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Nothing ever changes

While in the UK I picked up a book lying around my parents house. It was a book called 'The Guinness book of Flying Blunders' and it has made fascinating reading. However, what made the most impression on me was how the politicians of the period seemed to be about as competent as those of today, in other words not very good at their jobs. OK, in peacetime (almost) blunders do not generally lead to deaths, but in wartime the level of poor organisation and insane decision making literally cost lives. 'Hindsight' (il senno di poi), I hear you utter – with it mistakes are that much easier to identify and criticise. True, would be my reply, but, I would add, 'How about learning from one's mistakes?'.

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The human race is not that good at learning from past errors, (I'm not too hot at this either, I suppose) and this surprises me, especially seeing as we make our kids study history at school. We pump their little heads full of often quite useless facts about big battles and important Queens, but, we do not tell them how these significant events have shaped now. Well, they did not in my day. This is one big mistake if, as I suspect, the situation in our schools has not changed. Sort of makes studying history a bit of a waste of time. Here, I should perhaps mention that up to sixteen years of age I loved history and it was certainly my favourite subject. However, my love of this subject was almost eradicated by the dreadful teaching I was faced with while I was in sixth form.

Why is it that live and society just seem to go round in constant circles?

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