View Poll Results: What is History to you? (select all applicable)

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  • A collection of events.

    17 47.22%
  • A collection of texts.

    8 22.22%
  • A collection with a recognisable order to it.

    10 27.78%
  • A collection with no recognisable order to it.

    6 16.67%
  • Other (explain)

    12 33.33%
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Thread: What is History?

  1. #41
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    A record of the comedy called life.

  2. #42
    HSTP 500 Internal S ervant  Error aldeayeah's Avatar
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    Stuff that we think has happened, because there are signs that it did happen.
    don't quote me on this

  3. #43
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Ratman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walnut Sparks View Post
    A collection of events happening at dates that the teacher writes on the blackboard for you to remember means nothing.
    Why is that?
    Because as far as we can tell until the hand of Lord itself comes down to chastise our misdeeds, things don't mean anything unless meaning is assigned to them. For example, you can read in your history book that we think the Etrusc, and by extension Rome and all of the western world were basically an offshoot of Greeks(in after Troians), but even if they were biologically their descendants, in cultural sense this does not actually literally follow. People can do whatever the heck they want, screw you dad. However, it is extremely likely that the Etrusc people knew they used to be Greek or Troian, stayed true to their rites, and thus their culture does follow. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy where things keep happening consistently, as long as the historical people manage to convince themselves to stay consistent to something.

    If you're going to go full heathen about ideology, you can imagine it as a matter of form, and essence. The old spiel about forms being perceived and not existing in reality. When you see a bench, it's a straight line because your eye-to-brain process interprets it as such, but there's really nothing such as a line in the physical world. Ideology, much like that, is a platonic form that needs to be filled up with essence of real world events to confirm itself. This is not a perfect comparison, since it would of course imply that the platonic form of ideology does not actually exist in reality, which I'm not trying to say, but it's handy. You can expand on it to say that for example a certain ideology (like communism) is a flawed form compared to others, because no matter how many times people attempt to realize it and reconfirm its 'inevitability', it always collapses.

    A teacher teaching you the events but not assigning meaning to them is a teacher teaching you of essence, but not form. In the first place, this is not how humans approach topics, and so you're very unlikely to remember it in the long run. Teachers do their best to stay apolitical, but that's a mistake. This is why 80% of the people today are incapable of naming the sides in WWI: the teacher in their school failed to put a spin on it. What does it tell you that people fought? Maybe the teacher said that WWI was a gross loss of life over the arrogance and pettiness of ruling bodies, and was a huge massacre and that caught your attention, and that's how you remember it, but in that case, they already put it in a political way. You just did not notice, because it happened to be the socialist interpretation popular at this current time.

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  4. #44
    Old bastard Walnut Sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
    This is why 80% of the people today are incapable of naming the sides in WWI: the teacher in their school failed to put a spin on it.
    That's interesting. I take it this is from a study?
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  5. #45
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Ratman's Avatar
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    The percentage is probably even worse, I threw out a number. Just ask around. It might depend on area, in Germany/Austria people are probably going to know much better. Local history usually gets to have a spin on it no matter what.

    It's likely because WWII is endlessly milled over in TV with Hitler documentaries and war movies focusing on it and Vietnam, but WWI is a non-topic today. People are stuck with what they remember from school. Or don't.

  6. #46
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    Weren't the major sides pretty much the same in WW1 as WW2. Italy and Japan swapped sides, and the US stayed out until the last few months, but that's all the differences I can really remember.
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  7. #47
    アルテミット・ソット Ultimate Thot Five_X's Avatar
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    You could say the governments were just a little bit different.
    <NEW FIC!> Revolution #9: Somewhere out there, there's a universe in which your mistakes and failures never happened, and all you wished for is true. How hard would you fight to make that real?

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  8. #48
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Ironically, to properly understand WWII - that is, as something more than just some kind of heroic stand of the Free Peoples against a Dark Lord or something -, you need to understand the clusterfuck that was WWI and its consequences.

  9. #49
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    How is that ironic?
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


  10. #50
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    I was speaking in regard to the context established by Ratman, where people know more about WWII than WWI. Sorry, I should probably have quoted him.

