I’ve been watching (The Great Courses DVDs Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean and Ancient Civilizations Before Alexander) and listening to/reading Charles Freeman’s Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean to help put our present world changes in perspective. But I don’t think I’m quite as excited as Ziggy about living through those changes. It would be interesting to see what happens, but from a safe place.

I partially agree with rat, getting older may be a blessing. Maybe we were born at the right time and will have shuffled off before it gets too bad.

I don’t agree with pig, though:

One thing I’m sure of, though, no sense ruining the present by worrying about the future.


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16 Responses to History

  1. tammy j says:

    it’s true! take it from a dyed in the wool previous worrier. well. that’s kind of saying a lot. because I do still worry. knowing fully that it’s pointless! only I don’t worry about huge stuff like nuclear and what have you.
    I worry about pesticides killing the bees. and the extinction of elephants over people’s greed for ivory. and for the whales and dolphins losing their sonar ability because of our noise making in the oceans. (just simple stuff!)
    but the cartoons are cute. and I aspire to Rat and Pig both!
    tammy j´s last blog post ..you’re not surprised

    • Jean says:

      Unfortunately, we’ve been too successful as a species and are really stressing the environment. There’s no predicting exactly what will happen, but the world population is still growing and more and more people are becoming wealthier and want a higher standard of living. Something has to give.

  2. Cathy in NZ says:

    I think I’m done with worrying about history – although it is nice to look at some parts of history, if that is your interest. As for the future, well if it does go pear-shaped, I will deal with it then…

    I’ve thinking a lot about my life lately, I think what would be best is “keep making art, even if it is just cutting up paper” 🙂 and gluing it to somethinge else

    • Jean says:

      I’ve loved history since high school, so I study it because of that, not because I think everyone should. I agree, your attention should be on what you love, especially your art.

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      I do like History – I spent a fair amount of time at University less than a decade ago in “history” mode – both about this country and of course Asia. But that wasn’t for my personal use, as such – rather for paper-credits.

      I had started out in Philosophy via a recommendation from someone I know overseas – but I didn’t like it all (later people said “you took the wrong paper…”)
      I tossed in Philosophy and found Asia…

      But I think like you CM – you have had to have read more before you tackled a head-on Uni paper; so that you had already got some solid opinions of your own – so you could argue the toss…
      That happened again when I went over to Theology…but hey it was interesting, and I did learn how some aspects of life “work”

      I think at times, what would’ve my Dad wanted me to do…but having no real helpers, I relied on someone that I do know, but not all that well…I did get my degree, and that was part of the initial ideal; I just maybe moved on the wrong pathway

      It’s now personal history…

    • Jean says:

      I agree with you about Philosophy. I originally planned to minor in it (my major was physics) in college, but I had read enough to know that wasn’t what I was looking for.

      Do you really think you followed the wrong pathway? What do you think a better choice would have been? Art from the get-go?

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      the better choice of pathway – would’ve been – not to gone to university…but I had this idea in my head on matters pertaining to this high education. Somehow, in many ways it didn’t ever meet those expectations – mainly because I had to FOLLOW the lecturers ideas, and I couldn’t be “me” – everything had to come from other fellow…

      I ran into that problem right at my first paper, when I argued that “only people with money in that era (1800s) would have been able to have a headstone of their grave that was commercially made and quite artistic looking…”

      didn’t reference it because a/ I just knew that fact…b/ well I got I think a fail…

      lecturers would question my knowledge? Where had I got that from? And I would say “I just know…” a bit like reading the books in the cartoon you had recently – pick up knowledge here and there – over a lifetime (remember I was often older than these lecturing academics)

      then because of the referencing stuff…I just felt it was all quite stupid, “why did I think this was a place for me…” I ran regularly into the referencing monster, which meant I had to remove said ideas from essays and then they made no sense!!!!

      but as I said, I did finally get a degree, a couple of failed papers…and bit of a monster $ loan debt (still paying off that…)

      now I enjoy mostly the pathway I have chosen, one where I am “just me” and no expects me to reference what I’m doing, even if there are similarities with “a artist” in some “time period” or “genre”

  3. Cindi says:

    Omg Jean!
    You’d have to tie me in a chair and hold my eyes open with toothpicks before I’d watch those DVD’s! LOL!
    They say history repeats itself and I just don’t want to spend my time thinking about it.
    I’m more with Cathy, cutting paper and gluing it to something, sounds good to me!
    I definitely don’t think like rat. I’m never happy to think that I am one year closer to the end. Ugh. I just get sad that I might not have enough time for all I want to do.
    I agree with Pig, the positive would be to be debt free. Omg, what would that be like? Heaven? But that will never be for me as I will always have some little mouth to feed and that creates a money issue.
    Oh well! Can’t have your cake and eat it too!
    Seems like you and I disagree on all points on this one!
    But that’s ok, makes life interesting and that’s one of the reasons I adore you.
    You’re mind is so different from mine!
    I love it!
    And you too. 😉
    Cindi´s last blog post ..Blue

    • Jean says:

      Yes, parts of the stuff I’ve been learning drags at times, but there are enough insights to make it worthwhile for me. For me history is human nature in action under different circumstances. Some people think humans are different from nature, I don’t. It blows me away how we evolved, and to read how some people were interested in morality and justice thousands of years ago. It also blows me away that in some cases we can read what they wrote way back then. If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

    • Jean says:

      I love you too!

  4. Linda Sand says:

    A few years ago I decided we have reached the time of the the decline and fall of the US empire. Since I can’t keep that from happening, I decided to give up worrying about it. But, it does make me glad we don’t have grandkids.

  5. Rummuser says:

    “Life can only be understood backwards; the trouble is, that it has to be lived forwards.”
    Soren Kierkegaard.

    “Man has not one and the same life. He has many lives, placed end to end, and that is the cause of his misery.”
    Paul Auster.

    • Jean says:

      I disagree with both of them. I agree with Auster about many lives, that’s certainly been true for me, but it has made my life rich rather than miserable.

      As for Kierkegaard, as you know I think reality is too complicated for our little minds to completely understand. The best we can do is realize our mental maps are incomplete and keep gathering information, analyze it, modify our maps, check out our new assumptions, etc. And our information doesn’t only come from the past, it comes from being aware in the present and asking pertinent questions. As for living forwards, life is always going to be uncertain, so enjoy the process.

  6. Kierkegaard sums it up exactly! (Thanks, Rummuser!) And that may be our downfall, because few of us are like Jean, studying history so that the present can be understood.
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..New Study—Millennials Speak their Minds!

    • Jean says:

      See my answer to Rummuser above.

      I fell in love with history when I was in high school, partly because i had a great teacher who made it come alive with stories, but also because I was searching for my philosophy of life. Where to start? With the famous philosophers, starting with Plato. So when I was 15 I read The Republic and many of his other dialogues. He was over my head, of course, and that’s why he was such an influence. He hated democracy and this was 10 years after World War II, when we were being taught how great democracy is, and how wonderful the U.S. was. I didn’t have enough information to decide for myself, so I decided to get more, from history, observation, etc. I didn’t completely give up on philosophy, but I turned to books like Russell’s History of Western Philosophy. I fell in love with Russell and read a lot of his essays, and Aldous Huxley was another favorite. Also Camus and the transcendentalists. Anyway, it was a good way to build a solid foundation for the rest of my life.

      So, no, I don’t agree with Kierkegaard that life can only be understood looking backwards. It’s understood by questioning.

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