[denigration of history & hindsight bias] We think the sort of things that happens to the others will not necessarily happen to us.
We can discuss this point from different angles. Experts call one manifestation of such denigration of history historical determinism.
In a nutshell we think that we would know when history is made; we believe that people who, say, witnessed the stock market crash of 1929 knew then that they lived an acute historical event and that, should these events repeat themselves, they too would know about such facts. Life for us is made to resemble an adventure movie, as we know ahead of time that something big is about to happen. It is hard to imagine that people who witnessed history did not know at the time how important the moment was.
Somehow all respect we may have for history does not translate well into our treatment of the present.
It has to do with the way our mind handles historical information. When you look at the past, the past will al-ways be deterministic, since only one single observation took place. Our mind will interpret most events not with the preceding ones in mind, but the following ones. Imagine taking a test knowing the answer. While we know that history flows forward, it is difficult to realize that we envision it backward. Why is it so? […] here is a possible explanation: Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but, rather, to get out of trouble rapidly and have progeny. If they were made for us to understand things, then we would have a machine in it that would run the past history as in a VCR, with a correct chronology, and it would slow us down so much that we would have trouble operating. Psychologists call this over-estimation of what one knew at the time of the event due to sub-sequent information the hindsight bias, the "I knew it all along" effect.
Yet, certainly, the wise learn many things from their enemies; for caution preserves all things. From a friend you could not learn this, but your foe immediately obliges you to learn it. For example, the states have learned from enemies, and not from friends, to build lofty walls, and to possess ships of war. And this lesson preserves children, house, and possessions.
The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand ...
It’s saying no.
That’s your first hint that something’s alive. It says no. That’s how you know a baby is starting to turn into a person. They run around saying no all day, throwing their aliveness at everything to see what it’ll stick to. You can’t say no if you don’t have desires and opinions and wants of your own. You wouldn’t even want to.
No is the heart of thinking.