Rhyme of history

History doesn’t repeat itself, (but it does often rhyme).

Mark Twain

So, as history would have it, Mark Twain did not actually say what was beyond the first four words. Yet many great writers, speakers and leaders might have mentioned or alluded to this point that there’s certain rhythm that history seem to follow. The challenge for people performing forecasting is that they tend not to have looked sufficiently at the rhythm of history to perform their forecasts but instead just expect more of the same thing in near term.

Indeed the best forecast of what happens in the next moment is what was the case in the last moment, but if you look through the daily cycle, you’ll note that you can’t extrapolate that easily for further moments. When you do know about the daily cycle of day and night however, you can predict some activities better. Likewise, you can do so about activities through the week as you master the weekly cycle, then the monthly and seasonality across months. As you go over longer time horizons, you begin to observe longer time period cycles that you can potentially model.

These all applies towards the things that lasts. What about new things; new trends and technologies? How would we know if people would adopt and how popular it would be. For example, the last two years saw massive rise in awareness and involvement of the masses in cryptocurrency. And of course it fueled a maniac rise which then more recently became a collapse with regulators jumping the bandwagon of sounding more warnings and curtailing retail ‘investors’ involvements. It would be important to find analogies, not only that of great successes but that of great failures and look at not just the short rise to success of these analogies, but the long slog they might have gone through.

The rhyme of history provides such valuable lessons that we too often ignore to our detriment.