phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Let's be more helpful

Posted by Bob on September 25, 2000

In Reply to: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. posted by Bob on September 25, 2000

: : Who said this? And what is the origin and meaning?

: George Santayana. (I once wrote that those who Do learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat this quote.)

With regard to what it means. Experience is a poor teacher: it gives the test first, and the lesson afterwards. Some (uneducated) people can learn only from experience, so they never benefit from the lessons you can learn in books: how other people, of other cultures or genders or nation or century learned from their experiences, for our benefit. And, like people, companies and armies and nations will sometimes blunder into repeating the mistakes of their ancestors because they failed to learn the lessons of history. Such as? Never (as Wallace Shawn says in "The Princess Bride") start a land war in Asia.