History and Historians

#AmazonFail and History

World's Largest Axe

Two quotes, intentionally out of context*, from Clay Shirky:

Metadata is worldview; sorting is a political act.


We’re used to the future turning out differently than we expected; it happens all the time. When the past turns out differently, though, it can get really upsetting, and because people don’t like that kind of upset, we’re at risk of finding new reasons to believe false things, rather than revising our sense of what actually happened.

Worth thinking about; mainly caught my attention because I’ve been thinking a lot about history and tech for a while now. That, and the ax I’m grinding about the purpose of History (the discipline) being the eradication of nostalgia (in political spaces; keep the nice family memories).


*Context: ruminations on the moral failings of the #amazonfail furor

Image cite: Chris Campbell, “The World’s Largest Axe,” Flickr, CC License

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