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One person's odd views...
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: One person's odd views... Reply with quote

I thought I'd share with you the opinions that I got recently for studying Egyptology, from a guy that was actually trying to get a date with me:


1). Anything historical has no relevance to anything now.

2). Studying Egyptology is a posh person's topic.

3). People that study Egyptology only do so to escape from the real world.

4). Studying Egyptology where I am will not provide me with any career in the subject.


I assume you're with me in disagreeing, right? I'm thinking it's probably a good thing our date didn't go ahead. He might've ended up buried beneath my patio if he had carried on with his views...of course, I would've mummified him first, just to prove the relevance! Wink

Has anyone else come across small-minded views like this before, or am I just lucky in that I attract these kinds of people?! Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree with you, not completely, D_O_S. Sorry.

But first of all - better luck with the next guy who hits on you. I assume from your words "tried to" that he was unsuccessful. Good for you. But as far as his points go...

using your enumeration:

some idiot who hit on Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

1). Anything historical has no relevance to anything now.

There might be some truth to that, but only in a sort of very general way. Of course, taken to the extreme, it means that, since what happened yesterday is now history, then nothing that happened yesterday, or even an hour ago (you get my point) is relevant.
The truth of it is that every single event that ever happens influences what comes later (and - if some ideas in theoretical physics hold true, the future can actually influence the past - but I digress). The issue with history is not, in my opinion, to avoid making the same mistakes twice. I think that's a very simplistic view, so often repeated that it sounds wise and profound. It is neither wise nor profound. The value of studying history is to understand why things are as they are, to give you insights into why people are behaving the way they do, to appreciate the forces that impel them, or that they feel impel or influence them to certain behaviors. If you don't study history, then for you, everything happens in a vacuum, it's completely random and there is no reason for anything. That goes for business, too. I don't think even this guy would go along with that.

Getting back to the general terms, he's right. It's difficult to see how, for example, Djehutymes III fighting a native coalition at Megiddo more than three millenia ago is at all relevant to today's history. But in business terms (which he might understand better) every event in time carries an opportunity cost. It works like this: if we pursue some particular path, we don't pursue others which may even be more profitable and/or pleasing. It's the cost associated with the path not taken. Every event in business, history (and everything that happens in any business immediately becomes part of history) which occurs incurs an opportunity cost - what will we miss out on (or did we miss out on) by doing this - or in historical terms - what might have happened if this did not happen? For example, what if the victorious allies had found it within themselves to treat Germany more honorably at the peace conference in 1919? Instead, they were very, very unreasonably harsh and this led to Germany's alienation and World War II. Of course, the harshness itself resulted from the anger of the devastation caused by World War I, which was caused by the competition of European empires in the 19th century which was caused by... well, you get the idea. There was an opportunity cost associated with each decision and with each event. Those decisions not only cost us an alternate history, but they also - and here's what's really important - shaped the opinions and motivations of every single person alive on the planet today, including the yo-yo who hit on you. How would his life had been different if those events had not happened? History is a way (not the only way - but a contributing way) of understanding humanity, of understanding the reasons behind the events of today. What happened 35 centuries ago influenced what happened 34 centuries ago which influenced what happened 33 centuries ago ... and so on. And the opportunity costs were present every moment, every step of the way.
The business man who makes his decisions in a historical vacuum is a man who, if he succeeds at all, succeeds in spite of himself. (Sorry, I didn't mean to leave women out but non-sexist vocabulary "man/woman", "his/hers", etc. becomes cumbersome - we need to work in that direction.) Henry Ford said "history is bunk". He was right - partly. It made no difference to the development of the assembly line, well, except for the fact that the invention wasn't entirely new - there was some history to it. It just required the vision to implement it on the scale that Ford did. But he was able to man the assembly line only because particular historical events had occurred which put the right kind of labor pool in the right kind of place for him. Lucky Henry. And if his personal history had been somewhat different, the opportunity cost involved in creating the Ford Motor Company would have too great for him to attempt.

