Friday, September 5, 2014

What is history?  Can history change?  Is there a difference between history and the past?  How do you learn history?  How do you learn about the past?  What makes something (a piece of writing or artifact) a good piece of information about the past?  What role does bias play in recording, learning, and understanding history?

To me, history is a very important part of life. It shaped my life and the lives of other people living on this planet. Of course, some cases will be different from others, but nonetheless, it's still history. History is made up of the events that have caused your life to be the way that it is today. For example, if the first phone has never been invented, billions of teenagers (including me) would probably have to interact with each other the old-fashioned way--by having a normal conversation face to face... I know, kind of a big deal.

Honestly, I really don't think history can change--at least not the events that happened in it. I do, however, feel that people in the present can change history. Everyone has their own opinion on things and they can just change their perspective on the event to make it seem like what they want it to be. With just a few words and a little bit of persuasion you can easily change a person's opinion. Surely, it also depends on how stubborn that person could be.

I would like to say that history and the past can be two entirely different things. While these two words might sound like synonyms to each other, I believe that there is some kind discrepancy between the two. Mainly, that history is something that can be written in text or in the form of words not only words but also the word of mouth. A family's history could be passed down from generation to generation simply by telling bedtime stories. Students also learn about history by reading textbooks and discussing it amongst each other. The past, however, I feel is more on the personal side. It is something only you have experienced for yourself and that is very special. No one else really knows what exactly is happening except for the people who have lived through it.

I think what makes something a good piece of information from the past are the details. Every artifact will have some sort of marking on it that will determine how old it is or what it's been through. Whether a scratch from a dagger that could only be made in that certain time period or maybe even the type of dirt that is on it, which can tell the location of where it once was. 

People can show bias when talking about their favorite or least favorite movie, right? Recording history is the same thing. History is mainly a subject where people express their opinion on past events. The truth could be clouded by these said opinions. The best thing to do would be to look at as much information as you can on the subject and find a balance between the two.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I like how you distinguish between the past and history, saying that the past is more personal.

    Well written too!