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Scott de Montevideo!

Wisconsin Plan to eliminate Liberal Arts at the University of Wisconsin

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13 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

I’ll grant that CO2 emissions affect the climate, that’s fine, but the lefts answer to it is farcical.

Can you please articulate what you think the "left's answer" to climate change is?

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19 hours ago, Altherion said:

This is not new: many people love knowledge in principle, but are simply too lazy in practice. :) What I meant was that they at least respect math, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, medicine, the English canon (e.g. Shakespeare) and so on. The stuff that is rejected is mostly contemporary propaganda.

I not sure that's even true anymore. People are resentful of experts these days, and see them as over educated egg heads. One of the main undercurrents in both the Brexit and Trump vote was a desire to ignore and/or reject the so called experts.

Also, I'm putting a fine system on you. Going forward, every time you use the word "propaganda," you need to put $2 in a jar. When it's full, donate it to a charity of your choice.  

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8 hours ago, dmc515 said:

I have no memory of that post.  Gonna be an interesting day.

Always a bad idea to post on the sauce. I make this mistake on FB from time to time and wake up knowing that I trashed a friend's argument, but am afraid to look at see just how far I went. The day after the election was particularly bad... 

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I not sure that's even true anymore. People are resentful of experts these days, and see them as over educated egg heads. One of the main undercurrents in both the Brexit and Trump vote was a desire to ignore and/or reject the so called experts.

Also, I'm putting a fine system on you. Going forward, every time you use the word "propaganda," you need to put $2 in a jar. When it's full, donate it to a charity of your choice.  

People have been resentful of experts forever, if anything the weird historical anomaly is that resentfulness was ever politically marginalized, usually its exploited and enhanced.

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22 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Do they? Anti-vaccers, Climate change deniers, creationists, flat earthers, homeopathy, GMO-scare mongers, etc. None of those things seem very respectful to me. I've heard to many politicians say some variant to "standing up to experts" to think that the public at large truly respects knowledge.

Do not confuse knowledge with ideas that are currently mainstream. The people you describe are not opposed to knowledge or educations as such, they simply think they know better on certain subjects. This is not necessarily a bad thing: there are plenty of times that people with seemingly absurd ideas were right. For example, there were plenty of educated people in the 19th century who believed that heavier than air flying machines were impossible. If you want a more recent example, as late as a decade ago, there were plenty of people saying that landing rocket boosters is impractical. Sometimes the mainstream is simply wrong. Unfortunately, for every Elon Musk or Orville and Wilbur Wright, there are tens (or probably even hundreds) of thousands of people who think they have found some profound mistake in what most people believe, but are in fact either completely wrong or, as Pauli would say, not even wrong.

22 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Science does not directly say anything about religion, or the traditional family, but indirectly it has said so much that many commonly held positions of religious basis are now fringe positions in most of the western world. The notable exception being the US.

If you read what you wrote, it should become quite clear to you that science has absolutely nothing to do with the status of said beliefs. The Western world is what, of order 15% of the overall population? And you still have to carve a chunk out of even that small slice because of the US. Compare this to truly scientific advances such as electricity or computing which exist in every place wealthy enough to afford them. One of the hallmarks of science is that it is universal -- people can, of course, choose to ignore it, but doing so causes them to fall behind. You can weed out a whole lot of pseudoscience with this idea alone.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Actually it has tons of stuff to say about the traditional family and religion. There's sociology, history, anthropology, psychology... Religion or family have been studied inside out using different approaches in a dozen fields or sub-fields.
To claim otherwise is quite bizarre.

They have most certainly been studied, but not a single one of the fields on your list is science (though anthropology and psychology come close). Usage of the scientific method is not enough to qualify nowadays.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

The point I'm making is precisely that it really can't. Not when it's free of methodological bias.

Yes, it can. Quantum mechanics is still quantum mechanics whether in the US or in North Korea or Indonesia or wherever and can still be used to build both cell phones and nuclear weapons. I am talking about things which are at the very least proven to be useful approximations of reality, things which are real.

