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It’s Friday.  I’ve heard that Fridays are slow news days.  I’m publishing my first diary on a Friday (evening, no less) in the hopes that it will be largely ignored on a news-apathetic day.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of being smart.  But I’m tired of being ignorant.  I want to know more and understand more about politics and history.  I’m tired of learning the wrong version.  I’m tired of thinking I’ve finally learned something only to be told I don’t know enough of the variables.

I don’t know where to start.  

Everything I learned about history from 1st to 4th grade was wrong.  From the pilgrims and the Indians to George Washington chopping down a cherry tree to Jesus Christ dying on a cross; I just can’t trust a damn thing about “historical facts”.

And I have nowhere to store historical data.  I don’t have a functional filing system.  It’s like throwing a marble in a tub with a thousand other marbles.  Where’d that marble go?  Is this it?  I can’t even remember what color it was.  I’m pretty sure there was a swirl inside and I think it might’ve had an air bubble.

Is it possible that I’m not capable of learning social sciences?

I consider my options for learning and am met with subliminal ear-flicks.  *You know nothing you read is going to tell you the whole truth.  *You know one text is going to contradict another.  *You know that if you try to discuss what you’ve learned someone is going to know more and throw a bunch of information at you that you know nothing about and can’t dispute.  You’ll look like a fool. *It’s a waste of time.

Sigh.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it's any solace (13+ / 0-)

    we were by far not the first to re-write history. The Druids didn't practice human sacrifice in the days of Rome either. They just wanted to slander them and make their laws and wars more just to their own people.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:07:15 PM PDT

    •  Oh, noes! Mary Stewart was wrong? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      darlalalala, FloridaSNMOM, The Marti

      Ah, well, I'll still use the Crystal Cave, et. al. as my preferred version of the Arthur legend.

      We definitely tend to write heroes and villains into history, if only to try to make the present more endurable and the future more palatable for the people who currently have to put up with day to day slog. Hey, plebes, you're a part of a just and glorious empire, and you should be proud.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:53:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You could always go with "The Mists Of Avalon" for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ballerina X

        a bit of balance.  It's a whopping good read, regardless, so there's a win/win.  

        :-)

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I kind of stopped reading Bradley after about the (0+ / 0-)

          10th Darkover book. As her writing got deeper and more established, I ended  up missing the early Ace doubles Bradbury who was simply telling a great, swinging story. I'll take a look at it, though.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:14:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I read your first diary, darlalalala! (7+ / 0-)

    History was a weak subject for me as well but that doesn't stop me.

    3/16/2003 Meet The Press: Dick Cheney re: Iraq: We will be greeted as liberators.

    by cosette on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:11:50 PM PDT

    •  Let see daralalal (5+ / 0-)

      12 hrs later
      Lost marbles Check
      Loose screws Check
      One oar in the water Check
      One foot on the curb Check

      The truth is: There is no "truth"
      It is all a matter of filtering all the information down to the least common denominator and then run all that through the bullshit meter.

      And keep laughing cause it's the only thing that separates us from the Republicans

      "Occam's Razor" is NOT some sort of beard trimmer for jihadists: ontheleftcoast "People who see a contradiction between science and the bible don't really understand either." PvtJarHead

      by Tinfoil Hat on Sat May 04, 2013 at 05:25:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  First it seems to me you have values problem. (7+ / 0-)

    What are your values?  History is someones perception about an event.  The Civil War says it all.  See Lincoln if you have not seen it.  Study it as your would a great book.  You will learn all you need to get started on values clarrification and the politics needed to change things if you are concened about it.  You are obviously a seeker of truth, never easy but there are boundless rewards to this life long effort.  You are not here to be pushed around by bright people nor any one else for that matter.  Don't take it and regurgitate later, leave the scene.  Get rid of the Bombies above,  it is a short term intervetion with only more to come, it is a fruitless path with only the loss of human life as its outcome.    

    •  Can you expand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti

      On seeing Lincoln?  
      Thanks.

      Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

      by snoopydawg on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:26:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The goal of knowledge is prediction, isn't it? (6+ / 0-)

    Do you find yourself able to anticipate accurately the results of your actions and those of others, or do you find yourself constantly surprised and befuddled?

    If the former - and I am confident the correct answer for you IS the former - then I'd say:

    Don't sweat it.

    And enjoy the surprises that do come your way; they are the spice of life.

