H. Rearden on July 24, 2008, 06:00:59 pm
In the July 24 addition to the story a reference was made to Indians. I am courious about what the situation is with American Indians in the story. Are there still Indian reservations in the future the story takes place from? Is there still a Bureau of Indian Affairs?

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Rocketman on July 24, 2008, 09:57:35 pm
Presumably, they would be better treated by the government than they have been up to now.   :'(

H. Rearden on July 25, 2008, 12:06:01 am
Presumably, they would be better treated by the government than they have been up to now.   :'(

I do find it interesting that the teen in the story would have used that analogy. The reason is because that far into the future I would assume that students would be taught little about "cowboys and Indian" so to speak. The reason is because there is only so much time to teach a history course and thus over time less time can be spent focusing on certain parts of history in order to cram all of history even if it is just American history. For example an American history teacher prior to WWII had more time to focus on teracher about what happened during WWI and the early turn of the 20th century then an American history teacher today would because so much including WWII has happened since then and thus an American history teacher today has more things to cover and thus can not devot as much time to WWI. This is the problem with teaching history. I suspect that when George Washington was taught American history the teacher either breezed through it or spent a lot time discussing Columbus and the Jamestown colonists and Plymouith colonists. ;D Btw, as for Columbus Puerto Rico was the only part of what eventually became the U.S.A. that he sailed to ans so that can be considered part of U.S. history.

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« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 12:14:12 am by H. Rearden »

Sean Roach on July 25, 2008, 04:53:02 pm
Consider, however, what his dad does for a living.
My parents are an educator and a pharmacist.  I got a lot of both at the dinner table.  Presumably the son of a man working on time machines would get a lot more history than one who's parents didn't specialize in that area.

Leviathan on July 26, 2008, 02:21:22 am
I can respond one of two ways.  "Just go with it, mang!"  Or, remind people that the standard history classes we get taught in public schools are total crap.  Much of the way older history gets "compressed" is really about pushing agendas, and covering your ass for past misdeeds.  Recent history continues to be relatively taught, primarily because a lot of people are still alive that remember it and can call them on their lies if they spin falsehoods.  People like the parents of the schoolkids.  Even so, most of what gets taught is less the history of it and more the perception of the history of it.

Reverse the trend.  Make history teachers independent.  They then have to compete for who's teaching history best.  Different educational institutions can attract business based in part on pointing out the gaps in the programs of their competitors.  Suddenly history, arithmetic, science, they all become competetive fields in education.  I doubt that they'd forget to teach much of anything lest their nearest rival snap on it like pirana on a used tampon.

However, a specialist in time machines might not have studied as much detail about History as you'd think.  He probably goes to archeologists, historians, and anthropologists if he wants to get detail on how to calibrate his equipment.  But knowing how to put together temporal translocation equipment doesn't mean you know intimately the events the equipment can translocate to.

enemyofthestate on July 26, 2008, 01:10:52 pm
I can respond one of two ways.  "Just go with it, mang!" 
Pretty much my feelings on the subject.

Quote
However, a specialist in time machines might not have studied as much detail about History as you'd think.  He probably goes to archeologists, historians, and anthropologists if he wants to get detail on how to calibrate his equipment.  But knowing how to put together temporal translocation equipment doesn't mean you know intimately the events the equipment can translocate to.
He might not even be interested.  I've known more than a few scientists and engineers who were very single minded in pursuing a goal.  Sometimes to the extent that the dullards controlling the purse strings were surprised and occasionally, if their IQ's are at least three digits, scared spitless by what smart men driven by a need to known and to build can deliver.

Been there myself a time or two.

Regarding calibration.  I can see that historians or archaeologist could provide a general time frame for a particular window on the past.  However, that only gets me in the ball park so to speak.  To calibrate a time machine I'd want to use events I could date accurately and precisely.  A historian can tell me that a particular view looks like first century Palestine but an astronomer can tell me that a total solar eclipse occurred at 25 o 27.9' N, 50 o 53.6' E on Nov 24, 0029 AD at 09:24:57 UTC.

In truth I think the details of calibrating a time machine involve not just time but also space.  In fact it is spacetime -- the whole thing -- that provides the coordinate system.  This is something most time travel stories miss completely.  OTOH, this story is not really about time travel anyways so I'll suspend my disbelief about that aspect and see how the story comes out.

Steffan on August 16, 2008, 09:59:02 am

I suspect that when George Washington was taught American history the teacher either breezed through it or spent a lot time discussing Columbus and the Jamestown colonists and Plymouith colonists. ;D Btw, as for Columbus Puerto Rico was the only part of what eventually became the U.S.A. that he sailed to ans so that can be considered part of U.S. history.

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Washington at the time was a subject of the British Crown, so the history he would have learned would be Greek and Roman, combined with post-1066 English history.  This was within a couple of centuries of several wars with Spain (including the Armada), Holland and France, and they certainly wouldn't have overlooked the study of someone who might be an enemy within the next generation. 

I agree with some of the others here.  A teacher in the '20s or '30s in the US would concentrate on the ACW, the Spanish-American War, and WWI.  He would also very probably teach about the transcontinental railroad, though he'd likely gloss over the financial scandals attached to it, and the outright war the UP and Army fought against the Cheyenne and Sioux (Contrast this with the Pawnee attitude:  if the UP wanted to pay them to kill Sioux, so much the better). 

I'd give about even odds that he'd teach them about Titanic.  It was overshadowed by the War To End All Wars.
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