It is the end of Martin Luther King day and i have to be awake in 6 and 1/2 hours. So This is not going to be as in-depth and as i would like it to be. Also, there are many subjects on my mind that i could write about, indeed, a few that i should write about given the promises made in past entries. I have finished that Malcolm Gladwell book mentioned before and have started in on Brave Companions by David McCullough. In which he explores several different charters that have had a dramatic impact on american histroy, yet are not well known or overshadowed by others. The first of these characters covered is a man named Alexander von Humboldt. Very interesting man, polymath, and probably the most influential naturalist of his time, not to mention the man that nearly every Humboldt county, city, or place was named after. Now would seem an appropriate time to cover Baron von Humbolt given my past few entry on polymaths, but with the inadequate job given to Young, and my not really wanting to focus on polymaths, i would like to touch, ever so lightly and general, on history.
I am a little ashamed to admit that while going through my required education my least favorite subjects were history and english. Here, the term least favorite can be taken to mean loathed and despised. especially spelling and grammar (which i hope doesn’t show up too much here), in fact there were many grammar books and spelling list that ended up with pencil holes stabbed though them. Now, I do not want to be the type that blames any little problem I’ve had on others. As much as i would like to say my lack of interested in history during those years can be attributed to poor teaching methods and the inability for school to bring a subject alive, It is much more likely that the teachers did an adequate job and it took some maturing on my part to recognize the awesomeness in history.
History can be extremely boring until a person begins to see the interconnectiveness (word?) of humanity. The things that are happening right now, all the events that effect us, are just the latest link in a long chain of events. The present cannot be disconnected from the past, and the past weights much more on the present than is initially visible. Once a person sees these connections it is impossible for history to be boring. I have only recently begun to dabble in history, and already the implication of historical events astound me. The summation of little events, however insignificant they seem on their own, combine to create great events. This can be seen in our own lives and our genealogy, as well as in great wars. Many different approaches can be taken to history and each will cast different lights on any event. One of my favorite approaches or “historical lens” is science. In science its is easy to see how one discovery leads to another, how one theory or discussion shapes another, and how these build upon each other century after century. Science weights on society probably more than any other area; technologies are discovered, powers shift, people learn, society progresses, and product are produced that allow me to write this with all the spell check i care to use.