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The benefits of studying History


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#16    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

View Postealdwita, on 23 January 2013 - 03:03 PM, said:

The greatest misnomer in history!!!
Yes I have heard it referred to as a misnomer, but I think the description is accurate.  The lights did go out, and, to the historian, the sources dried up as literacy diminished.  Lives got shorter and the population dropped and went rural and society disintegrated into feudalism.   This was not a case of the good guys winning.

Whether it was a dark age or not however doesn't affect my point.


#17    ealdwita

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

I wasn't questioning your point, merely observing that the period in question wasn't quite as dark as is commonly perceived.

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I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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#18    Blueogre2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

History was my major in college so, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on this topic. History is very useful not just for historians and teachers but also for the general population. Everyday we are bombarded by politicians, celebrities, and the news media trying to get us to think one way or another, and one of the main tools that they use to win our support is by appealing to historical evidence. For example lets use a common argument made by the religious right who insist that the US. is a Christian nation founded by Born again believers. Well if that were true, they would have a very strong emotional appeal that America had fallen from it's high origins and needs to return to it's roots. However if you study lives and times of the founding father's you would realize that while most were indeed very spiritual men, in most cases they had more in common with say a deist or non-religious theist then say a modern day evangelical. In which case it becomes obvious that America was, while heavily influenced by Christianity, was also a melting pot for many different spiritual ideas and concepts. That is one among several different ways that History can be useful.


#19    MainerMikeBrown

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:00 AM

The more educated you are, the better off you are, in general.  So it's good to know a thing or two about history (or any other topic you may have an interest in).


#20    Frank Merton

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:45 AM

I think human history is so chaotic (in the mathematical sense) that drawing detailed conclusions from it is largely futile, and it is for this reason that people repeat the mistakes of the past -- even when they are well-grounded in history.

I also think that a lot that we take for granted as history is really myth, or at best grossly misunderstood, maybe for ideological reasons, maybe just because the winners write the history books.

Still, history should be studied as a core part of any educational curriculum, and professional historians who go back and try to straighten out the realities from the fictions using source material and other methods are very much to be encouraged.  We just need to maintain some skepticism about what we think we know.


#21    Jinxdom

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

The more you learn about history the more, you learn about people in general. You can pretty much play madlibs with history and can get a good picture with what is going on now. (You do it well enough you could be mistaken as a prophet)


#22    Frank Merton

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 27 January 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

The more you learn about history the more, you learn about people in general. You can pretty much play madlibs with history and can get a good picture with what is going on now. (You do it well enough you could be mistaken as a prophet)
Yes, of course, but I think it is possible to think you know more about people than you actually do.  For the purpose of understanding people better, perhaps anthropology, sociology and psychology, if not even philosophy and medicine, are as useful.

As far as being mistaken for a prophet, the best course may be to make frequent loud predictions.


#23    AsteroidX

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:08 AM

Learning History is all good and dandy. But learning true History is important. The spoon fed History taught in most lower education is inaccurate at best. Just like its important to know science and now more so then ever computer tech.

Education is a key to advancing our culture. Learning self sufficiency is a great education as well. But it is untaught only learned and passed down.


#24    Ashotep

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:28 AM

I think its important to know history because it has a way of repeating itself.  Our candidates for office, we should know their history because again it has a way of repeating itself.  We know from history there has been mass extinctions because of impacts from asteroids and climate changes so we can expect it to happen again.


#25    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:30 AM

There are.

You can work as journalist, politician, proffesor, archivist...

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#26    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:33 AM

View PostAsteroidX, on 27 January 2013 - 07:08 AM, said:

Just like its important to know science ...

History is science.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#27    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:35 AM

View Postealdwita, on 14 January 2013 - 01:40 PM, said:

As an ex-History lecturer, I can think of no cogent reason to study history other than that it kept me in beer and steaks for 35 years! So everybody get to your history classes and help a starving lecturer!

Posted Image

Then why you isnt with us in ancient mysteries?

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#28    CrimsonKing

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:47 AM

View PostAsteroidX, on 27 January 2013 - 07:08 AM, said:

Learning History is all good and dandy. But learning true History is important. The spoon fed History taught in most lower education is inaccurate at best. Just like its important to know science and now more so then ever computer tech.

Education is a key to advancing our culture. Learning self sufficiency is a great education as well. But it is untaught only learned and passed down.

So very true,most of the History taught in schools anymore is not actual events but rather a bunch of stories pushed upon young minds to push a agenda.

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu

#29    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:35 AM

It's a tough one.  Schools naturally want to instill virtues in the students, and many stories from history can help do this.  But one doesn't want to teach myth as fact, no matter how virtuous the story may be -- or does one?


#30    CrimsonKing

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 28 January 2013 - 06:35 AM, said:

It's a tough one.  Schools naturally want to instill virtues in the students, and many stories from history can help do this.  But one doesn't want to teach myth as fact, no matter how virtuous the story may be -- or does one?

I for one just want the truth no matter how painful or dull it may be.One of the biggest deity like characters built up in this country is abe lincoln,dont get me wrong he was a decent president just not what they portray him as.

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu




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