Introduction

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana, The Life of Reason (1905)

People have been making mistakes since the beginning of time. More important, people have been learning from their mistakes since the beginning of time.

Charles Darwin, on page 101 of Volume I of his epic The Descent of Man (1871), quotes Herbert Spencer: “I believe that the experiences of utility organised and consolidated through all past generations of the human race, have ...

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