How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 History
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

History

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Skyfyre
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


0 posted 12-07-2004 04:49 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

"Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it."

"History can teach us nothing."

Which of these statements speaks to you more as truth, and why?

Marshalzu
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 02-15-2001
Posts 4465
Lurking


1 posted 12-07-2004 09:28 PM       View Profile for Marshalzu   Email Marshalzu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marshalzu's Home Page   View IP for Marshalzu

History teaches us nothing in the sense that it unable to predict the future but it does teach us that given that “x,y and z” are all in present “a” is possible outcome though it is not a certain outcome. Historical knowledge does not guarantee that history will not be repeated and lack of historical knowledge does not guarantee that it would be. The first statement is too fatalistic for my liking and the second statement undermines my reason to study history.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


2 posted 12-08-2004 01:14 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


"What do we know that matters that Aeschylus did not know?"

Miller Williams
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


3 posted 12-08-2004 01:47 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The better one knows history the better one knows how to make it.  Just as poet is more expert that knows the history and tradition of poetry, than an ignorant that tries to pull it all out of his own hat.  
Everything has " roots".  If you know stronger roots of things you may stronger stand on them.
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


4 posted 12-08-2004 02:09 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

The first statement rings more true to me.  Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed (destined) to repeat it.  To me, those who think history has nothing of value to current/future times is simply living within an egocentric world view bubble, where the only history which matters is their own.  But even then, if one believes history has no value negates their own personal history.  Ergo, resumes are absolutely meaningless works of fiction, since the inherent history has no relative value, and indeed their own existence is refutable since it must be grounded somewhere in a history which has no value or truth.

History = 'just happened' through 'dawn of time'.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


5 posted 12-09-2004 10:30 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The first, obviously. But, what is perhaps more important, is that history creates a greater appreciation for the now.

It's not prediction, it's appreciation. Essorant is right.

Skyfyre
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


6 posted 12-09-2004 02:00 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

As it happens, I both agree and disagree with both statements.  It has a lot to do with how you interpret them.

The first statement, as Marshalzu so aptly pointed out, is rather fatalistic.  It suggests that we are no more than Pavlovian dogs: given the same or similar stimuli, we will produce the same response.  As individuals, that may hold true in some cases, but as a society, I believe we have progressed beyond that point.  Moreover, I see little evidence that knowledge of the past could prevent anything from happening in the present.

However, it has much to do with how I define history.  I don't think of it as Alicat does; I differentiate it from memory in that what I ate for breakfast yesterday doesn't qualify.  I think of history on a grand scale - basically, history is what I read in history books - and does not include the everyday learning and knowledge that my grandfather would call "common sense."

In other words, knowing not to put your hand on the stove is *not*, in my opinion, learning from history, but learning from your mistakes.

On the other hand, I agree with Brad and Essorant in that knowing history does enrich your life.  Could I still study genetics if I didn't know the story about Mendel and his pea vines, but instead just learned the theory derived from his experiments?  Sure, but it would be a lot less interesting.

The second statement comes off as a bit pushy, but as is the way with sweeping generalizations, one can still find a kernel of truth.

To me, this statement speaks of progress free from the burdens of the past.  From history we gain national pride - or is it prejudice?  History is the well from which we draw our traditions - but do they make us anachronisms?

Is the desire to learn history a noble one, to build strong roots upon which to stand, as Essorant said, or a subconcious expression of our unwillingness to change?

"We stand on the shoulders of giants" as the old saying goes ... but is it really necessary to know their names?  Does it change anything in a strictly practical sense?

More later.  
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


7 posted 12-09-2004 07:16 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


The question to be asked
is whether it is man that has changed
or his consequences.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


8 posted 12-09-2004 07:30 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

As the ship is to the sea, history is to eternity.

Skyfyre
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


9 posted 12-09-2004 10:57 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

quote:
The question to be asked
is whether it is man that has changed
or his consequences.


John, did you mean consequences as in significance, or as in cause and effect?


quote:
As the ship is to the sea, history is to eternity.


Well certainly you can't have a now without a yesterday ... but that still doesn't answer the question whether it's necessary to be intimately familiar with the ship in order to sail the sea ...
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


10 posted 12-09-2004 11:20 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Neither Huan.  Children still touch hot things at least once, especially when told not to do such.  After the consequences, some still don't get it and need extra reinforcement as well as some cold packs.

