Why is history class screwed over?

Apr 2018
726
Upland, Sweden
#91
History has no value. The return-on-investment is practically nill compared to the other social sciences. The social sciences fit in because they are tools. They have relavence in today's world. The social sciences explain what was. That's the "history" part, i.e. the investigation of past data. Then the social sciences lay out what currently is, e.g. in politics, economics, society, culture, religion, etc. Then they try to project what will be. History is only one third of the equation. The social sciences are more value-added especially when it's packaged with science, technology, engineering, math and language/grammar.
How did you reach that conclusion? What parameters did you use to define "value", over which stretch of time?

The social "sciences" (meaning Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political "science" etc.) are often very good at explaining things that someone with common sense and experience can understand on their own, using jargon and arbitrary theoretical constructs. When it comes to more complex systems I think the natural sciences and the (provided they are rigorously and honestly executed) humanities are much superior. The very idea of social "sciences" is somewhat arrogant and conceited in my view - they are all instrumental, useful for creating particular systems, for particular reasons - they are pretty bad and autistic when it comes to understanding. There are obvious exceptions to this rule, but I think it generally holds.

One such exception seems to be "Statistics" - they are a pretty useful tool, as trying to map human behaviours quantitatively is obviously something that seems to work, even often on the individual level (unfortunately) - but to be honest you don't need to be an economist to do any of this. You'd probably do better to hire a professional statistician, or a physicist even - just give them a survey course in "General humanities" and they'd be set to go (or don't, and watch them be just as efficient at manipulating large groups of people with the added benefit of less ethical blowback...). Another exeption is probably some of the more empirically grounded realms of psychology. Classical conditioning works - even though it has quite a lot of side effects. The Stanford Prison Experiment was also pretty useful. Still, what many of these more empirically grounded facets of the social sciences have in common though, is that they more often than not put the scientist in a position to manipulate vast amounts of human beings, often for very inhuman ends - while leaving little room for the scientist to actually question or redefine said ends; at least not without taking in knowledge from outside of the field (like History, Philosophy, Theology, Biology, etc.).

When these subjects are not even useful (which is often the case) they tend to put the practicioner into a reductionistic as well as often quite epistemologically and/ or ethically dubious starting position, forcing him or her to make all sorts of assumptions of human nature - "making reality it the theory", so to speak. Usually whichever social "scientist" we are speaking of is the hostage of some earlier, much more humanistically inclined "meta-theoretician" (Karl Marx was one such man, very popular in the 20th century...) who created the entire theoretical framework that he is operating in. History is in this case much more useful - provided it is done right - because 1) it actually puts you right next to *real* evidence of the *real* world - garbled as it often is. 2) It doesn't kill your soul. I can't emphasize this enough.

The humanities actually provide an alternative way to knowledge, and to different kinds of knowledge and experience that the natural sciences cannot by definition give you. The social sciences are just a much less empirically grounded, much less rigorous and much less useful version of the natural sciences. Provided you more or less buy the secular worldview (and there is no reason for you not to do so, according to most social "scientists") then there is literally, by definition nothing that the social sciences can do which the natural sciences cannot, theoretically speaking, do better. The fact that social "scientists" often have much more haughty views of their own claims than people from the "professions" (accountants, lawyers, engineers, doctors etc.) while simultaneously also having much less contact with reality just makes me generally doubt that their existence in society as disciplines from the humanities actually has a point. In fact, they often seem to be as dependent upon their power to spin the narrative and control people's perceptions of reality for them even to be "useful" in the first place.

In short: Economics is called "the dismal science" for a reason, and only half of all psychological studies are even replicatable - for a reason. Don't even get me started on sociology. The themes of these disciplines is something that History touches upon anyway. Specializing in them alone though is great if you want to turn yourself into a "bugman" - if you want to become a proper human being then not so much.
 
