History is a study of human behavior | Jeremi Suri and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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May 1, 2021
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Lex Clips
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History is a study of human behavior | Jeremi Suri and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

Studying history is an essential part of being a successful president, as it helps inform decisions on human nature and social change.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Is it important for presidents to be students of history?

Yes, every president should have a serious interest in history as it helps them understand how society has evolved and changed over time, which is crucial for making informed decisions.

Q: Can history hold us back from progress?

History, when studied in the right way, doesn't hold us back but rather provides lessons and insights into human nature and social change. It helps us understand the impact of our decisions and navigate challenges.

Q: How does history benefit other domains, like engineering?

History is valuable in all domains, including engineering. It helps engineers understand the relationship of their products to past engineering activities and consider social factors like prejudices and inequality.

Q: What is the difference between history and antiquarianism?

Antiquarianism seeks to hold onto the past, while history focuses on studying change over time. Historians recognize that we can't do things the same way as in the past but can use knowledge from history to inform present changes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Presidents who have been students of history, like Obama, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush, have shown a deep understanding of how society has developed and changed over time.

  • History provides insights into human behavior and helps guide decisions on social change and human nature.

  • Antiquarianism, the desire to stay stuck in the past, is different from historical study, which focuses on change over time.

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