Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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History, methods.  ---  .This section contains notes regarding historical methodology.  ---  12/30/2003

History, methods.  ---  .This section is about methodology of history.  Topics include:   ---  1/24/2006

History, methods.  ---  (1) Charting the past.  Put down the year and then details about job and job search, girlfriend and girlfriend search, education, books read and book search, number of pages notes written, etc.  (2) Charting the future.  Write down goals, strategies, and reasons for same above stuff.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  (1) History of mind/ideas of individual or society.  (2) History of behavior/action of individual or society.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) How much time to devote to reminiscing?  How best to do it?  Go over old history notes?  Describe event.  Evaluate event's importance.  Interpret event's meaning.  One hour per week?  How to get your head in that reminiscing mood?  (2) How much time to devote to future thinking?  Two hours a week?  How to think about the future?  Plan.  ---  01/20/1994

History, methods.  ---  (1) Natural history.  (2) Person.  (3) Society: rise, stagnation, and fall.  Culture: pop, high, avante garde, power.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) People (individuals and societies).  (2) Places.  (3) Things.  (A) Objects: natural, manmade or man-caused.  (B) Subjects (26).  (C) Events, actions, processes.  (D) Ideas: recorded (writing, taped) vs. oral (remembered).  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) Proof types.  (2) Theory types.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) Society, civilization, nation, individual.  (2) Power.  (3) Influence: gain and loss, how much, how quick, for how long.  (4) Power struggles.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) Static, snapshot history vs. (2) Dynamic, evolving history (series of snapshots).  Doing history of the former is easier than doing history of the latter.  Eras and time periods are tough to summarize or capture.  ---  7/24/1998

History, methods.  ---  (1) Structure: lines and lists, by year and total life.  (2) Subjects: specific relationships, work, leisure, sex, etc.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) The good and bad.  (2) The important (usually big) and unimportant.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  (1) We record what is new, and important, and true.  We also record what is the biggest, majority, and average.  (2) Are things showing random chaos or some sort of order (progress, decay, or a cycle)?  ---  09/28/1993

History, methods.  ---  (1) Write about history of the people in your life as individuals.  (2) Then write about the history of your relationship with them, both good things and bad things.  (3) Then write about the future path of the person.  (4) Then write about the future path of your relationship with that person.  How you will treat them and why?  ---  11/20/1997

History, methods.  ---  (1)(A) Every year you could make photographs, sound recordings and audio/video recordings.  (B) You could write a diary or journal.  You could do your Notes.  You could interview yourself.  You could take the philosophy survey (See: Philosophy, survey).  (2) Since people interact with each other, each person's personal history should have links to other people's personal histories.  (3) Develop software to make creating personal history easier.  ---  6/3/2001

History, methods.  ---  Actual significance vs. symbolic significance.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  All historical descriptions are shortened and simplified versions of what actually happened.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Analytical techniques: (1) describe, (2) evaluate, (3) rate as positive (healthy) or negative (unhealthy) and (4) say whether major or minor significance.  ---  11/30/1997

History, methods.  ---  Anecdote.  Stray memories approach.  The anecdotal approach: the weird, the lucky or unlucky, the amazingly bad or good.  (Examples: Ripley's Believe It Or Not.  The crime blotter.  The obituaries).  ---  02/01/1994

History, methods.  ---  Anecdotes.  Get down those stray, weird, funny, tragic, powerful, memories.  This is my new history project.  The anecdotal method.  This in lew of any straight chronological type of recall.  ---  01/20/1994

History, methods.  ---  Archive.  Keep a personal museum of physical objects (artifacts) from your life that are important to you as memories.  This is healthy.  ---  03/15/1989

History, methods.  ---  Archive.  Setting up a personal archive.  Go through all your stuff.  Stuff to document (photograph or list) and then save.  Stuff to document (photograph or list) and then chuck.  Stuff to just chuck.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  Archives (boxes of old stuff).  (1) Stuff that is important to list, and why.  (2) Stuff to save, and why.  (3) Chuck the rest.  ---  04/30/1993

History, methods.  ---  Artifacts and me: what save and why.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Audio/visual technologies and their use in historiography.  Instead of writing about events after the fact we can film the events as they happen.  ---  12/12/2004

