Western vs Eastern perspective of history

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by axis69, Aug 1, 2020 at 12:16 AM.

  1. axis69

    axis69 Senior Stratmaster

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    what little I have learned about the history of civilization has been maybe biased towards a western perspective.As we all have learned, civilization began in Mesopotamia.But maybe not.Maybe India or China.Although I'm not a fan of China,they may have been denied some spotlight for science, astronomy,food,agriculture.They may have a bigger influence in the west than we ever give them credit for(spaghetti etc..).I'm finding out little bits and pieces that seem to have been ignored in the west.I have seen a few shows on PBS about India/China history.I guess what they say is true :the victor's write the history.Anyway,this is just an anecdotal observation.I d like to find a good book about the timeline of Indian/Chinese history.
     
  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I guess it depends on what you are interested in. Having been interested in visual astronomy since childhood, I was well aware that the Chinese were observing and recording their observations a LOOONG time ago.

    The supernova that became the Crab Nebula was observed by the Chinese in 1054 and the information recorded at that time.
     
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  3. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    There are 5 culture hearths..... they all began near river valleys... need water... Mexico, Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China. While people have been around for 100000 years, as homo sapiens sapiens, they were mainly relegated to hunting and gathering as they were nomadic. But what truly distinguished these areas was that they were sedentary because they domesticated plants and animals during the agricultural revolution in the neolithic period. With a surplus of food they were able to leave behind foraging and hunting. With the fact that they now don't have to go on hunting expeditions, the concept of free time was huge. Free time allowed them to create new trades which resulted in the more technology and the skilled labor. Skilled labor and different trades meant that the traditional barter economy could be left behind for a money economy which changed the concept of wealth. Wealth changed the stratification of society and made some people or towns and cities more important than others.

    Most scholars find this paradox of east vs west history important because eastern civilizations were indeed more advanced than western up through the middle ages. A key city was constantinople as it was the last western city before you reached the east. The libraries in constantinople fueled the renaissance when most of their contents were taken west to protect them from the invasions of Turks in 1453. Most of these texts were Islamic scientific discoveries or copies of ancient Greek teachings that were thought to be lost to history.

    Additionally, China isolated themselves during the mid to late 1400s when Marco polo spilled to beans to Europeans how advanced and clean china was as compared to Europe. From them on China used its geography to shelter themselves from the threat of primitive Europeans.

    After the 1500s Europe truly caught up to the east and eventually surpassed them. Consequently, their supremacy led to extremely biased versions of history which relegated the east to secondary actors in human history; afterall, in their eyes, they were merely civilizations that peaked in the middle ages and were surpassed by the west. The same happens to natives in western hemisphere who were ultimately "enlightened" by Europeans from the age of discovery onward.

    I'm a history teacher..lol... very short version but civilizations are just groups of people with technology and agriculture with distinguishing characteristics of culture....
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 3:24 AM
  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Watching US history programmes is certainly different to watching ones made here.
     
  5. Boubou

    Boubou Strat-O-Master

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    As I am sure Chinese history programs are
     
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  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And Islamic ones too.
     
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  7. Boubou

    Boubou Strat-O-Master

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    Everybody rewrites history
     
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  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Everybody has a different view of history, if you read them all, you can make up your own mind.
     
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  9. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    No true version of history really exists because histriographers are inherently biased. If perspective is based on the rationalization of experiences, then the idea of perspective is inherently skewed as people naturally have different experiences, as no one is the same. History is used for maintaining continuity of one's story, settling grievances or perpetuating them, and creating identity. These actions can be used for malevolence or benevolence depending on the intent of the historiographer. History can be used as a weapon.
     
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  10. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    Exactly. As I could write the best book in the world, after years of study, on what it means to be a woman in the 21st century, but it will always be biased as I am not a woman. My intent was just, but unfounded by my lack of objectivity. See what I mean?
     
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  11. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I know exactly what you mean. I've been studying history for over 50 years. Even local history needs some careful picking apart to get to a coherent version.
     
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  12. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    Me likey
     
  13. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-O-Master

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    I never realized until the last few years the differing opinion of Pearl Harbor. To the US it’s a huge point in history as it should be. To the Japanese, it was just another day in their conquest of their zip code of the world and what it was going to take to achieve that. It’s just no big deal to them. I’m sure in the UK it meant something else. Likewise, I’m sure America wasn’t as skittish as anyone in London with V2’s and buzz bombs clobbering them... all depends if you’re the victor, the loser or at least the one getting shot at :(. I like watching WW2 history shows.
     
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  14. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I suppose that having suffered two years of bombing of our major cities by the time of Pearl Harbour our opinion is understandably somewhat different to yours.
     
  15. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    Yes, very important stuff. Let me throw some other deep ideas at you. No other action has led to the advancement of human civilization than warfare. While most dismiss it as a barbaric, selfish act, the work of war has progressed civilization. Humans used to use clubs, then stone points. But when middle easterners invented bronze swords an armor, the stone age was obsolete. Then when iron came on the scene bronze age weapons became obsolete. Once projectiles became the norm, none wanted to take a knife to a gun fight. Once the aerospace age came to play none wanted to take a howitzer to an ICBM fight. Now, our greatest weapons are so powerful that we can't even use them because it would be the end of humanity. While these advancements were made to make the work of killing easier, they create technology that can be used in peaceful arenas.
     
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  16. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    Yup, England stood tall in the face of total war... indeed bravery in the face of horror.
     
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  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not bravery, we had no choice. We're only twenty miles or so from the European continent.
     
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  18. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thank you for entertaining the rants of a drunk texan...lol..rock on
     
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  19. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    We're used to doing that here. :D
     
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  20. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talk Member

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