History Is A String of Snapshots

Posted on March 29, 2010 by


I tend to think that things we study in history are mere snapshots of certain points in time in particular areas.

Snapshots can often be deceiving, either capturing everything or nothing at all.

So basically, when you say you’re studying history, you’re studying mere snapshots of certain points in time in a particular area or area(s).

Any collection of snapshots can form a historical category.  And if arranged in sequence, they can form a logical story.

So basically, historians are people who all have these cameras, some point and shoot, some professional Nikons who capture bits of history and try to piece together logical storylines.  They weren’t actually there, but now they’re taking snapshots of various artifacts from history, some first-hand and out of context, most second-handed, and trying to put these events into an orderly storyline.

These logical storylines ultimately serve as a build-up, momentum swinging either positively or negatively.