some idiot who hit on Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

2). Studying Egyptology is a posh person's topic.
Posh is not in my American vocabulary but I think I can guess at its meaning. He's right, it's just a little less class-conscious that he thinks. Unless you are directly involved in gathering and/or eating food , providing shelter, relieving yourself of internal pressures like sex, undigested food, or blood stream impurities (think of what the world looks like to a dog, if you can't eat it or screw it, pi** on it - which may be pretty close to your not-so-bright not-so-boy friend's point of view) - unless you are immediately doing one or more of those things, you are engaged in a leisure-time activity. You can afford to take the leisure - which is probably an extension of the meaning of "posh" but I think in this case not an unreasonable one.
But wait, there's more.
All of the sciences we now enjoy, and those which provide support for your would-be boy friend, are the result of leisure activities by "posh" people. Rich people who could afford the time. Eventually it became too expensive even for them and professionalism took over.
Leisure-time activity provided the opportunity (there's that word again) for Janos Bolyai to develop a geometry which eliminated the 5th, or "parallel" postulate in Euclidean geometry. But if events had been not so kind to Euklidos in ancient Greece so that he could afford the time to codify and develop geometry, Bolyai would never have had done his work. So if Euklidos had not had the time, his opportunity cost for writing down his geometry would have been too high - and so he wouldn't have done it. If Bolyai hadn't had the "posh" leisure to work on the 5th postulate he'd have never developed his geometry. And if the restrictions against Jewish PhD's in 19th century Europe had not forced one of them to take a boring job in the Swiss patent office where he had the posh leisure to work on really interesting stuff, Albert Einstein's opportunity cost issues would have made it impractical for him to use Bolyais' geometry to develop Relativity Theory and ultimately to work on Quantum Theory which your suitor (now history himself) may have used if, for example, he has a GPS unit - among a multitude of other very practical results of those theories.

For your unsuccessful wanna-be boy-friend, his opportunity cost was in putting those four points to you in those terms. The opportunity lost being you. Quite a costly loss to him, in my estimation.

some idiot who hit on Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

3). People that study Egyptology only do so to escape from the real world.
There is no sympathy for this one. Who died and left him as the arbiter of what other people's specific motivations are? This was a stupid, careless, egotistical claim on his part. End of story. I would imagine this one hurt you more than any.

some idiot who hit on Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

4). Studying Egyptology where I am will not provide me with any career in the subject.
He might be right. Whether you gain employment in the field is up to you and other forces over which you have little or no control - due to historical events. That's true for all of us. On the other hand, if all he's interested in doing is getting a job, if that is the limit of his myopic vision, then he's too dull for you anyway.


So you would have mummified him? What the hell for? Who'd care about his mummy? He's just history at this point - and history is cr*p with an "a" in the middle, right?

He seems like a very thoughtless, imperceptive man. So, do you think the opportunity cost to you in turning him down was affordable? I bet you do.
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, D_O_S - have a great idea. Next man who attempts to secure a date from you in such a way, tell him you have to phone your dad. Phone Bob Manske and pass the phone to the guy who is trying to chat you up- and the vetting may begin...

I would love to see that one... (wink smiley for Bob!)
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neseret
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Re: One person's odd views... Reply with quote

Some idiot's idea of a pick-up line said to

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

1). Anything historical has no relevance to anything now.

2). Studying Egyptology is a posh person's topic.

3). People that study Egyptology only do so to escape from the real world.

4). Studying Egyptology where I am will not provide me with any career in the subject.


As someone who is actually in the process of making my career choice in this filed, I thought I'd answer thusly:

Quote:
1). Anything historical has no relevance to anything now.


Santyana springs to mind here:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

If anything "historical" is of no relevance now, then we are to endlessly recreate the errors and travesties that occurred in the past, more to our own detriment.

In short, he's wrong in that one.

Quote:
2). Studying Egyptology is a posh person's topic.


I cannot see that one: it is an intellectual person's topic, however. This is because you have to master a myriad set of skills for which no previous training could prepare you (reading glyphs, learning phonetic transliteration skills, using a distinct set of archaeological skills that don't often translate to other areas of archaeological study, etc.). Assuming you have a related study (art history, anthropology, archaeology, ancient history), it's just a small part of what you need to know to get into the field of Egyptology.