22 hours ago, Rippounet said:

So you see, we run into a huge problem right off the bat: well-documented research has shown that "family" in human cultures is actually rather hard to define (anthropology and history at least tell us that). Which makes "conservative family values" a very relative thing, as what people mean by that is relative to one's own culture and era in the first place and shouldn't be taken as an absolute.

Anybody who has studied either history or a wide range of contemporary societies should be aware that there was and still is a variety of family structures and an even larger variety of values held by people who sometimes maintained them for much longer than our societies. My point was that this is not actionable information -- it does not tell us which structure is best or which values we should adopt. You can disprove a few limited statements along the lines of "this has always been this way," but in general, there is very little scientific and even less that is useful here.

11 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Generally speaking, science hasn't disproved the existence of God. That's not what science is for anyway. What science has done is disprove a number of religious myths, thus putting religious belief in serious perspective, and making a literal reading of the texts pretty much impossible.

Not so much impossible as requiring the violation of what we currently believe to be the laws of nature. Given that the latter was a fundamental aspect of the stories even at the time they were written, it doesn't actually change all that much.

9 hours ago, baxus said:

I don't think I've ever heard anyone say history is not a science. :blink:

You have now. :) More seriously, I think this is at least a little bit a matter of semantics. The Latin root of the word "science" means simply "knowledge" so in principle it can be used to mean practically anything, but, at least in the US, most people reserve it for fundamental laws of nature and thus distinct from its applications (such as technology, engineering and medicine) and the study of human phenomena such as history. I personally feel the latter distinction is very useful while the former one is more or less worthless.

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19 hours ago, dmc515 said:

Ugh.  Get.  A.  Life.  Please?   You're right, you can whine about things as long as you want.  Until you realize you're pretty stupid and whining like a little girl.  That's pretty funny, keep on keeping on!

I personally have a life -- thus far, there exist at least some roles that this society rewards which are well suited to what I enjoy doing and am good at so I'm OK. The problem is that there are many, many people for whom this is no longer the case and many of them are also culturally alienated from institutions with power (including academia). They've already stopped merely whining and moved on to electing populists. If this continues, sooner or later, they will move on to the next step and I guarantee you that you're not going to like it.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Altherion said:

Do not confuse knowledge with ideas that are currently mainstream. The people you describe are not opposed to knowledge or educations as such, they simply think they know better on certain subjects. This is not necessarily a bad thing: there are plenty of times that people with seemingly absurd ideas were right. For example, there were plenty of educated people in the 19th century who believed that heavier than air flying machines were impossible. If you want a more recent example, as late as a decade ago, there were plenty of people saying that landing rocket boosters is impractical. Sometimes the mainstream is simply wrong. Unfortunately, for every Elon Musk or Orville and Wilbur Wright, there are tens (or probably even hundreds) of thousands of people who think they have found some profound mistake in what most people believe, but are in fact either completely wrong or, as Pauli would say, not even wrong.

No the people I'm talking about are completely opposed to knowledge. That's why they can have it shoved into their face and still hold onto their beliefs. If they were simply disbelieving like people disbelieving the practicality of reusable rocket boosters than they would have accepted these things in the face of overwhelming evidence, they do not. The people I'm talking about watch the booster land, then claim it's all fake anyway because they can not give up their beliefs. I'm not talking about the people that were skeptical of the Wright brother's ability to manage powered flight, I'm talking about people who said it's impossible, and continued to say it was impossible even after it happened. That's what Anti-vaccers, Climate change deniers, creationists, flat earthers, homeopaths, GMO-scare mongers, etc are. Because in all these areas that science isn't even that difficult. This isn't fucking quantum physics. This is "diluting a substance doesn't make it stronger" or "No you cannot absorb somethings DNA by fucking eating it".

