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To be very brief and clear, my fundamental reason to make research is that question that I keep on asking on many things: how does it work?
Basically, I want to understand things: how does an engine work, how does the sun works, how does the Linux kernel work, how do animals work, how societies work, ...
In this search for understanding, I came to convince myself that one can not understand a thing without considering how this thing eventually came to exist. For instance, understanding how an engine works, once technical details have been understood, one has to know in which context has the engine ever been created, to understand why the engine works like that, or not otherly. This prompts what, to my eyes, is something absolutely essential to understand thing, that is, the role of history which, in other, more technical words, may be also named the dynamics that led to the existence of a thing. Hence, I am profoundly convinced that one can not fully understand a thing, without knowing its history.
Why is history so important? Because everything that does exist in our universe is part of (many) feedback loops which make thing interact among themselves and, little by little, co-evolve and co-adapt, and thus, build and create new things.