Why hasn’t Urquhart posted ?

ConversazioniHistory: On learning from and writing history

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Why hasn’t Urquhart posted ?

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Modificato: Nov 10, 2016, 12:41 pm

Why hasn’t Urquhart posted ? Does it really matter?

When I started:

History: On learning from and writing history

I did so because of a deep seated interest in the topic of “learning from history.” Viewing the past, present, and future through the lens of history seemed to me to be a valuable exercise. It seemed doubly worthwhile given the people who were drawn to the group and from whom I continued to genuinely learn. They were thoughtful, well read, and very considered in what they had to say and how they addressed a topic.

Somewhere along the line people chose to make the Group about something else in both style and substance.

At one point I sent a private message to Dinadansfriend on Jun 4, 6:03am:

"Re: Would a Bernie Sanders backer vote for Trump?


You are a wonderful member of our group and very knowledgeable in your posts so they are always welcome, but if you could keep the subject matter Historical in theme it would be greatly appreciated.

Or you may wish to start a group just based on news events.

With hopes you can help out.

Thank you.


I even started a Current Events Group with the hopes that people who wanted to discuss current events could migrate over there.

Both efforts were to no avail.
Let’s face it, if people don’t wish to focus on History then they are not going to. Simple. And the Ancient History Group that was set up by the Library Thing founder Tim Spalding went down long, long ago.

A few note for those who might be interested:

1-Yes, the Donald Trump victory that I predicted was based on the fact that I used to work for many years in NBC television where we used Nielsen Television Index that rated audiences for each show.


I learned then that the vast majority of The People didn’t watch PBS tv shows or if they did only a very minuscule percentage did. What people wanted was entertainment, and so they went elsewhere for other programs. I saw this year after year. So people have high ideals of wanting PBS programming or learning but don’t necessarily act on them. Given a choice, the People always choose the Roman Circus program format.

2-I learned how fragile a Group is and that it only takes a couple of people to change the tone of it and to sink it. The genuine politeness of listening to others and responding thoughtfully and civilly is not a common occurrence but to the contrary really rather rare. Many wrote me that they were fed up with the snide, sarcastic and angry responses they were getting.

3-I will miss learning from those people who were far more articulate and better read than myself and who shared their insights. And by that I mean the many people who could and did disagree with me and explain why without rancor. I loved that especially.

4-In the next 4 years with Trump I am going to work at spending time listening to people who Really Disagree with me and find out why they do.

This last election was about the rage of those people who have not been listened to for a very, very long time. I want to learn what it was they have been saying all along.

By Walt Whitman

O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow,
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere around the globe.

Nov 10, 2016, 7:59 am

We had that same phenomena in Toronto a few years back- and that is how we got Rob Ford for a mayor( google him if you don't know the whole unsavoury and sad story)- Ford answered every phone call when he was a city councillor - he arranged for people to have pot holes fixed in front of their houses- stuff that most city officials wouldn't deal with- even if he didn't help people with their complaints =he spoke to everyone -there are still people in Toronto who supported him through his public drinking, bad language, publicized drug use( crack cocaine) bad language and really bad judgement. The very poor liked him and thought that he was one of their own- even though he was from a very rich family.

The book that I read last year that helped me understand a very small bit of what happened in the US was Bettyville- the description of the destruction of the small town by Walmart and it's effect on work.

Modificato: Nov 10, 2016, 8:24 am

My experience with running online groups is that its members wind up deciding what its content will be, regardless of original intent, and that (unlike in-person meetings) it's almost impossible for any group owner to direct conversation "back on topic".

I'd recommend just continuing to start topics with a history bent and personally ignoring the ones you don't think fit the theme; at least then, new arrivals to the group who do share your perspective will have something they expected to respond to. Over time with enough new membership that shared your view, the weight might start to lean that direction for you.

Modificato: Nov 10, 2016, 8:45 am

Nov 10, 2016, 3:22 pm

>3 Cecrow: I'll second that.

>1 Urquhart: I'm not a vocal contributor to the group but I certainly do appreciate reading your topics. Keep up the good work.

Nov 12, 2016, 8:18 am

>5 bernsad: agreed. signed.