Sitting in Michael's Lap
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:
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.
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.
I must confess I'm a little perplexed by your last reply. So forgive me if I misinterpret:
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.
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.
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.