  11. #51
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    But how is it ironic?
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


  12. #52
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    There's an incongruity between the expected results and the actual ones.

  13. #53
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    people not understanding ww2 would be a thoroughly expected result of people not understanding ww1; there is no incongruity here, just an unfortunate truth regarding the state of history education in a lot of places
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


  14. #54
    Vlovle Bloble's Avatar
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    Here's a scenario:

    You are a fresh-faced History teacher given several one-hour classes in a perfectly ordinary public high school to teach History to, let's say, middle-to-high schoolers. For whatever reason, let's say the poor state of today's public education, this is the only History class in the entirety of the school's curriculum. You are under no pressure to conform to general content requirements for history classes, so long as you can justify your lesson plan, so no need to include the mainstays and major world events taught in every class, or whatever local history your geographical location prioritizes.

    Which parts of history would you teach your students about?

  15. #55
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    wouldn't matter, really, since you'd lose your job (and probably render yourself unemployable in the sector) if you didn't teach to the curriculum that's tested in high school exit examinations. these determine university entrance, here at least. interventions on the above described level are like bandaids on a gsw. Big History is a meme. if you want a solution it entails a complete overhaul of the education system. in short there is no solution.
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


  16. #56
    Vlovle Bloble's Avatar
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    Pretend that shit doesn't matter.

  17. #57
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    you can't pretend it doesn't matter. it's the key determinant of what gets taught at the secondary level. a better question to ask would be what people would do if appointed Education Czar by the state, with authority to unilaterally decree what the desired outcomes and subject matter of the history curriculum should be.
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


  18. #58
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    people not understanding ww2 would be a thoroughly expected result of people not understanding ww1; there is no incongruity here, just an unfortunate truth regarding the state of history education in a lot of places
    Hmmm... Good point.

  19. #59
    Vlovle Bloble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    you can't pretend it doesn't matter. it's the key determinant of what gets taught at the secondary level. a better question to ask would be what people would do if appointed Education Czar by the state, with authority to unilaterally decree what the desired outcomes and subject matter of the history curriculum should be.
    Ok that then.

  20. #60
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    i would try to effect a fusion of secondary-school history with what in the US - as I understand it - would be called civics, which doesn't really have an equivalent in australia. in that i would centre the overarching structure of the curriculum around the formation of our system of government through history. beginning from the political thought of athens through the development of roman law, post-roman developments on that, the origins of English monarchy and the general history of political change in the british isles, the reformation, the rise of constitutionalism, the english civil war, the development of westphalian statehood, the history of overseas space-appropriation (i.e. colonialism), the formation of colonial systems of governance, the enlightenment, american & french revolutions, Federation in australia, the development of our particular institutions of political representation and decision-making, the complex relationship with the motherland over the 20th century, the republican debate, and finally the effects of changing technology and mass media on the structures of power.

    so you have this overarching narrative which you would cover in sequence multiple times: you would do it over years 7-8, again over years 9-10, and finally over years 11-12: with every repetition going to a new level of detail, new nuance, opening new avenues of critical approach. this is needed so that people who move out of the history stream in year 10 - it's usually compulsory until then, but after that people who plan on going into STEM will usually drop history in favour of a sci/math unit - will at least come out with a certain level of grounding

    the ultimate aim is, of course (i can hardly say this without scare quotes) to "create informed participants in democratic society". i am extremely pessimistic about the possibility or even the point of this under present circumstances - largely due to the aforementioned effects of mass media - but i suppose there is some value in teaching the students why it's pointless

    anyway, throughout this cycle you have to put here and there some of the 'sexy' units, notional civil-religion components, where you study shit like ww1 or the nazis or the ussr or the civil rights movement - things which aren't actually relevant to students but which parents and official bodies will insist you put in there, and which give you an excuse to laze about while you screen Schindler's List in class hours
    Last edited by Dullahan; March 16th, 2019 at 12:24 PM.
    めい
    そう
    じょう

    Bright and clean, description of a study for calmly working.
    Place fitted to reading and writing.
    From the meaning, a bright window and a desk without dust.
    For「机」sometimes「几」is used.
    Source: 欧陽脩『試筆』 Song Dynasty


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