Hi there, sietec here. I have been developing software, in one way or another, since I was a child. I was born in 1979, so many things have changed throughout my life, especially with regards to computers, telecommunication, the internet, September 11, 2001, etc. I feel priviliged to have been born at such a unique time in history. For instance, the "children" of today (e.g. less than 18 years old) likely have no recollection of what it was like before the internet existed, how the world has changed since terrorists hijacked 5 aircraft – killing thousands – on the morning of "9/11" or even what people did prior to the advent of the iPhone!
So much has changed, much for good and much for bad. History was never a favorite topic of mine as a child (or even in college, for that matter) – I always tended to despise it, as a necessary evil of getting through primary and secondary education. However, as I have gotten older, my views on history have changed. I still have little interest in ancient history, yet I have become enlightened as to its significance and importance; both in education and in the general understanding of how we came to be where we are (which, necessarily, includes forecasting future events from those in the past). Yes, the old adage "history repeats itself" may be cliché but invalid it is not.
Indeed, much of what drives the great people of virtually any field of study, is greatly influenced by their predecessors (and so on). Logically, it makes perfect since – we did not arrive at the knowledge we have today by virtue of creating it ourselves. If we are to be among the great thinkers, philosophers, scientists, etc., we will have expanded the sum of knowledge by:
- Correcting fallacies of the past. For example, enter Copernicus, the Earth is not the center of the universe, afterall. Although Copernicus was not entirely correct in his viewpoints, he was absolutely correct that the Earth is not quite as special as theologians had thought. His radical concepts were considered blasphemy by many in the Catholic church. However, Cardinal Nikolaus von Schönberg, Archbishop of Capua, held the Copernicun views in high regard as evidenced by a letter he sent Copernicus on 1 November 1536:
Some years ago word reached me concerning your proficiency, of which everybody constantly spoke. At that time I began to have a very high regard for you... For I had learned that you had not merely mastered the discoveries of the ancient astronomers uncommonly well but had also formulated a new cosmology. In it you maintain that the earth moves; that the sun occupies the lowest, and thus the central, place in the universe... Therefore with the utmost earnestness I entreat you, most learned sir, unless I inconvenience you, to communicate this discovery of yours to scholars, and at the earliest possible moment to send me your writings on the sphere of the universe together with the tables and whatever else you have that is relevant to this subject ...