History, methods.  ---  Categories.  History categories.  (1) History of me.  Year.  Grade levels in school (1, 2, 3, etc.).  Jobs.  My mind.  Events (good and bad).  Places, environments, situations.  Things.  Persons: Audrey, women.  Bloods: rents and bros.  Cool people and their cool actions.  Schmuck people and their schmuck actions.  (2) History of world.  Year, event, significance, argument.  (3) History, method.  (4) History, philosophy.  ---  11/30/1997

History, methods.  ---  Civilization: contributions, destructions, and stagnations.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Comparisons (1)(A) To those in that time, (B) To all time.  (2)(A) To those in that class or group, (B) To all groups.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Complete history.  PART ONE.  (1) What would a complete history look like?  Two axioms of a complete history: (A) Everyone should have their say about events that transpire.  That is, everyone's views should be recorded as part of the historical record.  (B) Everything affects everyone to varying degrees.  Thus, everyone should have their say about everything.  (C) These axioms lead to the following postulates.  (2) As part of the historiography process, one should interview everyone who was involved in the event.  (3) Also, interview everyone who was alive at the time of the event who was indirectly affected by the event.  (4) Also, interview everyone who lived generations after an event to see what are their views about every past event.  (5) And going one step further, one could interview everyone who lives before any possible future event to see what are their views about any possible future events.  (6) That is, a complete history interviews everyone about everything.     PART TWO.  Two criticisms of the notion of complete historiography.  (1) In order to interview everyone about everything it would require that all people know what is going on everywhere.  And in order for all people to know what is going on everywhere they would have to gather information about events, and this information about events is what we call historiography.  So the resulting paradox is that the doing of historiography requires the presence of historiography itself.  And so historiography is by its nature cyclical or self-referential in that one has to have a complete historiography in order to do a complete historiography.  (2) Another issue is that a complete history must address the issue of privacy.  Will the complete history be forced or voluntary?  Will people be forced to have their lives recorded?  Will people be forced to discuss all their views?  Or will it be voluntary?  If it is voluntary then some people will opt not to take part.  If some people opt not to take part then it is not a complete history.     PART THREE.  A  complete history is a history of everything; individual people, relationships, cultures, events and ideas.  An incomplete history is a history of political leaders and the wars they start that kill the masses.  Up to today humans have been doing incomplete history.  In the future humans will be doing a more complete history.  ---  12/12/2004

History, methods.  ---  Computers and history.  Databases and their use in historiography.  One way to organize historical information is to put it into a database that has fields for dates, subject matter, event name, persons involved and significance of the event.  ---  12/12/2004

History, methods.  ---  Computers and history.  Each person will have their life recorded 24 x 7, and that information will go into a personal searchable database.  In addition, the data of all persons lives will be combined into a bigger, world searchable database.  Then you can run queries like how many people had cornflakes for breakfast on any particular day.  ---  10/23/2004

History, methods.  ---  Computers and history.  History is a database.  Soon everyone will have a full time, 24 hour, audio-visual head camera that will record their life as it happens.  This technology will enable us to create a searchable historical archive for each person's life.  It will record everything that person said and did.  It will record everyone they met, and every experience they ever had, from birth to death.  ---  4/22/1999

History, methods.  ---  Computers and history.  History's new project.  (1) A universal database of every person who ever lived.  Translatable into all languages.  Each person is listed with such data as name, birth date, place of birth, date of death, place of death, cause of death, level of education attained, work history, etc.  It would include major life experiences (ex. marriage, kids, health, wars, crimes, etc.).  It would include things the person did, both accomplishments and failures.  Each person would get a web page with photographs from childhood, teens years, adult years and old age.  Voice samples would be included.  It would list the primary source documents about the persons life.  It would show the persons family tree (ancestors and descendants) with names, photos and links to their web pages.  It would link to the person's personal statement or Notes.     (2) This historical database of everyone who ever lived would be open to the public.  In the interest of privacy to the living, the database would be limited to the dead.  An important question is whether the dead have a right to privacy of their personal information.     (3) How many people have lived?  Currently there are six billion people alive.  Maybe twenty billion people have lived in the last 100,000 years.  If you looked at one person's web page per second of time that would be 525,600 seconds a year, or 20,000 years to look at twenty billion web pages.     (4) Part two of this universal database would be to have a database of every culture that ever existed.  ---  8/8/2000

