History - and things historical - seem to go through phases. Here's an example. An object is manufactured and several hundred thousand are sold. After a while they get old and people chuck them away because, "There are so many of them". Wait a bit and suddenly there are very few left, and those few are declared to be "classics", endangered, desperate for conservation. Whether it's a Rolls Royce or a table the same thing happens. Why do we do this? Why do we wait until the last Dodo or the last rhino or the last Pearl Harbor vet before we pay attention to what is before us? And that's the human tragedy. So let's make it personal. You may gather wisdom and learning beyond measure, but the chances are that no one much will listen to you until, when you're buried, they try to dredge up what you said, did, or wrote. Only a civilization that is confused about how to respond to death would be so irrational.