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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > History, such a wonderous thing!... Reply to topic
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Bob Haynes




Location: Mount Perry, Ohio
Joined: 06 Apr 2008
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject: History, such a wonderous thing!...         Reply with quote

Ah history, its such an exhilarating journey!
I've been pondering on the subject as a whole and what a 'learning high' I tend to get from it, as like right now.
...From a lack of another term for it.
So I just thought I'd share my thoughts on the matter with my fellow history enthusiasts.



Some might ask, why do we look so deep into the past, when we supposedly should focus on the future? I understand, as we should vie for innovation, but sometimes its not always found by just plain looking to invent the next Apple tech, for an example. If we just focused on non history related things, this world would be very dull!

I say, the future is in part, by discovering our past.
I mean, for one thing, take driving in a car for an example. Why don't we all just knock off all the rear view mirrors, uh? Oh wait, you need to look in them to see what's behind you don't you? Why is that, why not just look ahead? Its because sometimes its important to make sure there are no dangers behind us that might put our lives in jeopardy, for an example.

Sound about right? See where my point is there?

Not only does it prevent us from running into problems and what have you that our ancestors did. But it allows us to learn from them as a whole.

For an example this right here is my point in all this really is.
This right here. Where are you reading this at? You are using technology for one, are you not? On a computer, mobile device, to read about history, to learn about history. To relate and voice your thoughts about history. Using technology, to go onto a website very painstakingly designed for learning history.

What are we doing in searching for what is held in the past?
We get together, and try to understand it to the best we can. In the process of learning of the past, actually comes innovation.
While we vie to learn about the past, how hey lived, what technologies they had, and what have you. We ourselves develop by coming up with more and more insightful ways of thinking about it, also leading to technological advances.
Carbon dating, is a good example.

To those who would tell us that we live too much in the past, I say we live more for the future than they realize.


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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,162

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
-- George Santayana

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
-- Edmund Burke
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

history is a discipline that i believe is lost on most of the academic world. through school, (at least as i remember it) you only have 1 or 2 courses in history, in college maybe another. mostly people avoid it because they don't want to remember key dates.

strangely, people of today, or for any time, probably looked at the past and believed people of the past were inferior as to what we are today. but anyone who studies history understands that people of 100 years ago, or even to 1000 years ago are the same then as we are now, the only thing that has changed is substance technology, and education.
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm planning on a history doctorate, but I have my doubts that history beyond the basics has much use for society as a whole. I mean, it's always said that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it, but then recall the other saying that generals always fight the last war. After all, we cannot always apply past lessons to current or future experience, since each scenario is different.

I'm not denying that it's important to know the basics of history, the past century or so, and your country's history. But I question whether studying medieval military tactics or Roman republican politics has any applications outside of the historical field. Math has its uses, since it opens up plenty of career paths like accounting, business, physics, chemistry, and countless others. Science is useful, since it has been used to develop our technology, medicine, and so on, which has completely altered our way of life in so many ways that I can't begin to describe.

Maybe history improves "critical thinking". It definitely provides some insight into other cultures, ways of thinking, different lifestyles and perspectives, and so on. But it still seems to me a bit like poetry- useful only to those who work with it and the few others who enjoy it.

I'd love to be proven wrong- I am probably going to devote my life to history, after all!
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard post this up "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
-- George Santayana

but i have a belief that totally contradicts this. we are always repeating the past. wars are still fought over the same reasons the only difference comes during the 1700's, ideology's like nationalism, liberalism, socialism have been the driving factors for war in the past century, previously wars had been fought some kind of financial gain even though the cost of such a campaign could be overly taxing in-itself.

human nature has not changed, therefore we are condemned to repeat the same mistakes. but history can show us how we've been successful or failed in the past. in the states i think it's easy to apply Roman politics to our own structure, this is an entire society that lived under a republic that ultimately failed, history relates how - and with study could offer solutions as to how a similar society could avoid it's failures.

studying military tactics can almost prepare a person for political tactics as politics is just a war with words and policy's, therefore you have to learn to maneuver just as if you were at war.

in the long run, yes being an engineer of some kind will get you a better pay check (trust me i see 20 year old engineers come into work fresh outta school making more money in a year than i could in 5) but how do you believe has a better understand of life? guess that's sort of a personal question that each of us would have their own answer to. would you rather read poetry to understand the world, or a book of equations attempting to prove the facts of the universe?
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