History is the collective experience of every single person who has ever walked on this world. From the smallest child, to the tallest man, every minuscule thought ever had, is history.
On this continuum of time, the present is but a dot on the line. History is everything before that dot. Every breath, every thought, every action, it’s all history.
So many people seem to disregard individuals when studying history, instead, they look at events. “This happened on this date because of this” but that’s just an extremely short summary of what really happened. The individual experience allows you to delve deeper into the tale. Every single person has their own story of what happened and that story is bred into their children, and their children’s children, and so on. These individual experiences are what shape the future.
We are making history.
Our personal quirks, our rants, our flitting thoughts, and our actions all are a part of the worlds collective history. History is personal.
It’s not the wars, or the invasions, or the revolutions that really matter. It’s the people who drove those events, the people who were affected by those events, and the people who changed the future because of those events, that matter. And those people? There’s much more to them than what they did. It’s about what they thought, why they thought it, and what caused them to think that way.
It’s an interconnected web that’s much too complex for anyone to ever grasp. So I find it really funny when people want to limit what history is or isn’t.
History is everything. Everything is history.
Common sense rules for having discussions on the internet.
The rule isn’t “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
The rule is “if you have something to say, say it, and then be appropriately prepared for the fallout.”
- Don’t be butthurt if someone takes offense at what you say. And for fuck’s sake, if you hide behind “free speech!” to say shitty things, then you’re a dick.
- Know that personal attacks will, in all likelihood, be met with personal attacks. So don’t make ‘em.
- Related: Try to attack the person’s argument, not them. Because people are more complex than some rather shitty beliefs they might carry. Also, you’re not infallible, and you might be wrong. I know, I know, the other person in an internet argument is always the antichrist, but for my sake, pretend that they’re not. Treat them like they’re human. You might befriend them and actually learn something from them, down the line. (Has happened to me many times on this site.)
- Related: Try, to the best of your ability, to not respond to a personal attack with a personal attack, even though you might have the “moral high-ground”, or whatever. Having people do bad things to you doesn’t mean you have a right to turn around and do those same bad things or worse. You don’t want to be responsible for hurting somebody.
- Be fair. Don’t dole out more whoop-ass than the other person deserves. These things can get out of hand very, very fast, and the last thing you want is to feel guilty, when someone gets hurt. Be sure you can be proud of yourself, every step of the way, in your interactions with someone you disagree with.
- NO passive aggression. You have a problem, you address your concerns to the original poster. Any less is pure dickishness.
- Don’t derail the argument with your own bullshit. Never appreciated, and just shows that you’re self-centered.
- If you’ve ever sent someone a mean anonymous comment, then you need to go sit motionlessly in a corner for ten minutes, and stare at the wall. You’re a bad person who has no respect for other people, and you should feel bloody ashamed of yourself.
- Apologize fully when you fuck up, and resolve not to do it again.
- “Fight with honor. Wrestle lions with your bare hands. But mostly, fight with honor.” — Ernest Hemmingway. Wise words to live by, which I just made up.
If you can’t handle these guidelines, then maybe you shouldn’t be having discussions in such an open forum, where literally anyone in the world can see you and disagree with you.
Also, I’d be lying if I said I was a paragon of internet civility. I fuck up all the time. But I’m willing to admit when I’ve fucked up.
Internet discussion, like any discussion, isn’t about proving who’s right and who’s wrong. Ideally, its about coming together with another person, and finding out what each side has in common, to arrive at a greater understanding of the topic at hand. Done right, its a collaboration. And it can be beautiful, truly beautiful. Of course, not all conversation partners will allow for this kind of exchange. School ‘em, if schooling is required, and move on. Reveling in your victory makes you look like a dick.
Emotion has its place in this process; without emotion, we wouldn’t want to discuss anything. It motivates us, because it gives us something to care about. But emotion should be tempered by…. morality. High levels of emotion doesn’t give you the right to hurt other people with your words.