And for the record, the people who believed that heavier than air flying machines were not possible or that reusable boosters where impossible aren't remotely in the league of the people I listed, not the least because those people had evidence on their side while the people I talked about have none. But because their objections were based on practical problems, not a dumb ass claim that flew in the face of literally everything we know about science. People objected to heavier than air aircraft primarily because the difficulty in making an engine with a sufficient weight to power ratio. As opposed to the objection of the kind of dumb asses I'm talking about who would probably object to powered flight because Zeus would strike you down or some similar idiocy.

Point is those people aren't skeptics, they aren't remotely similar to skeptics, stop using comparison to people who were.

Quote

If you read what you wrote, it should become quite clear to you that science has absolutely nothing to do with the status of said beliefs. The Western world is what, of order 15% of the overall population? And you still have to carve a chunk out of even that small slice because of the US. Compare this to truly scientific advances such as electricity or computing which exist in every place wealthy enough to afford them. One of the hallmarks of science is that it is universal -- people can, of course, choose to ignore it, but doing so causes them to fall behind. You can weed out a whole lot of pseudoscience with this idea alone.

Science has nothing to do with the status of the belief that the world was created 6000 years ago in 7 literal days. Fucking lol. Science has everything to do with the status of these beliefs. Because science is what showed that these things that people believe can not be true. But yeah, science didn't impact people's belief that the earth was the centre of the universe at all.

Also, the US is very much falling behind, because it is ignoring science. Including things like truly scientific advances like CO2's effect on climate.

ETA: Everything that those idiots I talked about oppose are "truly scientific advances" exactly like electricity. Yet they aren't nearly as accepted. That's not because these things are any less science, evolution is the fundamental theory of biology and there's no area it doesn't effect, and gravity is one of the fundamental forces of the universe. I can only assume the reason you don't find electricity deniers is less because it's a "truly scientific advance" and more because you can literally see electricity. Or maybe there's just less money to be made off of convincing people electricity isn't a thing. Usually the money's made their by scamming people with "free energy".

Edited by TrueMetis

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Don't you just love it when someone comes along and proves your point for you?

Okay first, anti-vaccers, flat earthers, homeopathy, and GMO- scare mongers may be a small percent overall but they do have a large effect. People are dying because of anti-vaccers, homeopaths, and Anti-GMO groups. But yeah "not worth noting." Suppose at least flat-earthers haven't caused any deaths that I am aware of.

Second CO2 impact on climate is the most basic of physics and has been established for well over 100 years. And when I say basic I mean "I was able to put together an experiment to show CO2's effect on warming in 4th grade" basic.

Third the Big Bang model fits every piece of evidence we currently have. There is no other model that even comes close. There is no leap of faith, but a myriad number of predictions that have proven themselves accurate with none currently being falsified.

Not that this is actually relevant to creationists, cause even if the big bang theory was proven 100% wrong tomorrow creationism would still be 100% wrong.

See this is the type of "respect" science gets from the general population. People can't bother to do the most basic research on a subject then spew like they know what they're talking about, often while bringing up the irrelevant like it's an actual point.

So basically, you’re another internet bully?

Where is your proof on CO2 emissions, you solved it in 4th grade, right?

How can you prove there is no God?  I’m curious.

Edited by King Ned Stark

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3 hours ago, Altherion said:

I personally have a life -- thus far, there exist at least some roles that this society rewards which are well suited to what I enjoy doing and am good at so I'm OK. The problem is that there are many, many people for whom this is no longer the case and many of them are also culturally alienated from institutions with power (including academia). They've already stopped merely whining and moved on to electing populists. If this continues, sooner or later, they will move on to the next step and I guarantee you that you're not going to like it.

I apologize for that.  Seriously.  I don't know what that was, but it obviously was mean spirited towards you.  Again, I'm sorry.

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I'll stay away from the semantics discussion if you don't mind, I've addressed it directly or indirectly already.

8 hours ago, Altherion said:

Anybody who has studied either history or a wide range of contemporary societies should be aware that there was and still is a variety of family structures and an even larger variety of values held by people who sometimes maintained them for much longer than our societies. My point was that this is not actionable information -- it does not tell us which structure is best or which values we should adopt.

