Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Posting Centennial

This post is the 100th post of this blog. So, now I'm stuck thinking about what this one will be about. Since it's a marker for my blog, should it be about my blog? Or maybe I should knock off my own Outline of History. Maybe I should make it like a sitcom and give links as a blog version of flashbacks. In some ways blogs really are like TV shows. Well, this is milestone in the number of posts so it could be related to that.

When it comes to the actual recording of happenings there are simply no accurate ways to do it. All we have to start with is physical evidence and oral/written records. Evidence no matter how solid and objective it is, has to be interpreted to fit it in the big puzzle. Oral records go through person after person and generation after generation of adaptation and erosion. Written records are but an interpretation of something by people, it is impossible to observe everything that's happening during a siege, or funeral, or voyage. What you don't see you have to get from someone else. And even then all the events can't be put on paper. Things have to be left out, and they are.

It'd be nice if we had some big movie studio or TV where we could just punch in the date and location of a place on Earth and see everything that happened, then again, maybe it wouldn't be so great. History is nothing more than educated (or dumb) guesses fitted with the latest interpretation of evidence and the most recent theory. No human can know everything everywhere at any moment, much less in all moments. It is therefore practically impossible to predict a future. But for every moment in the present there probably has been a similar moment in the past.

This then, is one of the major goals and purposes of the study of history: to break through all the technological, scientific, and all other change that has happened and to find common rythms and patterns that have always happened. Change, as the saying goes, is a neccessary evil, so it follows that at some level of thought and study of the past it's effect is gone. The emotions and instincts people had millenia ago are still the exact same ones we have today. Everything has it's role. The idea of a chain of events is then probably somewhat innacurate, a stack of world "snapshots" is more fitting.

No comments: