Revisionist History

“God cannot alter the past, though historians can.” -Samuel Butler

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about revisionist history. This is a more complex topic than it seems. On the one hand, you cannot go back and revise history to fit your viewpoint. You can have an opinion on historical accounting but factual history must remain honest. Contrasting, our personal history displays more variance and offers us vast opportunity for accountability and ownership.

Let me illustrate the above point with an example. Go back and, sometime in the last five years, identify something you quit. Now, uncover the reasons why you quit that activity, pursuit or hobby.

Would the reasons why you would quit today be the same as they were when it happened?

What has changed?

When you start this self-reflection exercise you see that views change. The reasons for choices in the past evolve over time; sometimes into species that barely resemble their original proforma. Not surprisingly, we change. Consequently, our views evolve.

The goal of this exercise is to become a scientist with our history. Nikola Tesla stated, “The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified.” We need to develop the skill to revisit strategies from the past and evaluate them under the light of who we are today. To forge new considerations so that we avoid previous pitfalls and can succeed when opportunities present themselves.

How can we apply this for improved decision making and strategy?

Use this exercise of reflecting on previous choices as a means to review your history. This can be of significant utility when you are faced with similar conflicts. Don’t simply apply the same strategy as in the past. Look to the past strategy, revise it with who you are today, and see if it still applies. Usually it does not. Revise your strategy and apply an improved framework.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: This is a case of idiopathic intermediate uveitis, also known as pars planitis, showing peripheral inflammatory snowbanking.

Intermediate uveitis involves inflammation of the posterior part of the ciliary body and peripheral retina (pars planitis). It consists of mostly vitreous inflammation (“snowballs”) and may associated with inflammatory cells on the pars plana (“snowbanks”). In pure intermediate uveitis, there is usually no retinal findings, although patients may have a mild iritis.

In total, approximately 80-90% of intermediate uveitis cases are idiopathic pars planitis. Other causes include sarcoid, syphilis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, lyme, tuberculosis, Behcet disease, Whipple disease and lymphoma.

 

GRATIS: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” -Karl Marx

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

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