Skyfyre, what I gave were examples of history.  Though I do believe that history is history, irregardless of how long ago events happened.  As for 'those who fail to learn, repeats', which I hold true, I simply look at any attempt to engage in a land war in Asia, especially northern Asia (modern day Russia).  The Huns tried, Napolean tried, Hitler tried.  The infamous Russian Winter ate them all and spit them out.  Those who don't learn from the examples of verbal/mental/physical/spiritual abuse are more apt to display the same behaviors.  If one doesn't learn from past jobs which were not given two-weeks notice, one might find it hard to land another job.  If one doesn't learn that certain things cause severe allergic reactions, that lack of historical (case history, anyone?) may lead to an early demise.  And if someone doesn't learn from the history of that person, now deceased, they may very well repeat the same mistakes.  There's also the issue of Life Lessons, which some hold to mean that when we die, our souls can choose (sometimes there is no choice) to come back to learn another Life Lesson, or to relearn one which wasn't acquired the first/second/eigth time around.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


11 posted 12-10-2004 12:19 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Skyfyre,

In that what might have lead to a few broken
heads outside the cave now can lead instead
to millions turned to ashes.  Or has man
changed, advanced, with or ahead of his technology.


Alicat,

The sad thing in Napoleon’s case at least
is that he did read history particularly
the disaster of King Charles, (of Sweden),
yet chose to discount it, because of his,
(or perhaps man’s), nature.

Look at Robert E. Lee; you’d think at
Gettysburg he would have remembered
Fredericksburg.

At the same time, there is the complaint
that generals are always trying to fight the
last war over again.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (12-10-2004 12:58 AM).]

Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


12 posted 12-10-2004 02:01 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

History is the holder and preserver of work to help remind us of our extent; it is too help us keep fastened to our extent and even extend that by being better aware and mindful, further by far than what we may with less and less history to behold.  
Without history none of our poetry would make it very wholly to afertimes  because there would be no "time" capsule in which our our treasure could be held.   All tales and songs, would sink into the bottomless sea, Eternity.  

Accumulation is something that happens to "content" in History; but history itself , most historically , is not about "accumulation" and "more" of every, such as the things of technology and business that the modernism of this age make a center.  I believe History shows most of all a drift to Civilization, which is a civilization of knowledge as well.  
That is much different than something more like an accumulation of it and making "math" about every little detail..  
Skyfyre
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


13 posted 12-10-2004 04:20 AM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Ali,

I'll agree to disagree about the whole history vs. memory thing.  As for the land war in Asia, well, one could argue that waging war in general is a step backwards in the evolution of society - another of those bad habits linked to our history - but I'm not going to argue that today.  

However, I did want to address one of your points:

quote:
Those who don't learn from the examples of verbal/mental/physical/spiritual abuse are more apt to display the same behaviors


I have to disagree here.  It has always been my belief that such abusive behaviors are learned, not innate.  Call me a humanist, but I think that if anything, history is just as responsible for producing these behaviors as rectifying them.

John,

Point taken.  I do have faith that society as a whole has evolved with the times, despite pockets of dissidents and an anachronism here and there.

Essorant,

I must confess I'm a little perplexed by your last reply.  So forgive me if I misinterpret:

quote:
History is the holder and preserver of work to help remind us of our extent; it is too help us keep fastened to our extent and even extend that by being better aware and mindful, further by far than what we may with less and less history to behold.
Without history none of our poetry would make it very wholly to afertimes  because there would be no "time" capsule in which our our treasure could be held.   All tales and songs, would sink into the bottomless sea, Eternity.  


I think what you're trying to say here is that history reminds us of who we are ..?  I've already agreed that roots and context are important; however I am unconvinced that they are absolutely necessary, nor in fact that their effect on the present is always, or even usually, positive.

quote:
Accumulation is something that happens to "content" in History; but history itself , most historically , is not about "accumulation" and "more" of every, such as the things of technology and business that the modernism of this age make a center.  I believe History shows most of all a drift to Civilization, which is a civilization of knowledge as well.
  

No, history is not about trivia, nor is it defined by technology alone.  However, I think you would find it difficult to describe human history separate from his technology, since it is the gift for invention and innovation which separates man from beast.

However, I could very easily learn, use, and improve upon technology without the benefit of knowing its history.  While a reference of past attempts, whether successes or failures, might make the process seem easier, might it not also entice my thought processes to certain well-trodden paths rather than allowing me to think freely and perhaps stumble upon some new insight?

I do agree with you (at least I think I'm agreeing with you) that history is quite valuable when viewed from a sociological perspective.  Understanding a culture's history is key to understanding the culture itself.

quote:
That is much different than something more like an accumulation of it and making "math" about every little detail..