In short, I'd say he's wrong on that one as well.

Quote:
3). People that study Egyptology only do so to escape from the real world.


This was the one that truly made me laugh: Egyptologists for all their interests in the ancient world, must (and I mean MUST) care and keep up with the "real world" events since the political, religious, cultural, and social changes of PRESENT Egypt mean so much to them who work with ancient Egypt.

If Egypt politically closed its borders and became a Sha'ria state tomorrow, I can assure you that every Egyptologist in the world would be affected, and by jiminy, they would be very aware of it as well, as that would be something that would affect their livelihood. Egyptologists do keep up with the present world every day - they have to interact in it with their work - be it if they are in university, museum or even in the field - they have to not only know their subject, but also all the rigamarole that goes on around them. They have to become savvy enough to keep their positions and topic relevant to each new batch of students, art exhibit visitors, or archaeological site superintendents.

Your fellow seems to think that since Egyptology is a specialised role that that's all an Egyptologist does, think, eat, sleep, or hear: nothing could be further from the truth. Like him, Egyptologists live in the real world and have to make their way in it: his idea that we all live in "ivory towers" is so darned clichť. Shame on you

Further, not all Egyptologists study only ancient Egypt: there are groups of Egyptologists that study the post-Islamic Egypt, up to modern day - sometimes as a means to understanding the past, but often with the intent that "Egyptology" actually means - the study of Egypt as a country and as a culture. This differs from, say, an Assyriologist, who can only study the ancient Assyrian culture by definition, and that culture is now long dead. Sure, one can study more modern aspects of Syria, but then one is called something different - a Syrian archaeologist, historian, etc.

In short, I would say again your fellow is very wrong.

and finally,

Quote:
4). Studying Egyptology where I am will not provide me with any career in the subject.


This was where I began to wonder what career this fellow had (I see a fellow with a Business Administration major under his belt: they tend to say such things about people who study anything but Business Administration, I find). Of course, competition in the Egyptological field is rough: there are probably no more than 2500 Egyptologists in the world, and so, when a job opening happens, there's a wild scramble for the position.

If it's a job in the university or a museum, you can make a decent living wage: you won't probably make millions by any means, even if you publish some popular books, but you will not starve, and you can probably afford a house and a family on what you make.

If you're strictly the field archaeologist sort, you may not make as much money as the other positions, but if you can finagle not only dig funds, but a way to live well onsite for your needs, it's not that uncomfortable a position.

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:
Has anyone else come across small-minded views like this before, or am I just lucky in that I attract these kinds of people?! Laughing


No, I've come across them, before - they range from anyone like my Mother - when I was younger - to just about anyone who just sees people who are in higher academic study as "wasting" their lives.

To me, there are more important things to do and think about than simply making box loads of money, doing a job that would stress me out no end, and possibly being something I hated with every fibre of my being. I have the luxury of saying that because, my dear Daughter of Seti, I actually DID do a job that was like that - I may have made more money, but it was a job I absolutely hated.

In the final analysis, I think it really all depends upon what interests you, what you feel you can do, and still live to where you can meet the mortgage, pay the bills and feed yourself, your spouse, and your cats.

For some, like your date, they tend to see money and what it can do for you as the end-all and be-all in life: for him, fine. That's not what I, nor most Egyptologists, see as the purpose of our lives.

Firstly and foremost, we as Egyptologists like - even sometimes love - the study of an ancient culture that, when we really study it deeply, can tell us that there was (and is) more to life that sheer acquisition of wealth for its own sake: there was a culture that cared about the land, one's family, one's neighbour (to an extent), that loved the gods, whom they felt walked among them, and that every act of nature - every bird, tree, river, and so on - had a life of its own, that influenced the lives of every person in that ancient society.

