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pantodragon

Why do we study history?

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Historians, or the ones I heard on the radio this week, think highly of Queen Zenobia. The reason? As soon she became Queen of Palmyra in the 3rd century AD (possibly by murdering her rivals –-- but that’s OK with the historians because murder was the sort of thing one did in those days --- I wonder if that excuse would stand up in a modern court of law --- “Murder, M’lud? What’s wrong with that? Everybody’s doing it. My client is therefore innocent of all charges”……) she expanded her kingdom with lightning speed to an impressive size.

Which cultures Zenobia bludgeoned to death to achieve her “success” was not mentioned, of course. But anyway, it was her spectacularly fast creation of an empire that impressed the historians. (I can just imagine the hard-ons the historians must have been getting at the thought, particularly as Zenobia was supposedly a “beautiful” woman with many admirers. Actually, you don’t need to be beautiful to have lots of admirers. If you are in a position of power, then even if you are as ugly as sin, people will still be queuing up to brown their noses on your bottom.)

As well as the spectacularly fast creation of an empire, Zenobia oversaw its similarly rapid collapse --- all in less than a decade. The historians blamed the fall of Zenobia on Emperor Aurelian. And that’s because historians, no different from other academics, are just plain stupid. They can’t see the wood from the trees. They can’t generalise. They cannot abstract. (Well, what can one expect from people who live a cloistered life?)

Zenobia’s rapid decline is a recognisable phenomenon to any businessman. It is well known that too rapid an expansion of a business leads to its collapse. Growth should be steady with ample opportunity to consolidate etc, etc. So it wasn’t Aurelian that destroyed Zenobia’s empire, it was Zenobia who destroyed her own empire.

And as if the failure of those historians to abstract and generalise from real life wasn’t bad enough, their whole discussion left me wondering why, exactly, they bother to study history. One of their justifications, of course, is that history is studied to enable us to learn from the mistakes of the past. Oh really?

Well, Zenobia made a spectacular boo-boo of a mistake: too quick expansion = inevitable failure and collapse. There are plenty more of those boo-boos writ large on the pages of our history books. Yet do all those mistakes make one jot of a difference? Does it put the brakes on science as it gallops off into the sunset pursuing its latest pet theory, leaving swathes of dead and wounded in its wake? Does it slow down the expansion of the internet, growing so fast that, as one scientist/academic admiringly said: “the internet is growing so fast that soon we will not be able to keep up with the changes”? And note, that scientist/academic was ADMIRING the speed of technological growth, not condemning it.

The idiocy of academics really takes one’s breath away at times…….

So, why do we bother studying history?

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We study history so that when people such as yourself make generalizations and abstracts about this or that historical event, we can then show you the error of your ways!

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Good topic, Pantodragon!

This is the second time in a matter of days that an UM topic has been made about something I had been thinking about.

Some one from so far back in time is not going to have any effect on the way people live their lives today(exceptions are a handful of religious leaders and philosophers).

The human race does not learn from it's ancestors' mistakes, in fact I would almost go as far as saying that the exact opposite is true: a precedent has been set. That lot behaved really badly ..... we can too!

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We study history so that when people such as yourself make generalizations and abstracts about this or that historical event, we can then show you the error of your ways!

You study history because you haven't the ability to think things out for yourself. You have to do it the hard way, AND get it wrong, to boot. See my post: Weather forecasting for dummies (Science & Technology). My next post is going to be: History for dummies!

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Good topic, Pantodragon!

This is the second time in a matter of days that an UM topic has been made about something I had been thinking about.

Some one from so far back in time is not going to have any effect on the way people live their lives today(exceptions are a handful of religious leaders and philosophers).

The human race does not learn from it's ancestors' mistakes, in fact I would almost go as far as saying that the exact opposite is true: a precedent has been set. That lot behaved really badly ..... we can too!

Yes, I absolutely agree. They DO use history to justify their own bad behaviour.