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Likes: Spartakus X

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,835
Sydney
#92
" If you torture the numbers long enough , they will confess to anything "
" lies damn lies and statistics "

social Sciences are the modern evolution of theology
 
Nov 2015
1,674
Kyiv
#93
The more we immerse yourself in history, the better we see the parallels between historical events and what is happening before our eyes. History to some extent is a tool for analyzing what is happening now, and even the ability to make convincing predictions for the future.

Historical events depend not only on the level of development of civilization. They are also a product of national traditions, mentality, prejudices, everyday priorities, people's unwillingness to comprehend their actions and people's inability to predict the consequences of their affairs or what their authorities do.

And if we talk about big mistakes, they often persecute those nations and communities that do not know their history well or use its pop or propagandist version instead.

Therefore, for many of these mistakes, you can, if you wish, find precedents in history.

A people who do not know their history well and do not want to know it in his behavioral model suffers from infantilism. And in those countries where the authorities have enough influence to shape the school curriculum and fund historical films, they can impose targeted propaganda on their people instead of their country's history. And use it for their own selfish purposes.
 
Likes: Runa
Jun 2013
439
Connecticut
#97
How did you reach that conclusion? What parameters did you use to define "value", over which stretch of time?

The social "sciences" (meaning Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political "science" etc.) are often very good at explaining things that someone with common sense and experience can understand on their own, using jargon and arbitrary theoretical constructs. When it comes to more complex systems I think the natural sciences and the (provided they are rigorously and honestly executed) humanities are much superior. The very idea of social "sciences" is somewhat arrogant and conceited in my view - they are all instrumental, useful for creating particular systems, for particular reasons - they are pretty bad and autistic when it comes to understanding. There are obvious exceptions to this rule, but I think it generally holds.

One such exception seems to be "Statistics" - they are a pretty useful tool, as trying to map human behaviours quantitatively is obviously something that seems to work, even often on the individual level (unfortunately) - but to be honest you don't need to be an economist to do any of this. You'd probably do better to hire a professional statistician, or a physicist even - just give them a survey course in "General humanities" and they'd be set to go (or don't, and watch them be just as efficient at manipulating large groups of people with the added benefit of less ethical blowback...). Another exeption is probably some of the more empirically grounded realms of psychology. Classical conditioning works - even though it has quite a lot of side effects. The Stanford Prison Experiment was also pretty useful. Still, what many of these more empirically grounded facets of the social sciences have in common though, is that they more often than not put the scientist in a position to manipulate vast amounts of human beings, often for very inhuman ends - while leaving little room for the scientist to actually question or redefine said ends; at least not without taking in knowledge from outside of the field (like History, Philosophy, Theology, Biology, etc.).

When these subjects are not even useful (which is often the case) they tend to put the practicioner into a reductionistic as well as often quite epistemologically and/ or ethically dubious starting position, forcing him or her to make all sorts of assumptions of human nature - "making reality it the theory", so to speak. Usually whichever social "scientist" we are speaking of is the hostage of some earlier, much more humanistically inclined "meta-theoretician" (Karl Marx was one such man, very popular in the 20th century...) who created the entire theoretical framework that he is operating in. History is in this case much more useful - provided it is done right - because 1) it actually puts you right next to *real* evidence of the *real* world - garbled as it often is. 2) It doesn't kill your soul. I can't emphasize this enough.

The humanities actually provide an alternative way to knowledge, and to different kinds of knowledge and experience that the natural sciences cannot by definition give you. The social sciences are just a much less empirically grounded, much less rigorous and much less useful version of the natural sciences. Provided you more or less buy the secular worldview (and there is no reason for you not to do so, according to most social "scientists") then there is literally, by definition nothing that the social sciences can do which the natural sciences cannot, theoretically speaking, do better. The fact that social "scientists" often have much more haughty views of their own claims than people from the "professions" (accountants, lawyers, engineers, doctors etc.) while simultaneously also having much less contact with reality just makes me generally doubt that their existence in society as disciplines from the humanities actually has a point. In fact, they often seem to be as dependent upon their power to spin the narrative and control people's perceptions of reality for them even to be "useful" in the first place.

