F.P.F.P. stands for “Fully Prepared for the Past”.

There is a saying that “Armies are always ready to fight the last war” meaning that there is a tendency to focuses on what HAS happened rather than what will or might happen. There is even a version for economics: “Economists always apply the lessons of the last recession to the current recession” even though recessions tend to be rather unique.

The point is that the past is a very sketchy guide to the future and yet the urge is strong to simply extrapolate historical trends into the future creating a VERY dangerous false sense of confidence. I got my MBA from the University of Florida in 1978. I’ve spent much of the intervening forty years “unlearning and re-learning”; as the pundit said: “It was true… until it wasn’t.”

Furthermore, humans have a distinct tendency to “edit” their memories, creating story lines that reflect more our world views than often harsher truths of reality.

Closing Quotes:

“The only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.” – Henry Ford, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1916

“History allows us to see the obvious — but unfortunately, not until it is too late.” – Brian Herbert, Dune: House

“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.” – African Proverb

“The memories of men are too frail a thread to hang history from.” – John Still, The Jungle Tide

“The facts of history have been too well rehearsed.” – John Ashbery, “The System”, Three Poems

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier