Jimmy Krotov

The Soleness of History and Historians

A 19th-century historian said that history will become a science when two different people write about the same event in the same words.

This is the ideal of a mathematician or physicist. Everyone writes mathematical equations the same way.

This cannot and should not be the case with history.

First, history describes people's lives. Man begins where freedom, unpredictability, uncertainty, and depth begin. This depth can be described, but the description can be varied. In describing stones, one does not need the infinite possibilities of language. Describing man requires all the flexibility of language, its paradoxes and metaphors.

Second, describing history is a type of communication between people. Not just a record of facts, not just a monologue, but a dialogue, part of a vast process of communication.

It is just as impossible to talk about history in the same words as it is impossible to declare one's love with quotations, even from the best poems.

A tour guide or teacher who can be replaced by a recording of his lecture or excursion is a bad guide and a bad teacher.

Repetition, sameness, stamps are the main enemy of humanity, of human life. Whether Artificial Intelligence is possible, which will not be trivial, is unknown, but it is known, alas, that man produces the Natural Anti-Intelligence all the time.



(c) Jimmy Krotov