Do We Learn from Past Experiences?

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.

From Wikipedia

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?



#30 I agree. Some people refer to success as blind because it blinds the eye to see a all coming.

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John Rylance Oct 7, 2019 · #30

#29 We need to try and build on our successes, rather than becoming complacent and frittering away our success. Yes have pride in our successes, but keep in the back of our minds the adage Pride comes before a fall.

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#27 Yes, and we tend to have the success syndrome that makes our successes the starting point for possible failures. Success is sweet and even consuming large amounts of honey at one time could have reverse effects. It is great to fail because failure teaches us lessons that we forget when we are successful.

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#26 This is an interesting comment @CityVP 🐝 Manjit. Like a rod in which a we dip one end in hot water soon the other end heats up. Energy moves, but at not the same rate for all materials. WE may insulate one part to control the thermal energy transfer and localize it. What part of a city is protected is like using an insulator. But for how long can we control this process. Instead of piling sand till one grain more collapses the pile, imagine it is a pile of money that we have and one coin will eventually collapse this pile and the social structure along with it.

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Preston 🐝 Vander Ven Oct 7, 2019 · #27

I do not remember the audio I was listening to, but it had a similar theme. It was about comfort, success, and failure. The speaker was sharing how many of us forget the lessons we may have just learned after a struggle from that we overcame and succeed, once we became comfortable and "let our guard down".
The way she explained it was better. It was like I tried, failed, tried, failed, tried, succeeded, but then after a long period of comfort forgot all I learned either perhaps because I did not learn it but memorized what I needed to know for a short period of time.

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CityVP 🐝 Manjit Oct 7, 2019 · #26

What I am fascinated by is how the same city can have such disparity in social condition. One can literally drive through good areas and bad areas of the city and the underlying starting conditions are different, and there are unnatural advantages thrown in that make wealthier communities live in what is really akin to a paradise economic system and the people on the receiving end of life are trapped by natural disadvantages. The differences in these social cycles then depends on which areas of the city receive protection from regression, and which ones never get out of a state of regression , as they are left to the forces of nature and at the same time disadvantageous conditions that are not natural, but allow the initial state to remain constant. Constant poverty then builds around areas of developed communities. The only time all communities suffer the same fate is when the infrastructure that holds the prospersous communities collapse. That infrastructure includes utilities, maintenance and design of urban spaces. Third world existence is bereft of the order that creates a beautiful urban garden and the disorder that creates an urban wilderness. Unless we add these conditions to the model, the model remains too generic.

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