(2017-04-20, 9:25 pm)Stansfield123 Wrote: Problem is, history is not about dates, macro-economics is not about GDP figures, understanding global politics is not about knowing capitals and population numbers, and you can't learn how to live your life from famous quotes. All these things are way more abstract and complex than that.Well, duh. that goes without saying. However, some declarative facts are useful to have on hand to understand new things that might be abstract and complex.
Consider if I'm listening to a news story on the economy of micronesia, (a country who's economy I know very little about) and I learn that their population is 103,000 and their gdp is roughly 300 million (2,900 per capita). Those numbers are almost meaningless unless I have something to compare them to. If I know the population of Burbank California (or the capacity of a large football stadium) is roughly 100,000 people and GDP of china is 6,500/capita I have a much better sense of the number of people and the level of economic activity in Micronesia.
A real example was the first time I visited Kamakura and learned the daibutsu was completed in 1243. I'm thinking "that's pretty old" but I didn't have much frame of reference until I thought that was during Europe's medieval period and the renaissance was ~150 yeas later. If I don't know some rough dates in history, then the daibutsu is just "old" same as the Pantheon, the Pyramids, and Mick Jagger. And I couldn't even place the daibutsu within a timeline of Japanese history if I didn't know a few dates. Is it before or after the edo period - I don't know unless I know edo period is ~400 years later.
TLDR Dates and statistics are not the whole story, but extremely handy for comparisons.
Edited: 2017-04-21, 4:30 pm