To some extent, we today have lost that connection with the world around us, and as Egyptologists, we strive to learn as much about that ancient world if, for no other reason, so we can convey to the rest of the world today to understand what the Egyptians did right (or wrong) and how that can influence our lives today. In short, we try to help today's people learn from history: is that not a worthy effort?

Tell your friend that, and see what he makes of that! Wink
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Robson
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is he at least handsome?
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neseret
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
Is he at least handsome?


Does it really matter if he's such a Neanderthal in his way of thinking? bandhead

(Inquiring minds want to know...)

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Robson
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some Neanderthals can light good flint fires Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
Some Neanderthals can light good flint fires Laughing


Actually, they could do more than that. The evidence indicates that they were very intelligent people. At least on a par with every other hominid species and/or sub-species extant at the time.

Nor was there anything stupid about D_O_S' would-be boyfriend. He hasn't thought a few things through, but that's true of everyone. In some ways we're all quite far-seeing and in others we're all quite myopic. No head butting required.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or maybe powerfull D_O_S' presence quite disturbed the poor dude and just made him say bullcrap.
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EgyptianRose
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a friend who is convinced that there is nothing more than endless miles of sand and over populated cities in Egypt, if that's any consolation Idea ....
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Quote 'Amarna Sunset' by Aidan Dodson.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh we have that all right. However, it is what is under the sand that is most interesting Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Priest of Hekat wrote:
Oh we have that all right. However, it is what is under the sand that is most interesting Wink


Laughing Agreed!
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It is of course the hieght of irony that, after this intensive campaign to expunge them from the annals of Egypt, the Amarna pharaohs are today probably the most recognized of all the country's ancient rulers!

Quote 'Amarna Sunset' by Aidan Dodson.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobManske wrote:
The value of studying history is to understand why things are as they are, to give you insights into why people are behaving the way they do, to appreciate the forces that impel them, or that they feel impel or influence them to certain behaviors.

This is what intrigues me most about learning history; learning how we got to be the way we are now. There didnít seem to be any real reason to explain the concept to the guy, though, as he was dead against history. His opinion was that itís alright as a hobby, but thatís all. To be honest, I think he was just trying to let out his frustrations with me being a nonworking student.

Neseret wrote:
This was where I began to wonder what career this fellow had (I see a fellow with a Business Administration major under his belt: they tend to say such things about people who study anything but Business Administration, I find).

He worked in a call centre, and was trying to convince me that this was a good route of employment for me to take. I have no issue with people that do this job (my own brother does this), but itís not for me. I would personally rather train to do something that Iíll enjoy. My career of choice would be a writer, and Iím hoping that I can gain enough knowledge in Egyptology to write some interesting non-fiction books on it. I also wouldnít mind volunteering / working in a museum with Egyptian artefacts.

Neseret wrote:
For some, like your date, they tend to see money and what it can do for you as the end-all and be-all in life: for him, fine. That's not what I, nor most Egyptologists, see as the purpose of our lives.

This reminds me of how people like Petrie used to survive in Egypt when he dug there. In no way did he have the creature comforts that the ďposhĒ or higher-classes live on and he certainly didnít do it for the money! Petrie did it to rescue an ancient culture from disappearing from our memories, and thatís the mind-set that many historians, archaeologists and the like follow to this day.

Robson wrote:
Some Neanderthals can light good flint firesÖ

#Rofl You know what? I was actually willing to give him a chance, even after he picked fault with the things Iím most passionate about. Although, after two weeks of asking me to go on a date with him, he cancelled on me the day before our date saying that heíd realised we were too different! I donít think Iíll ever understand guys, even if I lived to be hundreds of years old! The general consensus of it, from anyone Iíve spoken to, seems to be that I had a lucky escape, thoughÖI tend to agree. He said he liked me because I was intelligent, but also thought I was too academic and bookish. Go figure! LOL
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Robson
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe he realized that you are (as we say in Brazil) "too mucha sand fir his small truck". Laughing
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
I believe he realized that you are (as we say in Brazil) "too mucha sand fir his small truck".

Oh, that's too funny, Robson!! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing I'll have to remember that one! Wink
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