It tells us that there is no absolute "best" structure, and that values are relative to one's own environment.

8 hours ago, Altherion said:

You can disprove a few limited statements along the lines of "this has always been this way," but in general, there is very little scientific and even less that is useful here.

Who are you to judge entire fields of knowledge and proclaim that they contain "very little" that is scientific? As I said earlier, you may dispute the methods or the conclusions, but there are many objective facts about human societies in the social sciences.

More importantly, the issue of "usefulness" is telling here. You can only view the research as "useful" or "useless" if you're attempting to find the "best" social or family structure for humans. But that's precisely what most of the research avoids because it is scientific. Social research will generally try to describe a given phenomenon in human society and attempt to place it within a greater analytical framework. The point is simply to understand more about ourselves, not to find an absolute truth.
And again, that's why such a scientific approach is anathema to conservative viewpoints that would proclaim that there is one "best way" to do things.

Now, I want to avoid ad hominem attacks, but you really speak as if you have no clue what you're talking about, like someone who has read very little about social sciences. And your utilitarian approach seems to me that of an engineer or technician...

8 hours ago, Altherion said:

Not so much impossible as requiring the violation of what we currently believe to be the laws of nature. Given that the latter was a fundamental aspect of the stories even at the time they were written, it doesn't actually change all that much.

The depth to which you understand "laws of nature" makes a huge difference.
It's one thing to know that the sun rises and sets everyday without understanding why or how ; in that case it's easy to invent a story whereby God can suspend the movement. It's another to know what the sun is, because it then makes divine intervention considerably more complex and impressive.
A different way to put it, is that the better your understanding of the world is, the more faith it requires to think it can be affected by divine intervention. Sociologists or philosophers call this the "disenchantment of the world," and it's a process which has been well studied these past decades.
It seems to me that today, in order to preserve their faith, a great number of conservatives voluntarily try to reject knowledge that would have them understand the world better.
 

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12 hours ago, Altherion said:

You have now. :) More seriously, I think this is at least a little bit a matter of semantics. The Latin root of the word "science" means simply "knowledge" so in principle it can be used to mean practically anything, but, at least in the US, most people reserve it for fundamental laws of nature and thus distinct from its applications (such as technology, engineering and medicine) and the study of human phenomena such as history. I personally feel the latter distinction is very useful while the former one is more or less worthless.

History is necessarily an extremely subjective discipline.  I’ve always thought of “Science” as a discipline that has a more objective method of inquiry than history provides.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

So basically, you’re another internet bully?

No. Where the fuck did you get that from? Unless your definition of a bully is "points out when someone is full of shit".

Quote

Where is your proof on CO2 emissions, you solved it in 4th grade, right?

Take some jars, heat lamps, and containers of CO2 gas. Fill jars with various mixtures of regular air and CO2. Set under heat lamps. Watch as the ones with more CO2 heat more. There proof of CO2's heat absorption capacity. If you cannot from there make the connection on why increased CO2 emission would effect the earth's climate and how, well that's on you.

Quote

How can you prove there is no God?  I’m curious.

Never claimed to prove any such thing. How about you speak to the points I've actually made?

Though given that there has never been any proof of any god there's no need to disprove one anyway.

Edited by TrueMetis

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Posted (edited)

And that aside from the fact that proving a negative is impossible.

Prove to me that there aren't hundreds of pink and yellow polka dot dragons flying in the sky right now. People haven't seen them? Maybe people just have difficult catching sight of them because of how high they fly. Radar doesn't pick them up? Well radar isn't perfectly, and maybe there is something about their physiological makeup that prevents radar from picking them up. Where's the proof?!