History, methods.  ---  Computers and history.  Putting history on the Web.  Be able to "drill down" through the data.  Be able to switch from one view to another.  Four views: subject view, geographic view, chronological view, and importance view.  (1) Subject view.  Category, sub-category, and sub-sub-category.  For example: Science, physics, relativity.  (2) Geographic view.  Continent, nation, local.  (3) Chronological view.  Millennium, century, decade, year.  (4) Importance view.  Five stars: worldwide and timewide importance.  Four stars: either worldwide or timewide importance.  Three stars: regional or period importance.  Two stars.  One star.     Other views to include: (1) Length view.  One page, ten pages, and one hundred pages.  (2) Degree of difficulty view.  Elementary level, high school level, college level, and post-graduate level.     Also include: (1) Significance of event.  (2) Related events (causes and effects).  (3) Sources of information (citations).  (4) Five W's (who, what, where, when, why, how).  ---  8/12/1999

History, methods.  ---  Contributions (did good), anti-contributions (did harm), and non-contributions (did nothing).  Major and minor relative to that or any other time and place, etc.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Doing history often means deducing the truth from scant evidence (example, writings that could be mistaken, misleading, or lies). Even in the present we must try to figure out what is going on now, when individuals keep secrets, act in secret, tell lies, etc.  ---  09/15/1993

History, methods.  ---  Event and event analysis.  (1) Major or minor by size, power, and originality.  (2) Good or bad by degree, ethical worth, and how important.  (3) Advancements vs. the usual vs. setbacks.  (4) What happened, mechanism (how happened), causes and effects.  (5) Compare to others.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Every year do a summary of personal and world history in all subject areas.  ---  02/15/1997

History, methods.  ---  Evidence forms: document, artifact, sources.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Finding all the facts is tough.  Finding only some leads to an incomplete truth.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  For any historical event.  Date and place of the event.  Causes of the event, both direct (immediate, primary) and indirect (secondary).  Effects of the event, both direct and indirect.  Importance or significance of the event.  ---  10/28/2003

History, methods.  ---  For each person in your life.  (1) What things have they done for and against you?  How major or minor?  (2) What have they done in their lives in general?  (3) Pros and cons of their personality.  (4) Reasons for your current view of them, and your behavior toward them.  ---  10/05/1997

History, methods.  ---  For each year, list major events in categories of pad, job, school, women, stuff, notes and books, actions and experiences, revelations, and US and world events.  ---  06/01/1994

History, methods.  ---  For every year, make list of (1) Me.  Things I did do, good and bad.  Things I did not do, good and bad.  (2) Others.  Things that were done to me, good and bad.  Things that were not done to me, good and bad.  (3) Nature.  Things it did to me, good and bad.  Things it did not do to me, good and bad.  And the importance rating of each.  ---  04/29/1994

History, methods.  ---  Format for writing personal history notes.  Keyword: history, me, year, sub-category.     Note:  (1) Year.  (2) Age.  (3) School.  Grade.  Teachers.  Classmates.  Material learned.  (4) Social life.  (A) Love life.  Women.  Events.  (B) Friends, enemies and acquaintances.  (6) Work and Leisure.  (A) Leisure.  Hobbies.  Hangouts.  Trips.  (B) Work.  Job.  Boss.  Coworkers.  Customers.  Events.  (8) Where lived.  (9) Health.  Physical.  Psychological.  (10)  Knowledge.  Books.  Music.  Movies.  Notes.  Internet bookmarks and library.  Illuminations.  (11) Other personal history.  (12) World events that year.  ---  7/23/1998

History, methods.  ---  Format.  (1) Time lines.  (2) Outlines: total, period, year.  (3) One big note list.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Formats to organize and communicate knowledge: (1) time lines, (2) lists, (3) maps.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  (1) Observer bias.  (2) Observer interference on obserevee.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  Every thing is both a cause and effect, this includes events as well as ideas.  Effects can be good, bad, or mixed.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  Historical thought experiment: what would have happened if...  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  History writing deals with time, place (situation), people (individuals, societies), things, relationships of things to other things, and their significance.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  Objective pure facts vs. subjective interpretations.  At time of event vs. after reflecting over a period of time.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Historiography.  What is inevitable and unavoidable?  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  History as a list of kings and wars is bullshit.  ---  10/1/2005

