How to NOT study history

  1. History is not properly understood by grabbing one textbook, reading it, and then assuming you know what happened. Even worse, reading a Wikipedia article. Terrible idea. If you double check the citations on Wikipedia, you will find biases. This should not be surprising, considering Wikipedia is literally edited by the FBI and CIA for propaganda purposes. You need to read more than one account. Authors have biases. Find out who the author is and look up their biographies. Are they being funded to write? By whom? Does that foundation have an agenda?[1]
  2. “Fact-checkers” are usually just propaganda pretending to be objective. You need to fact-check the fact-checkers. Social media use fact-checkers to censor non-Western liberal ideas they don’t like.
  3. We learn more about the past with new sources of evidence. Synthesizing this information is not bad. It is good. Those who are against “revisionists” are being factually ignorant on purpose. Why? What is their cognitive bias?
  4. Always check citations. And then double check the footnotes. This is very important.
  5. Primary sources are the best. Find them. For example, there are letters from former slaves to their former masters during the Civil War. Highly recommended.
  6. Look up information from both sides of an issue. This is important. Play devil’s advocate.
  7. Do not listen to the manipulative technique of poisoning-the-well. Not exploring ideas because it is labeled as “Russian propaganda,” “Soviet apologism,” etc. is dumb and designed to keep you ignorant. It is about power and control. Find out the truth. This means listening to those on the other side. Guilt manipulation, virtue signaling, identity politics, and shaming have nothing to do with learning the truth. They are enemies of the truth. Don’t be dumb.
  8. You must be open minded and non-judgmental. If not, you are so biased and focused on your own moralism that you cannot possibly learn anything. Just stop. Pretend you are a child who doesn’t know anything and go from there.
  9. Stop judging those form the past by modern standards. People didn’t think the way we do. They weren’t as aware of human rights. That was their culture. Get over it. We can acknowledge slavery is wrong because it is. And we must condemn it. But cancelling historical figures is incredibly stupid. Here’s an example. I am 45. When I was growing up, people used phrases like “that’s gay,” “don’t be a faggot,” etc. Those are reprehensible things to say. But people didn’t think about it. They weren’t trying to be hurtful most of the time, they just weren’t as aware as they are now. We need to give people some historical leeway. If not, we will cancel everybody. And that is reactionary and crypto-fascist.
  10. Stop moralizing. Nobody cares about your feelings regarding history. I think it is really sad how people have to virtue signal all the time. Can’t we just assume that people are against atrocities? Do we really need to see who can be the most offended and upset? Please. Also, we should be able to discuss war, which involves killing, without having a meltdown over it. Nobody cares if you are offended by someone else expressing an idea. That is different from targeting an individual for not being woke enough, which is actually worse, because that is making it personal.

Footnotes

[1] The Hoover Institution

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