Anytime someone asks for proof that something doesn't exist or isn't the case, (King Ned, prove to me that you're not being controlled by a tiny parasitic alien worm that is too small and inactive to easily be picked up by medical imaging devices) they're asking for the impossible, especially if it's something that they really believe or are committed to believing. (Imagine a conspiracy theorist whose life revolves around monitoring the evil agenda of the tiny alien parasitic worms, so anything you try to offer as proof that you're not controlled by the worms just makes him believe that the worms are coming up with new ways to avoid detection as they execute their evil plots.)

Edited by Paladin of Ice

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6 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

And that aside from the fact that proving a negative is impossible.

Prove to me that there aren't hundreds of pink and yellow polka dot dragon flying in the sky right now. People haven't seen them? Maybe people just have difficult catching sight of them because of how high they fly. Radar doesn't pick them up? Well rad isn't perfectly, and maybe there is something about their makeups that prevents radar from picking them up. Where's the proof?!

Anytime someone asks for proof that something doesn't exist or isn't the case, (King Ned, prove to me that you're not being controlled by a tiny parasitic alien worm that is too small and inactive to easily be picked up by medical imaging devices) they're asking for the impossible, especially if it's something that they really believe or are committed to. (Imagine a conspiracy theorist whose life revolves around monitoring the evil agenda of the tiny alien parasitic worms, so anything you try to offer as proof that you're not controlled by the worms just makes him believe that the worms are coming up with new ways to avoid detection as they execute their evil plots.)

Russell’s tea pot. :)

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Exactly. (For those not familiar with it, Russell's tea pot is a thought experiment philosopher Bertrand Russell proposed in 1952.)

Quote

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes.

But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.

If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

History is necessarily an extremely subjective discipline.  I’ve always thought of “Science” as a discipline that has a more objective method of inquiry than history provides.

History as a discipline has many varieties of practice.  Among those practices are those that deal only with documented facts.  World War II is a documented fact.  There are documented facts about WWII everywhere on the planet, i.e. see WORLD WAR.  World War II is part of history.  Those world wide factual documents can be collated and made into sheet of statistics.  That isn't subjective at all.

Now, those collated sheets of statistics of various matters that took place in the years of WWII can be subjectively interpreted. up to and including those who simply deny the factual events ever took place, such as the holocausts of Jews and many other people, including unmarried, childless women who were white, Germans too, but they were regarded as useless consumers of food and housing, so they too had to be removed from the perfect society of nazi Germany.

That subjective interpretation, however, doesn't change the documented facts -- unless, of course, all the documents can be gathered and destroyed, along with all the millions of studies that reference those millions of documents and records.

I suppose that one could claim those spread sheet of stats, that gathering these stats, etc. is merely math, and not science, yet they are still unchanged facts.

 

 

Edited by Zorral

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Zorral said:

History as a discipline has many varieties of practice.  Among those practices are those that deal only with documented facts.  World War II is a documented fact.  There are documented facts about WWII everywhere on the planet, i.e. see WORLD WAR.  World War II is part of history.  Those world wide factual documents can be collated and made into sheet of statistics.  That isn't subjective at all.

Now, those collated sheets of statistics of various matters that took place in the years of WWII can be subjectively interpreted. up to and including those who simply deny the factual events ever took place, such as the holocausts of Jews and many other people, including unmarried, childless women who were white, Germans too, but they were regarded as useless consumers of food and housing, so they too had to be removed from the perfect society of nazi Germany.

That subjective interpretation, however, doesn't change the documented facts -- unless, of course, all the documents can be gathered and destroyed, along with all the millions of studies that reference those millions of documents and records.

I suppose that one could claim those spread sheet of stats, that gathering these stats, etc. is merely math, and not science, yet they are still unchanged facts.

 

 

There are objective elements, particularly to recent history.  But history prior to the 20th century is largely based upon the subjective views of those who chose to write down their perceptions of what they saw.  And whose writings have been successfully preserved over the centuries.  Hence its necessairly subjective nature.

:)

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

History is necessarily an extremely subjective discipline.  I’ve always thought of “Science” as a discipline that has a more objective method of inquiry than history provides.

