Do We Learn from Past Experiences?
The question that clouds my mind this morning is if we learn from past experiences. We say contradicting thoughts about the past such as:
· If you don’t have past, then you don’t have future
· Those who think extensively of the past have no time to think about the future
· Live the present because you can’t change the past or predict the future
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” Bill Keane
The past may change the future and complex systems show this fact. The social cycle consisting of four stages (below image)
The social cycle that repeats over the ages testifies that history repeats itself. I add that we repeat our behaviors, and this results in the repetition of the four cycles. Another example is the waves observed worldwide in the stock markets indicating that human behave similarly as evidenced by the formation of similar waves in all stock markets worldwide.
Are humans the only ones who repeat history? If we inspect the logistic equation, we find it behaves similarly. The image below shows the behavior of the logistic equation of time.
I also suggest for the readers watching this great video on the logistic map:
We observe the growth rate to start with and that it is predictable. This stage indicates the richness of resources for all . In social cycles this is the intellectual stage because there are resources and creative ideas to grow rapidly. Following this growth and the exploitation of resources and ideas is the conservation stage. People tend here to conserve what they have and gradually people stick to their social status. Information flow become increasingly more stagnant and tension builds up. This leads to the bifurcation of the system into two states, four states and very rapidly to eight possible states. This stage in the logistic equation compares with the acquisitor stage of the social cycle. Information and resources are in the hands of few. A rigidity gap appears and the system collapses to release itself from the mounting tension. We see this in the complex and then chaotic behavior of the logistic equation. This is similar to the warrior stage in the social cycle as the iinfluencers try to keep their grip on their wealth. However; force shall not be able to keep the status quo and we see the restructuring and self-organizing in both the logistic equation and the social cycle.
Do we learn from the past? Or, it is intrinsic in us to keep doing the same regardless of what is ahead of us? The chaotic world we live in signals the proximity of the rearrangement stage and the beginning of new social cycle that bases itself on new structures and new resources? Is it a destiny for living species to repeat their behaviors? Or, is it our failure to change within that keeps the social cycles repeating and the logistic equation to behave the way it does?