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curdledvomit
 
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History and its affect on our existance.

I love history.

History is a real, static record of what has happened before this instant. The main problem I see with history is the way we document it. History is written by man and man has an opinion. I might write about the discovery of a new land mass one way and someone else might write about it in a different way with more or less data and maybe different time lines etc.... this makes for an inaccurate depiction of the event. I have no idea how this might be resolved, I am just pointing out that history is in fact only as accurate as the one who documents it.

There are ways we justify what we think is accurate. Physical evidence might be a way as might be a trusted friend...it is a quandry.

The other flaw is in the way history changes over time. If you asked someone today if America ever mass murdered a lot of people in the name of , oh lets say ffreedom...they might think oh yea we killed some people in wars. Now history telles us we attacked Japan after Perl Harbor....how many people do you think died?

50,000?
100,000?

here is a perfect example.... http://www.warbirdforum.com/hirodead.htm

Which number is correct.

Also how about Miday Island? Okinawa? Mainland Japan before the bomb? It has been said 70,000 were killed when we razed cities in Japan with fire bombs before we dropped the nuke...I think its more like 70,000 per city.

Well I was bored and decided to make a little history in the Pit sp I made a thread about it. Discuss...
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:38 AM curdledvomit is offline  
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Frenetic
 
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Wait, what exactly do you want us to discuss here? The difficulty of counting casualties during times of war? The idea of history being written by the victors? Or the specific attacks on Japan itself? I'm not sure where you want us to go here.
Old 03-14-2010, 12:44 PM Frenetic is offline  
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Yeah, I'm not quite sure of the purpose of this thread as well.. Anyway, getting accurate casualty counts during/after wars is notoriously difficult because the victor will use methods that deflate the number while the conquered wants the count as high as possible. For wars in the middle east it is especially difficult (even for a neutral party) to get an accurate count because it's hard to distinguish combatants from civilians...even when it comes to women and children. As far as written history goes, who decides what is accurate and what is not? In other words, short of fabricating the entire thing...what makes one historians personal slant on the same story better or worse than anothers?
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:54 PM joemama is offline  
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im gonna go out on a limb and suggest that after dropping something as destructive as a nuke, its gonna be pretty damn hard to find all the bodies and count them up accurately
Old 03-14-2010, 07:06 PM Vote McCain! is offline  
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:24 PM TheMorlock is offline  
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curdledvomit
 
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Ok so I admit this was written in a steroid frame of mind but what I am trying to say is the accuracy of history is directly related to the means of which it is collected and documented.

This is to say as for the link I posted, what number do you use to "teach" or " learn" how many died? There was an exact number killed but getting to that number is impossible.

History is an inaccurate of what happened in the past in most all cases...it is subjective and is altered by ones opinions etc. when that person is "writing" history.

Take for example the history of the discovery of the new world. It is widely taught that Christopher Columbus discovered it but that is disputed.

It is said that Al Gore invented the internet...we all know that is not true but it is taught in school.

Does this better explain what I was trying to get at?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:00 AM curdledvomit is offline  
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Chilly
 
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It is said that Al Gore invented the internet...we all know that is not true but it is taught in school.

I did a bit of research, this is the result of clumsy phrasing and stupid people. I've never taken a "History of the Internet" class, but I don't think he gets credit as inventor of the internet.


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Take for example the history of the discovery of the new world. It is widely taught that Christopher Columbus discovered it but that is disputed.

This is a much better example. While looking for China and India, Columbus landed in Cuba (iirc) and some how got credit for "discovering" America.

Edit: Even though there were already people in America, and South America, as well as ruins from Scandinavian/Viking settlements.

Last edited by Chilly; 03-15-2010 at 09:25 AM..
Old 03-15-2010, 09:17 AM Chilly is offline  
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Conna
 
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It is said that Al Gore invented the internet...we all know that is not true but it is taught in school.

Where do they teach that? He was a contributor, but obviously no one person invented the Internet, and the only place where I've heard it said that Al Gore did was South Park. Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web though.
Old 03-15-2010, 11:24 AM Conna is offline  
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Conna
 
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Take for example the history of the discovery of the new world. It is widely taught that Christopher Columbus discovered it but that is disputed.

I kind of see what you mean here. If you ask someone on the street "who discovered America?", most people will say Columbus, some will say vikings. At the time of Columbus they genuinely believed they were the first Europeans in the new world, so that's what they put in the history books. It was discovered only fairly recently that the Norse had in fact already been to America, but I do remember being taught that in school too. Obviously if you make the question "who were the first humans in America" then the answer will be Indians, who migrated there through Asia and the Alaska. And theories also exist of Pre-Columbian trans-atlantic exploration, but since none have been verified, they aren't taught in school.

