Know Your History To Predict Better

Nothing is certain in this world because anything can happen tomorrow.

Don’t believe me? Let’s see. Death is one of the two notorous certainties in life, right? But no one can safely eliminate the chance that we could all wake up tomorrow and turn invincible (i.e won’t die and won’t age) just like Wolverine. And perhaps the sun might never rise again after we sleep if the Earth suddenly stops spinning. It just takes one observation (aka black swan) to disprove a physics theory.

Before you think I am going bonkers, my point here is that all of these “facts” that we have taken for granted in our life are based on past observations, or our History. And it might be wrong. After all, we all thought that Pluto was a planet for decades until recently when we gathered more evidence that proved otherwise.

But history is our best bet to anticipate an uncertain future. At the very least, it improves the probablilty of getting predictions right. As morbid as it sounds, I would probably bet that somebody in some place would die tomorrow even if the odds are 1.0000000000001. (I still wouldn’t leverage to do the bet though.)

In personal finance, the only reason why we feel so comfortable placing monies with the bank is the confidence we have that the bank would be able to fulfil its obligations to us lenders (yes, America, I am looking at you). And a company must have shown a stellar long-term past performance before a value investor like Warren Buffett would part with his money.

So since we have established that the past is important, how much do you actually know about our history? Yes, you probably know quite a bit about some of the key milestones and events of this country for the past 48 years from the Social Studies textbooks (although judging from some episodes of The Noose, I am really not so sure) but how about something broader like the history of human beings or human civilisation?

No worries. I am not writing all these because I am trying to sell you some of my old and outdated encyclopedias. I just felt that everybody (which also includes me) should know more about our own human story.

And you need not read some textbooks that will bore the crap out of you just to gain these knowledge. Instead, I am recommending this YouTube channel called crash course. There’s a series of short-format educational history videos which are also packed with plenty of humour, sarcasm and entertainment. I myself have learnt so much from John Green as he brings me through important events that occurred as far back as 15,000 years ago.

I have even provided a sample below. Enjoy.

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    2 thoughts on “Know Your History To Predict Better

    1. B

      Hi HWW

      I used to score As in my History class but couldn’t understand the true meaning behind learning the history of a particular incident. Thinking back, it would have been much more enjoyable would I have known the true intention of the History lesson.

      Maybe I should go back to History 101.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi B,

        I also enjoyed my History lessons and even pursued it as an A Level subject too (even though I was in the Science stream).

        One of the main reasons I loved this subject was that it helped me to better understand the world we live in and explain how things turned out like this.

        Hopefully, the series produced by John Green and co would make for a good 101 for you.