Lunch time, two of my colleagues and I, sitting at our office lunch area and munching our food. Suddenly a topic popped up about history. One claimed that history is a boring subject and we followed the premise. All agreed that history shouldn’t be taught at school to large extent. After few thoughts, I reverted my statements and said, well, it is good at-least for the purpose of story telling and making movies. Looks like the others agreed too. But this particular item kept bubbling in my mind and keep knocking my mind-door to let it allow inside my mind and think about it.
Today you know most of the history about computers and if you are a hacker / geek you know a lot more. You know why computers existed? How it evolved? What purpose it solves? Who are its fathers and why did they spend their valuable time inventing this? Why programming languages exists and how did they evolve? Now, think for a while, the school that you studied or the resources from which you gained the knowledge haven’t taught you about all the above said information. How would you feel about it? That very same piece of information which helps us to understand and work efficiently is what we call as “History”.
History is nothing but “lessons learned”
History is all the “lessons learned”. In IT, at the end of each project, lessons learned are documented for the very same reason of not repeating the same mistakes and follow the best practices. We do not want to do the same mistake that our fore-fathers did. We do not want to hang up with a problem which was already solved. We wanted to learn best practices that our kins have told us to follow. If history isn’t there, then we would be all doing the same-thing again and again and again and we would stay there. Not an inch of hair would we be moved.
Peter N.Stearns from American Historical Association, nails it in a singe statement
History helps us understand change and how the society we live in came to be
Same applies to any subject matter. Let it be mathematics, physics or any scientific subject or even politics, humanities etc., If one doesn’t know why the formula Mass = Force * Acceleration is invented and under what circumstances it was invented, no one can apply it in real time.
If history doesn’t record about Indian Independence and Mahatma, America might not have seen Martin Luther King Jr. If history doesn’t record Roman buildings, Engineering wouldn’t be around in Western world. If history doesn’t record Jesus, Christianity wouldn’t be around. And no one will know what the heck they are going to do with it.
So, if history isn’t taught, it would bring an abrupt end to the efficient functioning and progress of the world.