importance of history

May 3, 2010

Floating topics:
1. Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory
2. Raw deconstruction of Atomised
3. Further discussion of Michel’s insight at pp 143-144

Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory

A Babbling Backgrounder: I consider my memory a handicap. I cannot for the life of me retrieve a detailed memory from the past unless I consider it extraordinarily important. Of course I remember the general life milestones. But my brain is fogged. Admittedly, one of the reasons why I am a maudlin diarist is “to remember life in detail”, via an external memory device. I hypothesize two things: (1) Sometimes I’m on autopilot to save energy, so I don’t mean what I do or say, thus I don’t remember. But that would account for only a tiny percentage of the memories. (2) I subconsciously disremember to improve efficiency. Ex: Should not remember what I don’t consciously observe because that would use up extra brain power. —ANYWAY I shall stop the autobiographical rambling and move on the the finer, philosophicaler things and or questions about life and history.

Is history important? How?

History is important. (Status Quo)
Labelled Status Quo because, we have historians, anthropologists who study the past, archaeologists, Discovery Channel, History Channel. And they earn a mighty profit. Why? Because there is a demand? Why? Because people are innately curious and would like to understand through the past. History would not be important if it is not valuable. It gains value once people use history as learnings to enhance future actions.
What’s the use of knowing about the 300-year Spanish colonization? It explains our current situation, the several aspects of our culture: religious, economic, political, social, etc.

Bottom line: Value of history depends on the extent of the learning/application we get from it.

Yesterday, we watched the documentary about assassination of Ninoy Aquino in History Channel. Fast forward to the rolling credits vis-a-vis a video clip of Ninoy delivering a speech. It was a plea for Marcos. Gist: Why can’t you (Marcos) understand that the fate of dictators are the same all over the world, as per history books. In the end, they fail as leaders. And that Marcos is not an exception, and he should stop the madness.

And that is a stunning example why history is important, why history shouldn’t be ignored like what Marcos did.

Brief raw deconstruction of Atomised / The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq
Atomised by Houellebecq (POV from the first 150 pages) is a reconciliation of two bipolar realities: carnal desire and intellectual stimulation, former embodied by Bruno and latter by Michel. Both are majestically portrayed. Ang bagal ko magbasa. Sorry, Houellebecq.

Further discussion of Michel’s insight
What drives me to live?
My dreams.
I also want to make my mark in this world in one way or another.

Too lazy to continue. I’ve got other responsibilities.
Bye for now.

I leave you with a quote I lifted from Atomised by Houellebecq:

In revolutionary times, those who accord themselves with extraordinary arrogance, the facile credit for having enflamed anarchy in their contemporaries fail to recognize that what appears to be a sad triumph is in fact due to a spontaneous disposition determined by the social situation as a whole.”

–Auguste Comte
Philosophie Positive
Lecon, 48

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