• Essays on Dimensions of The Long Term by Penelope J. Corfield

5.3 Dimensions of The Long Term

5.3.1 Why is the Formidable Power of Continuity So Often Overlooked (BLOG/2, Nov.2010) Continuity – also known as tradition or inertia – is a powerful force in History. This essay discusses why it is often, but wrongly, overlooked.

5.3.2 Why Do Humans Still Learn Chiefly from Face-to-Face Communication? (BLOG/3, Dec. 2010) One example of continuity in human life is the gregariousness of the human species. This essay explores the implications of that propensity for education systems, whereby students learn not only from teachers but from fellow students.

5.3.3 On the Subtle Power of Gradualism (BLOG/4, Jan. 2011) Gradual change – also known as evolution – is a strong but subtle force in History, whose short-term impact is often hard to detect.

5.3.4 Reconsidering Revolutions (BLOG/6, March 2011) The concept of Revolution incorporates many different forms of macro-change. These varieties are reviewed in this short essay, which also explains why great revolutions are not always as revolutionary as they are claimed to be.

5.3.5 An Unknown Book which Influenced Me: Ivar Lissner’s The Living Past: The Great Civilisations of Mankind (1957) (BLOG/14, Nov. 2011) PJC meditates upon the impact of an unknown book which she read as a teenager (and still owns). It was a powerful example of thinking ‘up and down the centuries’, its message inherent in its title. She never discussed this book with anyone or heard it mentioned. But it encouraged her personal curiosity to study what is now known as ‘Big History’, stretching through millennia.

5.3.6 Talking about the Shape of History (BLOG/ 51, March, 2015) This short essay reports on what happens when people are asked to think about the ‘shape’ of History. Mostly, they dislike the question. But, when pressed, some common answers include: History travelling along a line |(or up a hill); History moving in a circle; and History as a gigantic mess (usually shown in an energetic scribble).