History, methods.  ---  History can be done many ways.  We can do the history of a person.  One can do the history of a relationship.  One can do the history of a society or culture.  One can do the history of the world.  One can do the history of an event.  One can do the history of an idea.  One can do history by subject matter (ex. politics, economics, technology, etc.).  ---  12/12/2004

History, methods.  ---  History is about (1) Situations, factors, and events.  (2) Change: time, birth, growth, stagnation, decay, death.  (3) Causes.  Shaping factors.  (4) Effects.  Primary vs. secondary.  Direct vs. indirect.  On individual, society, and nature.  By nature, social, and individual.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  History of any metaphysical "thing" (see metaphysics).  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  How can we be sure who made this thing or action, when made it, why made it, how made it, or thought it, or did it.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  How does or should one do history?  One can write a history.  One can also use photos, sounds, movies, animation, music, spoken voice.  ---  2/10/2005

History, methods.  ---  How study history?  (1) Methods of determining it.  (2) Methods of writing it.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Hypotheticals.  If x hadn't happened, or if y happened instead, how would things have changed or been different?  ---  08/16/1993

History, methods.  ---  I am for post-modernist (subjectivist, relativist) methods of history as an adjunct to scientific (objectivist) history, not as a replacement of it.  Why?  There are always three sides to the truth: one person's view, the other person's view, and the objective truth.  The post-modernist historian believes it is important to get the subjective views of both sides as well as the object of truth.  History is not just about physical facts.  It is also about the psychological perceptions of the actors involved.  ---  7/18/1998

History, methods.  ---  Interpretation of history is full of value judgments.  Interpretation: truth vs. propaganda.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Interviewing.  (1) Important questions to ask.  (2) Take into account their personality.  (3) How to ascertain truth of answer.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Lessons we learn from them.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Look for long term patterns in your life.  Patterns of thinking, emotion and action.  Things that you do over and over, because you haven't recognized them or figured out a better way.  Then think of better ways of looking at things and doing things.  ---  1/10/2004

History, methods.  ---  Methods (1) Of discovering facts: archaeology.  (2) Of interpreting facts: study of writings, histography.  (3) Of writing history: what to include (important issues).  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Methods of analysis, and things to analyze.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  My best and worst overall (peak and duration) physically, psychologically, and behaviorally.  Psychologically: most mature, wise, knowledgeable, and pure problem solving ability.  ---  01/26/1994

History, methods.  ---  One digital photo per day, or 365 photos a year.  Or, make a one minute, digital, audio/video per day (30 seconds in the morning when you wake up to describe the goals for the day, and 30 seconds before you go to sleep to describe how the day went), which equals 365 minutes a year or 6 hours.  Each day on the tape give your name, date, age and location.  ---  4/23/2002

History, methods.  ---  Problems and obstacles I had, opportunities I had, and battles I fought.  Successes and failures I made, highs and lows.  Hopes, dreams, and goals at any age.  Perception of self and world at any age.  What I knew and didn't know.  Things that bug me still, i.e. still painful memories.  If and how your view of past events changes through time.  Best and worst physical, psychological, and financial condition.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  Proof (best methods of): carbon dating.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Quantitative descriptions and qualitative descriptions.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Quantitative descriptions for any society.  Observe trends in changes of political, economic, and social situations.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Questions for each event, person, time period, geographic area, and subject matter.  Describe it.  Explain causes and effects.  How important, and why important.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Questions for x event.  Whose credit or fault was it?  How big an event was it?  How good or bad?  Dollars gained or lost.  Lives helped or hurt.  How important?  Causes and effects.  ---  09/25/1993

History, methods.  ---  Records of (1) Psychological damage.  (2) Physical damage.  (3) Damage to your stuff.  (4) Damage to an experience you wanted.  Also growth.  ---  10/15/1994

