Andrew Rader, PhD, is a lot of things. The man is a SpaceX mission manager, MIT-credentialed scientist, game designer, author... And he's also a history fan. In fact, he's so fascinated with the subject, he even created a Twitter account to share the weirdest and most wonderful history-related content he stumbles upon.
Appropriately called 'Weird History', the page regularly features everything from interesting facts to amusing memes you wouldn't normally find in a textbook and has accumulated over 145,000 followers since its inception in 2011. Continue scrolling and check out some of the most popular posts 'Weird History' has had!
More info: Twitter
But why bother with history in the first place? Well, Peter N. Stearns, a professor at George Mason University, said that even though people live in the present and plan for the future, they still need to learn about the past.
"In the first place, history offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave," Stearns wrote. "Understanding the operations of people and societies is difficult, though a number of disciplines make the attempt. An exclusive reliance on current data would needlessly handicap our efforts. How can we evaluate war if the nation is at peace—unless we use historical materials? How can we understand genius, the influence of technological innovation, or the role that beliefs play in shaping family life, if we don't use what we know about experiences in the past?"
The professor highlighted that some social scientists attempt to formulate laws or theories about human behavior but even these recourses depend on historical information, except for in limited, often artificial cases in which experiments can be devised to determine how people act. "Major aspects of a society's operation, like mass elections, missionary activities, or military alliances, cannot be set up as precise experiments. Consequently, history must serve, however imperfectly, as our laboratory, and data from the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the unavoidable quest to figure out why our complex species behaves as it does in societal settings."
This, fundamentally, is why we can not stay away from history, Stearns said. "It offers the only extensive evidential base for the contemplation and analysis of how societies function, and people need to have some sense of how societies function simply to run their own lives."
So the next time you're browsing 'Weird History', don't think it's just random trivia; it's also broadening your worldview!