History is necessarily more subjective than the natural sciences, but I really think that any history which is "extremely" subjective would be bad history. Good history must after all be based on factual evidence. Historians can disagree about the causes of the Crusades, the American Civil War or the Holocaust -- they cannot deny those things ever happened and still be good historians. 

There are also ways to check up on things written in past centuries by using archaeological evidence and other more objective data. I think good history is a lot less subjective than the way you are portraying it. 

Edited by Ormond

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

There are objective elements, particularly to recent history.  But history prior to the 20th century is largely based upon the subjective views of those who chose to write down their perceptions of what they saw.  And whose writings have been successfully preserved over the centuries.  Hence its necessairly subjective nature.

:)

Well, archaeology and climate studies are opening up huge areas of information to these distant past eras that wasn't available until quite recently.  As have genomic and DNA sciences.   These are part of the practice of history as a discipline, as are other sciences and technology.  IOW, history as a discipline continues to expand its horizons and its knowledge as much as chemistry has since the days of alchemy, medicine since the days of feeding patients dung and cosmology has since the days of God and only God and astronomy.

Of course, at the same time, history is as much a battleground and politicized as are technology and science.  Even today people will with straight faces say that in all of history women never did anything except be wives and mothers and whores, never ruled, created art, did scientific research, and never fought.  These people cite history, science and technology -- and their cites go directly against the evidence of all three.

Those who declare that history is nothing but subjective, only  stories that we make up are the very people who don't, you know, actually study history or practice it as a profession.  Those who do, and those who know those who do, know better.

Again, erasing history, falsifying, denying the study of history to any but a favored elite, is the first thing that any authoritarian individual or group does.  There are reasons for this.  The historically ignorant are so much easier to control and indoctrinate.  Look at the rules that the Russian and Austrian empires imposed upon the Polish people -- forbidding them any use of their own language, and writing about Poles' past (particularly how they saved Vienna's ass from the Ottomans, not just once but twice), owning books that included the history of Poland, even singing lullabys and telling folk tales of their culture.  Or, for just another example: Robert E. Lee freed his slave and General Grant owned and sold slaves and didn't believe in emancipation.  All the documents prove otherwise.

 

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53 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Well, archaeology and climate studies are opening up huge areas of information to these distant past eras that wasn't available until quite recently.  As have genomic and DNA sciences.   These are part of the practice of history as a discipline, as are other sciences and technology.  IOW, history as a discipline continues to expand its horizons and its knowledge as much as chemistry has since the days of alchemy, medicine since the days of feeding patients dung and cosmology has since the days of God and only God and astronomy.

Of course, at the same time, history is as much a battleground and politicized as are technology and science.  Even today people will with straight faces say that in all of history women never did anything except be wives and mothers and whores, never ruled, created art, did scientific research, and never fought.  These people cite history, science and technology -- and their cites go directly against the evidence of all three.

Those who declare that history is nothing but subjective, only  stories that we make up are the very people who don't, you know, actually study history or practice it as a profession.  Those who do, and those who know those who do, know better.

Again, erasing history, falsifying, denying the study of history to any but a favored elite, is the first thing that any authoritarian individual or group does.  There are reasons for this.  The historically ignorant are so much easier to control and indoctrinate.  Look at the rules that the Russian and Austrian empires imposed upon the Polish people -- forbidding them any use of their own language, and writing about Poles' past (particularly how they saved Vienna's ass from the Ottomans, not just once but twice), owning books that included the history of Poland, even singing lullabys and telling folk tales of their culture.  Or, for just another example: Robert E. Lee freed his slave and General Grant owned and sold slaves and didn't believe in emancipation.  All the documents prove otherwise.

 

To be clear I’m not saying history is purely subjective.  I’m saying its reliance upon the written recollections of people we cannot check behind and upon the preservation of such accounts make it more subjective than other disciplines like mathematics or physics.  

Your points about archeology and climate finds are well made but even with those additions history is always going to be subject to the points of view of the records we have from the times being examined.

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