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Same As It Ever Was · Collaborative Fund

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/same-as-it-ever-was/

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Same As It Ever Was · Collaborative Fund

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The Lessons Of History

The Lessons Of History

History is a treasure-house of learning, and as many books teaching us lessons from history point out, what was true in the medieval ages is often true even now, though the circumstances, technology and society have gone through a sea of changes.

The things that are worth knowing are those which hold steady and true then and now.

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Voltaire

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1920 and 2020

1920 is a hundred years apart from 2020, yet how people think is largely unchanged. Human behaviour is still hinged on greed, fear, opportunity, scarcity, and basic instincts.

We have no idea what will happen in the future, but we do have a good idea about how human beings might behave in certain situations.

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Big Risks Vs Small Risks

Small risks can sometimes combine, compound and mutate into something big. Yet the attention is always on the big stuff, and the small stuff happening around is largely ignored by all.

Example: A huge nuclear bomb that destroys entire countries is unlikely to be used preemptively, but small, precise weapons with limited range are much more likely to be used in war and in turn, can result in the big ones to be used too, eventually.

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Having A Positive Outlook

Optimism helps us dumb down and decrease the pain and difficulties that the future likely holds, and provides us with hope with regards to our options.

Even now, with the state of income mobility, and the disparity in wealth, few should have reason to be optimistic, but many are, and it doesn’t feel bad to have a positive outlook no matter what the circumstances.

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Pain Is Short-Term

Pain is a short-term loss, but may have some long-term gain.

Exercising can be painful or tedious for some and has great benefits if done regularly. Telling the truth can be painful, but is often the right thing to do.

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Avoidance Of Pain

History shows us that people avoid pain and exertion, would lie to avoid a painful situation and would create hacks or shortcuts to skip through pain, often leading to worse problems at a later stage.

Example: A simple toothache would make people eat a painkiller tablet, which leads to many serious complications of body organs like the liver.

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Life-altering Experience

A person’s behaviour, once formed, largely remains unchanged. However, a major, life-changing event, that causes hardcore stress, can undo behavioural patterns.

It’s the basis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it makes people change or alter their behaviour, creating new, lifelong habits, scarred by the major event.

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The No. 1 Constant: Disagreement

When we are ‘hit’ by something huge, and unpredictable, we tend to explain it with great force and start forecasting with greater conviction, as if we know a lot about life. Someone who hasn’t experienced the earth-shattering event will not be on the same page.

Apart from selfishness, self-centeredness and stupidly, a majority of people do not agree with each other due to them having different experiences.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

There are two kinds of historical events to learn from

There are two kinds of historical events to learn from
  • Specific events. Their usefulness is limited to particular events that will not be repeated in the exact same way. What did this person do right, or wrong? What ideas wo...

Calm plants the seeds of crazy

  • Good times often breed complacency and scepticism of warnings. Until 2020, the public assumed pandemics were things of the past. 100 years ago, people had a better understanding of how dangerous an outbreak could be.
  • Carl Jung thought that an excess of something gives rise to its opposite. When there are no recessions, people get confident. Confident people take risks, leading to recessions.

Progress requires optimism and pessimism to coexist

Optimism and pessimism go hand in hand. In finance, we are told to save like a pessimist and invest like an optimist. The short term is full of setbacks, problems, breakages, depressions, pandemics, errors, but if you can stick around long enough, you can experience long-term growth.

The long-run is usually rather good and the short run is normally quite bad. In reconciling the two, we learn how to manage both.

3 more ideas

Cautiously Optimistic

Cautiously Optimistic

Our predictions usually seem to fall towards extremes, either too optimistic or too pessimistic. We underestimate how bad things can be in the short term, and how much better they ...

Optimism Bias

Too much optimism prevents us from accurately predicting and understanding the pain and struggle that is inevitable in the future.

What it does is it reduces our stress and anxiety and provides a ‘playground’ where we can imagine alternative realities which we need to believe in.

Realistic Optimism

A realistically optimistic person knows that though things will happen, things that will be surprising, disappointing or completely out of control.

Three different sides of risk

  • The odds you will get hit.
  • The average consequences of getting hit.
  • The tail-end consequences of getting hit.

The first two are...

The tail-end consequences

The tail-end consequences of an action or event (those with low-probability, high-impact) are all that matter.

In investing, the average consequences of risk make up most of the daily news headlines. But the tail-end consequences of risk (for example, pandemics and depressions) are what make the pages of history books.