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My next post is going to be: History for dummies!

And written by a dummy.

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Posted (edited)

To learn what NOT to do ?

*

Edited by lightly
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How about we study history to find out how we came to be who we are?

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Humans have an inherant sense of curiosity. We find things we don't yet know interesting. Do historians get things wrong? Sure, everyone does from time to time, but when it comes to studying things thousands of years ago, who's to say who's opinion is right or wrong anyway. Hell, the vast majority of medicine and science in itself is only theory, until as which time it becomes 'know' as fact. And even then it gets debated and retested over and over again with differing opinions. So hey, let's give up on that too :rolleyes:

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Posted (edited)

History is great. We learn what has been done and how. We learn lessons and knowledge from the past. It doesn't mean we will listen to them though but they're here for everyone that wish to know. I believe we can learn a lot from the Ancient people that once thread this earth. There are great tales and deeds. We will also make our own mistakes and learn from them in our time. Hopefully in the futur they'll look at what has been achieved and what could have been done differently. Human are not perfect and are in constant evolution.

But why should we forget and not uncover the truth from the past? Not everyone have a mind for history and some doesn't care at all. But it's important that our societies teaches what once was and what our ancestors did in their time. History is a great way to understand other culturs as well.

Edited by sam_comm

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Humans have an inherant sense of curiosity. We find things we don't yet know interesting.

Yes, this thing about curiosity --- so society supports a large number of people and allows them to wander round the world satisfying their own curiosity and writing books about it instead of the individuals whose taxes provide that support using the money to allow THEM to tripse round the world and satisfy their OWN curiosity. It seems to me that the world of acdemic historians stifles and blocks the curiosity of individuals.

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isn't this the same topic you started a while back pretty much? Why not add to your existing thread? While the title is subtly different it makes exactly the same point in the OP of both.

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=245876

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http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=240991&st=15&p=4639737&hl=why%20study%20historyentry4639737 I may have been thinking of this thread also for those interested.

Panto i understand each of your threads posed a different question but I do feel the rhetoric of the OP is basically getting to the same point. ie. academics don't know what they are talking about.

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Posted (edited)

isn't this the same topic you started a while back pretty much? Why not add to your existing thread? While the title is subtly different it makes exactly the same point in the OP of both.

http://www.unexplain...howtopic=245876

No, it doesn't make exactly the same point. Also, I am not dead i.e. my thinking has moved on, my understanding deepened, my perception widened.......I'm bestowing upon you the benefits of my progress. Also, have you really got nothing better to do other than "police" my posts?

Edited by pantodragon

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http://www.unexplain...y I may have been thinking of this thread also for those interested.

Panto i understand each of your threads posed a different question but I do feel the rhetoric of the OP is basically getting to the same point. ie. academics don't know what they are talking about.

Apart from being very rude.......you are like a secretary dis-satisfied with the filing system. If you were in charge of a rainforest, you would have all the trees of the same kind shifted to the one location, all the animals and birds and insects confined to neat little areas--- I hope you can understand that that would destroy the rainforest. That attitude will also destroy the creative and rich world of human communication. This is what you are doing to your own mind too, by this attitude.

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Apart from being very rude.......you are like a secretary dis-satisfied with the filing system. If you were in charge of a rainforest, you would have all the trees of the same kind shifted to the one location, all the animals and birds and insects confined to neat little areas--- I hope you can understand that that would destroy the rainforest. That attitude will also destroy the creative and rich world of human communication. This is what you are doing to your own mind too, by this attitude.

The only problem I see with the post is that the second link does not seem to be yours unless you have changed your avatar and nick. Other than that, I fail to see what was rude, it is a valid point, some people are simply anti-learning and such was indeed illustrated at the link. It the sort of thing we should be embarrassed by, members of our species trying to get others to move backwards with them.

And the first link is indeed pretty much saying the same thing.