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:20:57 PM PDT

  •  Also your seem humorless with the exception of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, cosette, GAS, The Marti

    your screen name with got a giggle out of me.  Also, a confession:  I have made some 1500 comments on KoS but have not had the guts you had in putting out your first diary.  Tell more about what interests you.  A well thought out question will get alot of feed back on the KOS.  
    Write again when you are tired and rested too see which has more meat and potato, in it that you like.

    Greeting from Boston and Cambridge.

  •  And here I thought you were a Peter Pan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darlalalala, Oh Mary Oh, kurt

    (the  movie) fan when I read the title. Ah, well...

    You don't say what you are good at. I assume that area isn't a blank.

    It may well be that you can't learn social sciences. Given that the word 'science' is applied only in its most fuzzy connotations in connection with studies of history and social interaction, it's quite possible that nobody ever does.

    History, as such, is an entirely boring list of dates that events took place, plus a story or stories that attempt to link those dates together into something a bit more memorable. Learning history is essentially the process of picking those storytellers that seem to be more coherent than others. Doesn't mean they're correct, only that they give you a better matrix within which to remember the boring lists of names and dates.

    I couldn't keep the list of early kings of England straight until I started reading Roberta Gellis' Rosalynde stories. Am I a scholar of the period?  Nah, but I've got at least a little feel for what feudal England was like - enough to satisfy me, even if it misses large chunks of stuff.

    If you want to 'learn' the social sciences, read the stories. As many of them as you can stand. Each one will leave some stuff out, and probably put stuff in that 'never happened but should have' in order to tell the story better. Each one will tell you as much about the storyteller as it will about the actual social changes.

    Read Alinsky. Read Royko. Read Adam Smith, if you can stand to do it. Don't think you're reading the whole truth, whomever you read, but accept that you're going to get partial truths that may give you a better handle on people. And distrust anybody who says they know what they're talking about, even if they were there for the events themselves, especially if they are using that knowledge to tell you that you don't know enough.

    And - have fun. It's an interesting area of study, if you don't take it too seriously.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:42:10 PM PDT

    •  Totally agree (3+ / 0-)

      Understand plot and narrative.  Stories.  Human folks have been telling each other stories for as long as we've had language.  There is an evolutionary adaptive reason for that, and it ain't to maintain a scrupulous and objective  record of events.

      It is part of being humans

    •  Oops - I meant "Hook". Sorry n/t (3+ / 0-)

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:47:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Hook is far closer to the original Peter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tinfoil Hat, The Marti

        Pan than the Peter Pan movie as in the original young kids were deliberately sent to neverland to save on the cost of orphanages.  Sounds like a typical government decision, doesn't it?  Take advantage (or even open) a transdimensional gateway to get rid of abandoned kids (and save money) without stopping to think that a door works both ways and that something might use it to enter from the other side.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat May 04, 2013 at 03:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, yes, and I did read the original. (0+ / 0-)

          But it's been a while, and I don't remember "I've lost my marbles" from it.  

          Oddly enough, even though I saw the Disney movie when I was a kid, and remember it pretty well, the visuals from Hook have priority in my memory when I think "Peter Pan". To the point where I misassociated the title.

          It could be that I was on a Robin Williams kick for a couple of years, or it could be that there will never be a scene to beat the food fight.

          And no, it doesn't sound like a "typical government decision", not 'alf, it doesn't. As I recall, the lost boys were the ones that slipped through the cracks in the system, not the ones the system took charge of. Feeling generally down on government, are you?

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Sat May 04, 2013 at 06:17:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well if you check again you will see that in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh

            the stories that if the kids/babies were not claimed (by their parents, presumably) within so many days they were sent "far away" (to neverland, where else?) in order to "defray expenses" (presumably those caused by putting them in orphanages).  That sure sounds like it was a cost cutting measure to me.

            And yes, I am feeling generally down on most government these days with all the corrupt Thatcherites and austerity junkies running around.  Want to bet that if just such a portal/gateway were found you would see a bunch of congresspeople propose using it to take care of kids who haven't been adopted (and thus are bouncing around the foster care system) within so many years?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:08:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nope, I'm inclined to bet in the other (0+ / 0-)

              direction - immediately classify the portal/gateway and sell high-bracket vacation property and tax haven status. Throw it away on a bunch of blasted orphans? No way.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:15:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I object to your description of history (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, The Marti

      It should never be a boring list of dates with a story or two thrown in to link them together. Yes, I understand, that's a way it's taught in many public schools.

