Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Things I Wonder

This is a list of the things I wonder about at times.

1) If you have a chair but you don't use it to sit on... is it still a chair? (Which is a roundabout way, I guess, of asking if form trumps function).

2) Did soldiers after Agincourt, Hastings, and other battles in Medieval history (and Ancient history) suffer from PTSD? Would they be more or less likely to suffer from it? After all, most soldiers in the past weren't trained only to be soldiers, the idea of the professional soldier is relatively recent (apart from outliers like Rome where serving as a Legionary was just part of being a citizen for a long time).

3) Do humans exist in a state of eternal paradox?

4) Why did anyone buy into the idea of the world being flat when so many ancient cultures knew it was round? As I understand it the claim that Columbus was a genius because he realised the world round came from that famed historian, Washington Irving (you know the guy who wrote Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle) who was a Columbus fanboy, so chose to exaggerate his achievements. Why anyone took that as confirmation is beyond me.

5) Is history, as an academic discipline, mostly a case of patting ourselves on the back and saying 'haven't we done well'?

6) Has politics become mere theatre to satisfy people that democracy matters? I mean, obviously laws are passed and debates are held, but does the shuffling of governments really change anything? I'm not sure it does, anymore.