I am wondering if you understand the point of science? It s not the repository of knowledge, it is the pursuit of it, and indeed, some things are not quite right, and eventually corrected when better information becomes available. The evolution of Man, and the Flores Hominid discovery both show that science is flexible and moves with the available information. And debates and corrects information.

What more do you want? If you have an alternate ideal, then submit it. Thats the great thing about real science that fringe does not offer.

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The next best thing to seeing where you are going is to see where you've been. Navigation (metaphorically speaking) can be worked out either way. When the way forward is cloudy then history becomes much more important.

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The only problem I see with the post is that the second link does not seem to be yours unless you have changed your avatar and nick. Other than that, I fail to see what was rude, it is a valid point, some people are simply anti-learning and such was indeed illustrated at the link. It the sort of thing we should be embarrassed by, members of our species trying to get others to move backwards with them.

And the first link is indeed pretty much saying the same thing.

I am wondering if you understand the point of science? It s not the repository of knowledge, it is the pursuit of it, and indeed, some things are not quite right, and eventually corrected when better information becomes available. The evolution of Man, and the Flores Hominid discovery both show that science is flexible and moves with the available information. And debates and corrects information.

What more do you want? If you have an alternate ideal, then submit it. Thats the great thing about real science that fringe does not offer.

The second link was simply because it was recent and I realized I may have got mixed up initially and was thinking of that thread not pantos one. I decided to post it in the end as those interested in this topic would also find the views expressed there.

Panto I am not policing you. I was curious as to your reasoning more specifically I was curious what new point you were intending to make that had not been covered previously. I am sorry if you consider that rude it is not intended as such.

For the record I have a very creative and extremely disorganized mind. I most certainly would not order trees in the way you suggest and find that comment a little bizarre. Studying something as complex as history involves embracing a degree of chaos, it is not simple and straight forward. Learning to organize and understand diverse sources of information and find conclusions from it is an extremely useful life skill. This is one reason many study subjects like history. Exercising such skills can in fact enhance creativity. Knowledge and imagination are not at odds with each other. If you see such little value in history why all these attacks on the views of historians? I am honestly just trying to understand where you are coming from with this.

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http://www.unexplain...y I may have been thinking of this thread also for those interested.

Panto i understand each of your threads posed a different question but I do feel the rhetoric of the OP is basically getting to the same point. ie. academics don't know what they are talking about.

I regret my earlier consideration. I regret my earlier kindness. I referred to you, too kindly by far, as a secretary. I was wrong. That is your disguise. (Don’t think for one minute that pantodragon is fooled by your pretty avatar.) The reality is that you are a NEEDLER. You like nothing better than to stick your needle under the skin of your victims to manipulate them, getting them to play up to your nasty ministrations. There are many techniques that people use to make trouble, and yours is to needle.

Unfortunately, your attempts at needling laughable. You are an amateur.

I was brought up with needlers. My grandmother was a needler. You couldn’t hold a candle to her. Think of the film Crocodile Dundee. Think of Dundee in New York when a mugger pulls a knife on him. Dundee looks at the man and, pulling an enormous, curved gutting knife from his belt says “That’s not a knife. THIS is a knife.” My grandmother was Dundee, you the mugger.

Your needles are those soft, plastic, puny items found in kiddies’ sewing kits for sewing plastic shapes with holes already conveniently punched. But my grandmother, now HER needles meant business. Her needles were long and very, very sharp. They were made of steel. Best quality steel, not the trifling, insignificant, bendy, flimsy weapon you wield.

And my grandmother, now SHE could needle. She manipulated them with expert precision. She was a real sadist: she loved nothing better than to use her needling to humiliate, wound, frighten and finally reduce her grandchildren to tears; to sow the seeds of discontent, set one person against another. She was only happy when she could see pain, suffering and fear in the eyes of her victims. I can still see the sly, satisfied smirk on her face, the tongue licking her lips like a predator tasting blood, when she saw that she had hit her target, had wounded, had metaphorically drawn blood. Do you also lick your lips when your needling gets results? Do you also smile that sly, satisfied smirk?