No matter how you choose to look at it, history is an accumulation of information.  Whether that information is stored in a computer, recorded on parchment by a scribe, or preserved only in the memories of an historian and passed along via oral traditions, there is really no mystique to it.

I'm not trying to say that history cannot or should not have meaning to anyone or everyone.  Just that we, as a civilization, are not defined by it, nor would we perish if it was all forgotten tomorrow.

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


14 posted 12-10-2004 10:13 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

For me, history isn't so much about events and it is about people.

History doesn't repeat itself, but -- because the human condition hasn't greatly changed in at least 10,000 years -- people very often do. If we want to understand people, including ourselves, we have to study them in the context of time and events. History is one way to do that, of course. Shakespeare is another.

I think a person can probably live a rich and full life without ever memorizing dates and unpronounceable names. They will suffer miserably, however, if they fail to learn what drives humanity.
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


15 posted 12-10-2004 11:47 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Thank you, Ron. That's in line with my own thoughts on the matter. Dates, times, places, etc. can be useful if it's relevant to the issue being studied, but it's still just background; like a depiction of scenery in a good book, it provides a visual reference, but generally plays little part in character motivation.

In addition, the statement, "history is written by the winners," is something to take into account. Granted, it's unlikely to be wholly skewed, but it's still a subjective retelling and therefore suspect.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


16 posted 12-10-2004 12:30 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think what you're trying to say here is that history reminds us of who we are ..?  

Skyfyre

Truely.
But I also think it is like a choice to take a ship instead of trying to swim thousands' length, that we know our bodies may not.  
Dolphins may swim so far naked; but a man needs a craft: a ship to go over the long waters and weathers that his body may not.  
Our ability to monumentalize is never idle.  We are always using it in various ways, so that we are learning from "history"  whether we choose to pursue learning from it more conciously or not.  
A choice or non-choice doesn't change that we are all still learning from history anyway in one way or another, and that our learning does influence our overall understanding and choosing.


..."However, I could very easily learn, use, and improve upon technology without the benefit of knowing its history."  

But if you learn use and improve upon technology you are acknowledging a monument of history and making something for it as well.  It's just the same as reading a special phrase from the bible and then making a sermon upon it--the bible is part of history, and your sermon is a part of making history.    
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


17 posted 12-10-2004 02:44 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


Of many waves the mighty flow
Of many winds on high and low;
How vast the main and vigorous,
of many moods, mysterious!

Lo, no human may overswim
fathomy's width, bosomy's brim
the body weak, and lacking grip;
but a man is lordly, in a ship!

There he has now kindly crew
Society, and hearty hue;
the swimmer steering wheel to grip,
is a lordly man, in a ship!

Underdeck voyagehoard to heap
tales and songs, hands and timber keep:
Man and his grip, ship and its might
outstrips the stormy dark, to light!

Beforetimes token and treasure,
Aftertimes, wonder and pleasure:
with two sides and a steering wheel
the oldest wood; the keenest keel.

Man is given by God such grip
he smithed to strength this glory-ship.
And sails Eternity's wide sea
Man, a lord, in his History.
Marshalzu
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 02-15-2001
Posts 4465
Lurking


18 posted 12-10-2004 10:40 PM       View Profile for Marshalzu   Email Marshalzu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marshalzu's Home Page   View IP for Marshalzu

I’ve been following this topic quite closely as it has touched on a few things that I have covered in a couple of history modules that I took this year and last

quote:
Accumulation is something that happens to "content" in History; but history itself, most historically, is not about "accumulation" and "more" of every, such as the things of technology and business that the modernism of this age make a center.  I believe History shows most of all a drift to Civilization, which is a civilization of knowledge as well.


I was wondering do you mean to say that there is accumulation of facts, figures and sources in history (“content”) but that history is more concerned with narrating/charting progress? Or am I just misunderstanding this?

Also isn’t it the case that in any subject you come with preconceived ideas and biases which immediately affect the way in which you view that subject? Therefore you simply fit your biases into history and perhaps in that respect can be said to have been taught nothing by history.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


19 posted 12-11-2004 12:15 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“Also isn’t it the case that in any subject you come with preconceived ideas and biases which immediately affect the way in which you view that subject? Therefore you simply fit your biases into history and perhaps in that respect can be said to have been taught nothing by history.”

More accurately, fit history into your, (or the professor’s) biases.
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> History Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors