history observations pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

Let’s Not Wait for History to Make Judgements

Throughout the four years of the Trump regime, as report after report came out about corrupt, unethical, possibly illegal, democratic-norm-breaking behavior, joined by an incessant number of lies, conspiracy theories, threats, and nasty comments, there has been a common refrain on Twitter. “History will not judge these individuals well.” As though merely pointing out how future people will look back on this time, shake their finger, and say, “Tsk, tsk,” and individuals currently engaging in…

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history museums pragmatic historian reading

How Did I Miss This Book as a Kid?

After getting off to a slow start, with my parents called in to school when I was in first grade because teachers were concerned I wasn’t picking up reading quickly enough, I have been a voracious reader most of my life. My memory is fuzzy on this point, but I think my interest in reading kicked into high gear around third grade and by the time I was in eighth grade I was an advanced…

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A Social Contract of Care and Concern

  I found the above story on Twitter. It is attributed to anthropologist Margaret Mead as told to Ira Byock. It relates how Mead felt that the first sign of civilization within a culture was finding a broken femur that had healed, indicating that someone had taken the time to allow an injured person to heal by protecting and caring for them. It’s an interesting story, though the tweet has since been removed, probably because…

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history ideas observations pragmatic historian preservation purpose of history work in progress

Embodied Energy Is Key to the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

Big, complex ideas take a significant amount of thought. Such is the case with the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation I’ve been working on for years. The thinking has continued since I shared the post I wrote about the theory a couple of weeks ago on this blog. Friend and history colleague David Grabitske sparked fresh thinking about the theory with a question he left on LinkedIn: “Where does Language Preservation fit? Just curious.“ Yes,…

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