Quote of the Day: History

 

“History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things. It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.”  – C.S. Lewis

I have been writing about history for over two decades. This quote summarizes most of my writing in three short sentences. That is one reason why — absent Progressive airbrushing of history — C.S. Lewis will be remembered centuries after I am forgotten.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Thanks for this one, Seawriter.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    We here at Ricochet will do our best to ensure that you are not forgotten.  You and your writings are treasures, and should never be lost.

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    I don’t think he said that. “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things.” The “isn’t just” implies history includes things other than the story of bad people doing bad things. Which allows space for good people doing good things and bad people doing good things.

    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary. That history only consists of bad people doing bad things or good people doing good things that go wrong. Those folks (the ones who read the quote as exclusionary) are known as pessimists.

    • #4
  5. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Lewis had the ability to explain concepts in a clear, concise, and most importantly insightful manner that is nothing short of brilliant. Thanks for another great quote. 

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    I don’t think he said that. “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things.” The “isn’t just” implies history includes things other than the story of bad people doing bad things. Which allows space for good people doing good things and bad people doing good things.

    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary. That history only consists of bad people doing bad things or good people doing good things that go wrong. Those folks (the ones who read the quote as exclusionary) are known as pessimists.

    Disagree.  In the quote he writes that something always seems to go wrong when people try to do good things.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    Disagree. In the quote he writes that something always seems to go wrong when people try to do good things.

    The road to Hell…

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    I don’t think he said that. “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things.” The “isn’t just” implies history includes things other than the story of bad people doing bad things. Which allows space for good people doing good things and bad people doing good things.

    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary. That history only consists of bad people doing bad things or good people doing good things that go wrong. Those folks (the ones who read the quote as exclusionary) are known as pessimists.

    Disagree. In the quote he writes that something always seems to go wrong when people try to do good things.

    Nope. He wrote ” It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” “It is quite as much” also is non-exclusionary. The final two two sentences of the quote are linked, with the period for emphasis. The final sentence is neither exclusionary nor  exclusive, permitting  good people doing good things and bad people doing good things. Except to pessimists, of course.

    • #8
  9. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    I don’t think he said that. “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things.” The “isn’t just” implies history includes things other than the story of bad people doing bad things. Which allows space for good people doing good things and bad people doing good things.

    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary. That history only consists of bad people doing bad things or good people doing good things that go wrong. Those folks (the ones who read the quote as exclusionary) are known as pessimists.

    Disagree. In the quote he writes that something always seems to go wrong when people try to do good things.

    Nope. He wrote ” It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” “It is quite as much” also is non-exclusionary. The final two two sentences of the quote are linked, with the period for emphasis. The final sentence is neither exclusionary nor exclusive, permitting good people doing good things and bad people doing good things. Except to pessimists, of course.

    You’re mother’s non-exclusionary!

    • #9
  10. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Is history never the story of good people doing good things, or even bad people doing good things?

    Methinks Prof. Lewis was a wee bit of a pessimist, nay?

    I don’t think he said that. “History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things.” The “isn’t just” implies history includes things other than the story of bad people doing bad things. Which allows space for good people doing good things and bad people doing good things.

    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary. That history only consists of bad people doing bad things or good people doing good things that go wrong. Those folks (the ones who read the quote as exclusionary) are known as pessimists.

    Disagree. In the quote he writes that something always seems to go wrong when people try to do good things.

    Nope. He wrote ” It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” “It is quite as much” also is non-exclusionary. The final two two sentences of the quote are linked, with the period for emphasis. The final sentence is neither exclusionary nor exclusive, permitting good people doing good things and bad people doing good things. Except to pessimists, of course.

    You’re mother’s non-exclusionary!

    Your.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Nick H (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

     

    You’re mother’s non-exclusionary!

    Your.

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):
    You’re mother’s non-exclusionary!

    Non-exclusionary what?

    • #12
  13. Major Major Major Major Member
    Major Major Major Major
    @OldDanRhody

    Wrong thread!

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Major Major Major Major (View Comment):

    Wrong thread!

    I’ll pull on nearly any loose thread.

    ;-)

    • #14
  15. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary.

    I can’t identify the subject of the (passive) verb.  Speaking for myself, I agree: I do allow folks to do that, in the sense that I make no effort to prevent them.

    But your meaning may have been

    “to read ‘history isn’t just about…’ as ‘history is only about…’ is not incorrect.

    This I do not allow.

    Misreading is allowed (by me, for example), but it’s still incorrect.

    If I myself were to stumble into our friend Misthiocracy’s momentary mental lapse…

    ‘Not all X are Y’ implies ‘all X are not Y’

    …I would expect M, or you, to correct me.

    In so doing, not only would you erase the false conception of the original idea, and convey the thought as it was intended, but you would be helping me to turn my mistake into an opportunity to learn critical thinking (or in Misthiocracy’s case, pre-editing ;-) skills.  Serendipity!

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary.

    I can’t identify the subject of the (passive) verb. Speaking for myself, I agree: I do allow folks to do that, in the sense that I make no effort to prevent them.

    But your meaning may have been “to read ‘history isn’t just about…’ as ‘history is only about’” is not incorrect.

    This I do not allow.

    Misreading is allowed (by me, for example), but it’s still incorrect.

    If I myself were to stumble into our friend Misthiocracy’s momentary mental lapse…

    ‘Not all X are Y’ implies ‘all X are not Y’

    …I would expect M, or you, to correct me.

    In so doing, not only would you erase the false conception of the original idea, and convey the thought as it was intended, but you would be helping me to turn my mistake into an opportunity to learn critical thinking (or in Misthiocracy’s case, pre-editing ;-) skills. Serendipity!

    • #16
  17. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Nick H (View Comment):
    Lewis had the ability to explain concepts in a clear, concise, and most importantly insightful manner that is nothing short of brilliant. Thanks for another great quote.


    This conversation is an entry in our Quote of the Day Series. We have many openings in the new June 2018 Sign-Up Sheet and Schedule, along with tips for finding great quotes.

    It’s the easiest way to start a Ricochet conversion, so why not sign up today?

    • #17
  18. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Of course folks are allowed to read the quote as exclusionary.

    I can’t identify the subject of the (passive) verb. Speaking for myself, I agree: I do allow folks to do that, in the sense that I make no effort to prevent them.

    But your meaning may have been “to read ‘history isn’t just about…’ as ‘history is only about’” is not incorrect.

    This I do not allow.

    Misreading is allowed (by me, for example), but it’s still incorrect.

    If I myself were to stumble into our friend Misthiocracy’s momentary mental lapse…

    ‘Not all X are Y’ implies ‘all X are not Y’

    …I would expect M, or you, to correct me.

    In so doing, not only would you erase the false conception of the original idea, and convey the thought as it was intended, but you would be helping me to turn my mistake into an opportunity to learn critical thinking (or in Misthiocracy’s case, pre-editing ;-) skills. Serendipity!

    Precisely so.  You have captured my thoughts to a tee.

    • #18

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