By: Mark Merlino, September 14, 2005
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|The past is much less significant than human perception of the past. Of the vast amount of stimuli that bombards each
person in each moment of his or her life, only a small portion is ever preserved. Most stimulus is never preserved in
human memory, let alone in any other measurable way. Historical sources which do survive then necessarily have to
have been preserved as a result of their significance. Each person determines the significance of what they choose to
preserve with some subjective criteria, a human decision. Not one word is written or any memory preserved without
some sort of bias.
For this reason, the aim of history should be to analyze perception of various perception of the past. The objective
past is necessarily beyond human grasp. But portrayals of the past demonstrate an attempt to make sense of all of
the collective stimuli that can be called history. History then is a reflection of both what people choose to remember
and what people choose to teach others.