dimreepr

History, why can't we learn?

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We spend so much time, money and effort learning human history that we have an enormous data set (from historical writings and archaeology) so why are we doomed to repeat the mistakes we seem to understand?

Edited by dimreepr

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Perhaps because very few of us actually learn those things, and yet we've crafted systems of government that involve catering to the opinions of the many. Not criticizing democratic forms of government, but they do cause politicians to have to act on mass opinion.

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There are many forms of government, not all depend on the opinion of the masses.

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Maybe becsuse history is the most falsified area of science.

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Maybe becsuse history is the most falsified area of science.

 

Since when was history a science?

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Perhaps because very few of us actually learn those things, and yet we've crafted systems of government that involve catering to the opinions of the many. Not criticizing democratic forms of government, but they do cause politicians to have to act on mass opinion.

 

Or seem to cater to mass opinion, while actually catering to the worst enemy of the masses: those who put profit above everything else, and have made an artform of abusing the People's government to that end. History shows us that dynastic wealth is one of the worst influences on a democracy, yet we put ourselves under the command of these people and let them taint every decent thing with greed. We not only got duped again, but many of us embraced the enemy as a role model, as a reality star worth emulating.

 

I don't really believe mass opinion in the US supports the current GOP platform (possibly the Dems as well). I don't think it comes anywhere close. I think both political parties have become like religions, where each follower has a completely different view of what they're all about. Most Republicans I know don't agree with much of anything coming out of this administration (except the evangelical Republicans I know, who fully support the pussy-grabbing POTUS), and are feeling the strain of continued support for a party who's current history of palatable legislation is about 1 in 10. The uber-wealthy who exploit society couldn't want for a better chaotic setting to do their "business".

 

I think we're experiencing the modern version of the wealthy conquerors re-writing history to fit their own narrative.

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History does not give us lessons on how to behave. It contextualizes events and helps us understand (but not prove) why certain things may have happened. History is not amenable to experiments. I.e. we cannot recreate the society, change a thing and see what happens then. It is an inherently chaotic system and it is difficult (or impossible) to derive predictive models from history.

 

On the other hand it is important to note that historic research is important to disabuse the notion of said predictive principles such as Marxist view of history, manifest destiny as a form of teleological narrative or even simply to counter attempts to re-write history to push an agenda.

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Like building on floodplains and vulnerable coastal margins?

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Like building on floodplains and vulnerable coastal margins?

 

Well, I think that should not require knowledge in history. After all, the mechanisms are fairly obvious and independent of human history.

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History does not give us lessons on how to behave. It contextualizes events and helps us understand (but not prove) why certain things may have happened. History is not amenable to experiments. I.e. we cannot recreate the society, change a thing and see what happens then. It is an inherently chaotic system and it is difficult (or impossible) to derive predictive models from history.

 

On the other hand it is important to note that historic research is important to disabuse the notion of said predictive principles such as Marxist view of history, manifest destiny as a form of teleological narrative or even simply to counter attempts to re-write history to push an agenda.

 

History doesn't always extend beyond memory.

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Since when was history a science?

 

Youre right, I should have said "area of research"

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History is written by the victors, yet often the most valuable lessons come from those who failed.

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History is written by the victors, yet often the most valuable lessons come from those who failed.

 

That's more often than not true and history shows this, in abundance, yet those lessons still fall on deaf ears.

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Learning history at too early stage of life (and often later, easily influencing people with weak minds) is used here to make nationalists (aka "patriots").

Children are learning about war crimes, mass massacres, made by grand-grand-parents of people from neighborhood countries and are learning to hate them.

 

One intelligent children which will hear about war mass murders will want to never happen it again,

the other one can seek for revenge (or at least to not trust foreigner), even if it happened 80 years ago, and the all people truly involved are long time dead.

 

"Learning history" might be bad idea, when it's in wrong hands.. politicians who want to increase tensions between nations for their own purposes.

 

Good idea would be to start everything from fresh white piece of paper,

without all these past nightmare memories which are celebrated endlessly.

Edited by Sensei

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972717cae2c0f1b5c3536f46fcae6b7a.jpg

 

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos. --- Lao Tzu

Edited by dimreepr

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When the Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos. --- Lao Tzu

I don't know what that means, but +1 anyways.

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The key seems to be extra vigilance when times are good. Find something that challenges people to be better that avoids the worst parts of bad times.

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The key seems to be extra vigilance when times are good. Find something that challenges people to be better that avoids the worst parts of bad times.

Agreed.

A Utopia, means people stop trying to improve.

And since no Utopia is perfect, eventually something will come to wreck the party.

Be it another country, mother nature, or something else.

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History is written by the victors, yet often the most valuable lessons come from those who failed.

Recent history, perhaps. Which is why historians tend to like some distance before looking at things. More accurately one could say that sources are written by survivors when dealing with ancient history. But then most sources on the Vietnam war are American accounts. I think one needs to distinguish between primary sources and their use by modern historians.

Though the latter may have biased independent of the historic subject, of course.

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I think one needs to distinguish between primary sources and their use by modern historians.

Though the latter may have biased independent of the historic subject, of course.

 

I think the modern view is that there is no such thing as objective history, and that even the primary sources are biased when written. We then get into the mysterious region of historiography.

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Recent history, perhaps. Which is why historians tend to like some distance before looking at things. More accurately one could say that sources are written by survivors when dealing with ancient history. But then most sources on the Vietnam war are American accounts. I think one needs to distinguish between primary sources and their use by modern historians.

Though the latter may have biased independent of the historic subject, of course.

Yeah, but that's no where near as pithy as my last "bumper sticker wisdom" comment. ;)

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Yeah, but that's no where near as pithy as my last "bumper sticker wisdom" comment. ;)

 

History's wisdom has always been a pithing contest. ^_^

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