Why Humans Refuse to Learn from the Past

I think one reason humans refuse to learn from the past other than just being too dumb to make analogies is that the past is depressing. The lessons of the past are usually depressing ones. We are supposed to take some depressing truth from the past and apply it to the present. But people don’t want to do that because it’s depressing, we are genetically programmed to be a bit optimistic, and plus depression is no fun.

Everyone wants to think that this time it’s going to be different, that the rules of history have been overturned (the run-up to the Internet stock boom), or that history itself is now dead and there is no more history (the neoconservatives). Yes, humans are often blind, but that is because they choose to be. Being blind feels good. Opening your eyes is painful, like a mole thrust into the light. That shining sun of history is awful bright when you are used to having your eyes closed. It hurts to squint at it. Better close your eyes again, look at the pretty patterns and pretend they are real.


Filed under History, Philosophy, Psychology

12 responses to “Why Humans Refuse to Learn from the Past

  1. Pingback: Best of Friends | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  2. Two Blind Mice

    I lost my sight after an accident when I was a child.

    I find that Life is so much more tolerable completely blind.

    I don’t have to see the ugliness, the evil. And if I can’t see the evil, I certainly don’t hear evil.

    I’m currently undergoing a process that includes a number of surgeries that will most likely be successful.

    So far, the process was so horrific, I contemplated on a daily basis over a long period of time, whether to take my life or not.

    The pain is completely and utterly unbearable.

    I’m not talking about physical pain. I’m referring to the pain of seeing life for what it really fucking is.

    • Johnny Boy

      How can you see this website if your blind, I’m not sure how you can read it.

      What condition is it by the way?

      Are you scared that ugly people will date you because they know you can’t see?

      • Two blind mice

        My computer transfers normal words, into a 3d Braille touch iPad.

        I inherited my vision disorder from my father. It’s hereditary. My eyesight disorder is when a person has little or no ability to see color. People with achromatopsia also commonly experience some vision loss.

        I’m not scared of dating ugly people anymore, because I have learnt how to tell who is ugly and what not. If I feel someone is not beautiful, I just don’t chance it anymore.

        I Learnt that lesson the hard way.

        • Christmas Tree

          Do you have a guide dog or do you use a cane?

        • Two Blind Mice

          I am allergic to dogs, and wish I didn’t have him, but yes, I have a dog. Vicious little fucker.

          He Eats non stop, too.

          He crossed the road one day and tried to get me run over, coz he saw a seagull or some shit.

          I was hospitalised and put in an induced coma for three years.

          I’m ok now.

  3. RockT

    Learning from the past would actually spell doom for lots of ideas and plans, especially plans of the SJW variety.

    • Stary Wylk

      The same plans would still be promoted by the same persons. Aside from some superficial justifications the intent of social justice whiners is always, as far as I can tell, destructive.

  4. Jason Y

    The lesson from the past might not be what we want to hear. For instance, W. Bush was harsh on the Middle east. However, maybe he was too soft. Now that Obama’s in there, ISIS and the like have risen and threaten to terrorize Europe and the Middle East. So now Trump, despite claming to some degree to be isolationist will have to go worse on the area than W. Bush.

    Of course, Bush Sr, Clinton and Bush W. ruined the middle east by removing a strongman (Saddam Hussein) opposed to Muslim fundementalism. Nonetheless, the damage is done, and can only be made good by employing massive war and western colonialism in the middle east.

  5. Jack James

    Fuck Islam. Fuck Muslims.
    After Brussels attack, let us simply put them in the ovens and
    roast them and then eat that cooked flesh for thanksgiving in October.

  6. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged ; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. etc.etc.. ( Matthew 7)

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