In short: Economics is called "the dismal science" for a reason, and only half of all psychological studies are even replicatable - for a reason. Don't even get me started on sociology. The themes of these disciplines is something that History touches upon anyway. Specializing in them alone though is great if you want to turn yourself into a "bugman" - if you want to become a proper human being then not so much.
Oh I do not totally disagree with your thoughts. That's why I'm here on a history forum. I place a priority on history.
I'm just trying to answer the OP. Why is history not important? I know children in grammar school (seven relatives) who study history as I've described. It's not history as we were taught. They're taught about explorers, colonies, Washington, the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights. Then slavery and Lincoln, mayb the Civil War, tied into black studies. History only serves as a basic springboard to study the PRACTICAL aspects of modern citizenship.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,884
Portugal
#98
History has no value. The return-on-investment is practically nill compared to the other social sciences. The social sciences fit in because they are tools. They have relavence in today's world. The social sciences explain what was. That's the "history" part, i.e. the investigation of past data. Then the social sciences lay out what currently is, e.g. in politics, economics, society, culture, religion, etc. Then they try to project what will be. History is only one third of the equation. The social sciences are more value-added especially when it's packaged with science, technology, engineering, math and language/grammar.
Oh I do not totally disagree with your thoughts. That's why I'm here on a history forum. I place a priority on history.

I'm just trying to answer the OP. Why is history not important? I know children in grammar school (seven relatives) who study history as I've described. It's not history as we were taught. They're taught about explorers, colonies, Washington, the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights. Then slavery and Lincoln, mayb the Civil War, tied into black studies. History only serves as a basic springboard to study the PRACTICAL aspects of modern citizenship.
Not following your reasoning.

According to you, how is “history not important” if “only serves as a basic springboard to study the PRACTICAL aspects of modern citizenship.”

That means that, to you, citizenship is not important?

So are other Social Sciences more important than history? We have a degree of relevance in Social Sciences? Like History in the bottom and Anthropology or Sociology on the top?
 
Sep 2015
1,654
England
#99
History is the study of the experience of human nature. How else can we be studied?
No, that's Anthropology
Nope, anthropolgy is, 'the study of human beings, especially society, customs & beliefs'. That implies an overlap that can almost be fully overlaid by history: the history of customs, the history of beliefs, the history of society; all of which and more is underpinned by human nature. What else?

Whereas anthropology includes: 'Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.'
 
Apr 2018
726
Upland, Sweden
Oh I do not totally disagree with your thoughts. That's why I'm here on a history forum. I place a priority on history.
I'm just trying to answer the OP. Why is history not important? I know children in grammar school (seven relatives) who study history as I've described. It's not history as we were taught. They're taught about explorers, colonies, Washington, the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights. Then slavery and Lincoln, mayb the Civil War, tied into black studies. History only serves as a basic springboard to study the PRACTICAL aspects of modern citizenship.
Ah, I see. Sorry for the overly verbose and maybe a bit aggressive reply. I had a recent spat over this with a political science-student friend of mine, so I was a bit fired up over this same issue I suppose.

Well, as for the subject matter of what you write... my condolences. I had a fantastic history teacher in primary school/ early high school (I am in my twenties). We were taught a continuous narrative, while simultaneously being given lots of oppurtunity to analyze the different causes and effects of events. In upper secondary school it was... similar to what you describe, albeit adjusted for local circumstances.

We had a very "thematically" (non-narrative) focused history education. For one term we had a general "survey course" of history, being incredibly broad. Then we had two specific classes on the Holocaust or "Genocide and crimes against humanity" generally. After that we had a "source-criticism" focus where we looked at the way history is "used" - we looked upon the usage of history in modern film, for example... Following that we had "revolutions" as a theme, focusing on the US and French revolutions. Finally we had a special focus for half a term on Swedish colonialism and our participation in the trans-atlantic slave trade...

So yes, we too touched upon a somewhat selective series of events, seemingly selected to turn the kids into "good citizens" etc. - rather than make them reflect over what being a Good citizen can actually mean...
 

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