But my grandmother taught me many valuable lessons. I learned at a very tender age to recognise needlers. And I learned at a very tender age to deal with them. My skin does not come with holes conveniently punched for your convenience. A dragon’s skin, however, is made of scales.

You are a minnow and I have swum with sharks.

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I regret my earlier consideration. I regret my earlier kindness. I referred to you, too kindly by far, as a secretary. I was wrong. That is your disguise. (Don’t think for one minute that pantodragon is fooled by your pretty avatar.) The reality is that you are a NEEDLER. You like nothing better than to stick your needle under the skin of your victims to manipulate them, getting them to play up to your nasty ministrations. There are many techniques that people use to make trouble, and yours is to needle.

Unfortunately, your attempts at needling laughable. You are an amateur.

I was brought up with needlers. My grandmother was a needler. You couldn’t hold a candle to her. Think of the film Crocodile Dundee. Think of Dundee in New York when a mugger pulls a knife on him. Dundee looks at the man and, pulling an enormous, curved gutting knife from his belt says “That’s not a knife. THIS is a knife.” My grandmother was Dundee, you the mugger.

Your needles are those soft, plastic, puny items found in kiddies’ sewing kits for sewing plastic shapes with holes already conveniently punched. But my grandmother, now HER needles meant business. Her needles were long and very, very sharp. They were made of steel. Best quality steel, not the trifling, insignificant, bendy, flimsy weapon you wield.

And my grandmother, now SHE could needle. She manipulated them with expert precision. She was a real sadist: she loved nothing better than to use her needling to humiliate, wound, frighten and finally reduce her grandchildren to tears; to sow the seeds of discontent, set one person against another. She was only happy when she could see pain, suffering and fear in the eyes of her victims. I can still see the sly, satisfied smirk on her face, the tongue licking her lips like a predator tasting blood, when she saw that she had hit her target, had wounded, had metaphorically drawn blood. Do you also lick your lips when your needling gets results? Do you also smile that sly, satisfied smirk?

But my grandmother taught me many valuable lessons. I learned at a very tender age to recognise needlers. And I learned at a very tender age to deal with them. My skin does not come with holes conveniently punched for your convenience. A dragon’s skin, however, is made of scales.

You are a minnow and I have swum with sharks.

You are learning history by doing Needle work.

Also I have slept in a room with cockroaches, scorpions, big spiders, ants that bite and mosquito that bite you non stop and other bugs that carry bad stuff.

So yeah sharks are nothing, you know nothing Pantodragon

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I am not sure why you are taking such offence to me. I have said nothing offensive I was merely trying to understand your argument. I am hoping you are willing to discuss your topic and not simply call others names for disagreeing.

Are you suggesting that history is not worth studying because there are some academics you disagree with? That seems to be the suggestion of the OP. It is important to be aware that many historians disagree with each other and analysis of others arguments and what evidence they are using is an important part of developing our understanding of history. It would be a shame to simply not study it just because opinions differ on certain details.

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Yes, this thing about curiosity --- so society supports a large number of people and allows them to wander round the world satisfying their own curiosity and writing books about it instead of the individuals whose taxes provide that support using the money to allow THEM to tripse round the world and satisfy their OWN curiosity. It seems to me that the world of acdemic historians stifles and blocks the curiosity of individuals.

[

Who exactly is stopping you from doing the same? You say to satisfy their own curiosity, sure, they wouldn't be in the profession if that wasn't the case, so that point is moot. But it certainly doesn't hurt to know about our past.

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[

Who exactly is stopping you from doing the same? You say to satisfy their own curiosity, sure, they wouldn't be in the profession if that wasn't the case, so that point is moot. But it certainly doesn't hurt to know about our past.

Money.

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