The importance of the knowledge of yesterday.

Knowledge and professionals

We must remember that professionals can only bring us knowledge of the past. That is what we refer to as experience. And the value of experience is in the art of application of the knowledge of the past to the problems of the hour.

What human beings are and the society that they form, we know, were made up of yesterdays and of previous days and of the past years. The collection of information that we utilize that affects what we do today and in the building of our human surroundings comes from days past, as well, and not from what we'll learn in future.

It is on this past knowledge base, that professionals who deal with what is needed today, apply their skills. This knowledge helps form and implement all that we require to keep moving on. Professionals cannot carry or derive information newer than that that is known today, whether it was learned today, yesterday or in the more distant past.

We have less information derived from today than from nearby yesterdays and more from days past as days and information meld into larger forms. Therefore much of what we know and do is based on what came previously and perhaps with refreshed perspective.

Even though much of the past remains to be projected into the future, often rediscovered and usually to be refreshed as we move into the future, it always remains a projection from the past.

For we know little or nothing of the future and have less real understanding of the more distant future. What we know today may not be that much different from what we will know tomorrow.

But we do not know, how similar our knowledge will be as we plunge further into the future. As we observe the usefulness of knowledge, we understand that much of what we do is of course aimed toward the future.

I've heard professionals say, that that should last you about another five years or we won't have to do anything more with that for another thirty years. But that “knowledge extension,” has been learned from the past and may or may not hold up within the circumstances of the future. Otherwise wars would be won before they are fought.

And there are professionals who work at “knowledge extension of the past” to extend its effect into the future. This is expressed in the confidence we gain from knowing that something will last another 5 or 30 years.

Professionals then use these fairly reasonable projections to project even further into the future. But all this is based on knowledge of the past and we can not be certain until we arrive at these future moments when they become present and when these “extensions” can be conformed.

Past and knowledge that we have of the past is more real than concepts of the future. Therefore, there are fewer professionals willing to predict the reality of the future other than in generalities. Specifics, with some exceptions become more difficult.

Those who believe that today is as modern as things can be, except for tomorrow, must learn that our modernity comes from and is built on yesterday.

So that the experience of professionals whether young or old cannot be more than the knowledge of yesterday, and especially, not even more than that of today and perhaps not more until tomorrow. Usually we build more on the knowledge of a nearby yesterdays than on that of a more tested knowledge of distant yesterdays.

We must be cautious then, that our dependence on professionals is a dependence on the knowledge that was built on through yesterday. It may be organized and specialized but difficult  in most cases, difficult to extended into the future, depending upon the art of the professional.

Today's economic situation is outstanding proof of our difficulty with broad social prediction. Our movement out of the present situation cannot be reliably implemented by the professionals who led us here.

One of the cautions brought about because of this present knowledge is that in spite of the good that professionals bring us, their is also a serious uncertainty, day-to-day, that over-confident professionals bring to our social problems.

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