Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

This famous quote, attributed to some proverb before 1300, fits in with our class discussion about really experiencing something. We discussed how even seeing pictures and videos are not completely accurate, for they passed through a filter of some kind and were at the discretion of another human.

When we study history, we must be cognizant of the fact that we are not directly witnessing an event or even a culture. When we read or listen to secondary sources, we should be aware of who is writing it, why they are writing it, and where they got their information. In a Film Unfinished, the narrator explains that every frame in the Das Ghetto must be investigated. Even when we read primary sources, we are only reading words on a page. The way we perceive the semantics is our own construction of the source.

Furthermore, even if we are witnessing history, as we do every day, we are again not seeing the full picture of what is happening. We are only processing our own perceptions, marked with our own biases. In order to properly understand something in history, we might have to first realize that we may never properly understand everything there is to know.