The Historical significance of our own time

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The Historical significance of our own time

#1  Postby jamest » Mar 07, 2017 1:47 am

Our own glimpses into history are fairly shite. Yet, in thousands of years to come they'll have digital photos of everyone here, now, PLUS evidence [in the form of internet discussions] of how the average pleb spoke to one another. How cool will that be? I mean, who here wouldn't be interested in knowing precisely what was said between the average pleb in a discussion which happened a few thousand years ago?

It's not photos and artefacts which reveal us, but the words we speak. So, if humanity should survive for any significant time, we plebs here from the late 20th & early 21st century shall be amongst the most interesting of characters!! We'll be akin to those photoed geezers you [may probably] have found yourself staring at from the mid 19th century!!

We literally are, in this early internet/digital age, eventually going to be stared at intensely by our descendants.

Thank fuck I'm perfect! ;)
Last edited by jamest on Mar 07, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#2  Postby Macdoc » Mar 07, 2017 2:46 am


'bout right...
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#3  Postby laklak » Mar 07, 2017 3:38 am

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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#4  Postby crank » Mar 07, 2017 6:23 am

Drat! Curse you laklak!

A slight edit to the beginning make it more relevant.


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and readerless piles of media ...
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#5  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 07, 2017 12:19 pm

Will they still be able to see all this digital rubbish. That is a big assumption.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#6  Postby VazScep » Mar 07, 2017 12:34 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Will they still be able to see all this digital rubbish. That is a big assumption.
Indeed.

I started out in online atheism on the Internet Infidels Discussion Forum back in 2003. Everything from the time I was there is gone, not archived, and not even retrievable by the Wayback Machine. Those posts include some of the best internet discussions I've ever read (mostly between an atheist called "bd-from-kg" and a theist called "luvluv").

I gave a talk on the Slenderman a few years ago, and in researching, I was pretty disappointed that I had to rely on the Wayback Machine to get the original images that created the character on SomethingAwful.

And the Wayback Machine isn't a guarantee. It has questionable legal status, and is a centralised server which could disappear at any time.

Digital storage mechanisms aren't exactly solid stone. More and more data is being encrypted, and data formats can go out of fashion leaving us with data that might as well be encrypted.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#7  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 07, 2017 12:39 pm

Will it be stored digitally? A CD has limited life. It is like my photo slides I took back in the '60's. I am terrified to open the boxes.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#8  Postby crank » Mar 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Will they still be able to see all this digital rubbish. That is a big assumption.

If you look up one post from the one I 'm quoting, you'll see the phrase "readerless piles of media". It's a well known, common worry of archivists. There is already miles and miles of pretty files of historical importance that can't be accessed because no working reader exists and you face piles and piles of trials, and expense, to build a new one. Always remember, it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#9  Postby tuco » Mar 07, 2017 6:19 pm

I tend to agree with jamest that this time is somehow special, for the reasons stated. Significance? Time will tell but I do not think that historical significance is usually measured mostly by technological progress.

who here wouldn't be interested in knowing precisely what was said between the average pleb in a discussion which happened a few thousand years ago?


Well, depends on discussion but generally I would not simply because they are void of any relevant/significant information. What plebs chit-chatted about? Of interest to maybe a researcher. I have this feeling that chit-chatting does not change in time.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#10  Postby crank » Mar 07, 2017 6:51 pm

tuco wrote:I tend to agree with jamest that this time is somehow special, for the reasons stated. Significance? Time will tell but I do not think that historical significance is usually measured mostly by technological progress.

who here wouldn't be interested in knowing precisely what was said between the average pleb in a discussion which happened a few thousand years ago?


Well, depends on discussion but generally I would not simply because they are void of any relevant/significant information. What plebs chit-chatted about? Of interest to maybe a researcher. I have this feeling that chit-chatting does not change in time.

This is wrong. We suffer from a history dominated by the 'great man' versions, why is this the only history that matters? Are the machinations of those in power more important than how the vast majority of folk live? Historians of late have become far more interested in things like graffiti and the tablets of discarded school work, of the letters of commoners. If you want to know the real history of the US, you're far better off with Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States than with the textbooks of our schools. It is full of letters of regular people, you get a different view than the consensus, establishment version. It should come as no surprise it's far more realistic a view. Right now, the RWingers in Arkansa are trying to legislate a ban on teaching Zinn, that says a lot does it not? Do you want our times to be defined by the aholes in power?
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#11  Postby jamest » Mar 07, 2017 11:11 pm

tuco wrote:I tend to agree with jamest that this time is somehow special, for the reasons stated. Significance? Time will tell but I do not think that historical significance is usually measured mostly by technological progress.

crank just hit the nail on the head. In years to come historians will have access to some of the countless conversations like this which ordinary folk have participated in online. That's priceless for understanding and writing accurate history.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#12  Postby tuco » Mar 07, 2017 11:21 pm

I do not doubt it is, hence my recognition.

I doubt that ordinary person XYZ years from now would be interested in:

what was said between the average pleb in a discussion


Disregarding the argument/notion that it will not be possible. Imagine we've had access to conversations among ordinary Egyptians 5000 years ago. How long do you think you would be interested reading it? The question, I was replying to, was:

who here wouldn't be interested in knowing precisely what was said between the average pleb in a discussion which happened a few thousand years ago?


What do you think they talked about? Boss is a cunt, mucho trabajo poco dinero, Hathor got nice tits, bananas and oranges. Do you read old threads on this board you missed in past? Do you think others read them? This is multiplayer-notepad, fire and forget.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#13  Postby crank » Mar 07, 2017 11:40 pm

There needs to be distinctions made between what anyone might be interested in and what historians would, and between reading the actual data and reading what historians have to say about the data they have mined. Of course, in thousands of years, should there be any humans or human descendents, they would be cyborgs at the least and could read every book ever written through today in probably seconds. If they're not cyborgs, or all machine, there won't be any creatures worth interest traceable to today's humans.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#14  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 08, 2017 9:21 am

In my day it was called 'small' history. I would love to know how the common people actually talked to each other through the ages.

I think crank you may be optimistic about humans surviving so long.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#15  Postby zulumoose » Mar 08, 2017 1:14 pm

I think the interesting thing would be to monitor how average attitudes have changed in various populations.

Just in the last 100 years, ie Pre WWII, the following were largely (but not universally) true in Europe/US:-
Anti-Semitism was quite respectable.
Homophobia was normal
Racism was normal
Animal rights were a joke
Slavery was a living memory
Religion was the default reference for morality
Women were inferior in every way
Children and wives were almost possessions
Safety at work was optional
etc,etc.

It seems silly now looking back, but that was just a century ago, what were attitudes like a thousand years ago, in more isolated populations?
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#16  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 08, 2017 1:16 pm

I think health must have been always a topic of conversation. Along with food.
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#17  Postby don't get me started » Mar 19, 2017 1:01 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:I think health must have been always a topic of conversation. Along with food.


And sex
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Re: The Historical significance of our own time

#18  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 19, 2017 12:01 pm

Of course. I wonder what Roman was for; a nice little scrubber. :lol:
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