Published on Jun 24, 2019

Yesterday I wrote my assessment of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, and @keni made a comment hoping that the show is based on the truth. This got me thinking about history.

When I was in school, I was not a fan of history. I thought history classes were boring. It seemed to me I was just memorizing facts and learning about time periods that I could not understand. 

As I have gotten older, I have developed an appreciation for history. Still, I am bothered by the fact that history is subjective. There's the old adage that the winners of the wars write the history books. 

Ancient history reveals clues, but we are still guessing a lot about what the world was like back then. For recent history we have people still alive who experienced the events, but even those people are subject to biases and faulty memories. 

I have my own faulty memory of the space shuttle Challenger explosion. The event occurred in January of 1986. I was in fifth grade, and I know I was in a classroom watching the launch live on TV. The problem is the classroom and teacher I remember is not the classroom and teacher I had in fifth grade. 

It is good to study history, but do it with some skepticism knowing that there is some filtering going on between the actual events and your source of information.