History, methods.  ---  Related ideas.  (1) Time.  (2) Change: much or little, fast or slow.  Birth, growth, stagnation, decay, death.  (3) Events, situations, and environments.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Significance: how important for who?  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Steps: (1) Discover, and then prove authenticity.  (2) Analyze its impact on its time.  (3) Then apply past knowledge to present and future.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Strengths and weaknesses.  Pros and cons.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Structure much like notes.  (1) In general section for in general notes.  (2) One notes section.  (3) One giant time line, time list, and time map.  (4) For every year, above three.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Stuff that happened lately.  Public and personal.  Foreign and domestic.  Good and bad.  Major and minor.  ---  03/01/1997

History, methods.  ---  Terms.  Reasoning, arguments, evidence, proof, criticize, analyze, synthesize, judge, compare, describe, explain, doubt, belief, certainty, facts, theories, lessons, discovery, assertion, analysis (factors, variables), judge, interpret, explain, view, argument, evidence.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Their natural environment: how it affected them and their society.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  There are three types of history you can do.  (1) History of self.  How you were in times past, based on memories of how you felt, what you thought, etc.  (2) History of your relationships, firsthand experiences, things you saw for yourself.  Observations of other people.  You do not have direct access to their minds but you did interact with them.  (3) History of things you did not directly experience, but which you found out about.  Things you read about etc.  (4) All three of these types of history have pros and contras.  All three have methods of doing history which are more or less suited to them.  ---  7/21/1998

History, methods.  ---  Time period.  (1) The big people, events, and factors.  (2) The average people, events, and factors.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Total benefits vs. total costs.  Was it worth it?  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Trying to determine the metaphysical essence of a time and place, and the people in it.  Example: USA in the 1960's.  ---  08/01/1997

History, methods.  ---  Two ways of doing history.  (1) The "noun" approach to history.  Describe the people, places, things, and ideas that happened.  (2) The "verb" approach to history.  Describe the events that happened.  Describe the way things happened.  Describe the process or mechanism of how things happened.  ---  1/9/2004

History, methods.  ---  Types of historical method.  (1)  Evidence.  (ex. testimony, artifacts, texts).  (2) Reasoning.  ---  10/23/2003

History, methods.  ---  Types of Historical records.  (1) Individual: Personal diaries.  (2) Government and law: Court transcripts of law cases.  Laws on the books.  (3) Demographic data: Government census.  Marriage certificates.  Birth certificates.  Death certificates.  (4) Education: Academic papers.  School transcripts of grades of individuals.  (5) Labor: Work records.  Employment records.  (6) Media: Newspapers, magazines and books published.  (7) Technology: Patents.  Science discoveries.  (8) Economics and business: Property titles and records.  Records of commercial transactions.  Receipts.  Accounting records.  (9) Physical evidence: Objects.  Old buildings.  Garbage heaps.  (10) Other: Oral tradition.  Stories, songs.  Interviews with living persons.  ---  8/4/2006

History, methods.  ---  Types of historical thinking.  (1) History of subject areas.  Examples:  History of politics and law.  History of science and technology.  History of economics and business.  History of sociology and psychology.  History of arts.  (2) History of a person, place, thing, event or idea.  ---  2/28/2004

History, methods.  ---  Types of history.  (1) Artifacts vs. (2) oral history (myths) vs. (3) written history.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Understand and criticize: analyze and judge (compare).  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Wallowing through fabricated evidence, deception, red herrings, lies, and secrets.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  Ways of ________ historical data.  (1) Getting: sources type (primary, secondary).  (2) Verifying: proof tests.  (3) Organizing.  (4) Interpreting: conclusions.  Determine cause and effects.  Judging it good or bad.  Judging it important or unimportant.  (5) Presenting.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  What happened vs. what someone says happened.  Lies, secrets.  Misinterpreting causes or effects.  Importance: under-emphasize vs. over-emphasize.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  What is new, important, and true?  What are the masses doing?  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  What were their (1) Problems vs. challenges and opportunities.  (2) How did they deal with them?  Did they try new solutions or try old solutions?  Did the solutions work?  How well?  (3) Mistakes made.  ---  12/30/1992

History, methods.  ---  Write all actions, dialogue, thoughts, and environment.  ---  01/01/1993

History, methods.  ---  Writing history depends on imagination just as much as thinking of the future does.  To do psycho-history, you have to put yourself in their place, skin, shoes.  See through their eyes.  Look at things as they saw them.  To imagine what has been and what will be.  ---  9/30/1996

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.