day of the week can be added: 1958.07.04 / Tuesday The year is presented first (a period) the month including a zero if necessary (a period) the date in the month including a zero if necessary. This is the time system used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it is the only expression of time that is self-sorting by all computers.
A teppline moves on to Space.
Space is geographical location on a sphere. Better, we can approach the topic as Sphereography (the graphing of a sphere), not geography (which means “earth graphing” on our mostly water planet). In sphereography we do not reinvent the wheel, we adapt it to better uses.
The first challenge is to locate things from big to little just as we did with time. Continents are big, and Oceans, so we first identify the continent (or the ocean). We add a hyphen. We name the modern nation state. We add a hyphen. We name the Province or the State. We add a hyphen. We identify the County. We add a hyphen. We move to a new line now.
Now we name the City (Town, Village, or Community). We add a hyphen. We add the address and street, perhaps the name of the building first; last we present the office number, apartment or floor. Except for building names, abbreviations are never used. Even north and south are usually all spelled out, NE and the others are good quarterly abbreviations.
This is a sample of a sphereographic location:
 39:119 North America – United States of America – Nevada – Washoe County –
Reno – V&T Train Depot
The six digit number at the start may give you pause. It shouldn’t. It is the world as we know it, when divided into its 64,800 graphically delineated component parts. Let me explain. The world is divided into degrees. The center of the world in this system is a point in the Atlantic Ocean where the Prime Meridian and the Equator cross. This point is 0 degrees north, zero south, zero east, zero west. Like all points this point is nothing; no area, no line.
If you move over (left or right) about seventy miles there is a line, it marks one degree. If you move north or south about the same seventy miles there are two more lines, two more degrees – one north, one south. Go ninety (90) degrees north or south and you reach a pole, another mathematical point of nothingness. Go 180 degrees east or west and you reach a line that is the same line, the “date line” more or less where in earthly time one day evaporates into another. Here again there is no space, but by crossing this line back and forth one can easily traverse from yesterday to tomorrow and back again ad infinitum.
The Degree Unit defined:
The point is that all these various lines divide up the world into space; the space between each two sets of lines (one north, one south; one east one west) constitutes one (1) degree. Geographers are not used to looking at these things this way. They see only points and lines, not space. That is why in sphereography we call this space a Degree Unit, so as not to confuse the geographers with the meaning of their lines.
There are 64,800 Degree Units on this earth – that’s all, that’s it. Everything visable on the planet can be located at a given time in one of these 64,800 spaces. Each space can be defined with a simple six-digit number. The area of each space will vary a bit, growing smaller as one moves from the equator north or south. There are ninety (90) different possibilities when it comes to the area of a degree unit, but that’s not important now. What is important to know is that at the equator a degree unit is an area of about 4,700 square miles; at 45 degrees north or south it is about 2,400 square miles (an average size for all the earth) and that at the poles a degree unit is only about 50 square miles in area.
A note about World Quadrants:
The way longitude and latitude work is the system divides the world up into four (4) geographic places, in Spherography they are called World Quadrants (WQ). The World quadrants are numbered from 1 – 4. The area with the greatest area of land and population is World Quadrant 1 (Asia and most of Europe); the next area is World Quadrant 2 (North and Central America); World Quadrant 3 (South America south of the equator); and World Quadrant 4 (Africa south of the equator, Australia, and New Zealand).
Each Degree Unit is first identified by the World Quadrant. Then the Degree Unit is defined by the numbered degree lines at the appropriate corner of the starting point of the World Quadrant; thus it is the lower right for WQ 2, lower left for WQ 1, upper right for WQ 3, and upper left for WQ 4.
The two-digit north or south degree number is always listed first; the three-digit east or west number is always second. Zeros are added as necessary to maintain the six -digit number sequence.
The importance of new areas, not just new points:
In our Degree Unit numbered  39:119 every point imaginable beginning with 39 degrees north and 119 degrees west is contained within this area. So what is the point? The point is that the basic premise of geography (and Sphereography) is area, not points. The geographers have missed this, as they define area by politics (political names) and not intelligible and findable areas on maps. As political boundaries change, so too must the maps. As cities grow they are still defined by the intersecting point of degrees, minutes and seconds that create a point that does not communicate the vast new area of a growing city. A geography that is defined by points, even multi-points, does not meet the needs of a modern people. It is a primitive system at best, it has far too many digits and letters at it’s worst. It may be good for pin-point military targeting, but it is not good for a general understanding of the size and shape of space and the relationships therein.
There is still a need for maps. But not just the Google and Bing maps that photograph and map today; we also need maps of the past and all-time maps that one can use to super-impose where you were with where you are. Things should not disappear because of a bomb or bulldozer; or the politically renaming of a place to try and make things right. The old names themselves are the record of the wrong. New names yes (and often), but keep the old names too; Leningrad and Stalingrad and New Holland – it’s not just geography, there’s history there too.
More new maps and better – a call to arms:
We can’t just Google away our history with contemporary on-line maps. We need more maps (and better) and a way to find them for what they’re worth – and old maps are worth a lot if they’re made accessible and intelligent by the use of the web. Like music, these maps record our history and who we are. Start your scanners now.
Sample map – State of Nevada:
Note: Each Degree Unit map is named for the (generally) largest city within the map area. The word Map appears before the six-digit number to facilitate search engine closed quotes map resources – i.e. Google: “Map 240115”. The word “Elko” and the “ 40:115” format will confirm that you have located an actual map. The year of map information is also indicated.
Map  40:115 – Elko – 1972
This map is believed to be in the public domain. It is presented solely for educational purposes consistent with the promulgation of geographic and historical knowledge.
Sphereographic Resources for the State of Nevada.