      When I teach history to my children, they learn the important dates (the start of a war, the ending of a war, what year things happened), but it is MUCH less important that they know a particular battle was fought on the 5th of August than what came before, why it was fought and what happened during the battle and why, and what happened as a result followed by what came after. The STORIES are the important part, NOT the dates. The people, the places, the hows, whys, and results are the important parts. What order things happened in is important as well, because often one thing leads to the next. But the dates themselves? Not so much, so long as you have the year (time period is important, what day and month less so).

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Sat May 04, 2013 at 08:42:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, even though I agree with the way (0+ / 0-)

        you teach history, my personal sense is that as soon as you include the "why" of what happened, you're telling a story. Because no one really knows why most things happened.  How, who, when and where are about as good as you're going to get without guessing.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:20:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are plenty of academic history (5+ / 0-)

    books on any subject available, including the contstruction the American Myth. When people are talking about American heritage, or British heritage, its often about the national myth, not specific events.

    Reading is pretty awesome. History is also constantly being revised as new facts and documents and science appear. Its not a written in stone discipline.

    Take a look  the Paul Revere myth. Its entirely based around a Longfellow poem designed as motivation for Union volunteers during the civil war. Until that moment Revere was just one of many. Plus he never actually finished his famous ride, he got caught.

    Davy Crockett... or the old cherry tree incident.
    Somethings are not worth debating, but never be afraid to go research things. Hell I love wikipedia, even if you have to acknowledge its not perfect and can be manipulated. ( hence its good reference, but usually can't be cited in academia.

  •  Welcome to the world as it is (5+ / 0-)

    True:*You know nothing you read is going to tell you the whole truth.  

    True: *You know one text is going to contradict another.  

    True: *You know that if you try to discuss what you’ve learned someone is going to know more ...
         But not necessarily on this part:  ...and throw a bunch of information at you that you know nothing about and can’t dispute. (and if they do that they are not helping you so limit interaction with them to the best of your ability)

    So?: You’ll look like a fool. (and in whose mind, and does their opinion matter?)

    False. Absolutely false: *It’s a waste of time.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:55:37 PM PDT

  •  Completely awesome and cool! (4+ / 0-)

    Totally thought this would fall in the cracks.  Thanks for all your suggestions!  The Kos is full of smarties.  :D

    Out of context, people are crazy. Tralala...

    by darlalalala on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:01:44 PM PDT

  •  Howard Zinn and lots of weed... (9+ / 0-)

    and your mind will fill with history written about the side that lost.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:14:40 PM PDT

  •  It doesn't get any better (5+ / 0-)

    I literally make a living doing history, but today I was surfing around and discovered that I couldn't make heads or tails out of recent articles about history stuff. Our vocabulary words for the day were Mnemohistory and Microhistory.  I also learned that cannibalism was a big deal in the Pacific theater in WWII.  Who knew?

    "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

    by histopresto on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:45:50 PM PDT

  •  Yes, but David in the Bible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darlalalala, Oh Mary Oh

    was still just a really cool guy who just liked to tend to his sheep, write poetry, make music and make peace. The reason he eventually became a king is because he fell into that role because God willed it to happen.  There's your history lesson for today. Feel better?

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:46:01 PM PDT

  •  Lost lost lost (3+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:45:36 PM PDT

  •  Depends on your common sense quotient and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Oh Mary Oh, The Marti

    your breadth of experience. Books and 'teachers' are only useful for calibrating these.

    Is it possible that I’m not capable of learning social sciences?
  •  The loss of marbles (4+ / 0-)

    sometimes seems to be a blossoming pandemic these days.

    Especially in our seats of power?

    Keep faith with your self, and carry on.

    Thanks for your diary. Am looking forward to seeing more from you.

  •  Congrats on your first diary! Your marbles are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darlalalala, WakeUpNeo

    safe, as long as you know how to use them. :-)

    Learning is more than dates, names and places.  How many people go through decades of "education" and only learn how to regurgitate what they've been told?  There is nothing of value in that--any parrot can do it, probably better, and probably with more understanding.

    Learning is what you glean from what you've been taught.

    Just remember: All history is bunk; it's written by the winning side.  

    Read what the losers have to say.  It might teach you more than all the legends of the winners.

    Above all--have fun!!  Otherwise, what's the point?

    Looking forward to more from you.

    Marti

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:42:26 AM PDT

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