So sure, history books written by men at different times are never fully accurate, but then neither is our perception of the universe in other fields of science either. It's up to researchers to seek the truth and attempt to form as accurate and objective a view as possible.
Old 03-15-2010, 11:47 AM Conna is offline  
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Frenetic
 
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Originally Posted by curdledvomit View Post
Ok so I admit this was written in a steroid frame of mind but what I am trying to say is the accuracy of history is directly related to the means of which it is collected and documented.

This is to say as for the link I posted, what number do you use to "teach" or " learn" how many died? There was an exact number killed but getting to that number is impossible.

History is an inaccurate of what happened in the past in most all cases...it is subjective and is altered by ones opinions etc. when that person is "writing" history.

Take for example the history of the discovery of the new world. It is widely taught that Christopher Columbus discovered it but that is disputed.

It is said that Al Gore invented the internet...we all know that is not true but it is taught in school.

Does this better explain what I was trying to get at?

Okay, on the matter of presenting casualty numbers, I have to say that when the numbers reach the tens of thousands and beyond, the accuracy of it all becomes a little arbitrary to me. My mom is a history teacher and the best she can do at times is give estimations. Fuck, my grandfather was in Vietnam and he'd say how he and his mates would make up Charlie death counts all the time because the Vietnamese would carry the dead away from the battlefield.

But like I said, once the numbers get big enough, how much of a game changer is 100% accuracy? This isn't to say that human life is worthless, but does recognizing that only 90,000 died instead of 100,000 change the fact that it was still a massacre? It's like the Stalin quote about the difference of killing one man and killing a million.

And I don't mean to be rude, cv, but saying history is limited by its documenting methods is a pretty obvious thing to say. We have the same limits in the empirical methods of science. We can only report from what we humans observe in science, but that limit doesn't mean that science hasn't helped us throughout time.

Here you might say, "Ah, but history doesn't have to go through the empirical method, it's all subjective of the person writing it," but that's too. The first rule historians are taught is that you recognize the lens that history is being recorded under, and take that into account when you report it. If they find some colonel's account of a civil war battle, they cross-reference it with other people's accounts to see what overlaps and what doesn't. Historians are incredibly humble about what is known and what "probably happened" in history. If you want to talk about Chinese public schools, okay, fine, but regular historians bend over backwards to get the straight story.

And your examples are pretty poor as well. No school teaches that Al Gore invented the internet. If anything, my own high school had us discuss how that idea came about, since Al Gore obviously didn't have the computer knowledge to create such a huge network. Christopher Columbus' discovery of America isn't "disputed' anymore, because it's a known fact that vikings and other people discovered America long before he found some south of Florida. What is taught in schools today is that Columbus' discovery spurred on more exploration of America, which is true.

History has told some colored stories in the past, sure, but it's getting revised under new evidence every day, and the public is benefiting from it. Hell, cracked.com has an article on such things about every other week.
Old 03-15-2010, 11:47 AM Frenetic is offline  
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curdledvomit
 
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OK guys enough about the Al Gore deal...yall were perplexed at my post and I was just using that as an example so as to get you to understand what I was trying to convey. From the posts I have seen ...I still think some of you seem to be trying to hard. It is not so much about the casualties but the process in general. The way we see history.
Example...

Ask a person on the street who killed the most people in history and most would say Hitler. Is this true?

Who invented the motor car? Opinions vary.

Why was the nation called Persia renamed Iran? Who was responsible?

I do not ask these things to get answers, just to point out some historic instances where there might be some disagreement. The point of this thread is to look deep into why we are what we are because of historic misinformation. Might we be a different nation if lets say Ben Franklin was the one who invented a vaccine for polio?

Just a topic that I wanted to pose to the brain gang here in the pit. Don't strain too hard trying to respond with me in mind personally...let the rippling waves of brain waves flow through your body and out your typing fingers into rivulets of pure, thought provoking prose.

GO GO GO
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Last edited by curdledvomit; 03-15-2010 at 02:01 PM.. Reason: fraggle rock
Old 03-15-2010, 01:59 PM curdledvomit is offline  
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:48 PM jayjaya29 is offline  
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:20 PM AnasSplenium is offline  
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curdledvomit
 
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hahahha

I know right?
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:11 AM curdledvomit is offline  
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